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Hair That Packs a Punch

Take your strands from scrawny to brawny with our shine-boosting, strength-building plan.

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Your Hair Repair Plan

Your daily routine may be hurting your hair. But don't sweat it -- I.D. your issue and fix the damage fast with our expert how-tos.

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If you are a clean freak

You've been shampooing twice a day. "Overwashing strips hair," says Matthew Fugate, a hairstylist for Sally Hershberger in New York City.

Your plan: Build in recovery time

Wash every other day and use a dry shampoo in between, says stylist Erin Anderson, a co-owner of Woodley and Bunny Salon in Brooklyn. Try Sachajuan Volume Powder ($32, sephora.com). Or just use conditioner to rinse away sweat and add hydration. Try Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Volumizing Conditioner ($6, drugstores).

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If you are ponytail obsessed

You sport a slick pony to keep your hair out of your face during workouts. Trouble is, this too-tight style causes breakage, especially if you use an elastic band that has a metal clasp or you spritz with hair spray.

Your plan: Cross-train

Braid your hair and anchor it with a smooth elastic, like Blax Snag-Free Hair Elastics ($4, smoothiesstore.com). Use a headband, like Evolution No Slip Grip Head Wraps by Scünci ($4, drugstores), to keep your bangs back.

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If you are a flatiron fanatic

A sizzling-hot straightener fries the hair shaft, depleting it of moisture. The result: split ends and breakage.

Your plan: Bulk up

To fortify weak strands, apply a weekly hair masque that contains protein. Try L'Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm ($7, drugstores). "Forget 450 degrees; 350 is a less damaging heat," Fugate says. Or try Coolway Iron Styler ($150, coolwayhair.com), which straightens at temperatures below 300 degrees.

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If you are a swimmer

"Laps may keep you lean, but chlorine can erode the outer layer of hair and leave a residue; it also gives blondes a green tinge," says Nathaniel Hawkins, a celebrity hairstylist in New York City.

Your plan: Detox

Use a shampoo that will remove chlorine buildup, like René Furterer Repairing After-Sun Shampoo ($23, renefurtererusa.com for salons). Before you swim, wet strands in the shower so they won't absorb as much pool water.

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If you are a color queen

Chemical processing breaks down the cuticle layer, making hair brittle, says Laurie Daniel, a colorist at Rita Hazan Salon in New York City.

Your plan: Trim and tone

Cut split ends and use a nightly treatment twice a week. Try L'Oréal Professional Mythic Oil ($32, lpsalons.com for salons). Forty-eight hours before and after coloring, deep-condition. Try Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Moisture Masque ($42, sephora.com). Use a color-safe shampoo, like Clairol Pro Color Safe Repair Shampoo ($9, sallybeauty.com).

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Feed Your Lovely Locks

The secret to good hair days may be in your kitchen. Eat these five foods daily for sleek strands.

Greek yogurt

"To keep hair healthy, 25 percent of your calories should come from protein," says Lisa Drayer, RD, the author of The Beauty Diet. "Greek yogurt has about double the amount of protein in the regular kind."

Walnuts

Essential fatty acids in walnuts can help prevent your scalp from flaking. "The healthier your scalp, the better your hair," says trichologist Dr. David Kingsley.

Lentils

These legumes are rich in iron, which red blood cells need to carry oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles, boosting growth.

Whole wheat bread

It's loaded with B vitamins, as well as silicon, a mineral that contributes to strong hair.

Oranges

The vitamin C in citrus keeps hair healthy. "A deficiency can cause breakage," Drayer says.

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Hair Care for Your Hair Type

Find the best get-results routine for your hair type and texture.

For fine straight hair

Shampoo: Use a volumizing rather than a thickening formula, "which adds weight; a volumizing one removes build­up," Anderson says. Try Aussie Aussome Volume Shampoo ($4, drugstores).

Conditioner: "A light leave-in spray is the right combo of conditioner and water, so fine strands don't go limp," Hawkins says. Try Dove Nourishing Oil Care Detangler ($4, drugstores).

Your secret weapon: A rubber-bristle brush lifts without damaging. Try the Denman 9 Row Brush ($16, rickysnyc.com).

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For fine curly hair

Shampoo: A volumizing shampoo with light moisturizers gives curls bounce. Try Ojon Volume Advance Volumizing Shampoo ($22, sephora.com).

Conditioner: A rinse-off cream conditioner adds hydration. Try Alberto VO5 Island Coconut Moisturizing Conditioner ($1, drugstores).

Your secret weapon: A five-minute preshampoo conditioning treatment leaves spirals smooth. Try Ouidad Omega-3 Replenishing Hair Treatment ($36, ouidad.com).

