Everyone wants hair as we see in the glossy pages of magazines – ultra smooth and shiny, no kinks and definitely, no split ends! But the reality is that to get hair like that, one has to blow dry, straighten, primp and preen hair, which leads it to become dry and damaged. The heat from both the hair dryer and flat iron strips the hair of essential oils, lipids, and proteins that keep hair healthy, ultimately causing split ends and leaving your hair looking dry, frizzy and brittle.
There are, however, ways to reverse the effects of drying and damage to the hair and restore it back to its natural, glossy health. By changing bad habits, such as blow-drying or straightening hair every day, using good products that will improve the health of your hair, staying out of the sun, and looking after it well, your hair will soon repair itself and return to being shiny and healthy again.
Prevention is better than cure so by changing a few things you do, you can modify the state of your hair. Here are a few ways to prevent your hair from becoming dry and damaged in the first place, and a few tips and tricks for repairing hair that is already dry and damaged.
1. Lose the heat!
Heat causes untold damage to the hair, so the best thing to do to prevent dry and damaged hair is to stop the heat. Hold off on straightening your hair with a flat iron, or using other equipment such as hair dryers, curling tongs, or hot rollers. These items are the primary cause of all the damage, and as soon as you stop adding excess heat to your hair, you will notice a difference in its texture. While it may not produce the super-sleek straight look you require, air-drying your hair is far healthier, and it allows your hair to recover and restore the proteins, oils, and lipids lost from over-heating it.
2. Cut out Colour
Colour and other forms of treatment are also extremely damaging to the hair as they involve adding chemicals and bleach to the hair to strip or change its colour. This causes the hair to dry and out become brittle, and no amount of fancy masks or products can reverse that damage. Add to this the damage caused by blow-drying or using a straightener after the treatment and the problem is compounded. Try and stay away from colour for a while, at least until your hair has been restored back to health.
Expert tip! Beware of expensive salon deep-conditioning treatments that ‘promises to restore your hair back to health.’ These products often have chemicals in them as well, so rather go for a natural product, such as olive oil, which gives a brilliant deep-conditioning treatment.
3. Stay out of the Sun
As we all know, the sun causes immense damage to both skin and hair, so try and avoid being in the sun for too long. If you are going for a long swim in the sun and/or a chlorinated pool, wear a swimming cap to protect your hair avoid sitting in the sun afterward, as the sun combined with the chlorine can cause a bleaching effect. Make sure to always rinse your hair out with fresh water after swimming and give it a good wash and conditioning treatment.
4. Use Deep Conditioning Treatments
Find yourself a good deep-conditioning treatment or hair mask and use it at least twice a week. While many products contain chemicals, there are organic and natural products on the market that have natural ingredients – be sure the check the labels when you are shopping. Try your nearest health food store, which will stock products made with natural herbs and oils that will restore your hair’s balance.
Expert tip! For an extra deep –conditioning treatment, place a hair mask on and sleep with it on overnight – simply wrap your hair in a light towel to avoid the mask going all over the pillow.
5. Wash Your Hair Less
Washing your hair too often can also play a role in drying and damaging the hair, leaving it brittle and frizzy – a look you do not want! Instead of washing your hair every day, try cleaning it every second day or even just a few times a week. Be sure to follow the wash with a deep conditioning product to repair nay damage and give the hair a beautiful natural sheen. Let the product sit on the hair for at least 15 minutes before rinsing it out with cool water.