What Is the Best Way to Stop Breakage From Highlights?

It's important to take care of highlighted hair.

Photo: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

So you're tired of your same boring hair color and plan to highlight it for a new twist on your old look. And the old adage applies here: when you look good, you feel even better. No matter what the color, highlights can add new life to your existing 'do and give you the confidence to finally wear those new jeans or strut out in your most fabulous heels. However, as fabulous as your highlighted hair may look, it is important to take care of it, so the chemicals from the color don't cause irreparable damage.

Condition Often

The more you condition your highlighted hair, the healthier it's going to be. The conditioner protects your hair from becoming dry and brittle and provides your tresses with a much needed dose of vitamins and minerals. Condition at least once a week for 45 minutes at a time and use leave-in conditioner every day to keep your hair properly moisturized. It keeps the dye on the highlighted hair from getting the best of your locks.

Don't Overdo it

Sure, you always want your hair to look salon fresh. But the more often you touch up your highlights, the more overprocessed your hair will get. This means that it is weakened enough to start breaking off. Consult with your stylist about the condition of your hair so she can properly advise you of how often you should return for touch-ups to your highlights.

Avoid Restrictive Styling

The more you pull your hair back into super tight hairstyles, the more likely it is to break off. Remember, the highlights -- while fabulous -- have significantly weakened your hair shafts, meaning they are more susceptible to breaking. Try to keep styling options loose when possible, so that you don't unnecessarily stress your hair.

Avoid Other Processing

You may decide that you want highlighted hair that is also permed. Keep in mind that when you do other types of processing over your highlights, your hair is more susceptible to breakage. Limit processing to just the highlighting if you want to avoid breakage, and then do other things -- curls with a curling iron, for example -- to get different looks for your tresses.

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