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Hair Care Checklist 

Caring for your hair will be much simpler if you have got the right products for your particular hair type as well as styling equipment that really performs. Here's a checklist to follow.

Shampoo - A good shampoo is the number one item, or better still, make it several good shampoos. Although manufacturers insist that you don't need to switch shampoos (at least not away from their brand), as the weather and the condition of your hair changes, you may certainly want to change from brand to brand.

The best shampoo is not the most expensive, the one with the normal PH or the most enchanting scent. It's the one that works best on your hair. Ask friends or your hairdresser for recommendations and don't be afraid to try new products to find those that work best for you.

When you have found it, decide just how often your hair must be washed to look its best. If your hair needs everyday care, don't try to get by with washing it every other day. No matter how good the cut or how pretty the style, your hair can't look its best if it isn't clean, fluffy and manageable. (If you do have to shampoo frequently, keep the style as simple as possible so you don't feel as though you're spending all your free time on your hair).

Conditioner - Hair that's washed frequently, permed or coloured, or regularly exposed to heated hair appliances, will probably need a conditioner. Choose an instant liquid conditioner to apply after each shampoo. Once a month, treat your hair and scalp to a deep conditioning treatment for extra nourishment. If your hair is damaged, use the deep conditioner more often, say, two or three times a month.

Also remember that if the hair is really damaged a conditioner cannot cure it, only make it look and feel better. To achieve a head of healthy hair, you've got to cut off the damaged parts and start all over again.

Blow -Dryer - These come in all sizes and wattages, some with the styling equipment, some solo. The one that's best for you is the one you find easiest to use with good results. (If you must travel for your job, invest in a small blow-dryer that's easy to pack).

Curling Iron - It is rather time-consuming to create a complete style with a curling iron but this appliance is great for touchups or a few quick curls. You might keep a portable curling iron ready in your purse or desk drawer for reviving a wilted hairstyle.

Brushes and Combs - For just plain brushing, choose a brush with natural bristles or one with heavy plastic bristles embedded in a rubber cushion. If you like nylon bristles, be sure you check-to-see that the tips are rounded. Any bristles cut straight across can tear your hair.

When you blow-dry your hair, you will want a round, natural-bristles brush. These come in several sizes - the larger brushes create a fuller, looser style; smaller ones are best for a tighter, curlier look. The easiest comb to use is one with a handle or "Tail". Pocket combs work only for very short hair.

Setting Tools -If electric appliances don't do the job for your hair, you do have other options. Rollers, either the foam kind or hard plastic ones, will give you a full, fluffy style. Stay away from brush rollers or rollers secured with hair picks as they both tend to break hair. Bobby pins or clips can be used for pin curls which produce effects, ranging from deep waves to fine ripples.

Setting Aids - If you do set your hair with rollers or pin curls, save time with setting gels and lotions. You can put more hair on each roller, if you take advantage of these setting aids and your style will also last longer. After the comb-out, hair spray will help to hold the line of your style but be careful not to overspray.


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