How to repair damaged hair in lockdown

Sometimes it’s all too clear how you end up with damage hair, the improper use of dye and bleach, heat styling tools and skipping those regular trims with our hairdresser. The sad truth is that hair damage is more than just split ends, extremely damaged hair can be prone to breakage and become dry or frizzy making it difficult to manage.

Unfortunately for the most part hair damage is permanent and the only real treatment is the chop. This is because hair is actually a collection of dead skin cells, and is beyond repair once damaged. So if your hair has become dry, dull and lifeless you’ll want to talk to your hairdresser and consider getting rid of those damaged inches.

This can be a tough decision to make, especially if you’re trying to grow your hair or prefer long locks – but is usually one that needs to be made to keep your hair healthy, because once breakage occurs it can risk further damage.

The next step is to prevent new damage, and with hair care and a few treatments you can improve the look and feel of your hair.

How to tell if I have damaged hair?

If you notice a change in your hair early, it will be easy to prevent further damage. However, once your hair is severely damaged it’s unlikely you’ll be able to repair it. Both your hair and nails are made of keratin, for example, you can’t fix a broken nail, but you can treat it – you can buff it, apply a strengthening product and condition the area to prevent further damage, but at the end of the day you still need time to grow the healthy nail back out again – hair works exactly the same way.

A quick test for damaged hair – Take a strand of hair between two fingers and gently pull at either end. Healthy and undamaged hair will stretch to one-third of it’s original length. If your hair snaps it could be suffering protein damage, or; if it stretch but doesn’t return to it’s original length (if it curls or stays long) then this is a sign of dryness. Another way to test is by taking a section of hair between two fingers and gently pull then down your hair, right to the ends, focusing on the texture. You should be able to feel if your hair is dry, frizzy, uneven or if it breaks under tension.

How can I repair damaged hair?

  1. Trim your split ends – If you’re starting to find a lot of split ends and your hair is becoming dry, it’s time for a trim. Regular trims keep your hair healthy and should be on your calendar for every six weeks. However, lockdown may prevent trips to the hairdressers so to help prevent split ends and to keep your hair supple and strong use fortifying shampoos, conditioners and leave-in creams.

2. Wash your hair wisely – Washing your hair too often is not good for your hair because it dries it out by not allowing your natural oils to form and coat your hair. Limit your washes to two or three times a week.

3. Don’t brush your hair when it’s wet – When your hair is damaged, it is even more vulnerable when it is wet. So brushing your hair when wet is a BIG NO – so avoid doing it.

4. Choose the right shampoo – Choosing the right shampoo can make all the difference, so make sure to always read the label. Sulfate and paraben-free shampoos are less likely to irritate the scalp and will help to keep your hair’s natural moisture and retain natural oils.

5. Drying your hair – If you want to revive damaged hair leave your hair in its natural state as long as possible. So try air drying your hair and avoid coarse towel drying – opt for a cotton t-shirt, or specialized microfiber towel.

6. Lower the temperature on your styling tools – One of the biggest mistakes people make is setting the temperature too high when styling their hair with heat. Unless you have really think hair, you’ll get the job done with a mid-range temperature and when possible skip the heat-styling altogether.

6. Healing hair masks – Hair masks are a form of deep conditioning, they contain hair concentrating of moisturizing ingredients, like vitamins, oils and naturally-sourced elements.

7. Use leave-in conditioners – This is 24/7 protection for your hair that serve and protect because you don’t rinse them out and like most hair care products, they can be matched to your hair type.

8. Embrace damage-proof hairstyles – It’s a good idea to give your hair a break every once and a while. You can do this by putting your hair in a loose braid or relaxed updo, like a messy bun.

Candice Farrow

Fashion and lifestyle blogger from North East, England.

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