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Woman trying to comb her frizzy hair

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Celebrity hairstylist Alicia Fajardo is the mastermind behind the flawless styles of stars like Tami Roman and Toccara Jones. And while her celeb clients always stay looking fresh and fab, she wants to help prevent you from doing any more damage to your tresses.

Now, try as we may to take care of our precious hair, some of our most beloved daily routines could be doing far more harm than good. But fear not, Alicia has your back!

In her own words, here are the five things we’re doing to ruin our hair and her own personal solutions to fix them!

1.) ‘Mo heat, ‘Mo problems

We’ve all heard that excessive heat is a problem, and yet we still continue to torture our poor tresses. Constantly using heating tools like curling irons, flat irons and hair dryers on a regular basis is one of the worst things you can do for your hair, especially if you’re one of those girls who has to flat iron your bangs or your leave-out multiple times a day.

But let’s face it, most of us can’t afford to be walking around with a hot mess on our heads. So ladies, listen up: Heat protectant is your friend! There are lots of different products available, in a variety of prices. So make sure you get your hands on one that works for your budget. Think of it as a coated shield — this way, your hair isn’t catching the brunt of the heat. So throw a dab on before putting that heat to your hair.

2.) When’s The Last Time You Had A Trim?

We know hair is SO hard to grow and we’re guilty of it too, but too many of us are out here acting like a trim will take us from Beyonce to Halle Berry’s length, but that’s just not the case. If you have a good stylist — someone who cares about your hair — they know how to trim dead ends without losing length. The fact is, you need to be getting a trim every 6-8 weeks, no exceptions.

Think of dead ends as a run in your stocking – you have to nip it in bud or it will spread and get bigger. When you see them, schedule a trim immediately to cut off the dead ends. And don’t fall for the commercials — there is no miracle shampoo or serum to bring your ends back to life. Just get a trim. And if you’re stylist doesn’t know how to cut it, take my advice — get a new stylist!

3.) If Trims Are Your Best Friend, Consider Shampoo Your Enemy

In spite of those late-night commercials with celeb clients promising you miracle results, the fact is, most shampoos are destroying your hair.  When you use shampoo, you strip your hair of its natural oils. Then you’re left with using more products and conditioners to try and get the moisture back.

Here’s how to know there’s a problem — if your hair is dry and brittle after shampooing, your’e in trouble. Many of the shampoos on the market have have parabens, sulfates, other ingredients, whose sole purpose is to make it lather like you’re in an Herbal Essence commercial. But you need to simply cleanse your hair, not strip it.

What you should consider doing is a process called “co-washing” – aka a conditioning wash. Rinse hair well, and when it’s soaking wet, smooth conditioner through, root to tip. Then simply wash out as if it were shampoo.

On top of that, you need to deep condition at least once every 2 weeks, where you are leaving it on your hair for at least 10-15 minutes, preferably under a heat cap to open the follicles up so the product can really be absorbed.

If you’re someone who ABSOLUTELY needs to shampoo your hair because you’re using tons of product daily (which you should stop, asap), then buy a product that is sulfate and paraben free.

4.) They Call It Baby Hair For A Reason

Ladies — listen here — treat your edges like a newborn baby. You should be swaddling them with love and affection and paying close attention to what is keeping them happy and healthy. Black hair is traditionally more prone to breakage, and yet many of us are pulling and prodding it all day long.

In that same vein, weaves or extensions are great for protective styles, but the key word is protective. You should be protecting your real and natural hair so it can grow and be healthy. Too-tight braids and pony tails are doing you more harm than good.

5.) Having The Wrong Stylist Or No Stylist At All

I’m not saying you have to be in salon every day or week, but you need a stylist you can trust. One who knows your hair, cares about it and will tell you the proper way to keep it healthy.

To be blunt, most of us aren’t doing our research. Just because your friend or coworker comes in with fab hairstyles every day does NOT mean her hair is healthy. The fact is that it can look great and be in horrible shape. Too many women are entrusting our “newborns” (aka our precious hair) in the hands of others, who are interested in taking your other baby, our money!

Expert Tip –Question your stylist!  Whether it’s at your appointment or over the phone, ask your stylist questions specific to your concerns and how they will handle it. Make sure they know about your specific hair issue, whether it’s hair loss, breakage or failed growth. They should be more than willing to explain how they can help you improve it and share what they know.

Overall these five things are a way for you to breathe new life into your hair. Do your research, treat your approach to hair care like you would your wedding day.  You’re not going to walk down aisle in any old thing, but instead you’ll find the perfect everything. Put that same energy into your hairs’ health.

You can find Alicia Fajardo at her website, aliciafajardo.com and on her Facebook page here or her Instagram, @aliciafajardohair.

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