It is not easy to safeguard your hair from damage when you handle your hair as though it was a lab experiment. Hair strands are made up of three layers: the medulla, the cortex, and the cuticle which protects the rest of the layers. When the cuticle gets damaged, your hair starts to feel dry and becomes brittle. Chemical inputs, the sun, and heat play a role in damaging your hair.
Nothing breaks the heart more than having to shear off your hair because it is no longer healthy and looks lifeless. This is why I am sharing tips on how you can protect your hair or revive it if the damage has already been done.
Before finding out how damaged hair can be fixed, let’s first find out what damages it in the first place.
Cause of Natural Hair Damage
During bleaching, hair cuticles are opened for the pigment to be stripped off. Leaving the other layers unprotected leads to weak hair strands that can easily break resulting in split ends. As a result, your hair becomes lifeless and very dry. Hastening the bleaching process by the application of heat further damages your hair.
Dying the hair might seem like a harmless process. However, the chemical constituents in the dye no nothing but harm your hair. They significantly increase the porosity of hair to the extent of having the cortex exposed. This damage can last for even two months, no matter how well you care for your dyed hair. Permanent dyes are the biggest enemies of your hair. Temporary dyes that are meant to last through two shampoos are less harmful, as their molecules are very large. They only coat the hair cuticles.
- Chemical treatment
Trying to alter the structure of your hair in order to have it straight(relaxing) or curled (perming) breaks the bonds existing between the keratins. These bonds are responsible for your hair structer, and altering how they are naturally meant to significantly harm your hair.
Any form of significant traction ultimately leads to hair loss. Some hairstyles, such as braids, ponytails and heavy hair extensions have contributed to hair loss. Their effect is usually observed in areas of high tension, such as the hairline. Their effect can be temporary if the offense is stopped sooner but can also lead to permanent damage should it continue.
The type of accessories also plays a role in preserving or damaging your hair. Avoid tying up your hair before it completely dries.
- Excessive brushing
Overbrushing your hair exposes it to more friction than it can withstand. Snags on the knots due to brushing causes split ends and breakage.
- Excessive shampooing
The shampoo is meant to remove dirt and oil from your scalp (and hair). Over-shampooing your hair could lead to a dry scalp and hair because it starts to strip the hair of its natural oils.
- Heat styling
Generally, heat is not good for your hair because it tends to open up your hair cuticles, exposing your strands to dry. Frequent heat styling leaves your hair dry, brittle and yearning for moisture. Using hair driers in the wrong way can lead to a damaged hair shaft.
What to look out for in damaged hair
- Rough texture
Gently run your fingers through your hair. If the ends feel rough and are sticking out, you probably have damaged hair.
Damaged hair looks dull and lacks luster. Its shafts stop shining once the cuticles are damaged. Even a deep conditioning treatment will not yield the expected results.
- Split ends
Gently twist a small chunk of your hair and observe the ends sticking out. If you notice two to three splits on the ends, it is high time you gave your hair a trim.
Even though dry hair may not necessarily be damaged, damaged hair is definitely dry. If even after a deep conditioning your hair does not seem to corporate, it is evidence that it lacks the capability to retain the moisture you expect it to.
- Extreme breakage
Your hair snaps at every chance it gets. Whether you are just combing it gently or taking your fingers through it, it just breaks. Its tensile strength and elasticity have been compromised because the outer layer has been damaged.
- Lack of elasticity
Naturally, hair has the capability to stretch to a given point. Damaged hair has very little elasticity, and tends to snap very easily.
- Too much tangling
Healthy hair has smooth shafts and less tangling. Damaged hair, on the other hand, has rough shafts that are always ending up in knots. Its dry nature makes it even harder to detangle, hence breakage.
How to care for damaged hair
- Identify the damaged hair and work towards restoring its health. When a damage is contained in its earliest stage, the spreading of the damage is greatly reduced
- Trim damaged hair. Ensure the scissors used are sharp enough so that your hair is not damaged further.
- Keep away from heat styling tools. This will play a key role in helping the restoration of your hair. Allow your hair to air dry and go for styles that do not necessarily need heat.
- Avoid chemicals and colors. These are your hair’s greatest enemy.
- Opt for sulfate-free conditioners and shampoos. Use natural products that are free of chemicals such as sulfates. Home-made masks are very efficient, and go a long way in restoring moisture in your hair.
- Always condition your hair. This applies especially if you are a regular swimmer. Protect your hair by coating it using coconut oil.
About the Author
Candice Hall is the Marketing Manager of Dynasty Goddess Hair, with a factory in Thailand & Office and Shipping Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, they are one of the top retailers in Virgin Remy Hair Extensions in the USA.