1. Get Naked
No hair dye, no bleaching. Healthy hair is virginal. The chemicals and bleach contained in products that change your hair colour damage the cuticles and mess with its arrangement. Hair extensions that cost the Earth are virgin hair - this should tell you how healthy virgin hair is. Of course, if you suffer from the large amount of greys that I do, getting naked isn't so easy, unless you fancy the 'Oh these? No they're not expensive streaks dahhrling, these are my own!' But if you can go naked, do it. Or semi-permanent it, I believe these are less damaging.
2. Wear Protection
Everything damages hair, from brushing, to heated styling, to weather. We just cannot win against the hair damagers, they're out to get your mane whether you like it or not. The best thing you can do is collect things that are going to act like MMA fighters against all these elements; almost every hair care range does some sort of protectors. Find the best ones for your hair type. If it's dry on the ends, use a cream protector, but a weightless spray is good for the rest of your head. Use them everyday, your hair will thank you. Preventative protection in the form of conditioners is also useful. The stronger and healthier hair is from masks and treatments will make it braver, or less dry, so straightening won't turn your ends into short-and-curlies. Yes, I've had that before too. Naaice.
3. Be Dirty
No matter how much you love the feeling of clean hair, I can guarantee your hair doesn't feel the same way. Washing your hair daily makes it very angry, because all that time your scalp has spent producing nourishing oils to make lovely, healthy hair has been stripped away by foamy chemicals. Dry shampoo is kinder to hair, so if you can manage this in between washing, your hair will be very thankful. And really, who cares if you've got bed hair. Some might actually find it kinda sexy.
4. Go Au Naturale
As mentioned, heat styling crisps ends, splits them and snaps them off. This is not a way to get beautiful hair. Cutting out the use of styling tools will do wonders for your hair, even if it's just by half. I didn't even know I had curly hair until 3 years ago when I stopped using a hair dryer and straighteners religiously. Embrace your hair's natural beauty, leave it to dry (or at least turn your hair dryer to a cooler setting!) and skip the straighteners/curlers once in a while. You might actually find that your wild mane is exceedingly cooler than you first imagined. And if you realise that the crazy hair is not quite your thing... just use protection!
5. Trim It
This is a fatal mistake that so many make. Not getting your hair cut at all just means that those split ends you've accumulated will continue splitting... right up the strand of hair. Split end trims will equal shaved head before you know what's happened and people will start to question whether you've pulled a Britney, or are just a huge fan of Natalie Portman in V For Vendetta. Many say that hair 'loves' being cut, and makes it grow. This doesn't have logic, as hair has grow patterns (youtube it); however, cutting off the manky bits will mean that as your hair grows, the ends won't be falling off. It'll be healthier and therefore longer (if you're trying to grow it, anyway). Trimming it doesn't necessarily mean hairdressers costs - my sister hacks off my ends with the kitchen scissors, and I do her's. We often wear our hair wavy/curly so blunt ends aren't needed. I'd rather have no split ends than be putting it off because I don't want to fork out the dollar.
These are basic points, but points which I go by nonetheless. So take my offering of sterling advice, dodgy photo and titles that made me giggle, and run, my pretties. And don't forget, healthy hair is the sort that grows. Mine was above my shoulders in November, it's a slow, curly grower, but it's healthy!