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How Can I Avoid Overprocessing Hair?

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How Can I Avoid Overprocessing Hair? Verity Jane Smith/Getty Images
Question: How Can I Avoid Overprocessing Hair?
The more you do to your hair, the more likely overprocessing may result. This includes anything from color to relaxing to thermal styling. In case you don't already know, color on top of relaxed tresses tends to dry your hair more than non-colored tresses, especially the more you move away from your natural shade. This often leads to brittleness and damage if you don't combat it with frequent moisturizing in the form of various conditioners. Avoid overprocessed hair by following these tips.
Answer:

Choose one process at a time: Relaxers take a lot out of your hair, which is why regular conditioning and protein treatments are so important for putting health back in. Add a lighter color into the mix and your hair takes even more punishment. One of the main reasons your hair may be brittle and full of split ends is because your hair has taken too much abuse. The hair's outer cuticle layer is compromised with every chemical treatment placed on it. If your tresses seem lackluster and are suffering from numerous problems, you may need to decide which process you want the most and forget about the rest.

See a stylist for chemical applications: So you just have to have the hot new hair color of the season and relaxed or texturized tresses. After all, you're the style setter among your friends and family; everyone looks to you to set the trends, not follow them. To keep your hair its healthiest, visit a trusted professional to apply any chemicals. Box perms and home coloring kits are inexpensive and convenient, but they often leave too much to chance. Overlapping relaxers and poor color quality can combine to create hair problems. Instead of trying to play stylist at home when it comes to major processes like these, put your hair in the hands of a licensed pro, where higher quality products can give you the look you want without worry.

Lay off the heat: The less direct heat you apply to black hair, the better. However, you may decide the ease and convenience that heat styling tools offer are worth the results; just make sure you use heat wisely. Daily thermal styling is not recommended. You should try and use these tools no more than once per week, and much less often if you can. This means you may have to rely on other styling methods. Sometimes, you have to step outside of your comfort zone and find heat-free ways to create curls or straighten your hair; it can be done with a little commitment and creativity.

Protect your hair: Pamper and protect your hair as much as possible if relaxers, texturizers, Brazilian keratin treatments and/or color are a part of getting the hairstyle you want. This means using heat protectants every time you pull out a curling iron, flat iron or pressing comb. It also means giving your tresses a deep conditioning treatment at least twice a month if your hair is relaxed and colored, though once a week is even better. Add a protein treatment to your regimen to strengthen your locks, but don't overdo it, as too much protein dries out black hair and leads to breakage. Yes, this takes work, but if you want to keep your straightened and colored hair looking and feeling its healthy best, you have to put the work in to maintain it.

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