If your strands are dry or brittle due to excessive bleaching, coloring or the use of heat styling tools, fret not. Damaged hair can be nursed back to a healthy state but the journey to get there can take a while. Although there is no quick fix (let alone a cure) for wrecked tresses, there are still ways to treat and look after them to prevent further damage.
This chapter of the Beauty Book covers everything you need to know about caring for damaged hair. Get into these 10 habits that will strengthen your locks and make them healthy!
Habit #1: Get Regular Trims
Check the ends of your hair. Do they feel rough and dry? Do you notice any split ends? If you answer yes to both, then it’s probably time to call your stylist. Getting regular trims, ideally every 3-4 months, is essential to keeping hair healthy since cutting your hair gets rid of split ends.
It may be tough to keep up with quarterly cuts, but once you make a habit of it, you’ll realize the difference it makes. You don’t need a drastic cut every time – just a few inches off your hair will do. If your hair grows tremendously slow, you can always use treatments like KAMINOMOTO’s Hair Growth Accelerator that work to stimulate its growth.
Habit #2: Avoid Using Heat Styling Tools
As tempting as it may be, try to refrain from using heat styling tools such as curling irons, hair dryers or hair straighteners. You may not see the effects of these tools immediately but over time and with regular use, they will damage your hair to a greater extent. The heat from these tools removes all the moisture from hair, leaving it dry and prone to breaking and split ends.
If you really need to use a heat styling tool – especially with all those parties lined up for the holidays that make you want to look your best – apply a heat protectant first as it helps lock moisture in and acts as a protective barrier to shield your strands from the heat. Think of it as sunscreen, but for your hair. Remember never to use curling irons or hair straighteners on wet hair; you’re asking for trouble if you do so! Your hair is at its most fragile state when wet so let it air dry before styling.
Habit #3: Avoid Dyeing Your Hair (for now)
Don’t be like me and dye your hair whenever seasons change because you’ll regret it! After putting my hair through countless hair dyes and bleaches, my overworked tresses have reached their limit as I’m now left with coarse and lifeless hair.
If you’re guilty of over-dyeing your hair, take a break before it’s too late! If you really want a change, opt for a temporary hair dye.
Try MISSHA’s 7 Days Coloring Hair Treatment: It’s enriched with keratin, collagen and silk amino acids that let you rock a new hair color for a week before fading back to your original color.
Habit #4: Pick the Right Shampoo and Conditioner
Care for damaged hair requires hair treatment products, and you can start by finding the right shampoo and conditioner. Find one that doesn’t strip hair of its natural moisture or oils like Pyunkang Yul’s Shampoo. Argan Essential Deep Care Conditioner is a great choice (a Nature Republic product) for moisturizing, nourishing and repairing hair that has been damaged from heat, hair dyes or harmful chemicals.
Since damaged hair is already dry, avoid washing your hair every day unless you have an oily scalp as this can also strip your hair of its natural oils. Go for a dry shampoo to keep second-day hair fresh. Using a dry shampoo also adds volume so those with fine or flat hair can expect extra oomph!
Habit #5: Invest in Hair Oils or Serums
I’ve always been more of a hair mask than hair oil kind of gal. However, after trying hair oils and serums, it’s clear that I was missing out! Hair masks and oil help tame frizz and bring shine back to your locks. Make it a habit to apply either hair oil or serum before you head out the door. Argan oil is a popular ingredient used in hair treatments as it makes hair soft while treating the scalp. Timeless Skin Care’s Argan Oil 100% Pure doubles as a face and hair oil so you get two benefits out of one product. It’s also lightweight enough to apply every day.
Habit #6: Use a Proper Hairbrush
Caring for your hair means brushing it with care. You shouldn’t brush your hair 1000 times a day because over-brushing can lead to further damage. Do it gently and oh-so-softly. Also, use a proper hairbrush or comb. The wrong type of bristles can easily damage your already damaged hair by tugging on it and causing breakage or hair loss.
When brushing your hair, start by combing a few inches from the bottom and work your way up to the roots. Don’t forget to be gentle when detangling knots!
Habit #7: Apply Hair Masks Often
In addition to adding hair oils and serums to your hair product collection, consider investing in hair masks. Receiving hair treatments at a salon may not fit everyone’s budget, but the good news is that there are treatments that you can do at home. Applying hair masks once or even twice a week provides the much needed moisture that extremely damaged hair needs. If you’re consistent with your hair masks, your brittle locks can be revived, thanks to hydrating and restorative ingredients such as argan oil, hydrolyzed milk, silk amino acids, collagen and protein.
Habit #8: Explore Hair Tie Options
This goes out to everyone with hair that’s long enough to tie: Rubber or elastic hair ties are doing more damage than you think! These types of ties pull on your hair and don’t leave any room for it to breathe. Notice how you end up with strands of hair every time you take your hair out of a ponytail? That’s a sign your hair tie is too tight.
It’s time to change your ways! Switch to hair-friendly options such as ribbons, fabric scrunchies or those trendy coil hair ties. These can hold hair securely without causing damage, plus they won’t leave creases. Of course, a quick ponytail is the exception if you’re heading for a quick session at the gym or to the supermarket for some groceries. If you insist on accessorizing, especially for second-day hair, go for a chic hairband instead.
Habit #9: Protect Your Locks Throughout The Year
If you enjoy spending hours outdoors, swimming in a pool, or going to the beach, then you should take precautions with your hair. A simple hack that I live by is applying coconut oil to my hair before it gets soaked in chlorine or salt water since they always leave hair dehydrated. Wearing a hat is also helpful to prevent the sun’s free radicals from damaging hair even more.
Summer isn’t the only season when your hair can get damaged. Winter calls for cold and dry air along with harsh winds – all of these can suck out the moisture from your hair. A quick solution is to keep a hair mist handy for a boost of hydration throughout the day. Or you can cover your head with a beanie to avoid frizz.
Habit #10: Maintain a Healthy Diet
While treating your damaged hair, treat your body as well because you are what you eat! Aside from maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, you can also take supplements.
Some supplements contain collagen, which promotes hair growth and strengthens hair follicles. You can also increase your intake of Vitamin C with Nature’s Way’s Sambucus Max Potency Softgel to help your hair fight against free radical damage.