If you’ve noticed your hair is feeling brittle or dry, or if it’s snapping, shedding or frizzy then you might have damaged your hair. Over-bleaching, heat styling, perms and certain hair products frequently contribute to hair damage. Don’t panic though, all is not lost when it comes to your precious mane, it is possible to recover the luster of you locks with some TLC and hair routine changes. If you’re struggling with damaged hair, then read on below to find out more about protecting your hair or recovering from any potential hair damage.
Identifying damaged hair
Firstly, how do you figure out if your hair is damaged? It can be easy to spot severely damaged hair, you’ll usually notice your hair becomes spongey, dry, frizzy and unmanageable when it’s badly damaged. There are more subtle signs of damage as well such a breakage or split ends, more hair shedding, less shiny hair, tangled hair, or duller ends. Hair that has been damaged won’t have the same volume, body and movement as healthy hair. Hair that’s in a good condition will move freely and look shiny with little to no effort. Luckily there are ways to repair damage that don’t involve shaving your entire head. It’s usually possible to salvage all but the most severely damaged hair.
If you want to know how to salvage your hair-do then read on below to find out how.
Repairing damaged hair
Whilst prevention is always better than the cure when it comes to repairing damaged hair, there are some things you can do to fix damaged, dry hair. So how do you go about repairing chemical or heat damage to hair? Well usually some combination of our tips below is best for helping to recover damaged hair. Only using one method is not usually the answer to recovering your hair. Read on below for the top methods of saving damaged hair.
First, to repair damage you should look into purchasing hair products designed to repair hair damage. There are plenty of products designed to add moisture back into hair, seal split ends, fight frizz, add shine back or protect hair from heat. Keep an eye out for products that include avocado, coconut or argan based oils as these tend to be restorative. You should also keep your eye out for any products that are designed to hydrate or moisturise the hair. If your hair is feeling brittle and dry then consider using products like leave-in conditioners or oil serums to help protect your hair and keep it feeling softer and more manageable throughout the day.
Secondly, you should consider steering clear of colouring or bleaching your hair for a while if you’ve noticed damage to your hair. Over-bleaching or too much colouring of the hair is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to causing hair damage. Bleach and hair colour change penetrate the internal structure of your hair, which can weaken and damage it. Taking some time off of bleaching or using hair dye will give your hair time to recover. Let you hair grow out and stay away from colour for a while for stronger, healthier hair. If you simply have to colour your hair then ask your hairdresser for a semi or demi-permanent shade, but don’t bleach your hair. Semi and demi colours are gentler on the hair and don’t penetrate the hair shaft as deeply. Stay well clear of box dyes whilst letting your hair recover, as these tend to contain high strength ammonia and mixes of minerals salts and other ingredients which can damage the hair.
Next you should get your hair cut to help repair damage. Unfortunately split ends are unrepairable. If your hair is dry and split at the bottom then it’s time for a good haircut. It can be depressing to cut the length off your hair, but your hair will feel fresher and healthier after a cut. Split ends can also spread up the hair shaft, damaging more hair over time, it’s better to cut hair earlier to prevent unnecessary damage. A good haircut will give your hair a new lease on life and will help your hair to grow back healthy and strong.
To repair hair damage you should so ensure that your eat a healthy, balanced diet that contains plenty of protein, amino acids, vitamins and water for healthier, more nourished hair. Healthy hair requires plenty of nutrients to grow and remain shiny and hydrated, so make sure you’re eating right if you want your hair to feel great.
How to prevent damaged hair
Taking measures to prevent damage to your hair is the best way to keep it healthy, rather than trying to fix any damage later. A few important tips to remember for preventing any damage to your include eating a good diet and staying hydrated, as a poor diet or dehydration can contribute to hair shedding. It’s also important to remember to use heat protectants if you plan to heat style your hair, although you should try to limit your use of heat styling tools if you want to keep your hair hydrated. Another tip for preventing hair damage is to only ever colour your hair darker, as bleaching your hair is one of the quickest ways to dry out and damage your hair. If you plan to colour your hair then you should make sure you moisturise your hair in the lead up to any chemical treatments.
