Did you know true hair damage is more than just split ends? Split ends are a symptom of hair damage, and one of many. Damaged hair is when the outside layer of the hair, the cuticle, develops cracks. These cracks are what make your hair more susceptible to split ends, frizz, dryness, and hair that’s difficult to manage. In my latest blog, I wanted to go over how to stop damaging your hair and, how to repair damaged hair.
Signs of Hair Damage
If you’ve noticed any of these, you likely have hair damage:
- Rough texture
- Brittle hair
- Lack of shine
- Split ends
- Dryness and moisture loss
- Weak strands
- Hair breakage
- Excessive tangling
- Lack of elasticity
If you have any of these hair damage signs, worry not- further in the blog we’ll go over how to repair hair damage. For now, though, let’s look at preventive steps to avoid damage altogether.
How To Prevent Hair Damage
Preventive action is important for almost everything when it comes to health, and that goes for the health of your hair too. Here are some simple things you can do to avoid hair damage.
Friction has to be one of the worst things for your hair. Hair is pretty fragile even in its healthiest form, so make sure you do everything you can to avoid friction. Avoiding friction can be easier than you think, so let’s go over how to do that.
Have Loose Ponytails
Tight ponytails can be a hard habit to break. However, your hair will thank you. Try using scrunchies instead (yes, the scrunchies of your youth) of rubber band style holders or even these spiral ponytail holders.
Don’t Pull on Your Hair When Heat Styling
If you’re curling your hair, make sure you don’t pull on it with the curling iron. This causes damage to the hair that takes longer to repair. Start exactly where the iron needs to be (usually the ends of the hair) and proceed like normal. Make sure the curls aren’t super tight and try not to leave the curling iron in your hair too long.
If you have to pull a bit because you use a straightener, make sure you aren’t putting too much pressure on the straightener. Always use hot tools with a heat setting and keep them at 300 degrees or less.
Protect Your Hair While You Style
Also, no matter what kind of styling you do, it’s crucial to pretreat your hair with a heat protectant. I like this one because it provides high heat protection (450°F/232°C), as well as UV protection for outside.
Sleep on a Silk Pillowcase
Our hair spends more time on our pillowcases than any other fabric, so it’s important that they are gentle on our hair while also being nourishing. The best way to ensure this is by having a silk pillowcase. Silk pillowcases help prevent:
- Split Ends
- Greasy hair
Use the Right Shampoo and Conditioner for Your Hair Type
Just like you have specific skin types, you have certain hair types. If you’re not sure what your hair type is, and what kind of shampoo you should be using – head on over to my hair quiz. Meanwhile, here are some ingredients to avoid when buying your next shampoo:
- Any heavy silicons
- Waxes (a lot of shampoos use wax, and that pretty much suffocates your hair)
No matter the hair type you have, however, always use a conditioner after shampooing. Shampoos and conditioners work together and for a good reason. Not conditioning can cause your scalp to overproduce oil, which will make your hair look damaged and dry.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll keep saying it: be gentle with your hair. This is also a great way to repair hair damage. That means you want to gently rub shampoo and conditioner into your scalp (not rigorously) and instead of scrubbing it off as you rinse, just let the water do its thing.
If your hair is overly damaged or fragile, you might consider using a pre-wash conditioner (more on that later). It’s also important you’re extra careful and gentle with wet hair.
- Use a wide tooth comb or wet brush and avoid tugging or pulling on hair when combing.
- If you are prone to tangles, apply a detangler to your wet hair before combing or brushing. I love Monat’s Junior Detangler for kids and adults.
- Don’t rub with a towel
- Wrap your hair in a towel instead or use a low friction, microfiber towel.
Avoid the Heat
Air dry if possible. I personally love this air dry cream. If you do use hot tools, lower the heat setting, and limit the time a hot comb or curling iron comes in contact with your hair. You can also use dry shampoo, so you wash (and blow dry) less often. I love The Champ Dry Shampoo by Monat.
Avoid Chemical Treatments Like Hair Coloring or Perms
Use color enhancing shampoo or natural dye instead of chemical color treatments or perms. Keratin treatments and relaxers are included in this category. Though these services make the hair look healthy, they used chemicals and are damaging over time.
Protect Your Hair From Chlorine and Sun
Summer is in full swing, and that means many trips to the outdoor pool. Make sure you’re preventive and that you protect your hair. Here are some helpful tips for protecting your hair from chlorine and sun:
- Wet hair before entering the pool and use a leave in conditioner
- Wear a swim cap
- Rinse hair immediately after swimming and use a clarifying shampoo
- Restore moisture with a hair masque or deep conditioner.
- Wear a hat in the sun and use a leave-in conditioner that protects from UVA and UVB rays
Treat Your Hair
Even if you have greasy or oily hair, you need the right kind of oil to prevent damage. Massage the oil into the scalp and leave it on for 1-2 hours before shampooing. I recommend Monat’s Rejuvenique Oil (original or light).
Use a hair masque to provide deep nourishment, shine, and strength. Use one with naturally based ingredients.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Your hair can be a reflection of your overall health. Changes in diet, illness, and stress can all affect the hairs appearance. Typically, you don’t even see the changes to your hair until 3-6 month after a triggering event. Make sure you’re taking good care of yourself, keeping stress at bay, and eating healthy.
How To Repair Hair Damage
Last fall, I was introduced to a new line that reverses damage from the inside out. Monat’s restructuring collection uses a silicon-free plant protein (instead of keratin) and an activated oil. There are four products in the line, and they can be used together or separately depending on the hair damage. It also uses the reverse condition method, which I like.
Restructuring Pre-Wash Conditioner
This conditioner hydrates the individual hair strand and protects it from friction during shampooing.
This shampoo is extremely gentle and leaves the hair bouncy and shiny.
Hair Transformation Masque
This hair treatment is meant to rebuild hair and make it smooth again. It can be used every day or a couple of times a week as needed
Inner Force Restructuring Serum
The inner force serum is a leave-in treatment that repairs old damage and prevents it in the future.
Just like all of Monat’s other products, this line is naturally based, sulfate and paraben free, and leaping bunny certified.
When To See a Doctor
If changing how you care for your hair does not help you see healthier hair, you may want to see a dermatologist. Don’t forget to reach out to me with any other questions, I love helping people fall in love with their hair again!