How to Repair Damaged Hair
Fried, dried and petrified? Is that what your hair is feeling like these days?
Maybe you have bleached it one too many times?
Maybe you have been doing it your self with less than great colour?
Maybe you have been hitting it heavy with heat styling tools, without the proper heat protection?
The thing is hair damage is not created equal, but it is hard to diagnose what exactly it needs to bring it back to ultimate life.
The way to quickly bring your hair back to life is to properly determine what is wrong with it in the first place.
There are 3 main reasons for hair damage.
When hair is fragile and breaking what is the reason for the damage?
Well it could be all 3. When hair is dry, dull and sad looking, what is the problem? Again it could be all 3.
It is hard to tell just by looking at your hair what the actual problem is, so you need to look at the history at how you got to where you are today, and only then can you properly diagnose and solve the problem.
Your hair needs 2 thing to be healthy, protein and moisture.
Heat Styling = Lack of Moisture
If your hair tends to be breaking easily, and feel rough this usually calls for moisture treatments. Your hair needs hydration found in rich oils, and plant extracts such as aloe.
Heavy Colour Use = Lack of Strength or Protein
If you hair feels mushy, looks see through, and feels like cotton when wet, and is kind of stretchy and thin you are lacking protein.
If you treat protein problems with moisture you will get some benefit, however if you treat moisture problems with protein you can actually make your hair worse, and more susceptible to breakage.
Overuse of heat styling products, and chemicals will break down your outermost layer if your hair which is called the cuticle. The cuticle is kind of like overlapping scales that when are healthy lay flat and protect the inner part of your hair. When the cuticular layer becomes damaged it becomes raised, and changes from shiny and clear, to dull and yellow. This is why it is a difficult task to have high shine blondes that don’t “yellow” or go “brassy.”
When hair has been more chemically damaged, this is affecting the corticular layer which lies inside of the cuticular layer. Hair with this type of damage can feel stretchy as the cuticles are trying to hold the cortex together within all of its broken protein bonds. This type of damage is very hard to come back from and most times you can only prevent further breakage but the hair will never go back to how it was.
Internal = “You are what you eat”
Internally, if you are not eating a healthy balanced diet, this will show in your hair. I always tell my clients; your hair is like the garbage can of your body. It can tell you a lot about your health.
Balance is key here, overweight people who eat a diet high in junk food, will have dull hair that gets greasy quickly, but I see fit people that ingest a lot of protein with very brittle hair, as they do not have enough essential fatty acids to work with the amount of protein they are intaking.
I have seen people that do not enough calories have bald spots and very thin, limp hair. People that are on strong medications also tend to have lack lustre, brittle hair.
Medications, hormone imbalances, thyroid issues, cancer, auto immune diseases, and extreme weight gain or loss all affect your hair.
The most important vitamins for hair or Vitamin A, B5, E, D, and K. and Biotin. There are several products on the market that help to fill in the vitamin deficiencies that are causing damaged hair. A couple that come highly recommended are:
It Works – Hair Skin and Nails
Some of my favourite treatments are
Davines Minu Replenishing Mask
Amika Triple RX
Oribe Gold Lust Transformative Masque
Eufora Urgent Repair
These are all professional brands, which I highly recommend especially if you hair is in really rough shape. In order to save it, skip the cheap stuff and get that hair fixed!
However, I am not forgetting about you budget friendly ladies. Bed Head Urban Anti Dotes Recovery Mask and Macadamia Oil Mask are great drug store alternatives, although once again no where near as good as the others I have listed!
Most masks are left on for 5-10 minutes but you can always sleep with them on to get some serious benefits. Just be careful if you are using a pure protein mask as these ones need to be rinsed off at manufactures directions as you can over proteinize your hair. Mositure on the other hand, you can never have enough!
If you are really in dire need, use the shampoo and conditioner associated with the above masks. Most of them have an oil as well. If you have taken your hair to the point of brittle and breaking, trust me these are a small investment to have hair still on your head. The more your hair is exposed to heat, the environment and colour the more damage you will do.
Also don’t forget to ask you stylist about Olaplex or similar treatments when doing your colour. Most brands have a protein builder that you can get added to your colour for an additional fee. They are so worth it. I can tell you from experience on my hair and many of my clients! You can purchase step 3 of the Olaplex system off Amazon it is amazing!
I hope these recommendations find you with healthy hair once again. If you have any other faves, please leave them in the comments below.