Many of us inflict damage to our hair and don’t notice until it’s too late. Dyes, bleach, and heat styling can quickly lead to rough, brittle strands that are hard to style. There is hope for your hair, though. In this article, we’ll tell you how to care for your damaged hair.
Less Heat Styling
Heat styling is one of the worst things you can do to damaged hair. It causes raised cuticles and porous hair that is brittle and doesn’t retain moisture like it used to. The higher the heat, the more damaged your hair will be, so it is best to reduce how often you style your hair using hair dryers, curling wands, and straighteners.
When you do need to use a heat styling tool on your hair, lower the temperature as much as possible. You may also want to keep the blow dryer further from your hair or let your hair air dry. Using heat protection products is also a good idea to reduce damage and keep it as healthy as possible.
Switch to a Co-Wash
Many of the shampoos on the market contain synthetic ingredients and sulfates, which can make damaged hair worse. Sulfate shampoos strip away your natural oils, leaving your hair dry and unprotected against UV rays, pollution, wind, and anything else that nature throws at you.
Co-washing is a hair cleansing technique that doesn’t require shampoo. For this method, apply a small amount of your favorite conditioner and scrub thoroughly.
Detangle Your Hair Carefully
Damaged hair tangles more easily than soft, healthy hair due to the raised cuticles that grip onto neighboring strands. Ripping through those tangles with a brush or comb doesn’t help this issue, either. Instead, it causes further breakage and even more tangles.
There are a few options to combat this. First of all, don’t brush wet hair without a slippery detangling product. If you do, this can overstretch the hair and cause further damage. Start combing at the bottom, gently working through those tangles before moving up the hair. A wide-toothed comb or brush designed to detangle also helps with this issue. Use a detangler, leave-in, or conditioner to aid in detangling.
Pro tip: Detangling tools often have jagged edges and divots that snag and damage your hair. If you’re up for the challenge, you can use your fingers to detangle your hair.
Incorporate Hair Masks into Your Regimen
Hair masks aren’t a cure-all for compromised hair, but they do help repair damage.
Most hair masks are thick and filled with nourishing ingredients that moisturize the strands and give them the nutrients they need to become stronger. Common hair mask ingredients include coconut oil, avocado oil, argan oil, and shea butter. Honey and propolis also have healing properties that are great for damaged hair.
Damaged hair may be challenging to deal with, but it isn’t impossible to repair over time. We encourage you to try one or more of the above techniques to bring your crown back to its former glory.
Author: Andrea Reyes
Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of NaturallyTextured.com, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.