Hair Type: NATURAL

Your Goal: Protect the Hairline

Braiding your hair too tightly and twirling locks and two-strand twists can compromise the hairline, leaving bald patches behind. “Think of your hair as a delicate piece of thread, not as a rope that can be knotted and twisted,” advises Dallas-based trichologist Rodney Barnett. He suggests products with essential oils such as rosemary or peppermint to stimulate hair follicles and promote growth around the hairline.

A favorite: Decca Plus Scalp Therapy ($12, 214-904-0330).

Your Goal: Prevent Dry Scalp

Concerned about a dry or an itchy scalp? Increase lubrication, especially if you use dandruff shampoos, says Barnett, because “they’re detergent-based and remove natural oils.” Try a supplement such as flaxseed oil. And drink more water, an essential for a healthy scalp. To find the right amount for daily intake, divide your weight by two and drink that number in ounces.

Hair Type: RELAXED

Your Goal: Stop Breakage

Avoid overuse of flat irons and megawatt blow-dryers, especially when the weather heats up. And steer clear of permanent hair color, which can be harmful to relaxed hair. “Demipermanent hair color, which has a low volume of peroxide and often no ammonia, is ideal for clients who have chemical straighteners,” says Diane Da Costa, author of Textured Tresses (Simon & Schuster). Consider highlights instead to further reduce chances of breakage.

Your Goal: Nourish From Within

“It’s normal to lose about 50 to 80 strands each day. But when your bathroom floor is covered with hair, it’s time to take note,” Barnett says.

His advice: Strengthen from the inside out with essential vitamins and minerals. Nutritionist Anita Ellis offers this guide to choosing an effective supplement: Look for ingredients that are essential for healthy hair, such as zinc (growth), copper (strength), biotin (cell stimulation), and cartenoids or vitamin A (for luster and to discourage brittleness).


Your Goal:Pump Up the Volume

Buildup from mousse, gel and hair spray can weigh down natural curls. To restore them, use a deep-cleansing shampoo once a week. For daily upkeep, use a leave-in conditioner and curl definer, says Da Costa.

One we like: Da Costa’s own Tai Texture Lavender Mist. Work it through with a wide-toothed comb to avoid disrupting the curl pattern.

Your Goal: Refresh Limp Locks Fortifying conditioners can take the spring out of your spirals, and overuse of deep-cleansing shampoos can strip hair of natural oils, leaving it vulnerable to damage. “You can overconstruct or overmoisturize the hair,” says Barnett. Instead, alternate products to moisturize,fortify and deep-clean to reinvigorate curls.