Almost everyone has experienced a form of hair damage, but some cases can be pretty severe. Living with damaged hair can be a real bummer, whether it’s from heat styling, weather, or incorrect products. Damaged hair has a brittle, open cuticle leaving it susceptible to frizz, breakage, and dryness. Fortunately, there are some simple solutions out there that you can work right into your existing routine. Check out this list of ways to keep your hair healthy and repair those damaged strands.
Check Product Labels
Contrary to popular belief, not all shampoos are created equally. Most drugstore and popular shampoo brands contain harsh sulfates, which can do some serious harm. Sulfates are actually the same active ingredient present in dish soap. They work by aggressively removing grease and oil, which is fantastic for dishes, but not so much for your head. Sulfates strip your hair and scalp of its natural oils, leaving your hair dry, brittle, and unruly. Tons of salon-quality sulfate-free shampoos do an excellent job of cleaning your hair without robbing it of the oils it needs to repair itself.
Give Yourself a Treat(ment)
There is nothing like giving yourself (and your strands) a little pick-me-up with a hair treatment. Try applying a hair serum or a conditioning mask once a week to smooth and rejuvenate your hair cuticle, which is the key to helping your strands heal. Topical hair treatments deliver nutrients right to the core of the hair, nourishing your hair and restoring moisture. Masks, serums, and the like are also excellent for shielding your hair from environmental damage; they coat and protect your tresses, creating a barrier that combats adverse external influences.
Take Your Vitamins
While treating your hair with topical therapies is excellent, fortifying your body with the necessary nutrients to facilitate healthy hair is even better. There are tons of pre-formulated hair vitamins on the market, making adding this step to your routine simple and easy. Check your labels, though; you want to be sure the product provides everything you will need to keep your strands healthy. Vitamins A, C, and E and biotin, iron, collagen, and omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for hair repair. Adding these into your regimen ensures your hair gets everything it needs to begin and sustain optimal health.
Put Down the Hairbrush
Brushing your hair may actually be doing more harm than good, but a lot depends on when you’re brushing and what tools you use. Never ever use a hairbrush on wet hair; this is when hair is the weakest and most susceptible to breakage. If you must detangle when your hair’s wet, be sure to use a wide-toothed comb; this is especially important if you have wavy or curly hair. For strong, healthy hair, daily brushing is beneficial as it redistributes the scalp’s natural oils; just be sure your hair is healed and dry before you pick up that brush again.
Ditch Daily Heat Styling
Heat styling can do a number on healthy hair, let alone strands that need a little extra love. This one requires changing your habits a little, but your hair will thank you in the long run. Heat causes your hair to lose elasticity over time, causing dryness, breakage, and a brittle texture. Try an air-dried style a few times a week to give your strands a break, or, for even faster results, cut out heat styling altogether. If you need that super sleek finished look for a special occasion or fancy outing, that’s fine; as long as it’s not every day, your hair will be much better off.
Following a few easy tips can drastically improve the health and appearance of damaged hair. By using the right styling products and tools, nourishing your body, exploring different hair treatments, and cutting back on heat styling, you’ll be well on your way to repairing damage and restoring your hair to its natural beauty and vitality.