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By Christine Gonsalves

Hi folks, I hope this article finds you prosperous and in good health, but mostly in good health!

Now let’s get down to the business of making you even more beautiful than you already are!

You know you’ve got healthy hair when it’s shiny, smooth and full. You can help manage healthy hair in many ways, from how you shampoo, which brushes you use, and how you take care of yourself. Here’s the hair advice you need to know.

Nutrition
To grow your best hair, you must be as healthy as possible. And all the standards of good health apply: a balanced diet, drinking enough water and getting enough rest and regular exercise are great places to start.

That’s not to say that running three miles a day will give you gorgeous hair, but the better your overall health and nutrition, the better your hair condition can be.

Washing your hair
Did you know wet hair is extremely fragile? Any pulling, combing or brushing can cause stretching or damage. But you can start with these basics to handle your hair with care and help protect it from breakage:

Shampoo gently, using your fingertips to massage the formula into
your scalp and then into a lather, without any vigorous rubbing or scrubbing.

• Rinse with cool to warm (not hot) water, using an open palm to guide the suds through to the ends of your hair.
• Follow with a conditioner created for your unique hair needs—apply it mid-shaft to ends—and rinse in the same way.
• Never brush wet hair—use a wide-tooth comb or pick to separate tangles before styling.

Styling damage
For many women, daily styling is necessary for managing their hair. To lessen the damage this causes, try these steps:
• Apply a leave-in treatment.
• Reduce dryer use: allow hair to partially air dry before styling with a blow dryer.
• When drying, angle the nozzle down the shaft of the hair to help keep the cuticle from being roughed up.
• Use flat irons and curling irons on completely dry hair only—hot tools like these on wet hair can boil the water within each strand, causing damage that can lead to split ends and breakage.

Brush with beauty
We’ve all seen beauty advice on when to save and when to splurge. Brushes fall into the latter category. You use them every day, often more than once, so consider them an investment in the long-term health of your hair.
Look for brushes with bristles from natural fibers, like boar bristles. They help move your hair’s natural oils from the scalp along the hair shaft.
If 100% boar bristle feels too soft for your hair, choose a 50/50 natural and synthetic mix.
Stock up. You’ll need a different brush for each different styling job: paddle brushes for straightening, barrel or round brushes for volume.

A shining finish
You’ve treated your hair to healthy care from shampoo to styling. Now top it off with products that help finish your look with shine.

Your hair stylist should be able to help you decide which hair products will be perfect for your particular hair.

Environmental protection
UV rays break down the keratin found in hair, and that can lead to dryness and breakage. Color-treated hair needs special protection, especially since the sun can cause color to fade. I encourage everyone, regardless of hair type, to wear a hat. It really is the best way to keep your hair and skin safe.

You’ll also want to protect your hair against the buildup of dirt and other impurities in the air—they settle on your hair’s surface, making it appear dull and even oily. But regular shampooing
will take care of them.

Tips for hair maintenance
Getting your hair trimmed regularly is one of the best ways to keep it healthy. Damage that starts at the ends—where hair is the oldest—can begin to creep up the hair’s shaft. So instead of just having split ends, you can end up with damage running the length of your hair. Trimming is the best way to prevent this from happening.

Before you choose your new spring hair color make sure your hair is in tip top shape by conditioning it and trimming the split ends.

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