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How to Say Goodbye to Damaged Hair

Why does hair get damaged?

Damaged hair anyone? Hair gets damaged for a variety of reasons. People with fine, colored, or relaxed hair are particularly prone to damaging their locks, although everyone can experience hair damage, especially from heat styling, chemical processing, coloring, and the sun. With a little effort, you can prevent and fix damaged hair, and be on your way to your healthiest hair ever.

Damaged Hair and what to do?

Hair damage starts at the very cuticle. As it pulls away, the hair shaft breaks. The cuticle also does not lie flat, which makes it harder to dry, and creates dullness because it does not reflect the light. In addition, the keratin found throughout the hair shaft starts to pull apart as the cuticle is broken. The result is dull, weak, lifeless, or frizzy hair.

Hair damage can happen for a variety of reasons, the most common being too many UV rays, heat styling tools, chemical processes, coloring, and letting hair go too long between haircuts. Read here to find out how often you should trim your hair.

6 ways to Prevent Hair Damage

Hair damage can be prevented in the following ways:

1. In the Shower: Hair is susceptible to damage when it is wet and damp, when it basically is at it’s weakest point. Be gentle when washing your hair, and use a comb from the ends up to detangle your hair with conditioner. After bathing, avoid wrapping hair in a towel or rubbing it dry with a towel. Instead, squeeze excess water from the hair, and blot with the towel. Once a week, use a deep conditioning treatment to fully moisturize your hair. Here are more tips to looking after your hair if you wish to delve further. 

2. Heat Styling: If you wish to use a styling tool, first get as much water out of your hair as possible before you start then use a protective heat spray to minimize damage. 

If you use a hair dryer, look for one that has ceramic, ionic, and tourmaline technology to help protect your tresses. When blow drying, flat-ironing, or curling hair, move the tool quickly through your hair. The longer you leave the styling tool in one place, the greater chance for fried locks.

3. Different Styles: Wearing your hair up in the same way every day can cause damage as well. If you put your hair up and secure it in the same place (such as a high ponytail), the hair in that area will be stressed. Try using a fabric-covered hair tie instead of rubber, and change the position of it often.

4. Sleep on It: It is worth investing in a silk pillow case, especially if you have fragile hair to begin with. Regular cotton pillowcases can tangle hair, but one with a smoother surface will decrease the amount of knots.

5. Get a Trim: Even if you are intent on growing your hair, regular trims will help your hair grow faster by keeping the ends in good condition. Split ends can travel up the hair shaft, causing breakage higher up on your hair strand. A trim every few months won’t get rid of length, but will clean up those ends.

6. Protect your Hair from the Sun: One of the biggest culprits of brittle ends is sun damage, as UV rays can affect the integrity of your hair. Before hitting the beach, spray your hair with a protective product, such as a dry oil mist. You can also run a light coating of sunscreen through your hair, or wear a hat. After a day of sun exposure, perform a deep conditioning treatment to undo any damage from the day.

9 tips to Fix Hair Damage

While it is a good idea to get into the habit of preventing hair damage, if you already have it, there are some different tactics to get rid of it:

1. Limit Heat Styling: If your hair is damaged, try not to use your blow dryer, flat iron, or curling iron every day. When you do, remember to use a heat-protective spray every time. On the days when you do not blow dry, there might be some hair styles you can try that do not require heat styling and will not further stress your hair.

2. Change your Shampoo Schedule: Shampoo strips the natural oils found in your hair, which can make it dry. Try switching to a gentle or sulfate-free shampoo, or a cleansing cream, that will not be as harsh on your hair. Only shampoo hair when necessary, and use lukewarm or cool water instead of hot.

3. Deep Condition: A deep conditioning treatment specially formulated for damaged hair can help. Look for one with protein, which can fill the gaps in the hair cuticle. It is important to find a deep conditioner that works with your hair type and won’t make it look greasy. Ask your hairstylist for a recommendation.

4. A hot oil treatment: (either purchased or made at home) will seal the outside of hair and lock in the moisture. Oils such as macadamia, coconut, argon, and even peanut are effective at repairing hair. For the best results, after applying the oil to damp hair, wrap your head in a towel or plastic bag and leave it on for a few hours or overnight if possible. Wash out with a gentle or moisturizing shampoo.

5. Take your Vitamins: A healthy body has strong hair, nails, and skin. Take a multivitamin daily, as well as extra Biotin, which has been shown to aid hair health. Eat a balanced diet that includes Omega-3’s, which are good for your hair. Foods such as salmon, walnuts, and flax seed are high in this fatty acid.

6. Stop Coloring your Hair: Until your hair is healthy again, don’t color it at all, or color as often, and try to avoid bleach if possible. Bleaching or dying extremely damaged hair can cause hair loss, hair breakage, or bald patches.

7. Use Natural Styling Products: Many products contain chemicals or alcohol, which is drying to the hair. Look for products that contain more natural ingredients, or make your own.

8. Fake It: There are products designed to make hair look healthier than it actually is. A shine product can be misted over hair to create the illusion of shiny hair. A split-end treatment temporarily holds frayed ends together, giving the appearance of healthy hair. If you would like to avoid using product, a ponytail or updo can hide the damage.

9. Cut it Off: Sometimes, the damage is so severe, that the only way to truly fix it is to cut if off. Bobs and pixie cuts are always in vogue, but if you cannot bear to do that all at once, get regular trims and add layers until the damaged sections are gone. Go to a professional stylist, though, rather than try to do it yourself.

Remember that damaged hair does not last forever, and that repairing damaged hair will take time, so be consistent and patient and you will soon have hair that you love agai