Hair damage may not be obvious at first, as you slather on sprays and serums. When your hair cuticle lifts and reveals frizzy, damaged hair, that is when you start looking for remedies. Scientifically speaking, damaged hair cannot be repaired since hair is a collection of dead skin cells on your scalp. However, you can take steps to restore the outer cuticle, which will make your dry and damaged hair healthy and lustrous once again.
This blog holds the key to all your dry and damaged hair issues. It is a guidebook to an effective hair care routine, which includes the most effective hair products according to your hair type, and how you can use them.
Hair Damage: What Causes It And How To Limit It
Before starting a hair care routine, it is imperative to understand the root causes of dry hair and damaged hair so that you can press pause on these problems.
1) Excessive Hair Dyeing
Do you look up a new hair trend and rush to the salon in to copy it? It is no surprise that colored hair needs extra protection and care because of the excessive use of chemicals. Colored hair is the root cause of all your hair problems such as hair breakage, lifeless hair, split ends, extremely dry hair, hair fall, and can lead to severely damaged hair. This is because the harsh chemicals in the hair color strip your hair of its natural oils (that provide luster), and expose dry and damaged hair.
No, we are not asking you to ditch the crazy dyes altogether; just don’t make it a regular habit. Colored hair needs extra care and protection through a strict hair care routine which we will come to later.
Limiting Further Hair Damage
1) Go two or three shades lighter than your natural hair. Unnatural hair colors require more chemical treatments to achieve the color, not to mention extra bleach. So, avoid opting for colors like blue, red, green, etc., and stick to browns and light browns.
2) Take time between appointments. Abrasive chemical treatments and regular blow-dries should be given some time to heal before booking your next hair appointment. Color-treated hair damages the hair follicles to hinder hair growth. Your hair cuticles need time to breathe, so taking a break of 8-10 weeks before your next appointment is advisable.
3) Don’t color your hair. A celebrity stylist or a regular professional is well-versed with hair colors, so they will know how to use the colors to limit further damage.
People who opt for lighter colors than their natural hair color need to get their hair bleached. Bleach causes excessive hair breakage, dry hair, and damaged hair by swelling up the hair strands to reach its inner strands. This is how the bleach reduces the melanin in your strands and makes it a lighter color.
Limiting Further Hair Damage
1) Opt-out of Bleaching. There is no other way to reduce damaged hair, rather than to halt the bleaching process. You’ll thank yourself later. Frizzy hair is an inevitable response to bleaching, and this leads to hair fall and dry hair.
2) Hydration. However, if you are adamant about bleaching, use a super moisture shampoo followed by a conditioner, preferably infused with shea butter(an official hydration bank for your hair) and then a serum before going through the process. This will not eliminate frizzy, dry hair but will stall the hair damage for a while.
3) SPF. Sun protection should not only be restricted to skincare. Your hair care routine should also have a step involving sunscreen, especially if you have bleached hair. An SPF spray before you dip in the pool or step outside will protect your hair from hair fall and thinning of your hair fibers.
3) Too Much Blow-Drying
Blow Dryers are live savers when there is time paucity, and you have to look put together within 10 minutes. But they do not exactly save your damaged hair. When you blow-dry your hair every day, the head exposes your hair fibers, which lead to fragile hair and further hair damage.
Limit Further Hair Damage
1) Blow Dry at a safe distance. We won’t ask you to lay off the blow drying together. Studies have shown that blow-drying from a safe distance using medium heat does not accelerate damaged hair.
2) Protect it from the heat. Split ends are an inevitable fate when it comes to blow-drying your hair every day. To stop the development of split ends, use a trustable heat protectant spray before blow-drying, These have proven to provide your dry hair a protective layer that the heat cannot penetrate.
3) Lay off the blow dryer. Styling products and heat tools are all artificial ways to get vogue-ish hairstyles. Too much of it can destroy your hair beyond repair, and cause unprecedented split ends, which may spiral out of control(no amount of cuts and trims can also repair it). If you are not in a hurry, let your hair air dry after a wash. Use a microfiber cotton towel that soaks up all the water from your hair and lets it air dry. Do not wipe your hair rigorously lest you want to allow unnecessary damage.
4) Go Natural. Au Naturale is making a serious comeback; so not using any styling products can elevate your style to another level. Let your tresses do the talking. Allowing your hair to breathe will lead to better hair growth and a visible improvement in the hair texture.
