I haven't been so nice to my hair in years past. In fact, it started breaking off because I had not been careful about how I was taking care of it. Excessive heat, styling and coloring on my fine, dry hair caused my hair to become weak and break so much so that I chopped it off. 

My hair is in a fragile state at the moment, but I'm being mindful of it and treating it kindly. I'm starting to see improvements to the texture and quality in just a short few months too. I thought I would share what I'm doing to keep it healthy and happy. 

1. Weekly hair masques - I alternate between different ones, but I'm mainly focusing on putting moisture back into my hair and strengthening it. I really like these from Aveda (damage remedy, dry remedy and color conserve).

2. Washing it every three days - I've been doing this for a long time now, but I'm being extra mindful to do this for the health of my hair. I don't even brush my hair between washes. I simply apply dry shampoo to my roots to keep the oil at bay and work it into my scalp with my fingers. I usually shake my head upside-down to give it a fluff too.

3. I try only to blow drying my hair and styling it once a week - This has been really hard for me because I love the volume the dryer gives my roots, but for now reducing the amount of heat on my hair will help a lot. When I do blow dry my hair I use a lower heat setting as well, which take a bit longer, but I think it's worth it.

4. Once a week I'm letting it air dry natural curly - Since I'm only using styling tools once a week the other time I wash my hair I just let it air dry. I'm learning how to rock my natural texture. I just apply my curl cream and mousse and let it go. It's kind of liberating to my surprise. 

5. I switched my styling tools to ceramic plates instead of metal - I learned that ceramic plates protect the hair more than metal because that heat more evenly. Metal plats can contain hot spots. There are some metal plates out there that are coated, but if the coating wears off it will damage your hair. This is what happened to me. I recently bought Chi Ceramic 1" straightener and I love it. I also purchased Hot Tools NanoCermaic Tapered Curl Wand and that give my hair a nice bend. 

6. I'm going longer between color appointments - This has been hard since I started sprouting some gray hairs, but lightening your hair definitely can weaken and damage your strands. I'm going with deeper roots and touching up with dry shampoo that is for brown hair. I use Salon Grafix for brunettes. 

7. I'm layering products into my hair to protect it from UV and heat (when I use it) - Styling products add a barrier of protection for your hair and many contain UV protectants too. This will help protect from your color fading, as well as damage. 

8. Getting regular haircuts and maintaining short hair - I've always been the client to shop my hair off and then let it grow for six months. I would just get two cuts a year and call it good. That's the worst idea ever because once those split-ends start they will continue to creep up your strands and break your hair to the root. It's more money and time, but cutting my hair every 8 weeks is going to ensure that split ends stay away.

Photos by Rennai Hoefer; this post contains affiliate links