The big question is what to do with damaged hair? And what to do in the meantime? Can you grow out damaged hair? How to treat over processed hair? Keep reading to find answers to getting back a healthy head of hair.
Damaged hair can never be completely recovered, particularly if it has been heavily processed or styled for several years; the only way to achieve truly healthy hair is to let it grow out without further damaging it. If you damage your hair by over-styling, too much heat, or over-coloring with harsh chemicals, the good news is your hair will grow back healthy. This is not always the case if you are suffering from a medical condition. You can stimulate hair growth by massaging your scalp. This is a good way to promote healthy hair even if your hair is damaged or not.
Is It Possible For Damaged Hair To Regrow In A Healthy Manner?
Damaged hair becomes healthy gain by letting it grow. To repair damaged hair, stop what you are doing, get a trim and let your hair grow back healthy. By getting a trim, you stop split end damage from spreading up the hair shaft. Your hair will now grow back healthy provided you have healthy hair follicles and you are not suffering from medical conditions. Existing medical conditions may impact hair growth.
How To Repair Damaged Hair
|Damage Hair Treatment||Over Processed Hair||Growing Out Damaged Hair|
|1. Use color treatments in moderation to stop hair damage||Condition your hair each time you shampoo||Use natural hair products|
|2. Handle hair gently||Deep conditioning treatments once each week||Massage your scalp|
|3. Air dry instead of using high heat for healthy hair||Use finishing oil or serum||Eat healthy foods|
|4. Limit shampoo to once or twice a week for healthy hair||Homemade hair mask||Get regular hair cuts|
|5. Brush your hair only when it’s dry to sop hair breakage||Use a heat protectant||Don’t use damaged combs|
|6. Avoid restrictive hairstyles to help with damaged hair||Use a UV protectant||Clean brushes regularly|
How To Repair Damaged Hair – Hair Treatment Products
Products are listed in no particular order and are numbered for reference only. If you are not interested in reading all the details I cut to the chase and give my top choice below to save you some time. But if you read the entire article you will get a much better understanding on how I came to my #1 choice and will know more, a lot more!
1. My #1 Choice To Cover Up Hair Damage
Why? Because it is effective. It’s my first option for concealing split ends. Yes, it is effective in repairing damaged hair and broken connections. Provides a healthy look to your hair.
It makes your hair look like there is no split end damage, but it does not prevent future damage. Preventing further damage can only be accomplished through altering your habits. If you’ve damaged your hair in any way, like by beaching, I’d recommend trying this treatment. It’s possible that it will work for you. It’s worth noting that I said it may work. I’m not suggesting that this stuff is a miracle worker.
Before using this product or any split end repair product, I highly suggest you test it on a small section of your hair first. 99% of the time, the best solution is to get a haircut to eliminate split ends and keep them from splitting up the hair shaft. But you may do a repair and this is one of the best products I am aware of that really works. So I say try it before you use more drastic measures.
2. My #2 Choice Is Amplixin Hydrating Hair Mask – Deep Conditioner Hair Treatment With Coconut & Argan Oil
I like it because it contains a combination of clinically studied active ingredients that help promote healthy, shiny hair growth. Great if you have hair breakage. Follow instructions and make sure to rinse it out, this is not a leave in product. Good hair breakage treatment. But it has some drawbacks, the major dislike is it does not have a good smell. Its has a citrus like smell that some folks do not like.
3. Alberto Vo5 Hot Oil Intense Conditioning Treatment
Very good intense moisturizing treatment for damaged hair. This product has been around for a long time because it works well. Just make sure to follow the directions.
4. Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Split-End Bandage
Easy to use, just spray it on comb through if you want and go. Great extra conditioner that does not leave your hair oily or heavy. Great for damaged hair.
5. HSI Professional Argan Oil Heat Protector
It’s says heat protector but it much more than that. It’s also a leave in conditioner. I like it because it contains argan oil and vitamins to add shine to your hair. It does have a fragrance to is, so you will either love it or hate it. I thought it was OK, I did not mind the smell.
