Scouting for a viable solution to your damaged hair? You aren’t alone! Hair damage is a common phenomenon and can happen to anyone at any age.
To see your tresses damaged can be disheartening as in most cases damaged mane increases chances of hair loss, thus telling upon your confidence. There could be a score of underlying reasons behind such damage. These could include simple actions such as over-brushing, excessive use of chemicals or styling products, medical conditions, medication, poor nutrition, ageing, etc.
Once you know the condition it’ll be best to fix it right away. Early detection and remedy can prevent breakage and further hair fall. Notable brands hair care brands create products that are designed with the perfect blend of ingredients that offer promising results to your damaged tresses.
You might come across a plethora of high-grade products available in the market, but nothing beats the efficacy of a custom-made product that works on the roots to offer long-term solutions.
Before we head to sharing tips on how to maintain those locks, let’s first understand about the causes behind its damage. A closer look into your mane anatomy can determine its health. Unhealthy tresses could be a result of numerous causes and each of these could show different symptoms. If you want to understand it better, it is worth paying attention to the signs and symptoms before looking for a remedy.
What is Hair Damage?
Is it your split ends that tell the extent of damage? No, impaired hair structure is way more complicated than just developing split ends. Excessively damaged mane is prone to developing cracks in the cuticle. This puts the hair at risk of increased damage and breakage. Moreover, it might appear frizzy, dull, and challenging to manage.
Not all damage can be completely repaired but there are viable rescue treatments that can prevent newer damage. Proper hair care regimen, specialized treatments and a balanced diet can aid in restoring the outer cuticle, thereby boosting its health, look and feel.
Do you have damaged hair?
The first step is to understand whether your hair has been damaged or not. Damaged hair lacks its sheen and looks like straw. Sometimes, the mane is so severely damaged that it doesn’t even appear lustrous after a deep conditioning treatment. Among the common signs of mane damage are split ends, although this can be resolved to some extent by trimming the ends.
The other indicators include dryness and elasticity. The former condition occurs when the cuticles are unable to retain the moisture regardless of the deepest conditioning treatment you offer to them. Dry hair may not necessarily be damaged but degenerative hair is mostly dry.
Damaged hair lacks elasticity. In any normal healthy hair, there is a little elasticity that can be felt. However, those with damaged hair will find their mane to lose the natural bounce, making it easier to snap. The rough cuticles of hair are sign of damage and can cause tangling more than ever.
Smooth and shiny hair needs smooth and not rough cuticles. It is the dryness that ruins the structure of the strands leading to breakage. At this stage, your hair is likely to rip just when you comb it or simply run your fingers through it.
Also Read: How To Moisturize Dry Hair
Why is it important to track the source of damage?
Understanding the root cause can help working out a comprehensive treatment plan. Moreover, once you know what could have caused it, you can prepare yourself to consciously steer away from it as much as possible.
Sometimes, the cause of degeneration is apparent and you can tell whether it was caused by improper application of bleach, dye or other styling products and tools. In other cases, there could be more than one reason, making it difficult to figure out the exact cause.
Here are a few common causes of hair damage to help you through the identification along with DIY tips to help in its restoration.
1. Dyeing and bleaching
No matter how high-grade your dye is, any colouring agent contains chemicals that may not go down well with your mane. The elements present in dyes can rob the hair of its natural moisture causing smooth hair to turn rough and frizzy.
If you’ve had a first-hand experience, you might know that when a new colour coat is applied, the stylist may have to use bleach in the first place. This bleaching and/or dyeing process regularly can cause more harm.
In the bleaching process, your mane’s original colour is removed from every strand aimed at dyeing. This allows the bleach to penetrate into the inner part of the strands, thereby dissolving the melanin that’s responsible for giving your mane its natural pigment. Thus, bleaching can leave your mane dry, porous, less strong, and prone to easy breakage as the elasticity is also lost.
You can limit further damage to your tresses by opting for a shade darker than your mane’s colour to at least prevent the bleaching process. If bleaching, consider moisturizing it and avoid other damaging activities such as heat styling or any other chemical treatment for at least some time.
Less is better, so consider dyeing in lesser frequency. Also, make sure that you follow the after-care routine such as using shampoos and conditioners for dyed hair, rinsing and conditioning with cool water, etc. Find out the difference between types of dyes at https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/coloring-dye-difference_n_572fad7ae4b0bc9cb0472and2
2. Heat styling tools
While styling your hair can offer a trendy makeover, it can also damage it. Styling with heating tools raises the cuticles and makes the hair permeable. The higher the temperature used, the more your hair is prone to erosion.
You may also like: 12 Hair Care Mistakes You’re Making Without Even Realizing It
Further damage can be prevented by choosing to air dry those locks instead of blow drying them. If you blow dry, make sure that the temperature is set at a lower setting. Time also plays a major role in this. So, whether it is a curling or straightening iron, limit the time of its direct contact with your tresses.
