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Seven habits of highly healthy hair

If you want hair that’s shiny and smooth, observe those people who have achieved healthy hair. Are they using products that you’re not?

Let’s take a peek at the lifestyle and supply cabinet of healthy hair. The best-looking hair:

· Sleeps on silk. That’s right, a little bit of luxury can boost your hair health by a lot. Your hair spends a third of its life pressed against a pillowcase. Look for Mulberry 100 percent silk cases for under $40 at any bedding supply outlet. On a budget? Polyester satin cases are less costly and equally smooth.

· Untangles easily. When you have to “work” on detangling your freshly shampooed hair, you’re putting it through an ordeal. Use a wide-tooth comb (very inexpensive) and detangler spray or salon-quality, leave-in conditioner to easily unravel those wet knots. If your dry, healthy hair has been tossed around by the wind, a paddle brush with round-tipped bristles emerging from a flexible rubber pad (from very inexpensive to deluxe) will wrangle those strands back in place.

· Dries fast! Healthy hair spends as little time under the blow dryer as possible. A microfiber hair-drying turban (less than $10 to $25) can be your hair’s best friend because it quickly absorbs most of the water that’s left after you shampoo. Want healthy hair faster? Invest in an ionic hair dryer (up to $200) that uses physics instead of heat to change damp hair into healthy hair.

· Stays shady. Healthy hair doesn’t bake under the sun. To keep hair healthy, use a salon-quality conditioner or serum with sun-protective factors before you jump in the lake or bask by the ocean. On a budget? A wide-brimmed hat (at any price) will give your hair enough shade to stay healthy and happy.

· Avoids chlorine. But what if you swim in a pool? Swimmer’s hair can be healthy hair, if you follow your stylist’s advice about what kind of shampoo to use. To keep chlorine out in the first place, wet your hair down with a bottle of drinking water before you enter the pool, and pull on a stretchy swim cap.

· Shampoos less! Your stylist will help guide you about how often your healthy hair really needs a shampoo. You’ll need to cleanse and condition your hair whenever it’s saturated with perspiration, but not necessarily when you’re just transitioning from sleep to work. In the mornings, an inexpensive shower cap (from plain and inexpensive to absolutely adorable) will keep your healthy hair dry and might prevent the need for so many shampoos.

· Colors carefully. Healthy hair avoids harsh bleaching agents that damage the cuticle and leave hair dull and knotted. Treat your hair to healthy, salon-based color, applied by a licensed professional. Ammonia- and peroxide-free colors fade more quickly, but they add smoothness and body to healthy hair. Healthy hair can also handle an occasional highlighting or low-lighting with stronger chemicals—ask your stylist for details!

Do what people with healthy hair do, and you’ll have healthy hair, too!

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