1. Don't over-wash your hair - Ever wonder why women in Europe or Asia, or for that matter anywhere outside the US, have such amazingly healthy-looking hair? They do not, I repeat, do not wash their hair every day. They go at least two or three days between washes, letting their natural scalp oils coat and nourish their strands. Now I know there are some women out there saying, "You're absolutely nuts. I go to the gym, run, do yoga, and sweat, so my hair has to be washed every day. " But it doesn't! Instead, just give your hair a good rinse with water and follow with minimal product to avoid buildup. Soon you'll find that you have a head full of lustrous, healthy hair.
2. Learn to love leave-ins - If you give your hair a break from shampoo, it will dry out less and won't require much conditioner. That said, I am sort of addicted to leave-in conditioner and recommend massaging one into damp hair on days you do wash. It gives your do just the right amount of moisture it needs to stay soft and adds a bit of texture and hold too. Try Aveeno Nourish + Condition Leave-In Treatment with strengthening wheat proteins.
3. Stock up on dry shampoo - This is a permanent fixture because it has so many uses. For example, you can dust it on to absorb excess oil when you've gone too long between washes. Or you can use it to give fine hair some oomph - just apply it at your roots all over your head and brush through. Try Shampowder by Buttercream Cosmetics, which comes in three shades that blend naturally into black, brunette/red, or blonde hair.
4. Accessorize with caution - Steer clear of elastic bands with metal closures; although they might look harmless, they literally rip out your hair. Instead, use cloth-only ponytail holders to create "cruelty-free" tails and updos. Try Bumble and Bumble Bb Bandball, which has 100 fabric-covered pony holders.
5. Layer styling products - When working with a new styler - anything from mousse to pomade - take baby steps. Remember, you can always add product, but removing it is not so easy and can leave you with a serious case of the greasies. Begin with an extra-small dollop and build up from there. Another smart move: Apply stylers to the back of your head first. That way, even if you accidentally used too much product, you won't end up with a big, unsightly glob of it where everyone can see. And when it comes to hair spray, spritz it onto your hands first, then smooth them over the top of your head for a nonsticky finish.