Time to do some damage control
We all strive to have the perfect look for our hair and we all have our own ideas how to get there: bleaching, perming, relaxing, straightening, curling and dyes. Even when you follow all the instructions and rules to getting your treatment perfect it happens one time or another that your treatment will go wrong and your hair will be damaged.
1. Stay away from the chemicals - Your hair needs some rest from harsh chemical treatments. Wait at least 2- 3 months in between coloring your hair (even when you do it through a professional). If your hair is badly damaged then you should wait a longer period before coloring again.
2. No Heat! - Put away your straightner / curling iron and hot blow dryer.
3. No buns - Although buns can be a perfect way to hide your hair and make it look presentable when its in the damaged stage, the bun puts a lot of strain on your hair and can cause weak points in your hair to break off.
4. Towel drying - You shouldn't towel dry your hair even when its healthy. Instead of taking the towel and rubbing it all over your head roughly, take the towel and pat dry the most water on your hair. Squeeze the rest of the water out of your hair without pulling your hair. Your hair is the most fragile when its wet.
1. Use your blow dryer only on a low heat setting. To reduce frizz blow dry your hair by letting the wind blow down (In other words face your blow dryer down to your feet)
2. Hydration - As any part of your body, your hair needs to be hydrated well. Conditioner is the biggest key to hydration. Find a conditioner that will help damage control. My choice: Sunsilk's damage reconstruction conditioner (found at any local supermarket)
3. Treatment - Getting yourself a hair treatment is essential. Dont worry you dont have to spend all the money you have to get a great treatment for your hair. Apply hair treatment after conditioner and leave it on for as long as possible (its recommended to sleep with it and only wash off in the morning) My choice: None - Mild damage: Sunsilk damage reconstruct/ schwarzkopf hair repair (available at most supermarkets). Extreme damage: Loreal professional Liss Unlimited (available at selected salons)
4. Braids - To my knowledge the braid is the hairstyle that puts the least strain on your hair (apart from keeping it loose). You get different types of braids and can be fun to play around with, but even the basic braid will do. Its a great way to hide your damaged hair and still look stylish. Sleeping with a braid will make it tangle less.
5. Brushing - I only recently learnt the importance of a good hair brush. Putting aside that brush that gives you the perfect blow dried hair look might be exactly what your hair needs. Find a brush that is made for detangling , anti frizz and static electricity. Pulling less on your hair will decrease the amount your hair stretches.
6. Sun Protection - Your hair can get damaged by the sun just as your skin can, but applying sun screen to your hair sounds horrible. A protective lair of keratin is the perfect way to protect your hair against futher damage from the sun. Search for hair products that says "with added keratin" or something similar to help protect your hair against the sun. You can also go for a Brazilian Blow wave, which is basically a keratin treatment sealed into your hair.
7. Summer Pool - Staying away from harsh chemical treatments includes staying away from all chemicals that might come in contact with your hair. Chlorine can dry out your hair very quickly, so before you take a dip in the pool put some conditioner in your hair to create a protective layer on your hair so that it doesnt dry out and damage your hair more.
8. Lifestyle choices - Living an unhealthy lifestyle can also leave your hair damaged and lifeless. Try eating healthy and doing some exercise. Include gelatin in your diet, can be found in jelly or any jelly sweets. Hair and nail supplements can also be taken to help repair your hair.
9. Regular cuts - Cutting all the dead ends of your hair is extremely important. Dont be scared that the stylist will cut off more than you asked for. Be sure to tell her to only cut of the split ends and dead ends and nothing more. Sometimes if you dont tell them what you mean exactly they will cut about 2-3cm off that for most people is unnecessary. Cutting off 5cm of your hair if your hair is extremely damaged might help your hair look more healthy, but its not a must.
10. Taking a pea sized amount of your favorite oil, rubbing it in your hands and lightly run through your hair after drying, will help lock moisture in your hair and help with the repair process. Oils can be from hair oils bought in the hair section of stores or just another oil example coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil and so on. My favorite is coconut oil. - Dont like the oily look? Try putting a little bit of baby powder on your head, it makes your hair look less oily (be careful of using too much though)
What to do if your hair doesnt get better after a few months of treatments and TLC:
1. Consider the possibility of an allergy. Your hair might be reacting to an allergy to a perfume or chemical that you use on your hair, try using chemical/fragrance/perfume free shampoo and conditioner and see if it improves your hair
2. Certain types of medication can leave you with hair loss and damaged hair, if you are on medications check the side effects on the insert of your label and if it is one of the side effects, speak to your doctor about managing the side effects or changing to a different medication that has different side effects.
3. Consider a drastic change. So you have battled for a while and struggled to get your hair to the point where you can manage it again. It might be time to cut your hair shorter.
4. Consult a specialist for advise.
There you go a few tips on getting back the beautiful hair you always knew you had. If you know of any more tips or notice something I said was incorrect, comment on this post. I'd also like to know about your worst hair problems in the comments.