When the hair turns into a straw, they no longer hold volume, splits, and look dull, brittle, and dry. A familiar picture? Don't rush to get a haircut. It is possible to restore damaged hair, and we will tell you how to do it!
How do you fix severely damaged hair?
Not all damaged hair is damaged in the same way: for some, the condition is close to disaster. For others, it may remain quite acceptable. It all depends on the degree of damage and, of course, the characteristics of each case.
Types of damaged hair
Mechanical damage is the destruction of the scaly layer through styling tools. Despite its hardness, hair is soft compared to metal. Any intense mechanical impact leaves minor damage to hair. These damages gradually accumulate and deepen.
Hair often undergoes mechanical stress daily: we wind it, stretch it, comb it intensively, comb it, tie it into a ponytail with tight elastic bands, the hair rubs against each other and the fabric during sleep and wiping with a towel, etc. For us, this is a mere trifle, which we do not even remember. But if you look at the hair under a microscope, you can see: that the farther the hair is from the root, the more uneven the edges of the scales of the cuticle layer of the hair. The scaly layer may lack significant fragments toward the end, leading to hair damage.
Scratching is very harmful. Since this type of process can lead to the destruction of the scales of the shell, in the process, the ends of the hair will simply begin to fork. Provided the cuticle is first destroyed in the middle of the hair, it breaks in this place.
Chemical damage to the hair results from improper or excessive use of cosmetic hairdressing products. There are plenty of damaging procedures in the arsenal of the hairdresser, such as chemical hair straightening, perm, hair lightening, and coloring with complex hair dyes. These procedures cause damage to the hair on their own, but it is common to combine techniques (such as dyeing chemically curled hair) that further damage the hair. As a result of perms, bleaching, and dyeing, there is a firm swelling and a change in the structure of the hair. At the end of this procedure, the hair acquires a very high porosity.
All these processes are accompanied by an intense swelling of the hair and the opening of the hair's cuticle layer. The cuticle layer cannot close naturally. The hair becomes damaged. When dyeing with complex hair dyes, the primary damage is caused to the hair due to intense swelling and gradual drying.
Each procedure without proper care exacerbates the existing damage. Hair care products can only temporarily and cosmetically compensate for wear. It is impossible to restore the structure with severe damage. In such cases, the damaged areas of the hair are cut off.
If we briefly describe the chemical damage to the hair: this is the softening and destruction of the core (cortex), the oxidation of melanin, and the exposure of the fibrous layer. Chemical damage to the hair contributes to the manifestation of increased sensitivity to mechanical damage to the hair.
Thermal damage to the hair. This type of damage occurs as a result of the frequent use of hot styling appliances. This includes straightening with an iron, curling with a curling iron, styler, tongs, and blow-drying.
When exposed to high temperatures, the cuticle scales, which form the protective layer of the hair, rise, exposing the cortex, internal moisture evaporates, and the destruction of keratin protein occurs. The rod is covered with bubbles - the curls become brittle and dry. The appearance deteriorates, the former shine disappears, split ends appear, and difficulties arise when combing. The lack of moisture makes the hair more vulnerable and crumbles during combing.
Everyone's favorite sun also has a negative effect, from whose UV rays protection is needed. Direct sunlight destroys carbon-sulfur bonds and provokes the breakdown of proteins. This leads to hair loss and breakage.
We figured out the types of damage, and now let's figure out how a modern girl does not earn these “three horsemen of the Apocalypse” and how to save her hair.
Mechanical damage to the hair. Recommendations
Recall that mechanical damage to the hair is understood as a violation of the structure of the hair due to rough mechanical influences. Therefore, to minimize injury, try to adhere to the following rules:
- Do not use metal combs;
- Do not comb your hair roughly and harshly. When searching, it is necessary to start from the tips, gradually rising;
- Do not use bouffants;
- Try to use tight elastic bands infrequently. If possible, do not tie high tails;
- Avoid rubbing your hair with a towel;
- Don't brush too often;
- Do not comb damp hair because, in this state, they are susceptible and weakened.
Chemical hair damage. Recommendations
Chemical damage to the hair is considered the most devastating, as it affects the hair and can also trigger hair loss.
- Do not curl your hair with a perm;
- Use gentle staining and bleaching methods;
- Trust chemical hair treatments only to experienced professionals;
- Do not use cosmetics for straightening;
- Follow the recommendations of your master, and do not forget about care and active moisturizing.
Thermal damage to the hair. Recommendations
Thermal damage to the hair is characterized by a change in the structure of the hair by exposure to cold or hot temperatures.
