When you look in the mirror, are you dissatisfied with your hair?
Does it feel dry and brittle?
Do you have split ends, or is it breaking off?
With all the heat-styling and chemical treatments available today, it’s all too easy to fry your tresses.
But hair grows quickly, and it can recover.
Even if it’s thinning, it can get thicker.
Here are six simple tips to help your hair recover its strength and shine.
Step one: stop whatever you’re doing
The first thing you need to do to repair your hair is to stop damaging it.
I realize that your color will fade, your curls will straighten, and your frizz will come back.
That’s all right because it’s only for a little while (1).
The idea is to let your hair relax, and your follicles get back in the rhythm.
No extensions, no braids, and no dreds, okay?
It’s time to pamper your locks and your scalp.
There are ways to make up, to some extent, what you lack in the meantime.
For example, dry shampoo can pick up the slack.
There are tinted dry shampoos for brunettes that can mask your roots.
And leave-conditioner can restore luminosity to dull strands and bounce to curls.
Step two: moisturize
Most of the time, damaged hair is extra-dry.
There are two ways you can hydrate it.
The first is to switch to sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.
An excellent choice is shampoo and conditioner with keratin.
These naturally repair the individual strands and moisturize the scalp.
Plus, many are mild enough to use daily.
After all, it’s not the water that’s drying out your hair. It’s the chemicals.
Next, apply a hair mask weekly for deep-conditioning. Use a leave-in conditioner daily on the ends.
Remember to drink plenty of water, too.
Having enough water inside your body will help your scalp and follicles do their job properly.
Step three: change your tools and technique
To prevent further damage, don’t brush your hair when it’s wet.
That’s when it’s prone to breaking or falling out.
Use a wide-tooth comb instead, or just your fingers.
What’s more, pat, don’t rub the strands.
Even better, switch to a microfiber towel or sop up moisture with a T-shirt.
The idea is to not rough up the cuticle of the hair.
Let it air dry.
Moreover, get a silk pillowcase. It’s kind to your skin as well as your hair.
Step four: get a trim
Now, visit the salon to trim off split ends.
Get advice on how to wear your hair while you’re letting it grow out.
And consider a nourishing hot oil treatment and scalp massage.
Step five: change your diet
Add more fresh fruit and vegetables to your meals and snacks.
Incorporate more protein to give your body the building blocks for stronger hair.
I know it’s easy to say stop smoking, and harder to do. But smoking can wreck your hair.
If you can find a way to go tobacco-free, now’s the time to do it.
Another way to boost your hair growth is to take a supplement.
Biotin, a water-soluble B vitamin, is vital for healthy hair.
Your doctor can test your blood for iron or zinc deficiencies, too. Both of those can cause hair loss.
Step six: protect your hair
Extreme weather, sunshine, hard water, and chlorine can wreck your mane.
Wear a hat if you’ll be outdoors on a sunny day.
Check out the leave-in conditioners made for swimmers, and the shampoos as well.
On the other hand, you could wear a silicone cap in the pool.
Step seven: be patient
Hand your curling iron and blow dryer to a friend and tell them to hang onto them for a couple of months.
Tell your stylist that you’re taking a break from coloring, straightening, and perms.
I’m sure they will applaud your decision.
Now is the time to be patient and wait for your hair to recover.
It may take up to six months to a year to look and feel healthy again.
But even just two weeks of moisturizing can bring positive changes.
You will thank yourself down the road when you look in the mirror.
1. https://www.wikihow.com/Restore-Damaged-Hair by Gina Alomona, published January 24, 2020, accessed January 29, 2020