Natural Remedies for Damaged Hair
Apart from a top-notch hair care routine, some natural hair ingredients are holy grails for people with superior hair texture, thick hair, and lustrous tresses. Here is how you can incorporate some home remedies in your routine to reverse damaged hair.
The idea with home remedies is to be patient and consistent, otherwise, you may not get what you are looking for.
1) Olive Oil
Olive oil is a potent skincare ingredient as well as a hair care ingredient. Its oil molecules are minute enough to get to the hair shaft and strengthen it from within. No matter what your hair type is, olive oil is your one-ticket savior from damaged hair. It provides unbridled moisture to damaged hair and dry hair since it is rich in vitamin E.
● Take a small amount of olive oil in your hand and rub your palms together to heat the oil. Heating the oil activates its molecules so it can penetrate deeper into the hair follicles
● Apply this to partially wet hair.
● Scrunch in up from the mid-length of your hair to its ends
● Leave this on for 20-30 minutes, and wrap up your hair in a towel to keep the oil warm and better product distribution throughout.
● Rise it off with a sulfate-free shampoo, some deep conditioning, and a serum.
● Let it air dry.
● Use this treatment once weekly if you have dry hair and fine hair. It will eliminate split ends and leave your hair strands moisturized and voluminous.
2) Almond Oil
Almond oil is a great damage repair oil rich in vitamin B-7 and Biotin. Sweet almond oil is the activated version that provides the right amount of moisture for your hair without stripping it off its natural oils.
Almond oil contains SPF 5, providing natural protection to it. The molecules in the oil deeply penetrate your hair and have antibacterial and anti fungicidal properties. These antibacterial properties balance out the yeast and act as a great anti-dandruff treatment
● Use one tablespoon of almond oil and rub it between your palms to activate the molecules by heating them.
● Use it on damp wet hair.
● Apply it from your roots to the tips. Use as required, just don’t drench your hair in it because it is difficult to get it off.
● Leave it on for 1 hour, and then follow your regular hair care routine with a nourishing shampoo that gently cleanses your hair, a conditioner, and a serum. Don’t use heat and let it air dry.
● Weekly use of this oil will promote hair growth and will leave your hair soft and smooth.
3) Egg Whites
A popular hair mask that is passed down through centuries is the egg mask tradition. Egg whites are a rich source of keratin protein, which strengthens thin hair from within. Our hair needs keratin to remain strong; hence parlors emphasize getting chemical treatments such as keratin smoothening treatment, which restores healthy hair (but just for a while until you have to get them done again). An egg mask is a cheaper and more natural version of this.
● Break two egg whites into a bowl.
● Add two teaspoons of olive oil to the bowl and mix it thoroughly.
● Use it on wet hair. Wash your hair or dampen it with water from a spray bottle.
● Apply the gooey mixture to your hair, mostly focusing on the length of the hair, rather than the scalp.
● Tie your hair up in a loose bun and leave the mixture on for 15-20 minutes.
● Rinse it off with a hydrating shampoo with a gentle formula, and let it air dry.
We do not recommend you to an egg white hair mask every week since it hardens the hair. Use this treatment once a month to secure healthily and good hair growth.
4) Coconut Oil
Great oil that penetrates the hair cortex and binds with the keratin there to provide an extra dose of moisture from within; coconut oil has been the holy grail oil over generations.
Coconut oil is ideal for thick hair and coarse hair structures, where it allows the moisture from the oil to seep into the hair strands and get rid of damaged hair.
● Make sure to use the oil on damp, wet hair.
● Melt some coconut oil and work it from the mid-length of your tresses to the ends
● Leave it on for 20-30 minutes, and then wash the oil with warm water.
● Use a moisturizing shampoo to lock in the moisture, and make sure it is a reparative shampoo, essentially tagged as ‘damage repair.’ Follow up with a conditioner and then a serum.
5) Aloe Vera Gel/Juice
Aloe Vera is one of nature's greatest gifts to skincare and haircare. It is abundantly found and is easy to maintain at home. It is rich in essential fatty acids and amino acids that provide the hair with moisture and improves hair texture. Amino acids are a powerful ingredient for hair growth. This is because our hair is made of 88% keratin and it produces keratin with the help of 18 amino acids, making it an essential ingredient to fight dry hair and damaged hair.
Aloe vera is also rich in Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E, the complete hair care package.
