If you don’t take good care of your hair, it can become damaged very quickly and take time to return to its healthy state. Here are some tips on repairing damaged hair and preventing it in the first place:
- Determine if your hair is damaged. If your hair is damaged it will be dry, dull, have split ends, frizz, and/or dry scalp. If you regularly dye or process your hair or use hot tools, you will probably end up with damaged hair if you don’t treat it properly.
- If you have split ends and your hair is feeling a bit more like straw than hair, you probably need a trim. If your hair is very damaged, you may need to chop it all off and start over. But you can probably just get away with a little trim to help revive your locks if you don’t want to lose all your length.
- If your hair is damaged, lay off the hot tools. This means letting your hair air dry whenever possible and avoiding hair straighteners, blow dryers or curling irons. Use a mild shampoo and conditioner, a restorative moisturizing treatment and then let your hair dry naturally. If it comes crazy when you let it air dry, try drying it with the lowest heat setting or trying a new hair style to keep it out of your way. If you absolutely can’t give up your hot tools, be sure to use protective spray and never use a straightener or curling iron on wet hair.
- Stay away from chemical processing and dying. If you’ve used chemical processing, dye or bleach and it damaged your hair, you need to take a break. Ask your hairstylist about different ways to color, straighten, wave or curl your hair without damaging it so much. They can help you to regain the strength and softness in your hair and still get the desired look you want.
- Select your shampoo and conditioner carefully. Look for sulfate-free kinds formulated for damaged hair. You’ll want to try natural brands with less chemicals. Try to only shampoo twice a week unless your hair gets very oily. It may take some getting used to so use dry shampoo in between washes if you feel you need it. Wash your hair with cool water to avoid more damaged from hot water. If you think your hair is damaged from product buildup or hard water deposits, try a clarifying shampoo once a week. This can also help if you are a frequent swimmer in a chlorine pool. Look for a conditioner or restorative deep moisturizing treatment with ingredients like aloe vera, argan oil, or shea butter.
- Keep your hair styles simple to avoid more damage. Wearing very tight braids, buns or ponytails can only exacerbate the problem. If you use any products in your hair, make sure they are gentle. Stay away from products that contain alcohol, which is extremely drying.
- Use treatment masks to fight and reverse damage. Twice a week, apply a mask and leave it in your hair for an hour. Use a shower cap to help it soak in, then wash out. Look for moisturizing ingredients, such as keratin, shea butter or olive oil. You can also search the web for DIY hair masks using ingredients you already have in your kitchen or pantry. You can also try an oil treatment. Choose an oil, such as coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil and apply to clean, damp hair. Cover with a shower cap or plastic wrap and then apply heat. You can sit in the sun or use a hair dryer. After heating, allow to cool and then rinse with cool water. Avoid using too much oil or your hair will look greasy.
- Protect your hair from the water and the sun, especially in summer months. Chlorine in pools and too much sun can damage your hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap or wash your hair immediately after swimming. Wear a hat when you’re in the sun.
- Take care of your body to take care of your hair. Make sure to stay hydrated and eat healthy. Protein and omega-3 fatty acids are great for healthy hair. If you aren’t eating heathy enough, you can take supplements designed to help keep your hair healthy and strong.
Do you have damaged hair? What are your favorite methods for preventing or treating damaged or processed hair? Share with us!