Rehab Your Hair

Are you torturing your tresses? Stop the cycle of abuse with these tips.

Rehab Your Hair
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Tress offense: Cranking the heat Hair dryers and straightening and curling irons force our hair to submit to our whim, but not without a price—their sizzling heat saps moisture and is extremely damaging.
Rehab Rx: Embrace your hair’s natural texture, and discuss with your stylist a cut that works with it rather than fights it. Another heat-free way to get your hair to behave is to choose the right styling products. Instead of adding volume with a dryer or hot rollers, do it with mousse or hairspray; to tame your curls, apply a straightening balm. Just be sure to check styling product labels for alcohol; many of them are dehydrating (the worst culprits are ethyl and SD alcohol). But most will point out on the label that they’re alcohol-free. Above all, give your hair dryer a well-deserved vacation. Sound impossible? “At least let your hair air-dry halfway and then use a dryer on low heat to style,” says Hazan, who doesn’t extend this leniency to curling and straightening irons; dry heat directly on fragile strands sucks away even more of the hydration you’re trying to build back up.
Get your fix: L’Oreal Paris Everstyle Alcohol-Free Smooth & Shine Crème ($7; is a vegan formula that adds a glossy shine to every hair type; if you can’t bear to forgo heat styling, the lack of drying alcohol will keep hair lush and healthy.
The Mason Pearson Rake Comb ($30; is handmade and wide-toothed, making it perfect for untangling wet hair. (Using a regular brush on wet hair can stretch and break individual strands over time.)

Tress offense: Playing rough Vigorously rubbing your hair with a towel can cause breakage, as can tying it back in severe ponytails.
Rehab Rx: Peterson recommends a “ ‘blot and squish’ technique” for gentler drying. And instead of elastics, opt for a (dare we say it?) scrunchie or fabric hair tie.
Get your fix: Alex & Isabelle ties ($2 each; don’t pull out your hair like the usual elastics do.