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For normal straight hair

Shampoo: A moisturizing shampoo for dry but undamaged hair hydrates without oversoftening. Try Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Fortifying Shampoo ($4, drugstores).

Conditioner: A strengthening conditioner keeps hair strong and shiny. Try Herbal Essences Honey I'm Strong Conditioner ($6, drugstores).

Your secret weapon: A water-absorbent brush will speed up drying time. Try Goody QuikStyle Half-Round Styling Brush ($12, Target stores).

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For normal curly hair

Shampoo: "Curl-specific shampoos tend to foam less, so they're potentially less drying," Hawkins says. Try Paul Mitchell Spring Loaded Detangling Shampoo ($17, paulmitchell.com for salons).

Conditioner: "A creamy product that's slippery, not tacky, will smooth curls," Hawkins says. Try Tresemmé Flawless Curls Conditioner ($5, drugstores).

Your secret weapon: A diffuser dries curls without tousling them and creating frizz. Try T3 SoftTouch 2 Diffuser ($30, nordstrom.com).

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For thick curly hair

Shampoo: A cream-based shampoo gently cleanses and hydrates this super­dry hair type. Try Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioning ($18, carolsdaughter.com).

Conditioner: Swap your regular conditioner for a masque. Try Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Nourishing Masque ($26, bumbleandbumble.com).

Your secret weapon: A detangling comb coated with argan oil will smooth knots. We like Ricky's ArganPlus Jumbo Detangler ($10, rickysnyc.com).

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For thick straight hair

Shampoo: "Get intensive hydration from a shampoo designed for damaged hair -- even if yours is not," Hawkins recommends. We like Head & Shoulders Damage Rescue Shampoo ($5, drugstores).

Conditioner: A rich conditioner softens coarse strands. Try Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Restoring Repair Conditioner ($3, drugstores).

Your secret weapon: A thermal protector shields thick hair from the high heat needed to dry it. A good one: Pantene Pro-V Stylers Heat Protection ($5, Walmart stores).

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Styling Products for Extra Shine

Polish your look with one of these gloss-enhancing styling products.

Wax: Joico Super Shine Glossing Polish ($16, joico.com)

Best for taming unruly hair that needs some sheen. Use wax to style dry hair.

Cream: Carol's Daughter Monoi Split End Sealer ($25, carolsdaughter.com)

Best for thick hair. Use a dab before you blow-dry for smoother, sleeker strands.

Shine spray: BlowPro Time to Shine 3-D Illuminating Mist ($21, ulta.com)

Best for fine hair. The light mist won't leave hair greasy, according to Hawkins. Spritz it on dry hair for instant radiance.

Balm: Lush Shine So Bright ($10, lush.com)

Best for damaged hair. It smoothes rough strands and reduces the appearance of split ends so your hair reflects light more evenly. Rub it onto dry ends.

Oil: Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Styling Oil ($6, drugstores)

Best for "Thick or curly hair," Fugate says. A little goes a long way: Add a few drops to your hair before you blow-dry and afterward for even more shine.

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Intense Hair Repair

Need extra help? Treat your locks to one of these salon services.

Frizz fighter

Redken Smooth Lock In-Salon Service ($45 and up, redken.com for salons) subdues pouf-prone hair in 45 minutes with protein, polymers, and oils, and lasts for as many as 10 shampoos -- 13 if you use Stay Sleek Leave-in Cream ($17, redken.com for salons) at home.

Multitasker

With Kérastase Fusio-Dose and HomeLab treatments ($100, kerastase-usa.com for salons), a pro customizes your 30-minute treatment and three at-home products to suit your colored, dry, damaged, or thinning hair's needs. Results last six to eight weeks.

Gloss getter

Sebastian Professional In-Salon Cellophanes Glossing Treatment ($65, sebastianprofessional.com for salons) delivers protein, and it deposits a clear glaze or translucent color in just 15 minutes to boost shine for four to six weeks.

Prettier Hair in a Pill?

A new supplement on the market promises thicker, shinier hair. It's packed with marine proteins, biotin, vitamin C, horsetail extract, and other nutrients that foster hair health. But as long as you eat healthfully, you don't need it. "There's no evidence that ingesting more than the recommended amount of any nutrient gives you extra benefits," Drayer says. However, if you are dieting or nuke your veggies, which can deplete nutrients, then it's not a bad idea to pop two a day, says Francesca Fusco, MD, a dermatologist for Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy. Try Viviscal Extra Strength Hair Nutrition Dietary Supplement ($50, drugstores).

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, January 2013.

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