Heading for heat-free styles is always better if you want to give it a natural texture and bounce. Many hair experts say that oiling your scalp regularly can hydrate it and simultaneously replenish the oils and moisture on the outside of your hair.
Oils such as olive and coconut oil can be applied once a week as a deep hydrating mask for the hair. Click here for more information on the benefits of coconut oil.
Beyond the obvious reasons are some causes that may not be easy to identify. Did you know that the real reason behind difficulty in managing hair could be none other than tangled hair? Damaged locks can get tangled very fast. That’s because open or raised cuticles generate more friction and can easily cling onto other strands due to lack of moisture, adding on to the entangled mess.
Careful brushing instead of harsh combing can be a preventive measure. It’s always best to start at the hair ends and gradually move towards the roots. If you start at the top of your head, then there are chances that you will end up breaking your beautiful locks, thereby causing more damage to them.
Always brush when your hair is dry as wet hair is fragile. Using a wide-toothed comb can minimize the possibilities of breakage. Brushing it before washing is a good idea.
Preferably, use a soft towel to dry your locks after they are washed and make sure not to rub too hard in the process. This way you can ensure than no friction is added to the distressed strands. Rubbing too harshly can tear down the moisture and make it frizzy. Using a microfiber towel would be a good idea as it can soak up the excess moisture without entangling your hair.
Do you pull your hair too tight in an attempt to tie it up? It is fun to style the hair in different ways but in the process, you need to be doing it carefully. Also, tying it into a ponytail, a bun or a braid can lead to lesser chances of it getting tangled.
It is the lack of moisture that increases its dullness, making the hair knottier, so using a high-quality serum for your hair type can also help tame overtly frizzy hair. Damaged mane lacks the moisture that coats the cuticle from the outside which leads to lack of lustre.
Some experts suggest that shampooing less can also protect its natural sheen. Washing it once in two days or lesser is mostly what experts recommend. Shampoos are composed of ingredients that can eliminate the natural oil along with the dust and grime.
3. Environmental damage is real!
You must have noticed your hair’s behaviour change with seasons and weather conditions. Summers, UV rays, excessive humid conditions can degenerate your locks. Moreover, the chlorine in swimming pool water, sea salt, etc. can all negatively affect the hair follicle akin to bleaching, thus removing its potential to retain moisture.
Any discoloration spotted after sun exposure indicates damage to the hair. The keratin component in hair protein deteriorates, thereby leaving it dull and dry.
How to restore your already damaged hair?
Don’t lose heart if your mane looks damaged, there are ways that can help you boost its health. Here are a few ways to manage dull and damaged tresses.
Using a shampoo and a conditioner for dry hair adds on to the moisture content. The purpose is to remove dirt form the scalp and thus carefully working it through the scalp is what you should focus on. Jojoba oil is known to act as a hydrating agent for your hair. Using it can help rejuvenate the weak strands, strengthening them in the process.
What would you do to control the frizz? Well, frizzy hair is indicative of a raised cuticle and exposed fibres. To limit the damage, you can rinse it with cold water as this will protect the inner layer of your hair and protect its hydrating oil. Any existing damage can be handled with the use of right products. You could discuss the pros and cons of using a particular product with your stylist.
It’s important to note that if the pH level of your hair is too high, it can cause the cuticle to rise and frizz. Apple Cider Vinegar can help in restoring the pH balance in your hair. Use it to your tresses and watch your scalp bounce back to life!
In trend, Argan oil is enriched with vital nutrients for the hair. It consists of high amount of Vitamin A and Vitamin E that can prevent breakage of hair. When purchasing a hair care product, you could look for Argan as an ingredient.
Seeing your tresses break too often could be disheartening and this is true with brittle hair. Although it could be difficult to pinpoint the reason behind brittle hair, using products or chemicals could be one among many.
Breakage can be treated by consuming a balanced diet. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains and biotin rich food, etc. can combat the ills of breakage and strengthen hair. Check this link for more information: https://www.wikihow.com/Get-Healthy,-Strong-Hair
Simply trimming your hair every three months can bring respite as it gracefully manages the split ends. It’s not always necessary to get a fancy chop unless you are really keen on styling it a certain way as slight trims can do wonders and result in healthier and long-lasting hair. Such quick fix measures can remove visible damage such as split ends and add volume to your existing mane.
There is a plethora of DIY ways that you can include in your daily care routine to promote healthy mane. For instance, regular oiling with botanical oils, deep conditioning with special masks, using towel wrap, and much more.
The process of hair repair and restoration isn’t an overnight one could take long. We suggest you consult a dermatologist before applying any new formula or product on your tresses. This will give your doctor a scope to assess the symptoms better and determine any underlying condition responsible for the hair damage.