Is your Hair too Damaged to Fix?
Well, well, well.
You put your hair through the ringer, didn’t you? You dyed it every color of the rainbow, straightened it to perfection, curls, braids, endless weaves and maybe, just maybe, you showered it with a bit too much love.
Your hair's been on one wild rollercoaster. And now, as you stare at your reflection in the mirror, you're probably thinking, "Is my hair's relationship status with 'damage' officially 'It's Complicated'?"
But hey, don't break out the black veil for your hair funeral just yet! Let's do some detective work to see why your hair might be in rebellion in the first place.
Damaged Hair vs. Dry Hair
First things first, let's clear up a vital distinction. It's essential to understand the difference between damaged hair and dead hair. Damaged hair can be nursed back to health with a little love, time, and the right products. Dead hair, well, it's a goner and will need to be trimmed.
But here's the good news – most of the time, when you think your hair is a lost cause, it's probably just really dry and begging for some TLC.
Hair can become damaged due to a variety of factors and everyday habits. Here's the lowdown:
1. Physical Damage
- Heat Styling Hellfire: Okay, we get it – those heat styling tools are tempting. But here's the scoop: Too much of a good thing is... well, bad. They snatch away your hair's natural moisture, leaving it parched, fragile, and as brittle as a potato chip (and we don't want hair that snaps like chips, do we?). So, before you crank up the heat, think about some protection. Always, and I mean always, use heat protectant before diving into a styling frenzy!
- Tight Hairstyle Tug of War: Who doesn't love a cute sewin or some fresh box braids? But here's the not-so-great part: wearing these tight styles on the regular can put your hair and scalp under some serious stress. It’s like a hair tug-of-war, and your hair is losing. Yikes! If you must wear weaves or braids, choose looser styles and give your hair room to breathe.
- Excessive Chemical Products: We all love a good styling product to slay the day, but too many gels, sprays, and serums can turn into a hair nightmare. Product buildup is the enemy, making your hair feel heavy and look dull. So, use them wisely, and remember that sometimes, less is more!
- Lack of Moisture: Last but not least, let's talk about hydration, darling! Your hair craves moisture to stay flexible and fabulous. Without it, your locks can become the Sahara Desert of the hair world – dry, frizzy, and oh-so-vulnerable to damage. So, show your hair some love with regular conditioning and, if needed, a deep hydrating treatment.
2. Chemical Damage
- Hair Coloring: We've all been tempted by the allure of new hair colors, right?. These hair color concoctions contain chemicals that lift your hair's natural pigment, gradually weakening its structure over time. It's like a love-hate relationship.
- Perms and Relaxers: Enter perms and relaxers, those mighty shape-shifters! These chemical treatments use powerful agents to change your hair's structure. When not done properly, they can leave your once-luscious locks dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. Think of them as the hair's equivalent of roller coasters – thrilling but not always gentle.
- Improper Home Treatments: DIY hair treatments with chemical products? Sounds like a great idea until it goes south. Always follow instructions to the “T” to avoid harm to your locks. Remember, even the best DIY intentions can lead to a hair disaster if not executed properly. Safety first, folks!
- Incorrect Product Usage: Have you ever overloaded your hair with chemical-laden products, only to see it transform into a heavy, lifeless mop? Using too many chemical-laden hair products or using them too often can lead to product buildup. This buildup weakens your hair, making it more susceptible to damage. Remember, a little goes a long way!
- Overlapping Chemical Treatments: Applying different chemical treatments back-to-back without giving your hair time to recover? It's a recipe for disaster! Always allow your hair to heal between treatments, or else you risk compounding the damage.
3. Nutritional Damage
Your hair may be whispering a silent cry for help, desperately seeking nourishment. Nutritional damage to your hair is like an unspoken plea for rescue, and we're here to solve the mystery.
- Dietary Deficiencies: Your hair thrives on essential nutrients like biotin, iron, zinc, and protein. They're the lifeblood of your locks! Without these, your hair can turn weak, brittle, and prone to breakage. Think of them as the superheroes of your hair world.
- Crash Dieting: Rapid weight loss or extreme dieting can suck the life out of your hair. Your body craves essential nutrients, and when it's deprived, your hair suffers. The result? Hair loss and a lackluster, blah appearance. Your hair deserves better!
- Low Iron Levels: Iron deficiency anemia is a hair nemesis, especially for women. Iron helps your red blood cells carry oxygen to your hair follicles. When it's lacking, your hair can suffer.
- Hydration Neglect: Dehydration can leave your hair feeling parched and brittle. Give it the hydration it craves by sipping on some H2O. Your hair will thank you with newfound luster!
- Processed and Fast Food: Processed and fast foods might taste heavenly, but they're often barren when it comes to essential nutrients. Your hair craves more than empty calories. Feed it with nutrient-rich choices!
