Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, but many women suffer from various conditions that rob them of optimum hair performance.  Joni Odum, with Firstline Brands offers these tips for natural or relaxed hair:

1. Leave the chemicals to professionals. Have your hair relaxed in a salon; the stylist will determine whether it’s healthy and strong enough to handle the chemicals in a perm. Colored, under-conditioned, or over-processed hair may not be ready for straightening and you’ll alleviate hair breakage from a “bad” or untimely relaxer. Professional/salon perms also offer various types and strengths of chemicals used to straighten the natural curl of African-American hair often not available in home perms.

2. Organic products. Natural oils are a wonderful tool for making curly hair soft and shiny and enable you to avoid unnecessary    exposure to chemicals. Try Evolve Styling Boar Brush to restore natural oils.

3.  Sleep on satin. Cotton pillowcases have a rougher texture than their silk sisters creating friction between the pillow and hair, which can cause hair breakage and cotton can absorb oil from the scalp which leads to drier hair. Silk or satin pillowcases and hair wraps (“wrap caps” or “head wraps”) retain moisture. For women with perms or pressed hair, wearing a satin or silk head wrap also helps flatten hair and keep your style neater for a longer time. Wrapping hair around the head alleviates unkempt edges and ends. Plus, satin pillowcases are hypoallergenic.

4. Minimize heat. Limit the amount of heat from curling irons, flat irons, and blow dryers as well as styling products. Heat removes essential moisture and can “fry” and damage hair. Instead, air dry hair, use rollers, straw sets, or different braiding/twisting techniques to achieve desired curls.

5. Styling can be stressful. Not only is styling stressful for you, it can be stressful on your hair. Wear and tear is normal, but you can minimize damage by practicing protective styling. Dare to be adventurous, but be cautious when you suspect that the trendy look you love will damage your tresses over time. Try Evolve Detangling Comb with Metallic Tips and the Evolve Silky Knot Headband for quick style on the run.
6. Good diet = Good hair. Hair follicles need nutrients to grow strong and healthy. Meals high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B12 promote healthy hair growth. Drink plenty of water and take a multi-vitamin to supplement the nutrients you may be missing.
7. Rest. Instead of regularly applying heat, chemicals, and other products to your hair, let your hair rest through protective styling – or a loose bun a few days a week.

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