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Question: What are some of the best ways to keep your hair healthy?

Answer: Here are some tips to really help improve the health of your hair:

Please, don’t wash your hair like you wash your dishes. Regular shampoo contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), a detergent that cuts grease and can be found in many dish soaps. This ruins the hair follicles, causing dryness and split ends. One of the best ways to keep your hair healthy is to vouch for a shampoo that is sulfate free, or even baby shampoo—which dermatologists recommend to those with sensitive scalps. Oh, and always detangle before you apply to avoid breakage.

Using warm (but not scorching hot) water will promote shiny hair. Extra points if you use filtered water. The water from your shower on the other hand contains some really damaging metals and minerals, and I know it may sound like a lot of work, but it really pays off in the long run.

Now, how much shampoo should you use? The size of an almond is perfect, even if you have very oily hair. Here’s why: shampoo retires the natural oils, so if you use more than this amount, your hair will try and overcompensate by producing even more oil. This is a recipe for disaster, if you ask me.

Rub the product into your palms and gently apply while focusing on your scalp and roots (aka: where that oil and dirt tends to concentrate the most). With your fingertips, make soft, circular motions to add volume and stimulate blood flow. The rest of the hair will cleanse as you rinse out.

Apply a mask instead of a conditioner; its components are richer so your hair will receive double the benefits. Leave it anywhere between five to ten minutes while you finish showering. How much product should you use? That depends on the length of your hair, but you should be able to get from the middle to the ends and front pieces—where the most of the damage is—especially if you have been using heat tools frequently.

Carefully brush with a wide comb while you rinse, starting from the bottom to the top. This distributes the product better and the water will help to avoid tangles.

Finally, squeeze in order to retire the excess of water. Don’t use a towel, as its fibers may make your hair extra frizzy. Vouch for a cotton t-shirt instead.