● After extracting the gel from the aloe vera plant with a knife and leaving out the yellow mixture, use the gel directly on your scalp.
● Slowly massage into the scalp and move through the lengths of your hair till the ends.
● Make sure you use the gel on wet hair.
● If you have a greasy hair type, it will break down the fatty acids in your hair and give it a shine. It works well on individuals with fine hair and ensures less hair fall.
● Rinse the hair mask with lukewarm water and follow up with a nourishing shampoo, or a shampoo for dry hair, depending on your hair type. Use a conditioner and serum thereafter.
● Use it twice a week on fine hair on any hair type, and ditch the regular hair fall.
● Mix 3-4 tablespoons of green tea into the mixture to help control the grease further, and give you a lustrous shine after the wash. Green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which stops hair fall and provides a solution to all your hair problems.
● Use this pack once a week for the best strengthening formula that fights frizz and promotes healthy hair.
Your Personal Hair Care Routine According to Hair Types
1) Straight Hair
Under straight hair, there are three hair types which you may fit into:
● Very straight, fine hair
● Straight with some bends
● Straight with a coarser texture
Straight hair is said to produce more sebum so it can be categorized as an oily hair type. The best shampoo should not be a shampoo for dry hair, since it already produces too much sebum. So any moisturizing shampoo is off the list.
Shampoo- The best sulfate-free shampoo for straight hair and damaged hair is the one that contains ceramides and coconut milk protein to provide triple strength to your hair follicles.
Hair Masks- Do not use leave-in masks for extra moisture because you do not need that. Instead, use a mask for damaged hair, leave it on for 15 minutes and wash off.
Hair Serums- A damage repair hair serum post-wash can reverse the damaged hair. Remember to not use the hair serum on wet hair, but on damp towel-dried hair.
2) Curly Hair
Under this hair type, there are three other hair types:
● Wavy and fine
● More defined S-shape wavy
● Wavy with well-defined S-shaped waves
The best shampoo to use with this hair type is hydrating shampoos or moisturizing shampoo. Avoid too much brushing as it may spoil the natural curls in your hair. Use more oils like argan oils and jojoba oils to provide luster to your hair.
Shampoo- The best shampoo to use here is a shampoo for dry hair since the end of the curls tends to dry and frizz. Use an anti-frizz shampoo with which you can wash your hair gently, getting rid of dry hair and damaged hair.
Hair Mask- Use hair masks especially used for curly hair and extra points, use an anti-frizz hair mask to keep the curls in place.
Hair Serum- It is important to use a hair serum which is especially meant for curly hair, so it can keep the curls bouncy and damage-free. Use the serum on slightly wet hair for it to seep into the skin completely.
3) Color-Treated Hair
When you get your hair colored, you need extra protection because it is inevitable that you will encounter damaged hair as well as dry hair.
Use egg masks to feed amino acids and keratin to your hair twice a month. Never step outside the house without using an SPF spray on your hair, and avoid touchups until 10 weeks.
Shampoo- The best shampoo for this hair type is a professional shampoo which is a color-protect shampoo. Regular shampoos will not be able to retain the moisture and will result in further damaged hair.
Hair Mask- It is wise to use a leave-in color protect hair mask on wet hair to hold in the color for a longer time and rinse it off with cold water.
Avoid using hot water on colored hair, since it will result in dry hair and further induce damaged hair.
The right haircare products can work wonders by rejuvenating your hair texture, quality, and making it more durable.
FAQs On How To Repair Damaged Hair Using Custom-Made Hair Care
Can damaged hair be repaired?
Scientifically speaking, damaged hair cannot be repaired since hair is a collection of dead skin cells on your scalp. However, you can take transformative steps to restore the outer cuticle, which will make your dry and damaged hair, healthy and lustrous once again.
Can shampoo help damaged hair?
The best sulfate-free shampoo for straight hair and damaged hair is the one that contains ceramides and coconut milk protein to provide triple strength to your hair follicles.
Can shampoo and conditioner repair damaged hair?
The best sulfate-free shampoo for straight hair and damaged hair is the one that contains ceramides and coconut milk protein to provide triple strength to your hair follicles. Do not use leave-in masks for extra moisture because you do not need that. Instead, use a mask for damaged hair, leave it on for 15 minutes and wash off. A damage repair hair serum post-wash can reverse the damaged hair. Remember to not use the hair serum on wet hair, but on damp towel-dried hair.