1. Get regular trims! A cut every six to eight weeks will lob off damaged ends that weaken strands. (Even if you wear your hair natural, this is key, says Toni Garcia-Jackson, a hair stylist in Wilmington, Delaware, because split ends are inevitable, even if you arent styling with heat or chemicals.)
2. Update your brush. Older brushes often have missing or broken bristles that snag hair and cause breakage. For a brush that wont pull or put hair under stress as youre styling, try one with natural bristles or flexible synthetic bristles. TRY: The Wet Brush ($14; thewetbrush.com)
3. Prep for heat. Before you blow-dry or curl, always apply a hydrating heat protection spray to damp hair. Theyre formulated with conditioning ingredients, like glycerin, to coat strands and help combat the drying effects of heated styling tools. TRY: Herbal Essences Set Me Up Heat Protection Spray ($4.99; at drugstores).
4. Turn down the tempand be gentle. Keep curling irons and flat irons on low settings, and lightly twirl or squeeze hair.
5. Switch to a better blow dryer. The next time your dryer dies, replace it with one thats ionic and ceramic. It shortens drying time while reducing heat damage. TRY: Remington T-Studio Silk Ceramic Blow Dryer ($32.96; 7yearsyounger.com/shop).
6. Give hair a holiday. Damaged strands need a break, so take advantage of lazy weekend days to let hair rest and repairno dryer, no flat iron, no product. Even one day a week without heat will work wonders!