Whether you have long, short, straight or curly locks, what matters is to have beautiful and healthy hair. Your self-esteem and image depend on it. But cold winds, central heating, color treatments, and blow-drying are only some of the factors that affect hair.
When it’s unhealthy, it looks extremely dry, dull, brittle, and unattractive. What can you do? Take action! Here’s how to use the best treatment for damaged hair, but first, a table of contents for this matter:
Table of contents
Symptoms of unhealthy hair
Is it ok to wash the hair daily? What if I style it regularly? How often should I use deep conditioning treatments? These are only some of the questions asked by people with damaged hair. They become worried, as the symptoms get worse each day. If in the beginning, they notice only a slight modification of the luster, their strands will soon start to fall. Sometimes, completely bald patches appear on the scalp. Although it’s normal to shed about 100 strands per day, this time you lose more. You see it every day, in the shower and even on your pillow.
Obviously, the hair does not look or feel as before. The locks lose their shine, and the texture changes, too. The color seems to fade quickly; the structure is rough, matted, and, when it’s wet, it tangles and looks somehow spongy. Plus, it has no elasticity and breaks easily, regardless you style it or not. Brushing it is a nightmare, and its porous texture shows that you really need to change your shampoo and conditioner. If you also apply a powerful mask, it will make your crazy thick hair shiny and soft again.
How to deal with dry, damaged hair
First of all, you have to identify the cause of your problems and then use a treatment to heal hair. Did you know that healthy strands can stretch to approximately 1.3 times its original length? However, you should not try it if your locks are fragile. They can split, which means that you will need a haircut. Use the right shampoo – for your hair type – and don’t forget to nourish it properly with a leave-in conditioner.
What can cause brittle hair? In most of the cases, the culprits are bleaching, perms, flat ironing too often, brushing too aggressively, and friction (having the same ponytail or low bun will eventually cause hair damage). When you dye your hair too often, and you don’t use a conditioner to nourish your locks, they will lose their luster and elasticity. The environment plays a significant role in hair health. Hot sun, hard water, dry winter air, and strong winds will cause the cuticle layers of hair to lose their moisture.
Change your routines and take better care of your hair. Don’t wash it every day, apply special treatments once a week, and have a healthy diet to provide the nutrients required to repair strands. Drink enough water! Studies show that it can help in hair growth. Therefore, keep your bottle close and make sure you drink approximately 8 glasses of water daily.
Don’t despair! Your locks will regain their health and beauty in a while. But remember that the hair growth rate is about 0.5 inches (1.25 cm) per month. What does it mean? The results of the treatment applied will not appear overnight. Although certain masks can make your locks more beautiful immediately, the health will improve in a few weeks. But a great journey begins with a single step, reason why you should start changing your hair care routine right now.
Haircare advice from specialists
Maybe you don’t pamper your hair with salon treatments or homemade recipes. It doesn’t necessary mean that your locks are brittle, dry, and fragile. On the contrary, you may have lustrous and shiny hair, with curls that bounce at every step. It’s because you take good care of it and you definitely know how to eat your way to beautiful locks. However, when it is extremely dry and damaged, you should consider the latest recommendations from hairstylists.
- Don’t use too much shampoo – a squirt about the size of a quarter really is enough to wash off dirt and clean the scalp. When you use more, it will completely strip the scalp of its natural oils and emollients. As a consequence, it will begin to produce more oil, and your hair will look greasy all the time.
- Don’t wash it each day, as your scalp will produce too much oil. Try cleaning it at 2-3 days, it’s the best for your locks.
- Massage the head when you shampoo it. The small circular movements will improve the blood flow, so that your follicles will receive more nutrients and grow heathier strands.
- Rinse well after shampooing. Make sure that aren’t any bubbles before using the conditioner or hair mask. Before getting out from the shower, rinse once more with lukewarm – even cold! – water. It will clean your scalp and locks and give a wonderful shine, as well.
- Don’t comb too often. It will increase the risk of breakage. And the last thing you need is having split ends. Consider the texture of your hair, too – comb just twice daily for straight hair and twice weekly if it’s curly. Plus, don’t be rough with it. When you treat it nicely, it will pay you back by looking shiny and healthy.
- Always start brushing from the bottom up. If you begin from the roots, it will cause damage to your locks. It’s better to brush from the bottom and work your way up to the scalp.
- Use the right shampoo for your hair type. What can happen if you use a shampoo for greasy scalp, but you have a dry, sensitive scalp? Well, your hair will get even dryer. The astringent effect of the components included in the haircare products’ formula will affect the skin and probably cause dandruff, too. Coarse and curly locks needs softening, anti-frizz products. Colored hair demands products with amino acids, while dry and damaged strands require washing with treatments that include collagen and glycerin. Choose wisely!
- What are the ingredients included in your shampoo? If it has many parabens or sulfates, they will do more harm than good. The prolonged use was linked to eye problems and scalp irritation. Opt for a mild shampoo with natural compounds instead.
