7 Expert Tips For Your Healthiest Hair Ever

Designed by Isabel Castillo.
You probably go to great lengths to keep your hair healthy and happy. Daily shampoo sessions (or maybe you're an every-other-day girl), weekly conditioning masks, and the occasional overnight frizz-fighting cocktail — your routine is, let's say, involved. But just as something as innocuous as your apartment can mess with your skin, your hair-care routine could be unintentionally harming your strands — no matter how comprehensive it might be.

Now, we're not trying to come between you and your curling iron. To get into the specifics of what really causes damage, we called in a team of pros: natural-hair specialist Chuck Amos, hairstylist Adam Maclay, and colorist Chris Petroff. They helped us identify the biggest styling pitfalls and issues for every hair type and texture, then gave us their tried-and-true tips for maintaining your healthiest hair. From avoiding volumizing sprays on straight, fine hair to exactly how to treat dryness and damage with Pantene's Daily Moisture Renewal shampoo and conditioner (hint: there's more to it than just washing your hair), these expert insights are here to make your #hairgoals a reality.
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Designed by Isabel Castillo.
The Snag: Using a volumizing spray

The Fix:
Naturally, volumizing products that promise lift and height sound like an easy solution, but according to Maclay, certain types of these products can be too heavy and will only weigh down hair.

Instead, try a dry texturizing spray. Mist it all over your strands to add grit, then tease your roots slightly with a wide-toothed rake comb for lift. Since these sprays add thickness all over, they won't create unnecessary weight at the root, which is a recipe for limp strands later on.
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Designed by Isabel Castillo.
The Snag: Defining waves with heat tools

The Fix:
We all know heat tools are the backstabbers of the hair industry. They give us what we want in the immediate, then rob us of shine and moisture down the road. But for wavy, textured gals who have drier hair to begin with, enhancing those waves without the help of heat can be difficult.

If you have to reach for a wand, at least give your hair a defensive line: Always use a heat-protectant spray before blowdrying or curling. And when it comes time to wash and start over, a nourishing shampoo and conditioner combo, like Pantene's Daily Moisture Renewal duo, will restore moisture and soften fried strands.

But simply applying these products is not enough to give you amazing results — you need to use them correctly. That means concentrating shampoo at the roots and conditioner at the ends to target oil and dryness, respectively. If you need an extra boost, leave the conditioner on your ends for a minute or two longer in the shower so your hair can absorb more of the good stuff.
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Designed by Isabel Castillo.
The Snag: Using too-light oils

The Fix:
Naturally textured hair is very coarse, dense, and needs a ton of moisture, so a light serum or oil is not enough to penetrate the hair shaft, says Amos. Instead, apply a quarter-sized dollop of styling cream from the ends to the middle of your shaft to soften strands. Then, if your hair needs extra hydration, coat your ends with a thick, nourishing oil, like coconut or olive. Your hair can better absorb the oil after the hair shaft is softened, says Amos.

For times your hair needs next-level moisture, layer on the styling cream and oil, then wrap your hair flat around your head, and cover it with a shower cap or plastic wrap. This traps the heat from your head and uses it to help the products better sink into your hair.
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Designed by Isabel Castillo.
The Snag: Hydrating but not moisturizing

The Fix: "Hydrating" and "moisturizing" might sound like synonyms, but in the beauty world, they're not as interchangeable as you'd think. According to Maclay, moisturizing means infusing something internally (think of a leave-in conditioner, which is designed to penetrate strands), while hydrating is adding something topically (like a finishing oil, which sits on the outer layer of hair).

Curly-haired women have naturally drier strands, so they need both hydration and moisture — and lots of it. Maclay suggests supplementing your daily hydrating styling products, like creams and oils, with an extra-moisturizing weekly mask. This gives your hair a boost to soften it from the inside out.
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Designed by Isabel Castillo.
The Snag: Using only the highest heat setting on your hairdryer

The Fix: Any woman who relaxes her hair has experienced the awkward growing-out phase — and the subsequent frustration that comes with trying to straighten curly roots to match the rest of the hair shaft. You may end up making everything smooth, but with fried ends as collateral damage.

Thankfully, Amos has an often-overlooked hack: Your blowdryer has multiple heat settings, so use them! Limit the hottest setting to your grown-out roots (but still make sure to apply a heat-protecting spray first), and switch to lower heat for your ends. "The tips of your relaxed hair, even while wet, are already straight," he explains, "so you don't need as much heat to [set them]."
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Designed by Isabel Castillo.
The Snag: Blowdrying in the wrong direction

The Fix: Try as we might, according to Maclay, you can't really tamp down frizz without heat. Silicone-based serums or creams can help, since they seal the cuticle to prevent strands from sticking up, but heat is the ultimate enforcer when dealing with pesky fuzz.

To beat frizz at its own game, you'll need to equip your hairdryer with a concentrator nozzle, which directs the air where you want it. Though, as Maclay advises, there's more to it than that. "A lot of people blowdry their hair [at a 90- or 45-degree angle] with the brush underneath, because they think they're going to get volume," he says. "But you'll just get baby hairs standing up instead." Rather than placing your brush underneath each section of hair as you dry it, grip the hair from the top, so the heat from your dryer warms up the brush and therefore smooths down the frizz.
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Designed by Isabel Castillo.
The Snag: Leaving your hair exposed to the elements

The Fix: We all know a little breeze can do wonders for an epic hair selfie — no hair commercial would be complete without a wind machine. But IRL, a day spent in the sun or a lot of wear and tear from the wind can strip your hair of its color, whether it's a single-process or a multi-tonal opal look.

We know it sounds crazy when there's already so much you need to watch out for to protect your color. But take it from an expert: "The wind can oxidize [your hair] and lighten your color," explains Petroff. "If you're going to be out in the sun, at the beach, [or in a windy area], wear a hat." Alternatively, you can sweep your hair up into a pony or bun for a day outdoors, so it isn't as vulnerable.
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