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The things we do to our hair on a regular basis to improve how it looks actually can cause damage and make hair prone to frizz. Hair color, straightening and curling irons, blow dryers, perms, chemical straighteners and frequent use of harsh shampoo are all culprits, according to Salon Web. Other causes include a diet lacking in protein and essential fatty acids, sun exposure, chlorinated water and dry air.
Skip daily shampooing. Instead, opt for washing your hair every other day with a gentle shampoo. A cold rinse will cause the cuticle to lie flatter and make hair look more shiny, says New York City stylist David Evangelista.
Condition your hair after each shampoo. Use a conditioner that's rich in protein, which will help fill in damaged areas on the hair shaft and reduce frizz, "Fitness" magazine explains. Conditioner also decreases friction during styling, protecting the hair from damage.
Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle wet hair. Never use a brush on wet or damp hair, says Salon Web. Hair is more fragile and prone to damage when it's wet.
Air-dry your hair. Hair is stronger when it's left to dry naturally, says celebrity stylist Ken Paves. When a hot blow dryer is used on the hair it causes the cuticle to open, making the hair look brittle and less shiny.
Apply a thermal protector to damp hair before using heated styling tools. A heat-protection lotion coats the hair and protects it from heat, reducing damage.
Brush your hair gently with the right tool. Choose a brush made from natural boar bristles, advises Gretchen Monahan, owner of the Grettacole chain of salons in Boston. For fine hair, a tightly-packed, all-boar bristle brush is best. A brush with mixed plastic and boar bristles works better for medium and thick hair.
Braid your hair instead of putting it in a tight ponytail. Ponytails cause breakage and traction alopecia, a condition that results in hair loss, warns "Fitness" magazine. If you must wear a ponytail, fasten it loosely.
Protect your hair. When you're out in the sun, wear a hat or use a UV protector to avoid split ends, faded color and dullness. Before swimming in a chlorinated pool or in the ocean, wet your hair and saturate it with a conditioner that repels both salt and water, "Fitness" magazine recommends.
- Eat a diet rich in protein and essential fatty acids. Although this won't improve hair that's already grown out from the scalp, it will produce new growth that's healthier.
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