- Use different brushes for styling and blow-drying. The expert hairstylists advise using a comb on wet hair, tail comb to move the locks around, a round brush for blow-drying, and a Mason Pearson brush for when you style it. A crucial factor is keeping your brushes clean. Did you know that the build-up – oil, strands, solutions – from your brushes is actually a breeding ground for bacteria? Use lukewarm water and baking soda to keep your combs and brushes in perfect condition. You should clean them every day or at least once weekly.
- Don’t use a high-heat setting when blow-drying. Start with a low heat and remember to point the nozzle down. If you keep it side-on, it will overheat your hair and damage your locks. Thus, it will lose that gorgeous luster that we all want to achieve.
- How often do you style your hair? The specialists recommend you to stop using the heat-styling tools every day. Why is it a golden rule? Because the curling irons, flat irons and even blow drying will affect the strands’ structure and health. You may use products that offer heat protection, but the consistent styling will eventually lead to dry and extremely fragile locks. With a healthy diet, you will manage to minimize the hair damage.
Your hair is what you eat
Sometimes, the best treatment for damaged locks implies changing your diet. Considering that our hair is made of keratin (a protein), you should feed it with foods like salmon, avocados, almonds, eggs, broccoli, and oats. That’s because they are rich in protein, and nourish your hair from roots to tips. A balanced nutrition with healthy foods will encourage the growth of beautiful and healthy locks. Consume regularly foods that contain these nutrients:
- Protein – promotes cell development and repair, strengthens strands, and prevents their breaking. Some of the foods that contain high amounts of protein are poultry, dairy products, spinach, oats, fish, quinoa, lentils, and pumpkin seeds.
- Biotin – is essential for hair growth. When your locks are dry, consume daily biotin-rich foods such as seafood and meat, soya bean, whole wheat bread, dairy products, eggs, nuts, berries, cucumbers, onions, and cauliflower.
- Iron and zinc – prevent hair damage, stop the shedding, accelerate the healing of follicles, and stimulate the regrowth of healthy strands. Natural sources of iron and zinc are pork, beef, soy products, whole grains, shellfish, nuts, eggs, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and spinach, among many others.
- Vitamin C – repairs the tissues, supports the absorption of iron, improves immunity, thickens hair, eliminates dandruff, and helps stop the hair loss. It’s actually one of the best supplements for damaged, colored hair. You can take it from citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, lemons), kiwi, green pepper, strawberries, broccoli, cantaloupes, tomatoes, baked potatoes, kale, guava, and brussels sprouts.
- Vitamin A – is mandatory for healthy locks, but too much of it can lead to shedding. That’s why you have to take it only from food, and avoid ingesting supplements that contain Vitamin A. The best natural sources are dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, carrots, lettuce, cantaloupe, dried apricots, tropical fruits, bell peppers, liver, and fish.
- Omega-3 fatty acids – promote baby development, reduce rheumatoid arthritis, relieve ADHD, alleviate dementia, and lower elevated triglyceride levels. Because they assist opening the follicles, omega-3 fatty acids will stimulate healthy hair growth. You meet the daily requirements if you consume salmon, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, caviar, walnuts, pistachios, herring, canned mackerel, soybeans, tofu, oysters, spinach, kale, and cauliflower.
- Vitamin E – is found naturally in avocado, almonds, sweet potato, spinach, wheat germs, palm oil, butternut squash, sunflower seeds, swiss chard, kale, pecans, sesame seeds, crayfish, and plant oils (olive, grapeseed, sunflower, canola). This must-have vitamin for strong locks will repair and rebuild strands and follicles. Plus, it will reduce inflammation and accelerate the hair growth naturally.
The natural ingredients mentioned above are among the best supplements for hair. They reduce the damage and prevent the breaking of strands. If you consume them regularly, in a balanced diet, you will never need to use hair treatment products. However, you should also take good care of your locks and avoid pulling or putting too much stress on your hair. In addition to this, pay attention and avoid these hair mistakes.
Foods to avoid when you have damaged hair
Healthy eating habits nourish your hair from follicles to the ends. Don’t fall into the trap of consuming too much of a particular food, even though you know it’s beneficial. Too much Vitamin A triggers hair loss. In case you did not know by now, diet soda contains aspartame and is linked to shedding, too. Are you a fan of swordfish? You should avoid eating it since it has high levels of mercury and leads to hair fall. There’s a rule – with few exceptions, though – which mentions that the bigger the fish in nature, the higher amounts of mercury are in it.
Curb the sugar intake, and both your hair and silhouette will be thankful. Because sugar reduces the absorption of protein from food, it will affect the scalp health. Limit the alcohol intake, as it dehydrates tissues and slows the levels of zinc in your system. Your locks will look dull and lifeless if you drink more than it’s recommended.
Fast food might taste delicious, but it’s slowly poisoning your body. The grease contained will be absorbed, making your skin and scalp oilier than usually. Plus, it increases the risk for obesity and all kinds of health problems.
