Tips to Repair Damaged Hair

Extremely damaged hair develops cracks in the cuticle. Once the cuticle opens, your hair is at risk for further damage and breakage.

Updated: January 10, 2019

Each of your hair strands has three layers. Medulla is the inner layer, which is surrounded by the middle layer, the cortex. The outer layer is called the cuticle. The cuticle is the layer that protects your hair. Extremely damaged hair develops cracks in the cuticle. Once the cuticle opens, your hair is at risk for further damage and breakage. It may also look dull or frizzy and be difficult to manage.
Most of the time hair damage is permanent because hair is actually a collection of dead cells, making them beyond repair. However, with proper hair care and a few targeted treatments, you can help restore the outer cuticle and begin to improve the look and feel of your hair.
Solution to damaged hair depends on the reason behind it. Here we have listed some of the common reason of hair damage with solution.

Hair Damage from dye:

Dying your hair at home can have bad impact on your hair. Chemical dyes can remove the natural moisture of your hair,  making smooth hair coarse to the touch.
To limit further damage from dye, you can follow the below things:
  • As unnatural colors are more difficult to maintain and have to be touched up more frequently, choose a dye within three shades of your natural color and opt for shades that are darker rather than lighter to limit damage.
  • Extending the time between touch-ups can also help reduce damage. If possible, wait 8 to 10 weeks or longer between the dye. To make this more feasible:
  • Wash your hair less frequently.
  • Use shampoos that are specially formulated for dyed hair.
  • Rinse shampoo and conditioner with cool water. Hot water can cause the cuticle to open, or lift, allowing the dye to rinse out.
  • It is always better to dye your hair by a professional as the colorist knows how to use the correct products to minimize damage.
  • If you want to chemically relax, straighten, or perm your hair, it is best to do it at least two weeks before your hair color appointment. This gives your hair time to recover between treatments.   
To ease existing damage:

Use Olive oil:

Oils can really help rehydrate the hair and smooth the cuticle. Olive oil, in particular, can help soften the hair and restore the required moisture. It is also easy to work with and relatively inexpensive. but make sure you do an olive oil treatment a few days post-coloring.

Use color-safe shampoo and conditioner:

These products are formulated with the proper pH to prevent the hair shaft from swelling and allowing the dye to leak out. So, using these products, your color will last longer, and your hair will look and feel better.

Hair Damage from bleach:

Bleach is used to remove your natural hair color from each strand. It makes your hair swell, allowing the bleach to reach the inner part of the strand, dissolving the melanin that gives your hair pigment. Your hair will become dry, porous, brittle, and fragile during this process. The permanent changes in your hair structure can also make it less strong and elastic.
Bleach always damages your hair to some extend. The less you do it, the better. Therefore to limit the damage
  • Do it less frequently or if possible not at all. Pay extra attention to moisturizing your hair and avoid other damaging activities, like heat styling, for a couple of weeks before bleaching.
  • As bleached hair is more susceptible to UV damage use sun protection. Try wearing a wide-brimmed hat or hair wrap to protect your hair and scalp. You can also use a UV protection hair spray to protect hair that peeks out. Use products that also have conditioner.
  • Avoid chlorine, as it can strip moisture from your hair and leave it feeling even more brittle and coarse.
To avoid this:
  • Rinse your hair with fresh water before going in the pool. This moisture may help prevent the chlorine from changing the color of your hair and drying out your strands.
  • You should also wash your hair thoroughly as soon as you get out of the pool.
  • You can also use a specially formulated swim shampoo and conditioner if possible.
To ease existing damage:

Use almond oil:

Almond oil can help soften and strengthen your hair. Apply the oil to the ends of your hair before drying to rehydrate the strands and decrease frizz.

Try a rice water:

The water you pour down the drain while rinsing rice have an ingredient called Inositol that can actually help your hair. It has been shown to
penetrate damaged hair and repair hair from the inside out.

Hair Damage from using heat tools:

Styling with heat can effect hair fibers and lead to raised cuticles and porous hair. Using heat too often or at high temperatures can make your hair more prone to damage.
To limit further damage
  • Blow dry from a distance. Holding the blow dryer 15 centimeters (about six inches) away from your hair and moving the blow dryer continuously can help reduce damage. Use a heat protection product that are meant to help protect the hair and prevent split ends.
  • Excessive heat can damage your hair regardless of how far it is coming from. Use the lowest heat setting on any product and limit the time the hot air, iron, or curler touches your hair.
  • Try to avoid hair dryer. Instead, gently wrap your hair in a towel after showering. This well help pull out excess water before you let it hang free to dry. Don't rub your hair with the towel, as this can cause unnecessary friction and damage your hair.
Using heat tools no more than once a week is always recommended by experts.
To ease existing damage:

Use coconut oil:

This tropical oil has molecules that are small enough to penetrate the outer cuticle and hydrate from the inside out.
It can also help restore the protective oils on the outside of your hair. These oils help guard against heat damage and breakage.
Use products that include coconut oil, or apply the warmed oil once a week as a deep hydrating mask.

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