Uh, Your Anti-Breakage Hair Products *Might* Be Making Damage Worse

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    Once upon a time, I completely and utterly f*cked up my hair. In an innocent attempt to fix my curls after some intense heat styling, I began slathering them in every anti-breakage treatment I could find. Cut to two months later, dealing with hair so crispy that I had to enlist the help of experts (while crying, of course), who informed me that the very products I had been pouring my hopes/ dreams/money into were actually adding fuel to my damage fire. Yes, thank you, it was a lot. But now that I am safely on the other side—curls a-bouncin‘ again—I am here to help you avoid making the same mistake.

    What Does ‘Anti-Breakage’ Really Mean?

    If a hair product touts any toughstuff lingo (‘Fixes!’, ‘Restores!’, ‘Repairs!’), it is likely packed with proteins, which help strengthen damaged hair by filling in holes along the cuticle. Sounds great—and it is great!—unless you are unaware that…

    Protein Overload = More Breakage

    When you use these products 24/7, the protein quickly builds up and dries out your hair. “If you stretch a strand of dry hair and it snaps immediately, you have got too much protein,” says US-based trichologist Gretchen Friese.

    That is exactly what happened to me—I had unknowingly turned my hair (and soul) into a fragile shell instead of reaching for the real key: hydration. “People think they need protein to fix their issues, when they usually need more moisture,” explains US-based trichologist Audrey Sivasothy. (Think: you chugging a third iced-coffee when your body is really begging for water.)

    The Easy-ish Fix

    Rinse with a clari fying shampoo twice a month to strip the protein build-up, swap your products for moisture-rich formulas, and limit your protein treatments to just twice monthly. It will take time to restore ~the balance~, but after a month or two, your hair will return to its soft and shiny state—and, like me, you will be off spreading the goodhair gospel to all your friends.

    Q: Are You Reusing Your Candle Votives?

    Step 1: Peel any stickers you want to remove off your votive while gently boiling an inch or two of water in a saucepan.

    Step 2:Place the candle jar in its personal hot tub and turn down the heat a smidgen.

    Step 3:Wait patiently for all the wax to melt as you enjoy your bb’s last scents.

    Step 4: Layer a few sheets of paper towel over your sink drain. When the wax is liquid-y, pour it over the towels, then pour a li’l of the hot water into the votive (oven mitts on, people!). Swish it around and dump out that waxy water over the paper towels.

    Step 5:Wipe down the now-empty inside of your container with some glass cleaner and more paper towels (or leftover fast-food napkins, if you have got ’em). Once they are cool, toss all the sink towels/napkins in the trash.

    Step 6:Place the candle jar in its personal hot tub and turn down the heat a smidgen.

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