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.
One minute, you’re in love with your healthy hair, and the next minute you cannot believe that the now-damaged tresses belong to you.
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.
This post will give you insight into repairing damaged hair and answer all your questions, including the tricky one, which is whether you can really repair hair once you’ve damaged it. Let’s begin with the cause and then proceed to the solution.
What Are Possible Reasons for Hair Damage?
Nobody’s hair wakes up and decides to turn against them by losing all its natural nutrients and becoming damaged. There’s always a reason for hair damage, and most times, we are the culprits.
Let’s give you 10 possible causes of hair damage that you should look out for.
1. Hair Dye
As much as we love hair dyes, chemical dyes can rid the hair of moisture and make it coarse. So while lightening up those gray strands or experimenting with colors, remember chemical damage.
It is no secret that bleaching can damage your hair, but sometimes we don’t know the extent. While the bleach removes your hair color, it changes your hair structure and leaves your hair fragile, brittle, and porous.
3. Heat Styling
When you engage in heat styling, you cook your hair fibers, causing porous hair and raised cuticles.
4. Irregular Hair Cuts
Failure to get regular haircuts can cause dry split ends, and you can’t put them back together once that happens.
People with oily skin and excess oil on their scalp often fall prone to over-washing, which strips the hair of all its oils. Going beyond one hair wash a day could cause hair damage.
6. Wrong Method of Towel Drying
Forceful and excessive hair rubbing motion using your towel can damage your hair because the hair is vulnerable to damage when wet.
7. Wrong And Excessive Combing
Brushing your hair too much can damage your hair, just as using tiny combs and brushes will damage your hair. Only brush your hair when necessary, especially during styling.
When your hair doesn’t get enough moisture, it is prone to breakage and damage. Excessive heat, dry weather, and low humidity can cause dry hair.
Getting perms, coloring, relaxing, and professional straightening too often can break down the cuticle and cause hair damage. It is advised that you make such hair sessions every 8 to 10 weeks.
10. Poor Diet
Beyond the things you actually do to your hair, the things you eat and don’t eat can affect your hair. The absence of nutrients like iron, zinc, folic acid, and protein can promote hair damage.
Now that you can probably tell where you’re going wrong, let us answer the question that many people treating damaged hair want to know.
Can You Really Repair Damaged Hair?
Sadly, hair damage is actually permanent because the hair has no nervous systems, blood vessels, or cell regeneration. Hair is not a living tissue that can regenerate, so it cannot be repaired or healed.
So, when you see hair products promising damage repair, take a second look. The most any hair product or hair care routine can do is to restore your hair’s outer cuticle and improve its look and feel.
Most times, you might need to cut off the hair and watch it grow again into a healthy version and then treat that with care.
How Long Does It Take to Repair Damaged Hair?
There’s no singular time frame for damaged hair to get repaired, but it often depends on the extent of damage your hair damage.
For light damage, such as those caused by heat, you can see positive results in 2 to 3 months once you begin bi-weekly treatments.
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.
Now, let’s look at different hair repair methods and what they entail.
5 Effective Methods to Repair Damaged Hair
1. Deep Conditioning treatment
The first and most advised option for handling severely damaged hair is to carry out conditioning treatment once a week.
Many people make the mistake of using protein treatment daily, thinking that it will replenish the strands, but it could cause more harm than good.
Deep conditioning treatments will penetrate your hair and keep it hydrated throughout the week.
Apply one tablespoon of deep conditioner to your hair and then comb it throughout your hair. Work it down beginning from one inch away from the roots and go to your tips.
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Then, secure your hair with a clip atop your head and cover it with a heat or shower camp for an hour and then shampoo it out.
You can either buy a deep conditioner from the store or use household remedies like olive oil, coconut oil, and almond oil.
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With a weekly hair conditioning treatment, your hair can get to its best and healthiest form between four and six months.
2. Shampoo once or twice a week
Shampooing your hair right can help to treat damaged hair because wrong and excessive washing practices can damage your hair. When you wash your hair once or twice a week with a good shampoo, you can remove excess oil while maintaining your hair’s natural oil (sebum).
When you stop washing your hair every day and switch to weekly, your scalp might react by overproducing sebum, but it will correct itself after a week and stop looking greasy.
Although, it might take three to four months to balance your hair’s oil levels if you have oily hair. You can use dry shampoo on the days when you’re not washing your hair to keep your scalp clean.
Feel free to choose between store-bought dry shampoos, or make yours using 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
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3. Use a homemade hair mask
There are a couple of homemade hair masks that can help restore your hair texture and shine, especially if you’re battling dull, frizzy, or lump hair.
If you’re battling frizzy hair, make a banana or avocado mask and apply it to your hair after wetting it in the shower. Leave it for some minutes and then shampoo it off.
Yogurt is also great for a hair mask for dry hair, while dull hair can benefit from an egg white or honey hair mask. You can combine these things if you have a combination of hair damage.
For dry hair, you can use it twice a week until you notice your hair is repaired before toning it down to once a week.
Generally, damaged hair should get homemade hair mask treatment two to three times a week. Do it until you notice that your hair is returning to its naturally healthy state. The timeline for hair repair differs from one hair to the next.
4. Get a haircut
If your hair has suffered extreme damage, cutting your hair is a great way to get your healthy hair back. It takes a lot of courage, but cutting your hair short will help you let go of most of the damaged strands and work on repairing the remaining hair while it grows out.
If you choose this option, in a few weeks, your hair should have undergone a great number of repairs depending on how you take care of your hair.
If you cannot afford to cut your hair short, then you can trim it every few weeks. Generally, hair should grow at one and a quarter centimeters every four weeks.
So, you can decide to trim 1cm off your hair every 8 weeks while gradually removing the damaged part and replacing it with new healthy growth. Trimming your hair every few weeks could take up to a year before you let go of all the damaged strands.
Whether you opt for a big chop once or get a few periodic chops, avoid exposing your hair to heat, use hair protection, and employ healthy hair care solutions and products.
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5. Leave-in Conditioning
Using a leave-in conditioner alongside heat protection after showering once or twice a week is a great way to help your hair heal from damage.
You can also apply coconut oil to your hair, wrap it up, and allow it to sit overnight. Do this once or twice a week to condition your hair.
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Here Are Few Other Products You Can Use to Repair Damaged Hair
1. Almond Oil
Almond oil helps to strengthen and soften your hair while decreasing frizz and hydrating your strands.
2. Use olive oil
Olive oil helps to rehydrate your hair, soften it, and smooth the cuticle while restoring lost moisture.
3. Rice water rinse
Research findings show that rice water can boost your hair health because it contains Inositol that penetrates damaged hair and repairs it from the inside out.
4. Use coconut oil
Coconut oil has molecules that are small enough to penetrate the outer cuticle of your hair and hydrate it from the inside out. It can also replenish the protective oils outside your hair.
5. Jojoba oil
Jojoba oil is often present in conditioners because it can strengthen and rehydrate the hair. You can apply a dime or a quarter-sized amount of jojoba oil to the ends of your damp hair.
6. Apple cider vinegar rinse
Apple Cider Vinegar helps to regulate your hair and scalp’s pH balance and restore its shine.
Once your hair is damaged, you cannot undo it, as much as you might wish to. However, you can rebuild from where you are and take care of your hair to get it to a better place.
Whether you opt for the big chop or the slow repair process, know that it could take anywhere from a few weeks to a year to see perfection, depending on the extent of the damage.
Visit a hair expert, dermatologist, or doctor if you don’t see any results after a few months.