14 Ways to Treat Damaged Hair

Bleach breaks into your hair and reacts with the pigment molecules to make your hair lighter. This destroys your hair by breaking down the natural fatty acids, leaving your hair brittle and damaged. Most of us have all gotten our make-up and skincare routine down pact. But our hair care routine seems to always be on the back burner. We worry too much about the color, cut, and hairstyle, not thinking about the damage it does to our hair. I can’t count on my fingers (and toes) how many time I have gone to the hairdresser and bleached my hair. When I was younger, I even bleached it at home, which I would never recommend! Now it’s time to treat this damaged hair!

1. Wash your hair 2-3 times a week. If you’re washing your hair daily, it’s time to rethink your rinse cycle. Over washing can be damaging and most experts agree that it’s ideal to wash your hair 2-3 times a week no matter what type of hair needs you may have. The water gets absorbed in each strand, making the strand stretchy. Once your hair gets dry, it is prone to crack or break which could be the reason why you have rough hair or frizzy.

2. Use oil treatment for a pre-poo. When water is absorbed in our hair strand, protein is being stolen from it. One way we can prevent this is by using oil-based treatments before washing hair to make your hair become hydrophobic. Jojoba oil or coconut oil are best used when applying before you shower, or even the night before you shower. I personally use Brigeo’s Farewell Frizz which is a blend of rosehip, argan, and coconut Oil. Rosehip oil protects the hair from free-radical damage and help deter frizz and balance hair hydration. Argan oil provides extensive conditioning and help combat dryness damage and diminish frizz. Coconut oil protects against breakage, environmental impurities and excess heat.

3. Massage your scalp while you pre-poo or while you’re in the shower. Not only does it feel good and relieves stress, there is a study that concludes that stimulating the scalp increases circulation and leads to hair regrowth and reduced dandruff. Tilt your head to increase blood circulation and use your fingers to comb down from the front of your head to the back. Then use small circular motions to massage your head and hairline, then lightly tap all of your head like you’re playing the piano. Lastly, gently pull your hair outwards. Ahh! Doesn’t that feel nice? I suggest having a friend or significant other do this for you 🙂

4. Try Olaplex treatment. I first learned about this treatment from my hairdresser. She used the treatment free on my first appointment with her, where my hair was already bleached many times before I was recommended to her. She provides this service for $65 but I found the product online at Sephora so that you can do this at home. Olaplex claims to “reconnect broken disulfide sulfur bonds in the hair.” The treatment is labelled a “bond multiplier”, which limits damage to hair during or after colouring. This treatment can be used 2 to 3 times a week for damaged hair. All you need to do is apply it to damp hair and leave on for 10 minutes. Then you can use an Olaplex shampoo and conditioner to wash it off in the shower.

5. Choose your shampoo wisely. Conventional shampoos, especially those that contain sulfates, that can strip you hair and scalp of its natural oils, and throw its natural pH off balance. Look for shampoos that don’t strip moisture and improve hair growth like keratin amino acids and cysteine amino acids.

6. Use a hair mask. My hairdresser also recommended a damage control technique by using a deep-conditioner mask on my hair. This is isn’t an ad for Brigeo but I really think their products are great for damaged hair. I use their hair mask for a substitute for my regular conditioner at least once a week.

7. Use microfiber towels to dry your hair instead of cotton towels. Microfibers create a larger surface area for better water absorbance. By wrapping your hair in this for 30 minutes, it will almost completely dry. You also get the added benefit of causing less friction and twisted when drying with a cotton towel because there is not need to rub your hair. If you get one of the special turban towels, there will be no need to twist your hair in the towel causing weight that may be damaging to your hair’s roots.

8. No heat tools. We’ve all heard this one before. But if you have to, make sure you use a dual leave-in conditioner and heat protectant spray like Ouai’s Leave-In Conditioner. Always keep the tool moving and keep the tool at it’s lowest heat. Here’s something surprising: It can actually be more damaging to your hair if you air dry it. A study has shown that the best technique is keeping the blow dryer about 15 cm away from your hair and always keeping it moving.

9. There’s a right way to brush your hair. For starters, try to brush your hair when it’s dry and and only once a day. I’m guilty of brushing my hair right when I get out of the shower. So I wait until my hair is damp, which could take 15 minutes. During this time you can lotion up and put some creams on. Then (carefully) comb through it with a wide-tooth comb after spraying leave-in conditioner. To avoid snagging, never brush from top to bottom with one long stroke because it can stretch and pull strands out of the follicle. Use short strokes and start a few inches from the bottom of your hair, which you work your way up. Take your time! Your hair is most vulnerable when it’s wet.

10. Let your hair down, girl. Repeated physical damage to you hair like putting it in a ponytail or twisting it up in to a top-knot should not done everyday. But what should I do when I go to the gym or my hair is getting oily? Go for looser styles, to reduce the pulling. Hot tip: Try loose hair during a non-sweaty yoga class. I forgot a hair tie one day but I actually felt pretty sexy moving my hair about in yoga class. (As long as it’s not distracting to others). However, to get your hair out of your face you can use braids, low ponytail or bun, or a headscarf. Whatever hairstyle you use, switch it up. If you go for a bun, gather it in different places like a top knot, or at the nap of the neck. Part your hair a different way or put your ponytail to the side so as to know pull from the same place all the time.

11. Make sure you are getting your nutrients in your food. Eat a healthy range of nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. Try not to go on very restrictive diets because if you are eating the same foods, and cutting out a lot, you’re setting yourself to be deficient in certain nutrients. Some specific nutrients that are linked to hair growth are zinc (oysters and pumpkin seeds), omega-3-fatty acids (salmon), biotin (eggs), and Vitamin C (citrus foods, brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, strawberries, kiwi, and red pepper). Yum!

12. Take your vitamins. If you are deficient, then a professional can help you come up with a supplement routine. I personally use a supplement that is specific for hair wellness in women and the top doctor recommended supplement called Nutrafol. It has the right magical blend of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Biotin, Iodine, Zinc, and Selenium. Other ingredients include Collagen, and cellulose. This product is great for pescatarians as the collagen comes from a vegetable and the collagen from North Atlantic Cod.

13. Get frequent hair trimmings. Get your hair trimmed every 6-8 weeks to ensure minimal split ends and breakage. It sounds counter intuitive, but it make your hair look healthier and thicker. Once your hair strand starts to split, it needs to get cut off before the rest of the hair strand gets “infected”. To prevent accelerated damage and cover up split ends, use oil treatment. I usually use the same oil treatment I use as a pre-poo to the ends of hair on the 2nd and 3rd day of not washing my hair.

14. Manage your stress. Remember that your hair goes through a seasonal shedding. During the winter months, it starts to shed because there is less sun. Our health is most shiny and healthier during the summer months because of the vitamin D that that is being absorbed. Which makes sense, since our hair is there to help shield our scalp from the harmful rays. Unless you have a hormonal imbalance or deficient in nutrients, shedding is normal. Remember to take time for yourself to meditate and enjoy life!