So, you’ll ask, what should you eat when your hair is damaged and very thin? If it’s flaky, you must turn to products that contain zinc. When it keeps breaking, boost the Vitamin C consumption. Thinning hair usually means that you need to consume more protein. But when the strands burn easily when blow-drying or styling, you can fix it by eating more foods with antioxidants. Another great and easy way to improve hair strength involves applying your own homemade recipe.
The best homemade hair treatments
It sounds incredible, but many products available in your kitchen will do wonders for your hair. You may use them alone or in creative combinations. When hair has average porosity, it can absorb water and minerals by almost 30% of its weight. Hence, the nutrients will be assimilated into the scalp and strands, nourishing and protecting them. Here are the best and easiest remedies for damaged hair:
- Mix equal parts (2 tablespoons) of olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil. Warm it, but don’t overheat it – it may damage your scalp. Massage your scalp and strands with the solution obtained and wrap it carefully in a towel. Wait for 30 minutes, then unwrap and wash with a mild shampoo. You don’t need to use conditioner, as your locks are already nourished with the hot oil treatment. Apply it once a week and your mane will look amazing shortly.
- Make your own hair mask with 2 raw eggs, 2 tablespoons yogurt, and 1 tablespoon honey. Take a medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs, add the other ingredients and mix until it has a smooth and creamy texture. Apply it on your locks, leave it for 30 minutes, then rinse it thoroughly with cool water.
- You need 2 tablespoons honey and 1 cup rice milk. The homemade treatment obtained will work wonders if you have dull and dry hair. Mix the natural ingredients until you have a homogenous solution, spread it over your hair with a brush or comb, and give it 20 minutes to absorb into the tissues. Rinse with lukewarm water and enjoy the amazing benefits!
- Mix some vegetable oil (sunflower, olive, or coconut) with an equal part of honey. Apply the sticky paste on your locks, massage it to increase the blood flow, and wrap a plastic shower cap over your head. Watch an episode of your favorite TV show, then remove the cap and shampoo as usually.
- Condition with 2 cups water and ½ cup flat beer. The DIY conditioner must be used after your regular hair routine. The diluted beer will nourish your hair, which will become incredibly soft. Let it dry naturally for maximum effects. Use it once a week and your hair will gain a beautiful luster.
- Combine 4 tablespoons aloe vera with 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil and 3 tablespoons yogurt. Section your locks and pour the consistent mixture from follicles to the tips. After 30 minutes, wash it off with lukewarm water, then apply your shampoo. Repeat weekly to heal dry damaged hair naturally.
- Strengthen hair strands with a paste obtained from 1 ripe avocado, 1 ripe banana, and ½ coconut oil. Mash the solid compounds and mix them with the oil. When it’s a smooth paste, put it on your scalp and locks. Leave it for 60 minutes, rinse with lukewarm water, then wash with a mild shampoo. You will see, it’s the best natural treatment for damage hair. It conditions locks, repairs follicles, and even accelerates the hair growth.
How to choose the best haircare products
Always pick the right products for your hair type. Whether you need to buy shampoo, conditioner, balm, cream, or gel, make sure it’s the correct choice. Otherwise, it will tangle your locks and cause too much sebum on your scalp. No wonder why more than 80% of people feel dissatisfied with their hair! It gets greasy when it shouldn’t and loses its volume right before an important social event.
A flat and fine blonde hair usually needs volume, but no weight. You probably want it to defy physics, too! Try a thickening shampoo, then apply the conditioner on the tips of your hair. When you want to obtain a glamorous hairstyle, damp the tips of your locks and spritz some heat protecting spray. Pour a small amount of mousse and comb it carefully. As for the roots, use a dry shampoo – but not more than once in a week! – for grip and texture to your fine and slippery strands. It will give it a fresh lift, but only if you use a fairly small amount. Too much of it will kill the volume.
Don’t use too many products with silicone. They can make your hair dry, tangled, and hardly manageable. You will obtain bouncy curls if you use a deep conditioner that contains keratin. The experts recommend rinsing it out only halfway. It sounds crazy, but the conditioner residues will actually boost the appeal of your curves. Your locks will look smooth and shiny, but remember to comb through a leave-in conditioner immediately after washing hair.
Avoid strong-hold gels and stylers with alcohol, especially when your hair is already damaged. Wavy locks need some frizz control, but it does not mean that you should use irons on a daily basis. Get a frizz-fighting shampoo, then use a conditioner with silicone (it’s ok, as long as you don’t pour too much of it). The lighter styling products – with natural oils – will smoothen your beach waves in no time. Another option is salt spray, and it’s even better than curl creams and gels. Spray it evenly and let it air-dry. After that, run some styling oil over your ends, and you’re good to go!
The best treatment for damaged hair will repair strands and follicles, but it will work in time. You have to use it more than once if you want to accomplish noticeable results. Whether you decide to make your own hair treatment or buy some of the beauty products available on the market, make sure that you also follow the right diet to promote the hair wellness. The damage will be reversed, and you will regain your gorgeous, healthy locks!