How often should you wash?

This is a common question. It really varies by individual. In general try not to shampoo every day. Washing too often can strip the hair of its’ natural oils that help create shine and vitality, leaving it brittle and prone to breakage. Aim to wash every other day at the most, or wait even longer if you’re able. You can always rinse your hair rather than giving it the full monty. If you’re curly or your ends are dry just apply conditioner only where needed after rinsing. How long you wait is really up to you. If your scalp begins to itch or if your hair becomes visibly oily, it’s time to lather up. If your hair feels too oily between washes, go for some dry shampoo spray or dry shampoo powder to help it appear less oily and give your hair a boost of volume. Even if you work out every day, you do not need to do more than rinse your hair.

How often should I get my hair cut?

The shorter you wear it, the more frequently you should see your stylist to keep it looking good. Short hair should be shaped between 2 and 6 weeks. Midlength hair should be shaped every 5-8. Long to very long about every 8 weeks. Again, this varies. If you wash and style long hair every day it may need more frequent “dustings” (very light trims). If you are growing your hair and aren’t beating it up with heat, you can probably go several months to see real growth.

How can I get my hair to be more healthy, shiny, and youthful?

Diet plays a big role. Be sure you are getting in enough good fats and amino acids. Treating your hair with TLC as often as possible helps too. Giving your hair an occasional deep conditioning treatment is very beneficial. If you are really concerned and want to help heal your tresses, try a smoothing treatment that adds keratin to the hair, such as Keratin Complex, Brazilian Blow out or CHI environmental, to name a few. A keratin treatment can be customized to reduce frizz, curl or just help heal damage and protect hair from further damage from sun, hot tools, etc.

Will coloring my hair damage it?

The short answer is no, not if done by a professional. Good color will enhance your hair and add body and shine to the hair. However, anytime you lighten the hair, it becomes thirsty for moisture. So, be sure to ask your stylist what you should be using to keep your hair in ultimate condition.

How can I get fuller, thicker hair?

Have you tried hair extensions? There are a variety to choose from. They have become more affordable and more common than ever. Most celebrities have some type of extensions in at all times. Applications and pricing vary. The best way to start is with a few clip-ins. You can add highlights, a little volume or length or simply thicken up a ponytail for starters. Consult your stylist.

Beauty Bits by Kelly Herbst appears monthly. Herbst is a professional cosmetologist and beauty educator and owner of The Hair Studio of Ocean City. You can submit questions to her at kellyh99@comcast.net.

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