Hey you, you have a bunch of dead protein on your head, and you better take care of it!
Sound crazy? It might, but like many other aspects of our magical bodies, it’s true.
A sad truth is that once our hair grows to where it’s visible, it’s no longer living or taking anything from our bodies, which means that as far as reviving or rejuvenating dead hair goes, the best offense is a good defense. In other words, take good care of it from the start!
Trim Your Hair Regularly
My first tip to avoid having dry and damaged hair is to get regular trims. It may seem counter-intuitive to cut the hair off when you're wanting it to grow longer, but getting your hair trimmed regularly prevents breakage and helps diminish the visual cues of dry and damaged hair, such as split ends! Time to become BFFs with your hair stylist, because you should be seeing him or her for a trim every four to six weeks (depending on how quickly your hair grows)!
Getting your hair trimmed regularly prevents breakage and reduces split ends.
Another tip would be to make sure that your hair is getting moisturized from root to tip. Our scalps do sweat, which lubricates our hair from the follicle, or pore, the hair is coming out of. This is what can make our heads look greasy if we go a long time without washing, or after a particularly intense workout.
However, unless we intervene, there’s nothing that gets moisture to the ends of the hair, which is where dryness and damage usually occur. There are a couple different ways around this. The first is to administer the oils that are naturally occurring over a larger area of your hair - basically pulling your natural moisture down the shaft to the ends, so that it’s not just at the root. The best way to do this is to use a natural boar bristle brush and brush from root to end, redistributing that oil.
Depending on how long your hair is, and how much oil your hair produces, you may need to still add oil, especially to the ends. My favorite is Moroccan Oil, which is a lovely-smelling Argan Oil, but really any brand of Argan oil works. Coconut oil, olive oils, and others work as well. You may have to experiment to see what works best on your hair and moisturizes it without weighing it down!
If You Do Bleach, Use the Most Gentle Method Possible
A third tip would be to make sure that any coloring or bleaching you do be done with the most gentle method possible, especially if your hair has a tendency toward breakage or dryness. For example, ask your stylist to use Olaplex if you’re getting a color service done, ESPECIALLY if it's dramatic bleaching (or you need first to do a high-lift bleach to get your pastel or unicorn look)!
And on that note - if you're going dramatically lighter - listen to your stylist if he or she suggests going in phases, as it can be very tough on your hair (or even impossible) to do all in one go! I’d also avoid using box dyes, as they can also be very tough on your hair (and cause potential problems if color correction is professionally required later).
Use Thicker Elastic Hair Bands
It's easy to be rough on our hair day-to-day, because we may take it for granted or find it irritating, but using gentle hair bands like thicker elastics to tie it back can make a huge difference in diminishing damage.
Another tip that’s so easy you could do it in your sleep is to use silk/satin pillowcases, which allow hair to glide across your pillow and also minimize tangling and breakage! My favorite, which are also socially conscious, are these from Madison & White!
Use Less Shampoo
Avoiding shampooing too often and making sure to use conditioner are other ways to prolong the life and health of our hair. Many swear by the “no poo” movement, which is slowly reducing how often one shampoos your hair, which trains your scalp to produce less oil.
Using dry shampoo can help extend the life of your blowout and decrease the stress you put on your hair.
If that doesn’t work for you, using dry shampoo can help extend the life of your blowout and decrease the stress you put on your hair. Whichever is best for you, when you DO shampoo your hair, make sure there aren’t sulfates in the ingredients, because sulfates dry out hair too!
Use a Thermal Protectant
Finally, if you do any heat styling, a thermal protectant can make a huge difference to reduce the drying effects of our flatirons, curling irons, and blowdryers! My favorite is Kerastase Ciment Thermique, which you put on your hair when it's damp and then style as usual.
While I wish there was a magical product that you could apply to dry and damaged hair to bring it back to shiny, healthy life, there just isn’t one that exists - yet. The best way to cure dry and damaged hair (aside from cutting it off) is to avoid letting your hair get damaged in the first place with these tips!