Damaged hair is a common problem faced by many people due to factors such as excessive heat styling, harsh chemical treatments, and environmental factors. It can lead to split ends, dryness, frizziness, and dullness. While it may seem difficult to revive damaged hair, it is possible with the right care and attention. In this article, we will discuss some tips and tricks on how to care for damaged hair, such as using the right products and incorporating healthy habits into your haircare routine.
What are signs of damaged hair?
Damaged hair can lead to a range of symptoms that can affect the appearance and health of your hair. Understanding the signs of damaged hair is the first step towards taking the necessary measures to repair and revive it.
Here are some common signs of damaged hair:
Split Ends: One of the most obvious signs of damaged hair is split ends. These are caused when the hair fibers become frayed and split apart, leaving the hair looking dry and brittle.
Dryness: Damaged hair tends to be dry and lacks moisture, making it prone to breakage. When the hair is not properly moisturized, it can become frizzy and unruly.
Dullness: Healthy hair has a natural shine, but damaged hair can appear dull and lackluster. This is due to the loss of essential oils that help to keep the hair moisturized and looking shiny.
Breakage: Damaged hair is prone to breakage, which can be seen as shorter strands or a lack of length retention.
Frizziness: Damaged hair can also become frizzy, with strands standing out in all directions. This is due to the loss of natural oils and the hair’s structure being compromised.
Tangles and Knots: Damaged hair can become tangled and knotted, making it difficult to comb or brush. This can lead to further breakage and damage.
By recognizing these signs, you can take steps to repair and revive your damaged hair.
What damages hair the most?
Hair damage can be caused by a variety of factors, both internal and external. Understanding what damages hair the most is essential in taking the necessary steps to protect and care for it. Some of the most common causes of hair damage include:
Heat Styling: Excessive heat styling, such as blow-drying, flat-ironing, and curling, can damage hair fibers and cause split ends, breakage, and dryness. This is because the heat can strip the hair of its natural oils and weaken the cuticle layer.
Chemical Treatments: Harsh chemical treatments, such as coloring, bleaching, and perming, can weaken and damage the hair fibers. These treatments can also cause breakage and dryness, and can result in a loss of shine and luster.
Environmental Factors: Environmental factors, such as exposure to sunlight, wind, and pollution, can also cause damage to the hair. Sunlight can cause discoloration and dryness, while wind can cause tangles and knots.
Poor Diet: A poor diet can affect the health of your hair, leading to hair damage. A diet that is deficient in essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, biotin, and vitamins A and C, can lead to hair loss and breakage.
Overuse of Hair Products: Overuse of hair products, such as sprays, gels, and serums, can weigh down the hair and clog the scalp, leading to dryness, breakage, and dullness.
Lack of Regular Trimming: Regular trimming is essential in maintaining the health of your hair. By removing split ends, you can prevent further damage from traveling up the hair shaft.
By understanding what damages hair the most, you can take the necessary steps to protect and care for it which we will now discuss.
How can I heal my damaged hair?
If you have damaged hair, it can be discouraging, but don’t worry, it can be repaired. Healing damaged hair takes time and patience, but with the right care, you can achieve healthy, beautiful locks. Here are some tips to help heal your damaged hair:
Use a Gentle Shampoo: Choose a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo to cleanse your hair. Sulfates can strip the hair of its natural oils and cause further damage.
Condition Regularly: Regular conditioning is essential for healing damaged hair. Look for a deep-conditioning treatment that can penetrate the hair shaft and repair the damage from within.
Limit Heat Styling: Excessive heat styling can cause further damage to your hair, so try to limit your use of heat-styling tools. If you must use heat, protect your hair with a heat-protectant spray before styling.
Trim Regularly: Regular trims can help to remove split ends and prevent further damage from traveling up the hair shaft.
Incorporate Healthy Habits: A healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals, such as iron, biotin, and vitamins A and C, can help to promote hair growth and strengthen the hair fibers.
Protect from Environmental Factors: Environmental factors, such as sunlight and wind, can cause damage to the hair. Wear a hat or use a scarf to protect your hair when you’re outside.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Harsh chemical treatments, such as coloring and perming, can cause further damage to the hair. If you must use these treatments, be sure to use a gentler formula or have a professional perform the treatment.
Dermatologist Tips for Haircare
A dermatologist is a medically trained specialist and expert on skin, hair and nails. Dermatologists can provide you with valuable tips and advice to help heal your damaged hair. Here are some additional tips that can help you get on the path to healthy, beautiful hair:
1. Consider Hair Shaft Treatment & Repair: Dermatologists recommend using gentle, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. These products are less likely to strip the hair of its natural oils and cause further damage as we discussed earlier. In addition, look out for hair conditioning treatments using milk proteins¹, silk proteins¹, and keratin proteins² which are scientifically-backed agents that help to protect and restore hair properties. Milk and silk proteins contribute to hair softness and hair smoothness (anti-frizz), whilst keratin is found to strengthen and improve the mechanical properties of hair.
2. Use Scalp Cosmeceuticals: Enhancing scalp health will support healthier and more robust hair growth as a whole. Bioactive ingredients in scalp cosmeceuticals include copper peptide and Carthamus tinctorius. In a 2007 study, copper peptide was found to promote the growth of human hair follicles³ in vitro. In addition, a 2012 study showed that the ethanolic extract of Carthamus tinctorius (or the Safflower plant) was the most potent inhibitor of a biological enzyme that contributes to hair loss (5α-reductase⁴) and hair growth promoter.
3. Consult with a Dermatologist: If you’re concerned about the health of your hair, consult with a dermatologist. They can provide you with personalized advice and treatment options to help heal your damaged hair. In particular, dermatologists will be able to help address inherent scalp conditions (if any) such as seborrheic dermatitis and alopecia areata, that may be contributing to your damaged hair.
By following these tips for damaged hair, you can take the necessary steps to heal your damaged hair and achieve healthy, beautiful locks. Remember that it takes time and patience, but with the right care, you can get the results you want.
- da Gama RM, França-Stefoni SA, Sá-Dias TC, Bedin V, Baby AR, Velasco MVR. Protective effect of conditioner agents on hair treated with oxidative hair dye. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2018 Dec;17(6):1090-1095. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12484. Epub 2018 Jan 7. PMID: 29316174. [PubMed]
- Tinoco A, Gonçalves J, Silva C, Loureiro A, Gomes AC, Cavaco-Paulo A, Ribeiro A. Keratin-based particles for protection and restoration of hair properties. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2018 Aug;40(4):408-419. doi: 10.1111/ics.12483. Epub 2018 Aug 28. PMID: 30047992. [PubMed]
- Pyo HK, Yoo HG, Won CH, Lee SH, Kang YJ, Eun HC, Cho KH, Kim KH. The effect of tripeptide-copper complex on human hair growth in vitro. Arch Pharm Res. 2007 Jul;30(7):834-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02978833. PMID: 17703734. [PubMed]
- Kumar N, Rungseevijitprapa W, Narkkhong NA, Suttajit M, Chaiyasut C. 5α-reductase inhibition and hair growth promotion of some Thai plants traditionally used for hair treatment. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Feb 15;139(3):765-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.12.010. Epub 2011 Dec 13. PMID: 22178180. [PubMed]