One thing we can all agree on is that no good can come out of having damaged hair. We all want to have long, thick, and healthy glowing hair, but our hair goals don’t always equal our reality. Hair damage occurs when we expose our hair to aggressors like heat, chemicals, and the like, and they destroy the hair cuticle causing the hair to become dry, dull, and frizzy. So many things can turn our beautiful hair into a living nightmare, but when the deed has been done, repairing the damage is the next thing that comes to mind. But the question is: how to repair damaged hair, and how long does it take? Let’s begin with the cause and then proceed to the solution.
I. What Causes Make Your Hair Damaged?
Our hair is often referred to as our crowning glory, an expression of our individuality and style. However, factors like excessive heat styling, chemical treatments, and environmental aggressors can transform our once lustrous locks into a dry, brittle mess. Let’s take a look at the common culprits that wreak havoc on our tresses.
1. Heat Damage
The name kind of gives it away: heat damage is caused by, well, heat. Any styling tool that uses high temperatures, including a blow-dryer, flat iron, curling wand, and hot hair rollers can wreak havoc on your hair if used improperly. Heat lifts the hair cuticles, leaving your strands feeling rough and prone to lose moisture quickly; the best way to prevent this from happening and reduce any damage is using a heat protectant spray.
2. Chemical Damage
Chemical damage is a type of damage caused by using hair products that will permanently (or, in some cases, even temporarily) alter the way your hair presents itself in its natural state. Perms, relaxers, permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes and bleach all fall in this category. Overprocessing or using harsh chemicals can lead to hair breakage, dryness, and split ends.The only way to protect your hair from this type of damage is to avoid it entirely; however, if you’re looking to apply highlights or flashes of color to your hair, you can always use clip-in hair extensions to do it without bleaching or dyeing your tresses.
3. Poor Hair Care Routine
Not taking proper care of your hair can contribute to damage. This includes inadequate washing, using harsh shampoos, skipping conditioner, excessive brushing, and using tight hairstyles that pull on the hair.
4. Mechanical Damage
Mechanical damage can basically be described as handling your tresses in a rough, harsh way. Aggressive brushing, tight braiding, and combing your hair the wrong way can cause unnecessary stress to your hair and scalp, including pulling, tugging, and (in some cases) even hair loss.
II. How Long Does It Take To Repair Damaged Hair?
Not every level of damage is the same, and the concept applies to hair types as well: they are all different, react to treatments differently, and require different types of TLC. There’s no singular time frame for damaged hair to get repaired, but it often depends on the level of damage your hair has gone through.
For light damage, a few days/washes can be enough – whilst in some more dramatic cases you may need to wait for months, or even wait for healthy new growth whilst you trim away the irreparably damaged. But generally, the repair tie would range from 2 to 6 months and even up to 1 year to notice an improvement in your hair.
1. Can Very Damaged Hair Be Repaired?
Certain levels of damage, such as frizz, split ends, and in some cases dryness and/or brittleness can be salvaged fairly easily with the help of a few handy specific products and by changing your hair care routine. However, if we’re talking about some serious damage that doesn’t show any signs of life even after using the right products, then it might be permanent – something that can, unfortunately, be fixed only by chopping off the dead bits of your mane. Sacrificing a bunch of inches of length in your tresses may sound scary to some, but in certain cases (such as with split ends), not doing so can actually do more damage and ruin the whole shaft of your hair over time.
2. Does Damaged Hair Grow Back Healthy?
Unless your hair issues are caused by something coming from within, such as nutritional deficiencies, medications, and other health issues, you can easily grow healthy hair by avoiding or reducing chemical, mechanical, and heat damage.
III. How To Repair Damaged Hair?
Understanding the factors that cause damaged hair is the first step toward achieving healthier, more resilient hair. Each cause has its own way to repair, you can refer to this post to get more about the way to repair damaged hair. Below, we have announced the common repair process with simple steps revive it and restore its natural shine, softness, and manageability:
1. Use A Nourishing Hair Mask
Investing in a good hair mask focused on restoring moisture and protein balance in your tresses is the best idea in cases like this, but this doesn’t mean you have to necessarily splash out on expensive brands! You can make your own reviving hair mask at home, with ingredients that are commonly found in the average pantry or fridge.
2. Get Regular Trims
Keeping up with regular trims every now and then helps get rid of dry and brittle ends, preventing breakage, split ends, and thinning ends. Trimming works on natural hair and also on hair extensions too, expanding their life and keeping them looking thick and full.
3. Avoid Further Damage
This is kind of a given, but incorporating the right products in your hair care routine won’t be enough if you don’t cut down on your bad hair habits. Using heat protectant spray on fried hair won’t be much helpful for example; in that case, you may want to look at air-drying techniques.
4. Use A Leave-In Conditioner
Leave-in conditioner saved my hair, quite literally. I was struggling with dryness and tangling, and no matter how well I brushed my hair in the morning – it would always downgrade to a messy ball throughout the day. Friction against my clothes, tugging from my bag’s strap, the wind… All of these factors stripped my tresses from their softness.
IV. Wrapping Up
From the scorching heat of styling tools to the hidden dangers lurking in your hair care routine, whilst unfortunately there isn’t an instant quick fix to bring damaged tresses back to their original splendor, repairing your hair (in some cases) is possible – although, it is a gradual process that requires time, patience, and consistency. Ditching heat, implementing reconstructive hair products, and adopting a healthier hair care routine, together with accessorizing yourself with the right tools and hair extensions can help you grow healthier, longer hair whilst taking care of the damaged bits.