- Medications and Health Conditions: This is the Unwelcomed Interference. Certain medications and health conditions can mess with nutrient absorption, leading to nutritional hair damage. Consult a healthcare professional if you suspect they're playing tricks on your tresses.
How to Fix Damaged or Dry Hair
By now you should have an idea if your dealing with damage, dryness or hair that’s dead. Lets see what you can do to show your hair some love either way:
- Trim Those Split Ends
Split ends are like those annoying guests at a party who just won't leave. They make your hair look frizzy and unruly. So, the best way to show them the door is by getting a trim. I know the thought of cutting your hair might sound counterproductive, but trust me, it's a necessary step. Snipping off those split ends will prevent the damage from travelling up the hair shaft, making your hair look healthier overall.
- Say Yes to Protein Treatments
Imagine protein treatments as your hair's personal trainers. They help strengthen those weak strands, so their less prone to breakage. Hair masks or treatments with proteins like keratin, can work wonders to repair damage. A protein treatment every couple of weeks can make a noticeable difference in your hair's resilience.
- Gentle Detangling is Key
Are you attacking your wet hair with a brush like it owes you money? Yeah, that's a no-no. Aggressive brushing, especially when your hair is still wet, is like sending it into battle unarmed. It can cause your hair to snap and break. Ouch!
Remember, your hair is delicate, especially when wet. Invest in a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush, and be super gentle when working through knots. Starting from the tips and working your way up can prevent unnecessary hair breakage.
- Switch to a Silk Pillowcase
This might sound like a luxury splurge, but sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase can be a game-changer for your hair. Unlike cotton pillowcases, silk causes less friction, which means less breakage as you toss and turn during the night. A silk pillowcase is great option if your bonnet or scarf comes off while you’re sleep.
Plus, it's gentler on your skin, too – talk about a win-win!
- Limit Heat Styling
I can't stress this enough – heat styling is like that tempting dessert that you want to indulge in, but it's not always the best for you.
Excessive heat = severe hair damage!
If you can't resist the allure of heat tools, make sure to use a heat protectant before styling. And when you do style, use a lower heat setting so you don’t fry your hair.
- Choose the Right Shampoo and Conditioner
When it comes to washing your hair, the products you use really matter. Opt for a sulphate-free shampoo that won't strip away your hair's natural oils. And for conditioner, choose one that's specifically designed for dry or damaged hair. These products often contain ingredients that help replenish moisture and keep your hair looking vibrant.
- Deep Condition Regularly
Think of deep conditioning as a spa retreat for your hair. Pick a day when you can dedicate time to pamper your locks with a deep conditioning treatment. Apply the conditioner generously, put on a shower cap, and let it work its magic. The extra hydration will help your hair regain its softness and shine.
Too learn more about how your hair retains or looses moisture, check out my video on hair porosity: https://youtu.be/kvCgaFBfYEg
- Cool Water Rinses
Here's a quick trick that can make a big difference: rinse your hair with cool water after shampooing and conditioning. The cold water helps to seal the hair cuticles, which locks in moisture and adds a boost of shine. I know It might feel a bit chilly, but trust me, your hair will appreciate the extra love.
- Avoid Tight Hairstyles
Braids, tight ponytails and buns might be easy and convenient, but they can also stress your hair and lead to breakage, especially if your hair is already dry. Remember if your hair is damaged, it’s fragile and must be treated as such. If you must wear weaves or braids, remember your hair is already damaged when you put it up, it will still be damaged when you take it out. Always thoroughly shampoo and deep condition your hair before your protective style to minimize additional damage.
- H2O is Your Hair's BFF
Remember that moisture starts from the inside out. Water is by far the best moisturizer for your hair. Don’t fall for the old wives tale that water makes hair more dry. It’s more likely you may be using harsh products that are full of sulfates and detergents that are making your hair dry.
Also, drinking enough water not only benefits your overall health but also reflects positively on your hair. Hydrated hair starts with staying hydrated yourself.
- BONUS: Be Patient; it's a journey
Repairing damaged hair is a marathon, not a sprint. You might not see dramatic results overnight, but don’t stop. Patience is key here. Remember to celebrate the small wins along the way.
When to seek professional help
If your hair is severely damaged, dead or if you're not seeing improvement despite your efforts, it might be time to consult a professional hairstylist or trichologist. They can assess the condition of your hair and recommend specialized treatments or products to help restore its health.
So, what's the verdict? Is your hair beyond saving? Well, the good news is that most of the time, it's not. There’s always hope.
Remember, it's all about being patient and consistent with your hair care routine. Give your hair the love it deserves. You've got this! With time and the right approach, your hair can totally bounce back to its glorious self.
Your commitment to a hair care routine will determine your success.
Now, I want to let you know about a FREE tool from the One80 Collection that will improve your hair growth journey.
- 5 oils that can re-grow your hair
- Why you need them
- Ways to use them
- Recipes to create your own blends