Yes, most hair ads are photoshopped or have an unseen (green screen) assistance in making the model’s hair appear super voluminous and shiny—but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you should, or should not, be doing to take care of it.

  • Use Sulfate and Paraben-Free Shampoos. Sulfate is a chemical that makes the shampoo all “bubbly” and parabens are used in preserving—but they can be quite harmful to your hair and scalp over time.
  • Don’t Condition Your Scalp. It is best to apply conditioner to the tips of your hair and not at the roots. Your roots are nourished through natural oil production and conditioners will just get in the way of that—and some may cause you hair to seem excessively oily.
  • Wash Your Hair Regularly—And For Your Hair Type. You may meet some people who only wash their hair once a week and those who must wash their hair daily. Neither is wrong; they are washing their hair on a regular schedule that is best for the health of their hair. Those who have dry hair find that washing less often is best for them, while those with an oily scalp may think its best to wash daily or every other day.
  • Wash With Shampoo. Shampoo is a cleanser for your hair, so it helps to get out the leftover product, dirt, oil, and everything else your hair comes in contact with. Simply rinsing with water may tie you over between washes, but it is not adequate enough to cleanse your hair.
  • Dry Your Hair Naturally. You may be tempted to go for the quick dry by using a blow dryer, but the excessive heat is damaging to your hair follicles and scalp. Also, avoid brushing wet hair or going to bed with wet hair as the friction can damage the cuticle of your hair. If you must brush it wet, use a wide-tooth comb.
  • Perform a Pre-Shampoo Treatment. A scalp massage and hair oiling with appropriate products (like coconut, almond, castor, or olive oil) can help to increase blood circulate, promote growth, and help repair spilt ends. Let it sit for a few minutes and then shampoo your hair like normal.
  • Detangle Gently. If you have tangles, try brushing them out with your fingers or use a wide-tooth comb. Be sure to detangle small sections at a time and work from the ends up to the roots to prevent damaging the hair further.
  • Get a Regular Trim. About every 6-8 weeks you should have the ends of your hair trimmed to rid it of split ends. Split ends are inevitable over time, even with prevention techniques, and keeping your hair well-trimmed will help keep the spilt ends from damaging further up your strands. Regular trims do not promote growth (that happens at the scalp but it does promote healthier hair.
  • Hydrate and Eat Healthy. What you put into your body is extremely important for the health of your body, including your scalp and hair growth.
  • Protect Your Hair. If you will be using heat tools to style your hair, use a heat protecting serum first. If you will be outside under the sun, wear a hat—even hair can be damaged by the sun’s rays.
  • Ponytail It Correctly. Avoid tightening the band you are using too tight around your hair and when possible, opt for a fabric hair tie over a rubber one or a fabric hair band over a plastic one. Small aggravations like these can build up in damage over time.