Another way to prevent hair damage is to not overwash your hair, use harsh styling products or brush your hair too often.
How to care for bleached hair
Hair bleaching is one of the biggest culprits for hair damage. If you’re planning to bleach your hair then it’s impossible to avoid sustaining no damage to the hair, one way or another you’re basically guaranteed to have some level of damage, breakage, or burning of the hair. Bleaching is essentially a chemical reaction that penetrates the hair shaft, it is designed to strip your hair of its colour basically calls for some level of damage and weakening of the hair shaft no matter how healthy or strong your hair is.
The important thing to remember when trying to repair the damage caused by bleaching hair is that it won’t be a once-off fix. If your hair is fairly healthy beforehand, and you used gentle bleach products on the hair then you’ll probably find that your hair bounces back more quickly but you’re still going to need to invest in some high quality hydrating products and follow a good after care routine regardless. Even the healthiest hair will sustain damage and require some care in order to prevent dryness, frizz or lasting damage.
To keep bleached hair healthy you should wash it less often, style is less regularly and use less products in order to give your hair time to relax. In the weeks following bleaching your hair you should use some hydrating hair masks and condition your hair more regularly than usual in order to restore some of the moisture that’s missing from your hair after bleaching it. Take extra care to use heat protectants, as your hair will be extra vulnerable to damage from heat styling.
Improving the health of your hair
Repairing damage to your hair often comes down to keeping it hydrated, removing dead ends and taking it easy on chemical treatments, but keeping your hair healthy is a little bit different and involves following a few different important steps. Keeping your body healthy also helps to keep your hair healthy. A few important things to keep in mind are that you should;
Wash your hair sparingly. This is particularly important for men to keep in mind as over-washing short hair can quickly strip it of its natural oils and leave it feeling brittle and dry. For most men, a twice or thrice weekly wash is plenty. Another important thing to remember when it comes to washing your hair is that you should be careful when it comes to towel drying your hair. Roughing up your hair with the towel can open up the cuticle of the hair, making it look frizzy, tangle easier and more prone to breakage and damage. A gentler, pat dry will keep your hair looking and feeling much better and will help to prevent breakage.
Another important thing to do is to ensure that you use treatments. Many men will ignore hair treatments, forgetting to view it as a normal part of the hair routine and instead opting to only shampoo and condition the hair but a good hydrating hair treatment should be a must for everyone. A once weekly hair mask will do wonders for the hair and keep it looking shiny and feeling much healthier. Many men also cheap out when it comes to hair products, this is a big mistake as low quality shampoos and conditioners tend to contain silicon’s and sulphates that can dry out and damage the hair.
Look for products that contain ingredients like keratin, or argan oil for better results and healthier hair. It’s also important not to forget about your vitamin intake if you hope to keep your hair healthy. Some vitamins, such as vitamin A, C, D and E are essential to preserving the health of your hair. It’s common for some of these vitamins to be missing or limited in the modern diet, so you may be deficient in something that’s important for your hair growth. If you think you’re missing out on important vitamins try changing your diet or taking supplements.
Things to remember
If you follow our pointers above then you should be well equipped to prevent any lasting damage, or repair any existing damage to your hair. Ensuring you are putting the right amount of proteins and nutrients into your body is equally important as using quality products when it comes to protecting the health of your hair. It’s best to keep washing to a minimum and to allow your hair space to breathe and recover on certain days – sometimes it’s a good idea to take a break from styling! If your hair is looking and feeling damaged it’s important to intervene quickly to avoid hair loss or any additional problems further on down the road. If you’re doing things to repair your hair and not seeing any results, or if you’re noticing excessive hair loss then it might be time to consult your doctor to help you with managing your hair damage. A good hairdresser or barber will also be able to help you manage split ends or damage and will be able to recommend products to help you with making your hair more manageable and winding back any damage. If your hair is already damaged it’s best to avoid bleaching, colouring and heat styling for a while until your hair starts to look and feel healthy again.