Does your hair feel brittle and stiff? Dyeing, bleaching, straightening, or blow-drying your hair can seriously damage your hair over time. Your hair dries out, making it break faster and causing split ends. Once your hair is damaged, the best way to restore it is to give it time to grow back healthy and strong. You can use deep conditioners to restore shine and live a healthy life so that the hair that has yet to grow becomes healthy again.
Part 1 of 3: Helping your hair recover
Step 1. Stop harmful treatments
Many popular treatments strip your hair of its natural oils and damage the hair shafts. If you want to restore your hair, you will have to stop those treatments so that your hair can return to its natural state. If you're used to certain treatments to get your hair looking the way you want, it can be difficult to switch to more natural methods. But you will be rewarded with healthier hair. Here's what to avoid:
- Chemical hair dye, both from the hairdresser and from the drugstore. If you like to color your hair, use a natural dye like henna or tea, which will help repair your hair rather than damage it.
- Bleaching is never good for your hair. Removing all the color from your hair will damage your hair shafts, making your hair brittle and brittle.
- Chemical products to straighten your hair or perm liquid. The chemicals that can curl straight hair, or straighten curly hair, are very bad for your hair.
Step 2. Be gentle with your hair when you wash and dry it
Hair is a very delicate material and you have to handle it with care, especially when it's wet. Wet hair can easily stretch and break, so be careful when washing and drying. Think of your hair as a silk dress, or a wool sweater. You're not going to wring it too hard, are you? Like delicate fabrics, you need to handle your hair very gently.
- When you wash your hair, massage your scalp with your fingertips and distribute the shampoo gently throughout your hair, rather than rubbing very hard. Do the same with your conditioner.
- Let your hair drip for a while before squeezing out the excess water. Use a towel to pat it dry.
Step 3. Do not shampoo more than twice a week
The scalp produces a natural oil called sebum that protects your hair from drying out. If you don't shampoo your hair too often, it will stay shiny and healthy.
- If you stop washing your hair every day, your scalp will start producing too much sebum at first, because it's used to having it washed away every 24 hours. After about a week, your scalp will be in balance and your hair will no longer look greasy.
- If you're concerned that your hair will look greasy at the roots on the days between washes, use some dry shampoo. You can buy it at the drugstore, or make your own by mixing 1 teaspoon of cornmeal with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Sprinkle it on the greasy spots, leave it on for five minutes and then comb it out.
Step 4. Let your hair air dry
This is difficult for people who are used to creating the perfect style with the hair dryer or other hot appliances. If you're trying to make your hair healthier, you'll take a step back every day if you keep using heat. Start by air-drying your hair and learn to appreciate how your hair naturally falls.
- If you feel you absolutely must use a device, set it to the coldest setting, and rather keep it for special occasions.
- Because it will take time for your hair to fully recover, it may not fall the way you want it to at first. You may have a tendency to straighten your curls or give those limp, dry locks a little kick. But it's really worth waiting for your hair to be completely healthy; you will see that the structure gets much better if you have patience.
Step 5. Do not brush your hair
Brushing your hair with a plastic brush is very damaging to your hair, especially if you're trying to get rid of tangles. You pull out hair and break it off. To untangle your hair, use a wide-toothed comb. Gently work your way through your hair, starting at the ends and working your way up until you can cut all the way through without getting stuck.
Do not brush your hair when it is wet, because then your hair is much more vulnerable. Brushing wet hair will break it and cause split ends
Step 6. Beware of certain styles
Certain styles pull on the hair too much, causing it to break or split. Hair extensions and weaves are especially bad for your hair. Whether they're woven in or glued in, it damages your hair and can even make your hair fall out, leaving you with bald spots. If you want to restore your hair, avoid all styles that are harmful.
Part 2 of 3: Feeding your hair
Step 1. Nourish your hair with shampoo every time you wash it
Shampoo cleans your hair, and conditioner nourishes it, making it smooth and shiny. If you're putting conditioner in your hair, take a coin-sized amount in your hand and start applying about 3cm from your roots, distributing it with your fingers to the tips. Make sure that enough remains in the tips, because they dry out faster than the roots. Rinse your hair well when you're done.
- Do not use more conditioner than necessary. If you use too much, your hair will become heavy and look greasy.
- Rinse your hair with cool water for extra shine. The cuticles then lie flat, making your hair look smoother and shinier than using warm water.
