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When your hair is feeling dry or damaged, it may be more difficult to deal with. Or you may not know if your hair is damaged by neglecting the most visible signs. Here are 5 ways you can tell immediately if your hair damaged.

Dull Hair
You may find that even after deep conditioning your hair still looks dull. This is a certain sign that your hair is harmed and the shafts are no longer smooth.

Brittle/Dry Texture
The best way to test and know whether or not your hair is damaged, is by holding a section of your hair upside down so that your ends are pointing upward. Next, run your finger over the end to test the texture. Notice if the texture is soft, or is it hard and brittle? A brittle or weak dry texture usually means a damaged hair shaft that is not absorbing moisture well.

Split Ends
Another sign of damaged hair is by noticing if you have split ends. Split ends are caused by dryness and harsh treatment. There is no product that will repair split ends; the best way to treat split ends is by cutting them off.

Hair Breakage
If you notice way more shedding on your comb or around your room/bathroom, it could be a sign of damaged hair. Damaged hair that is dry and brittle tends to snap off easily. Although, some hair loss is normal, when you see a large increase of it, you can definitely count on damaged hair as being the culprit. This can be the result of excessive tugging, hair manipulation, over processing, relaxers or even a hair color gone wrong.

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As the temperatures are dropping, naturals are hastening to uncover a definitive protective hair style. Now, if you are not an enthusiast of protective hairstyling, will you still secure your hair without having your ends being tucked away?

Here a couple of tips:

Deep Condition– Moisture is the key! Week by week deep conditioning for no less than 30 minutes serves to recharge the moisture back into the hair.
Hair Steaming– The steam opens up the follicles of your hair for deeper penetration.
Protein Treatments– Protein helps fill in the holes that have been created from chemical processing. Incorporating protein treatments into your hair care regimen is essential to the health of your hair.
Shampooing in Sections– Shampooing your tresses (with a moisturizing shampoo) in sections allows you to have more control over the process. Smaller sections will result in less tangles and decrease hair loss.
Dry Styling– Dry styling aids in preventing curls from coiling around each other creating more tangles resulting in breakage. (bantu knots, twist outs, braid outs)
Leave in Conditioner– A good leave in conditioner will ensure that the detangling process is much easier while adding moisture and maintaining those moisture levels for a longer period of time.
Low Manipulation– Limit all of that twisting and twirling, once it has been styled is unnecessary manipulation that could ultimately lead to breakage.
Zero or Minimal Heat– Minimizing the heat exposure to your hair will prevent irreversible damage and changes in your curl pattern. Keep those blow dryers and flat irons at bay as much as possible.

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We all have come across breakage at some point, but the good news is that there are many ways we can stop it! Here are a few hair breakage tips that will help give you healthy hair and help maintain those tresses.

Minimal to No Heat
Using high heat on a regular basis will cause irreversible damage to your hair and eventually lead to breakage.

Moisture
Dry hair = more prone to breakage. Try to maintain your hair moisturized as much as you can. Look for the signs, your hair will usually tell you when it is in need of moisture. One way of keeping in the moisture is by using the L.C.O Method (Liquid, Cream and Oil).

Say NO to Towels
Terry cloth can be very rough to your tresses, instead opt for using an old T-shirt which is more gentle.

Avoid Alcohols
Products that contain alcohol as an ingredient, will dry out your hair.

Night Routine
Invest in a satin pillow case, satin scarf or even try pinappling your hair to avoid dryness from the cotton that tends to absorb your hair’s natural oils.

Leave your hair alone!
Keeping low manipulation is the best way to avoid breakage. Constantly combing, twisting, re-twisting and fussing with your hair can lead to breakage.

What are some of the ways you combat hair breakage?

Why is moisturizing so important? and How do we moisturize correctly?
Moisturizing the hair is very important. Natural hair (kinky, coily and curly) are naturally dryer than other hair textures. It is also that more fragile. The only way we can keep our hair healthy and growing is to keep it constantly moisturized. DRY HAIR BREAKS!! So you have to be very careful when handling your hair when it is dry.

You can moisturize correctly by sealing in moisture (water or leave in conditioner with WATER as the first ingredient) with oil or for thicker hair a hair butter. Some use a leave in after their styling product or the oil last. It all depends on the person and the type of regimen you want to keep up. Keeping your hair moisturized is one step towards retaining length, here are some ways to keep your natural hair regularly moisturized.

Co-Wash In-between Shampoo Washes
If you are one to feel it necessary to cleanse your hair with shampoo on wash day, then make sure you follow up with deep conditioning afterward. In addition, in-between your wash day, co-wash your hair. For example, if you choose Sunday as your wash day, make Wednesday the day you co-wash. This way your hair is getting that extra moisture from the wash in the meantime. Also adding oils or even honey (which is a humectant) in your conditioner will help you retain moisture.

Use Water-based Moisturizers
Styling your hair with a water-based product will ensure that your hair is getting some additional moisture. This could also mean when you re-style your hair at night, you may not have to add more product. Make sure you are choosing the ‘moisturizer’ that is water-based. This means, the 1st or 2nd ingredient should be water, (aqua). If water isn’t one of the first two ingredients, then it’s not a water-based product.

Seal, Seal and Seal! (in Moisture)
After washing your hair, before styling, seal in the moisture (water) by adding oil to your strands. Oil will seal in the water, keeping your hair hydrated and moisturized. Aloe Vera is also a great sealant.