A “bad hair” day is never any fun, but every day is a bad hair day when your hair is damaged. Over processing, the sun, extreme weather, a chlorinated pool, irregular maintenance, stress and even a less-than-healthy diet can contribute to leaving your locks damaged and lackluster.
You can repair damaged hair if you modify your habits and follow these tips and try out some do-it-yourself treatments to restore the life, luster and condition of your hair.
Be gentle with your tresses.
Does having dirty hair make you feel grungy? If so, more than likely, you reach for the shampoo. Not so fast. Overwashing can damage your hair – especially if it’s color-treated or very dry. Washing strips the natural oils and proteins – the things that keep hair looking healthy – from your hair. The finer, thinner and straighter your hair, the easier it is for the oil to seep in and make it look greasy. If you normally wash your hair every day, try skipping a day or just rinsing it on the second day. Try using dry shampoo on the roots and scalp to absorb some of the oil. Believe it or not, some styles look better on “day-old” hair: braids, topknots, loose curls. When you do wash your hair, consider using shampoos that don’t contain sulfates and parabens, which tend to strip moisture and oils. Use shampoo only on your scalp and roots, avoiding the ends. Condition daily, concentrating on the ends and avoiding the roots and scalp.
Just cool it.
Using hairdryers, curling irons and flat irons can really dry out your locks, causing breakage and split ends. Take a break from heat; your hair will thank you for it. Try air-drying it instead. After you wash and condition your hair, gently towel-dry and comb it. Try scrunching it with your fingers as it dries for a beachy look. If you must use styling tools, prep your hair with heat protection sprays.
Yes, there is a technique to proper brushing. First of all, don’t brush your hair when it’s wet because the strands can break. Instead, comb it. If your hair is very curly, it’s best to use a wide-tooth comb in the shower before you rinse out the conditioner. You may also want to treat your hair with a detangling spray. When you are ready to brush, work from the bottom up. Start with small sections beginning from the ends.
Keep a schedule.
Getting a regular trim every six to eight weeks actually promotes healthy hair growth and keeps ends from splitting. For thin hair, trimming can add volume. For curly hair, trimming can reduce tangling. Also, consider applying a deep conditioner a couple of times a month. If you notice your hair is too heavy or feels oily, cut back. Dryer, coarser hair will benefit from deep conditioning more than thin, fine hair.
Use the correct accessories.
Putting your hair back in a ponytail may seem to be a temporary fix for all kinds of problems. The truth is, it can strain your strands – especially if you put it into a tight ponytail secured with a rubber band. Always use accessories that limit the stress put on your hair. Use cloth-covered scrunchies and tiebacks, loose clips and stretchy headbands.
Sleep and eat well.
Your hair can tell if you haven’t been sleeping well. If you toss and turn, the friction can cause your hair to tangle and break. Try switching to a silk pillowcase to reduce the friction. Also, make sure you’re following a healthy diet, rich in proteins, fatty acids, and vitamins C and B. Taking supplements – Omega 3s and biotin – may help.
Try a DIY treatment.
There are thousands of products on the market that claim to make your hair look shiny and healthy. Many of them work as expected, but they can also be costly. Before you start investing your money in expensive products, you may have items in your pantry that could have the same results. Here are a few DIY treatments to try.
- Avocado mask: Remove the pit from a ripe avocado. Mix it with an egg and apply to wet hair. Avocado is loaded with vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals. Leave it on 20 minutes. Rinse it well. Try this weekly for damaged hair and monthly for healthy hair.
- Butter treatment: If your hair is brittle, massage some butter into your dry hair. Put on a shower cap. Wait for 20 minutes and then shampoo and rinse.
- Olive oil mask: Warm a half-cup of olive oil and rub it on dry hair to restore moisture. Cover your hair with a plastic bag or shower cap and then wrap with a towel. Wait 45 minutes before you shampoo and rinse.
- Apple cider vinegar mask: Combine 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 egg whites. Rub it in to revitalize limp or damaged hair. Cover with a shower cap or plastic bag. Leave it on for 30 minutes, and then shampoo and rinse.
- Protein enhancer: This remedy to enhance proteins in your hair is a simple fix. Mix an egg with a little bit of shampoo. Rub it in. Wait five minutes and rinse out.
- Honey hydrator: Mix ¼ cup of raw honey with enough water to thin it out and apply to damp hair. After 30 minutes, shampoo and condition.
- Frizz tamer: Combine ¼ cup of raw honey and 10 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Leave it on for 15 minutes before shampooing and rinsing.
- Oil treatments: Try warming 3 tablespoons of jojoba oil in the microwave. Massage it into your hair. Cover with a shower cap and wait 30 minutes to two hours for extra shine. You can also use sesame oil. To strengthen brittle hair and add volume to thin hair, replace the jojoba oil with castor oil. Use coconut oil to add moisture, softness and shine and to reduce dandruff.
Do you have an interest in hair and skin care, or do you enjoy styling hair? A career in cosmetology may be right for you. Regardless of your goal in cosmetology, MTI’s Paul Mitchell The School helps you develop the beauty and cosmetology skills you need for a rewarding career. Call today!