Our hair feels amazing when we leave the salon. Follow these easy at-home tips to keep it feeling that way between visits:

DON'T flat iron on the highest heat temp.
DO drop the temp to the lowest setting BEFORE using it on your hair.
WHY? We’re not baking cookies here! We’re smoothing hair, and having your hot tool temperature set to high can do irreversible heat damage to your strands. It also causes your color to fade quicker and compromises the health of your hair cuticle along with it. Nope, nope, and nope. Turn up the temperature to preheat, but be sure to drop it prior to making contact with your hair, and don’t forget your heat protectant! (We love KEVIN.MURPHY’S HEATED.DEFENSE.)

DON’T skip the conditioner (even if you’re feeling oily).
DO condition your hair every time you wash it.
WHY? Shampoo does such a great job of cleaning our hair that, in the process, it strips our hair of its natural oils as well. If these oils are not replaced (e.g. through conditioning), our scalps compensate for the missing hydration and moisture by OVERproducing oil, resulting in greasy or oily-looking hair.
Also, water has a higher pH than hair, which softens and opens our cuticle. Conditioner helps to bring the pH back down, which reseals the cuticle, enabling our hair to actually hold in all that good stuff we just gave it with the shampoo and conditioner.
So keep it in as a regular part of your routine—it will help keep the scalp balanced out and the hair moisturized.

DON’T wash your hair in super hot water.
DO keep it warm or cool.
WHY? Water already softens our cuticle, due to the higher pH, and super hot water further causes the cuticle to lift up, taking away the moisture and any color that’s in there. Also, hot water causes heat damage. Keep the water warm or cool to minimize the softening of the cuticle and prevent damaging your hair.

DON'T go to sleep with wet hair.
DO get your hair at least 80% dry before tucking in for the night.
WHY? Going to bed with wet hair will give you nightmares. ? Just kidding.
But seriously, letting water sit on your scalp can promote the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to an increased risk for skin issues on the scalp and face.
Also, remembering that water opens our cuticle, going to bed with our hair still wet can get it all sorts of ruffled up (especially if you’ve been skipping the conditioner!). This can cause breakage in the hair and split ends, which get worse as you’re sleeping and rolling around on them. Think of it like a windshield crack that keeps splitting. And again, it can make your color fade faster. (So actually, sort of a nightmare.)
Leave enough time after your shower for your hair to dry at least 80%, or if time is short, blow-dry it! This will help seal the cuticle for healthier hair dreams.

DON’T go to sleep with your hair pulled tightly back.
DO loosely secure your hair with a soft scrunchie before bed.

WHY? Pulling your hair back before bed is great because it keeps your hair safe from damage caused by rolling around, helping to preserve your style and the health of your hair while you sleep. Also, if you tend to sweat a lot during the night, saltwater opens that cuticle, so keeping your hair up and off your neck can help prevent that from happening.
THAT BEING SAID, it has to be a SOFT scrunchie, and tying it back too tightly will tug and pull on your strands, compromising the elasticity of your hair until it can’t stretch anymore and breaks off. Or alternatively, it will just break the hair off in the scrunchie. 
I think we can all agree that’s exactly the opposite of what we want, so for our nighttime best, a loose bun or braid is perfect.

DON’T not cut your hair because someone says “I like it long.”
DO live your life. Get the haircut YOU want.
WHY? Because it is not their body, it’s yours, and bodily autonomy is a beautiful thing. Our hair shows a piece of who we are and is meant to be played and experimented with to find the look (or looks) we love living in, not frozen at one length because that’s what someone else says is best for them to look at. If long hair is their thing—that’s great! Let them know they are free to start growing theirs out whenever they please. Then saunter on down to your nearest Ginger & Maude to discuss the haircut that’s calling to you.

Happy hair-caring! We’ll see you in the salon.