Chemical hair products––relaxers and coloring––make it easy to manage and style black hair in trendy hairdos and hues of the season. But over-processing can dry and damage black hair. While the process to fix chemically damaged hair can be daunting, it isn’t impossible. Just follow these damage-control tips from

Visit your stylist. Have the damaged hair thoroughly trimmed away, especially damaged split ends. This is an important step on the road to recover your healthy hair. Getting rid of the damage results in healthier and neater looking hair.

Shampoo weekly. Use a gentle shampoo and follow it with a moisture-rich conditioner. (The best conditioners are made with deep-penetrating protein or keratin.) Transform this process into a deep condition by placing a plastic cap on your head for 15 minutes. Next, rinse out the conditioner until the water runs clear. Conditioner residue weighs hair down and makes it limp.

Stop using relaxer and hair dye. Also avoid heat styling tools, such as curling irons and flatirons whenever possible. Look for gentler styling alternatives including roller sets or braids. These precautions all help curtail hair damage.

Avoid alcohol-based hair care products. These no-no products cause breakage. Also avoid mineral- and petroleum oil-based products; they clog hair follicles. Ditto for products containing polyethylene glycol (PEG). PEG strips the hair of its natural moisture.

Keep tresses moisturized. Opt for natural moisturizers, such as shea butter. Shea butter nourishes the hair when absorbed into strands from root to tip. The West African moisturizer also protects against weather damage and restores luster and sheen to over-processed and damaged hair.

Eat a healthy diet. Fill your plate with lean protein, fresh fruits and veggies and healthy fats. You should also add a multivitamin to your nutritious diet menu and drink the recommended six to eight glasses of water daily. Voila! Healthy hair from the inside out.

Click here for tips from celebrity stylists to keep black hair healthy.