Silkiness, smoothness, shine…these are all things that we want from our hair. But without realizing it, most of us are sabotaging our locks’ beauty with the torture we put them through! Below, we present secrets from local experts for getting luscious, vibrant and—most important— healthy hair.

It Starts with Shampoo

You can spend as much time as you want straightening your hair, but if you’re not using the right shampoo and conditioner, you’ll never get the results you want, says Eclips Salon and Spa hair stylist Kate Marino. “I was a victim of that in beauty school, I thought I couldn’t afford the good stuff,” she says. “But now that I get it, I don’t even have to straighten it.” She recommends getting a salon-quality product, preferably one that’s sulfate-free. “It doesn’t strip out the natural oils in the hair, so the hair is less dry and brittle.” She also recommends using a deep conditioner— once a week in the summer, once a month in the fall or winter.

Diane Stock of Jon Tomas Salon agrees. “That’s the No. 1 thing. If you spend the money on hair coloring and cuts, spend it on professional grade athome products, too,” she says. Stock recommends avoiding a daily shampoo if you color or perm your hair, instead scaling it back to once every two to three days. “If you color your hair, the more you shampoo, the more it fades. However, if you condition properly at every shampoo, it helps seal the color back in.” She recommends using a dry shampoo to help you get by longer without shampooing.

On the other hand, Dominic Bertani, owner of Dominic Michael Salon, says that if you have a good, quality shampoo, a daily cleansing isn’t a problem. “That notion came from years ago, when shampoos weren’t so sophisticated,” he says. “Currently, shampoos are formulated to be gentle, beneficial cleansers, so you’re not doing any harm.” He adds that women with long or wavy hair who need to spend a lot of time styling might prefer to cut down on the frequency of shampooing, and that’s fine.

Styling Woes

Another major key to healthy hair is keeping it freshly clipped. “Get your hair trimmed every six weeks, and maybe more if you have a short style,” Bertani suggests. “Cutting off the damaged part is the most immediate way to have a head full of healthy hair.”

To prevent damage from occurring, Bertani recommends being careful with thermal tools, such as flat irons and curling irons. “Do one pass, one manipulation of the hair, rather than time and time again curling it or flat ironing the same section repeatedly.” Marino adds that it’s vital to make sure your hair is fully dried before using a curling or flat iron. She also recommends using the lowest temperature that will get the job done.

Using a bristled brush on wet hair can cause damage, as well, Stock adds. She suggests using a wide-tooth comb when the hair is wet. Likewise, don’t rub the hair roughly with a towel; instead, squeeze the water out gently.

Summer Sun

In the summer, hair is exposed to the elements in ways that aren’t a factor other times of the year. Bertani recommends swimmers be careful about repeated dips in the pool. “If you swim laps, you get in once and then get out,” he says. “If you’re sunbathing, you get in when you’re warm and then you dry off and the chlorine dries in your hair, so your hair might be saturated and dried multiple times, which has a negative effect.” He adds that hair products with an SPF, or even tanning lotion, can protect hair and keep color from fading.

The wind can damage hair just as much as the sun, Stock adds. She recommends containing the hair in a ponytail or hat, or better yet—picking up on a current trend and pulling it into a braid.