- If possible, exclude the use of straighteners, curlers, and curlers. Better replace them with brushes;
- Do not dry your hair with hot air at a distance closer than 30 cm;
- Use hats when going out into the sun or visiting the bath;
- Also, do not forget about hats in the cold season. Low temperatures are bad for your hair.
- As for the general recommendations for hair care, regardless of the degree of hair damage and the factors that led to the deterioration in the appearance of curls:
- If the hair is seriously damaged, then it is worth waiting with dyeing and using a hot hair dryer or flat iron;
- Get into the habit of head massage. Blood circulation will improve, and hair will grow faster;
Before going out into the sun or frost, use protective sprays, for example, with SPF protection;
If the hair is severely damaged, then home remedies may not help. You will have to go to specialized salons, where cosmetologists help restore the hair shaft and its follicle. Among such procedures, mesotherapy, reflexotherapy, personalization, and laser therapy can be noted.
Causes for damaged hair
This element is crucial for the strength of the hair. Copper deficiency can make hair brittle and contribute to the premature graying of hair.
It is associated with alopecia because the hair also becomes brittle due to the lack of zinc.
Diligent styling with curlers, flat irons, hair dryers, and other tools can cause hair to become weak and brittle. After all, they fit into the hair due to thermal exposure, and high temperatures cause severe damage to the hair, making it dry and lifeless.
Substances used in styling products, dyes, and other products can compromise the health of your hair and cause it to become brittle. For example, shampoos containing sulfates and parabens can make hair dry and flaky (since their pH is higher than necessary). Some products (like hair masks) contain formaldehyde, which can irritate the scalp and weaken hair. Hair dyes use dyes and chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide and ammonium, which can damage hair due to their oxidizing and penetrating properties.
Washing your hair too often can also make it brittle. Ideally, you should wash your hair twice a week. Shampooing too often can strip hair of its natural sebum and leave it dry and vulnerable.4. You comb your hair too vigorously.
Too vigorous brushing
This habit can also cause significant damage to the strands.
Hormonal imbalance causes brittle hair. Some birth control pills, menopause, and pregnancy can cause changes in the body that do not affect the condition of the hair in the best way.
Diets lacking in protein and vitamins make hair brittle and dry. Conversely, a balanced diet protects curls.
Diseases such as Graves and thyroid disease affect the hormonal balance, affecting hair growth and strength.
When hair is constantly exposed to rain, wind, heat, and humidity, it can gradually become brittle.
For example, those used to treat psoriasis, cardiovascular disease, eczema, high cholesterol, diabetes, and hepatitis have brittle and dry hair as a side effect. Other treatments that can cause them to be frail include major surgeries - such as gastrointestinal bypasses and transplants.
How to prevent damaged hair – follow the tips below for healthy hair.
Lower the Temperature on Your Tools
We all love straight and smooth hair. Ironing helps us quickly achieve this effect. But few people know that Brushing (a round comb-brush for styling) also injures hair. Hot styling steams the hair and lifts the cuticle (the protective layer), and the temperature dries out the main living layer of the hair. This is how hair loss occurs.
Always use thermal protection.
Before using a heating device on your hair, even a hair dryer, it is always recommended to use a heat protectant that creates a barrier between the exposed hair shaft and the heat. The most popular product is leave-in. Spritz a few times through damp hair and then use a wide-toothed comb to distribute the product from roots to ends. As a bonus, many heat protection serums also tend to detangle the hair, creating less friction and, therefore, less breakage when combed through.
To strengthen the hair's protective barrier so that it is strong enough to withstand heat damage, it is recommended that you use a high-quality shampoo and conditioner to moisturize and detangle your hair. After washing and conditioning, use a light mist to add another layer of reinforcement and protection.
Trim Your Split Ends
While it may seem at first glance that cutting your hair may not help prevent damage from heat damage, in fact, the healthier your strands are, the minor heat damage will be. Once the hair begins to break or split, further exposure to a flat iron or hair dryer will only worsen its condition. Dryness and brittleness will rise higher from the ends, damaging the still healthy part of the hair. You can prevent this by trimming your hair at least once every couple of months, although stylists recommend doing this every 8-12 weeks.
Fix your damaged hair and look amazing
Hair damage is not selective. At the slightest crack, the entire system suffers, so recovery must be comprehensive. First, external factors (mechanical, chemical, thermal) should be minimized. It is also advisable to adjust the diet and strengthen the immune system.
An essential step in hair restoration is the selection of the proper care. It must be delicate but effective, meeting the case's specific needs. Most often, complex procedures are not required. For a noticeable or complete solution to the problem, it is enough to minimize the factors that damage the hair and regularly use shampoo and masks for damaged hair.