So what do I know about treating damaged hair? Well, let me tell you my story. Last July I absolutely destroyed my hair. To say my hair was damaged is a total understatement. The top layer of my hair was completely frazzled. This most horrid and unique look was achieved by using a home bleaching kit. I’d used these before and felt fairly confident, however, on this particular occasion, I had left the bleach on for far too long (about 2 hours!) My hair simply fried!
Once I had washed out the bleach, my hair started to snap and fall out. Undeterred, I stupidly exacerbated the problem by continuing with my plans and adding another box colour (I wanted to colour my hair pink, so I did!)
Obviously, this simply added to my problems. Not only did the pink colour not hold (it lasted 2 washes), but I’d simply added to the damage. From then on, I worked my way through a whole multitude of expensive and inexpensive hair products in a quest to treat the damaged that had been done to my hair. But here’s a little secret – you can’t undo the damage, you can only mask the problem. This was something I have realised hundreds of pounds later!
In light of my recent 8-month nightmare, I’d like to share with you some of the products and methods that seemed to work for me.
Get a Hair Cut
As mentioned above, you can’t undo the damage on your hair. The best thing to do is (if possible) cut out the damage. For 8 months I had fortnightly trips to the hairdressers for a trim. Last week I simply had enough and had my hair cut into a style that removed most of the damaged ends. I can honestly say, my hair has never felt so good. Friends, family, (even Mums in the school playground) have commented on just how healthy my hair looks.
(Sorry I don’t have any before pictures, I was too ashamed to take any! But trust me, it was terrible!)
Also, this could be the perfect time to go short if you’ve never tried it before!
But I understand that not everyone is ready to cut their hair shorter. Perhaps you could consider cutting your hair into a style that removes the damage but allows you to keep the length. For instance, layers. Depending upon the extent of your damage, you might be able to get away with a haircut that makes good use of lots of layers.
If layers aren’t an option for you, regular trims are really really important. Each time you visit the hairdressers, more of the damage will be removed.
Lay off the Heat for a While
The more heat you apply to damaged hair, the more damaged it becomes. When using a hairdryer, put it on a cool setting and keep it at least 5 inches away from your hair. Always use heat protection spray when putting any heat near your hair.
Avoid hair straighteners at all costs! I refrained from using my straighteners for 2 months when I first damaged my hair. Then I had a big night out. I used the straighteners and my hair was so much more damaged than before. Tie your hair back for a while or (if you’re able to do so) style it whilst you dry it.
I could open up a shop of my own with all the products I bought for my damaged hair. I must have tried everything! The ones listed below improved my hair somewhat but none of them cured my damaged locks!
Damaged hair is dry and brittle and craving for moisture. Keep this in mind when treating your damaged hair with products.
Stop using regular shampoo immediately! Shampoo is really important when treating damaged or dry hair. You need to use something that contains lots of natural ingredients rather than nasty chemicals which will only dry out your hair further.
Once I discovered Lush’s Coconut Rice Cake Shampoo Bar, my hair was given the moisture boost it so desperately needed. Although the shampoo bar is not 100% natural, the non-natural ingredients are safe synthetics. The bar lasts much longer than bottled shampoo and smells amazing too. One bar lasts me approximately 2 months, and I use it on my daughter’s hair too!
Lush also offer conditioner bars. I personally didn’t get along with these. Although they did smell and feel amazing they just don’t have the same texture as a regular conditioner.
In my quest for a great conditioner, I found Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food. (Papaya and Alma). This is a truly amazing product. 98% of the ingredients are natural, so like the shampoo, no harsh chemicals are used in the product that will further dry out your hair. The hair food doubles up as a hair mask as well as a conditioner. You can also leave the product in your hair without washing it out for that extra moisture boost.
I use the product every time I wash my hair. I leave the conditioner on my hair for 3 minutes and then wash it off.
Early on in my damaged hair journey, I learnt the importance of treating damaged hair with hair masks. I used a variety of these which are intended for damaged hair however many of these actually had the reverse effect and seemed to leave my hair extremely dry and brittle. Sometimes, paying more for a product doesn’t always pay off! So I made my own hair mask using coconut oil. Once a week I would coat my hair in pure coconut oil and leave it to soak for an hour (or overnight if feasible). I’d then wash my hair as normal. The coconut oil seems to nourish my dry damaged ends.
Hair Care Products
My hairdresser recommended Senscience Inner Restore. I bought this from the salon for £16.00 (however, it is available on Amazon). I instantly noticed a difference.
Once I have washed my hair, I use a pea-size amount on my wet hair. The directions on the bottle instruct you to wash off the product after 15 minutes, however, my stylist said to leave it on (which I do). It doesn’t feel greasy like some of the other moisturisers I have used. The bottle is huge and because I use only a tiny amount, it will last for months on end!
Before drying hair, it is always essential to use a heat protecting spray or serum. My favourite so far has been Tresemme Keratin Smooth Heat Protect Hair Spray.
This product does so much, including controlling frizz, detangling knots, adding shine as well as protecting your hair from damaging heat. I also love that you can use this spray on dry hair before straightening or curling.
Between washes, make sure your hair is getting enough moisture by treating it to a moisturiser. This might make your hair look greasy if you apply too much or if you go too near the roots. Use it sparingly on the neds of your hair. My favourite hair moisturiser is Lush’s R & B Hair Moisturiser. It smells beautiful and really does leave my hair feeling smooth.
My number 1 take-home tip would be to keep your damaged hair moisturised. You can’t have enough products on your hair. Use a hair mask once a week, and between washes, keep it well moisturised with hair moisturiser or alternatively use leave-in conditioners (such as the Garnier Hair Food).
And if you feel like bleaching your hair at home, then don’t! It’s worth paying the price at a salon to ensure that the job is done properly and you avoid months of misery!
Have you damaged your hair in the past? Can you recommend any products for treating damaged hair?
For similar posts, see my home life category.