How to Bring Damaged Hair Back to Life


Published by Dr. Charles Gemmi

A Board Certified Orthodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Charles Gemmi has been a practicing orthodontist with Orthodontics Limited since 2000 and is a member of the teaching staff at Einstein Medical Center. Orthodontics Limited is a Diamond+ Provider of Invisalign in Philadelphia and Hatboro, PA.

No matter how hard you try to protect your hair, it is eventually going to get damage. Even just spending too much time in the sun can damage your hair. And while we all want perfect hair, if you let damage happen to it, it could look dry, frayed, and broken, no matter what you do to it. So whether your damage is from using heated styling implements, the products you put in it, or just every day wear and tear that hair goes through, here are tips for bringing your damaged hair back to life.

1. Get a better brush.

The type of brush that you are using can actually do a lot of damage to your hair. If you are using a brush that pulls on your hair at all, you could be doing damage from root to tip, even with careful brushing, and most people are not actually that careful when they brush their hair. Instead of using a cheap brush, invest in one that is made from boar bristles. Not only will this help you detangle your hair without stretching your strands, it will also help to distribute the natural oils that your scalp produces, which could make your hair look much shinier.

2. Stop washing your hair as much.

Some people can get away with washing their hair only once or twice a week, and it almost never looks oily. Other people, however, feel that they have to wash it every single day or it will look oily and gross. If you invest in some great dry shampoo, you can reduce the number of times a week you have to wash your hair, which will save you time in the shower and will save your hair from the damaging effects of repeatedly shampooing and rinsing your hair.

3. Get better shampoo.

When it does come time to wash your hair, it is time to throw out your old shampoo and get something that has no sulfates and no parabens. Your hair will also benefit from a shampoo that has natural moisturizing power of its own. When you use a shampoo that promises to be moisturizing and strengthening, you will probably notice an immediate change in the quality of your hair. While silicone, parabens, and sulfates might make your hair feel shiny and soft, all three will dry out your hair and scalp, increasing the production of oil.

4. Stay away from heat.

Blow drying your hair every single day is a good way to create damaged hair. Even if you let your hair air dry, if you then use hot styling implements on your hair, you are creating just as much damage as if you had used a blow dryer. Luckily, there are lots of styles that you can do without any heat at all. If, however, you really want to use heat on your hair, try to limit it as much as possible. Only use these tools once, maybe twice a week and only with heat protectant. You should also avoid rubbing your hair with a towel. Hair is at its weakest when it is wet, and rubbing it with a towel to try to get as much water out of it as possible is a good way to fray the ends. Blot, squeeze, and then just let your hair air dry.

5. Detangle your hair in the shower.

After you have put conditioner on your hair, grab your comb and running it through your hair. Combs, unlike brushes, will never tug on your hair and they can be much more effective at getting rid of tangles in your hair. Especially if you have very long hair, a comb can be a much better solution for getting rid of those tangles that naturally happen. The conditioner will also help the comb glide through you hair, quickly and easily getting rid of just about any tangle or knot you are experiencing.

6. Eat the right diet.

What you eat is going to seriously affect the health of your hair. If you are not getting enough protein, your hair is going to be weak and brittle (since protein is primarily what your hair is made out of). There are lots of vitamins and minerals that support the health of your hair. If you are noticing that you have damaged hair and you want to grow a healthier crop, it might be time to invest in a vitamin that is formulated to help you hair, nails, and skin.

7. Do a weekly oil treatment.

One of the best remedies for damaged hair is to do a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week. While you do not want to do this every single night, a leave-in conditioner or an overnight oil treatment is a great solution to the problems that plague many individuals. It can make your hair more manageable, shiny, and, ultimately, healthy.

8. Don’t cut your own hair.

You might be tempted, if you see fraying ends and breakages, to grab a pair of scissors and cut off the tips of your hair. There are a lot of articles online that tell you to just give yourself a trim, as broken ends will only beget more broken ends. And while that is true, you should leave the cutting of your hair to a skilled professional who knows not only how much of your hair to cut off, but how to cut it so it is easy to maintain.

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