Chemical treatments such as perms can be hard on hair, particularly if they are performed too often. Chemical styling strips away moisture and protein, which makes your hair more fragile and prone to damage. But a bit of breakage at the roots doesn't have to spell disaster for your 'do. Until the damaged, short strands grow out, keep what you've got going strong with careful care.
Drench your hair with water before washing. Lather a moisturizing or protein reconstructing shampoo that contains argan oil close to the scalp only, then rinse with cold water to smooth fraying strands. Repeat with a moisturizing conditioner.
Blot your hair dry with a microfiber hair towel and let it air-dry completely to avoid the drying, damaging effects of a hair dryer. Do not rub your hair with a plain terrycloth towel, which can cause further breakage.
Comb through your wet hair with a wide-tooth comb, rather than a hairbrush. The close-set bristles on a hairbrush can snag and pull delicate wet hair. Wide-set plastic teeth are less likely to snag.
Coat your hair with leave-in conditioner between washes. Gently rub a dollop of the product through wet hair and let it dry naturally.
Coat your hair with a deep-conditioning treatment or melted coconut oil once every two weeks to help restore moisture. Wrap your hair in a heat cap,which is a disposable plastic head covering that shrinks to fit when exposed to hot air. Warm the cap briefly by blowing it with a hair dryer until it fits snugly against your head. Leave the conditioner in for 15 to 30 minutes before rinsing.
Ask your stylist to treat your hair with a glaze or semi-permanent hair color to help strengthen the hair cuticle while you wait for the broken strands to grow back.
Cut down on your use of thermal styling tools. If you must use a curling iron or straightener, first treat your hair with a heat-protectant serum to prevent damage.
Replace old, damaged hairbrushes to avoid unnecessary snags on fragile hair. Conceal shortened hair sections inside updos or braids, or change your hair part to cover damage at the roots.
Avoid backcombing and other harsh styling techniques.