Dry, damaged hair is one of life’s little horrors. It won’t ruin you, but it won’t do you any good. Maybe your hair was caught in a freak, hot roller accident; perhaps chemical straighteners or perms have tortured it into a permanent, frizzy, and frightful state. You may seek treatment at your favourite salon, but you’ll never hear the end of it from your stylist—especially if you incurred the damage at another salon.
So, what can you do to repair extremely damaged hair that doesn’t require a period of enforced baldness?
To begin with, people most likely to have damaged hair include those with fine hair and those who use straighteners to make their curly-to-kinky hair hang straight.
HOW TO GROW OUT YOUR DAMAGED HAIR
If your hair has been truly wrecked, sometimes the best thing to do is to cut off as much damaged hair and split ends as possible so you can start fresh. You know when to cut off your hair: it’s when you’d rather be bald than look the way you do now!
A super-short haircut can be appealing if you go to someone who will shape the cut to your face. Understanding face shape is the difference between a cheap, 20-minute hair cut and an admittedly more expensive, hopefully much nicer, one.
Home remedies for “hair gone wrong” include restoration of moisture to hair not too severely damaged and making way for re-growth.
In the case of hair ruined by hot rollers or straightening chemicals, you may have a few inches of relatively undamaged hair on the scalp. Get a medium-severe haircut to get rid of the frizzled hair tips—or leave the damage right where it is and concentrate on protecting the good hair.
Leave off the chemicals, avoid the blow dryer and other heated hair appliances, and use a gentle shampoo. Shampoo strips oils from your hair, making it more brittle, so if you don’t really need to shampoo, cut it down to once a week or so.
And forget vitamins in shampoo: they don’t work. You can try taking vitamins internally to keep your hair strong as a side effect of your increased health, but there aren’t any vitamins that help when applied externally.
HOME DEEP CONDITIONING OVER THE COUNTER AND NATURAL PRODUCTS
Hot oil treatments (actually, the oil is warm—not hot) work by starting with dampened hair, softening the cuticle, and locking in the water by sealing the outside of the hair with a coating of oil.
When you give yourself a moisturizing hair treatment, leave it on overnight and then wash it with a gentle shampoo to the next day.
Deep-conditioning home remedies include mayonnaise, avocado and egg, but some of us prefer to eat our salads—not wear them. You can get the job done using warmed virgin olive oil.
First, rinse your hair with warm water, then apply the oil from the palm of your hand, working it into your hair.
Now comes the warm part: wrap your head in a towel or in some cling wrap, and sit around in it as long as you can. Cover your pillow with a safety-pinned towel and sleep on it overnight. The next day, use a moisturizing or mild shampoo to wash out the greasiness.
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