Step 2. Apply a deep conditioner to your hair every few weeks
A deep conditioner is meant to penetrate deep into your hair, keeping it hydrated all week long. Take a tablespoon of deep conditioner and comb it through your hair, from roots to ends. Then secure your hair on top of your head with a pin or elastic band and put a shower cap over it. Wait at least an hour before shampooing it out.
- You can buy a deep conditioner at the drugstore, or you can make your own from coconut oil, almond oil or olive oil, for example.
- Do not use a deep conditioner more than once a week, as this can damage your hair.
Step 3. Try a homemade hair mask
On days when your hair looks limp, dull or frizzy, a hair mask can restore texture and shine. Put the hair mask on your wet hair when you are in the shower, then wash it out with shampoo. Here are some home remedies for damaged hair:
- For dull hair: use a tablespoon of honey or an egg white.
- For frizzy hair: use a mashed banana or avocado.
- For dry hair: use a tablespoon of milk or yogurt.
- For combination hair: use a combination of the above products.
Step 4. Use some oil or a serum
If your hair is dry, hair oil or a serum can keep it from frizzing and protect your hair from the elements. Find an anti-pilling serum or hair oil and spread a few drops through your hair with your fingers. If you don't want to buy a special serum, use one of the following types of oil:
- argan oil
- Jojoba oil
Step 5. Try a real hair brush
While most brushes damage your hair, a real hair brush is an exception. The brushes are made from pig hair, which has almost the same texture as human hair. This allows you to spread the sebum from your scalp all the way to the tips of your hair, allowing them to also take advantage of the natural oils.
- First, use a wide-toothed comb to untangle your hair, then brush your hair from roots to ends with the boar bristle brush. Your hair will be smooth and soft when you're done.
- Plastic brushes do not have this advantage.
Part 3 of 3: Growing your hair healthy
Step 1. Massage your scalp
Massage promotes blood circulation in the scalp, allowing your hair to grow healthy and strong. Make it a habit to massage your scalp every day. Place your fingers on your head and rub your skull in circular motions. You also reduce stress and headaches.
- Massage with oil can be even better. Use coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil or olive oil and massage your head in the shower. Wash your hair when you're done shampooing.
- Some essential oils seem to be good for hair growth. Try a massage with tea tree oil, lavender oil or cedar oil.
Step 2. Use natural hair care products
Ingredients in your shampoo or conditioner can actually damage your hair more. Choose products with only natural ingredients that nourish your hair instead of cleaning too vigorously. Here's what to look out for:
- Take shampoo without sulfates. Sulfates are harmful cleaning agents that you also find in laundry or dishwasher detergents, for example, and they are much too harsh for your hair. Look for "without sulfates" on the bottle and if the ingredients are natural.
- Get a conditioner without silicones. Silicones are added to conditioners because they add shine and softness to the hair. But after a while they build up a layer around your hair making it heavy and dull.
Step 3. Be healthy from the inside out
Your daily habits can affect the health of your hair. If you don't get enough nutrients, or don't drink enough water, your hair will show it. So try to live a healthy life by doing the following:
- Eat enough foods that are good for your hair and contain proteins, Omega3 fatty acids and iron. Salmon, sardines, avocados, nuts and flaxseeds are all very good for your hair.
- Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you are dehydrated, your hair will also become dry and brittle.
- Do not smoke. Smoke damages your hair making it look dry and dull.
Step 4. Protect your hair from the elements
Just as the sun or extreme cold can damage your skin, they also affect the health of your hair. Protect your hair with a scarf or a hat if you go out in the sun or in the cold for a long time.
- Also protect your hair from swimming water with chlorine. Wear a bathing cap.
- Even air pollution can be bad for your hair. If you often have to walk or cycle in heavy traffic, protect your hair until you get to your destination.
- Wearing your hair in a protective style such as an updo or braid will reduce tangling and exposure to the elements.
Step 5. Have it trimmed regularly
When your new, healthy hair begins to grow, have the old, damaged ends clipped out. Your hair will look much fresher once the dead ends are gone, and you'll soon see a big difference.
- If you're putting conditioner in your hair, comb it through from roots to ends and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. How long you leave it on depends on how soft you want it to be. Then rinse out most of the conditioner, but leave a little so that it retains the moisture.
- Wear your hair to protect it from the elements.
- Rinse your hair with cold water to help it retain moisture.