|Anti Static And Conditioning Spritz||Recommendation|
|1. John Frieda Frizz Ease||Works very well and add a little gloss to your hair. The anti-frizz formula is great and lasts a long time.|
|2. Snip-its Tangle Tamer Hair Detangler Spray for Kids||Says it’s for kids but don’t let that stop you from purchasing because it works good. I like it because it contains no harsh chemicals, made in the USA and is cruelty-free.|
|3. Joico Blonde Life Brilliant Glow||Smells nice and makes hair look shiny. Overall a very good product, not oily, nice and lightweight.|
|4. xStatyk – Anti Static Hypoallergenic Spray||I like it because it has no heavy odor and is not tested on animals. It works by calming statically charged hair by evenly distributing ionic charges.|
|5. Coconut Heat Protection Spray and Anti-Frizz||I can’t resist the coconut scent, but it’s a little on the heavy side so go lightly.|
|6. Biolage All-in-one Coconut Infusion||I recommend because it does a lot for the price. It enhances shine, fights frizz, detangles, protects hair from heat, prevents split ends.|
|7. Loma Hair Care Nourishing Oil||Honestly the vanilla bean and orange scent is great. You get thermal protection and humidity resistance in a nourishing oil based spray.|
|8. Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum||I recommend because it give your hair a smooth, frizz,free finish that resists humidity. Plus it’s vegan, paraben and gluten free. Excellent!!!|
|9. Paul Mitchell Foaming Pommade||One of my all time favorites. Works excellent but the down side you have to work it in using your hands so it’s not as easy as a spray on to apply. It is very good at providing light control for your hair.|
|10. PURA D’OR Professional Moroccan Argan Oil||I like the Moroccan oil plus protects against UV rays and adds a bit of shine to your hair.|
|11. Redken One United All-In-One||I love this product because it’s a leave in conditioner and heat protectant detangles, hydrates, fights frizz all with one easy to use spray.|
|12. Leave-In Conditioner||I love it. An excellent product!!!! It has a lavender scent but honestly it’s so light you can’t really smell anything. If you have thin hair this product t will help improve texture. Does a great job at reducing static. I highly recommend.|
|13. Redken Frizz Dismiss Anti-static Oil Mist||It’s an oil but it’s lightweight. Works good at anti frizz for taming flyaways. Contains Babassu Oil which come form the seeds of the babassu palm which mainly grows in the Amazon region of South America. It’s very similar to coconut oil.|
|14. Color Wow Dream Coat||I like it because it encapsulates and transforms the texture of strands so they fall in smooth, silky alignment. It’s like water proof for your hair. Works better for some than others. Might be too light for some, but my preference is I would rather it be lighter than really heavy and oily.|
|15. Moroccanoil All In One Leave in Conditioner||An excellent lightweight leave-in conditioner that hydrates, detangles, and provides long-lasting softness. Plus it has my personal favorite, argan oil.|
|16. R+Co Foil Frizz Plus Static Control Spray||Good for getting rid of static, taming flyaway hair, eliminating frizz plus it’s a vegan and cruelty-free product. However, it works better for some folks than others. It might be too light for some with heavy static conditions.|
|17. Redken Oil for All||It’s a lightweight oil that adds shine and smoothness to you hair.|
|18. Redken Oil for All||I like because its a weightless, anti frizz formula works. Has a nice mandarin orange scent. Great at taming flyaways.|
|19. Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil||I recommend because it gets rid of frizzy hair and also give you a nice healthy shine. Use on damp hair before you blow-dry or you can spritz on to control frizz on dry hair. Has a really good sandalwood scent.|
|20. Oribe Gold Lust All Over Oil||I like because it’s color and keratin treatment safe. Plus it’s vegan and gluten-free. The down side is it’s not as easy to apply as a spray. You will need work it in with your hands and fingers. A few drops goes a long way. Very good at hydrating.|
Before I can talk about restoring damaged hair let’s get a better understanding and take a quick look at hair, what is it and is it really made up of dead cells? According to Matthew Hoffman, MD,
Hair is made up of keratin.
Keratin is a protein that is the main structural material making up hair, nails and in animals horns, feathers, claws and hooves. So it’s not just in humans. And since it’s a protein it’s not alive. There are no nerve cells in hair. So when you get a hair cut you feel no pain. Hair has it’s roots in the skin. the base of the hair in the skin is alive and is composed of living cells that grow and divide thus building the hair shaft. The root or hair follicle as Dr. Matthew Hoffman says
The hair bulb forms the base of the hair follicle. In the hair bulb, living cells divide and grow to build the hair shaft. Blood vessels nourish the cells in the hair bulb, and deliver hormones that modify hair growth and structure at different times of life.
Now you know hair is dead so there is no magical treatment that is going to make your hair repair itself. “One common cause of hair damage is over chemical processing which takes place while coloring your hair“, says our in-house hair analyst, Stacey. During the coloring process your hair is broken down to allow for the dye to enter.
According to Ramona Mulligan, a salon owner in Los Angeles California,
Unfortunately, you really can’t undo damage to hair but you can cover it up to make it look like it’s not danaged. Once the hair shaft has been broken down with bleach, it can’t rebuild itself. You can, however, strengthen it some, and with a good conditioner, temporarily bond the ends together to avoid further breakage. If your hair feels stretchy and gummy when its wet, or is actually breaking off, you are going to have to cut some of that off, if you want your hair to get back to healthy status. Depending on the length, it can take anywhere from 4 months to a year to grow out.
Can You Really Repair Damaged Hair?
The short answer is yes, you can repair hair to make it look better. There are some things you can do to make damaged hair look better but once you hair is damaged there is no way to really restore it. The best thing to do is let it grow out. Give it time to get healthy and strong. Ramona recommends the following treatment:
“Get a deep conditioning and reconstructing treatment as soon as possible, and a shampoo, and conditioner for color treated, damaged hair. Do NOT get a hot oil treatment to use as a reconstruction.
If money is an issue, buy some coconut oil as a deep conditioner for now. In addition to that, a leave in conditioner with a heat protectant for after the shower and some Argan oil will be very helpful with building your hair back up. 1-2/week, put the conditioning treatment or coconut oil all over your hair, and wrap it in a bun or an old t shirt and leave it on over night. Try not to shampoo your hair more than 3/week. After shampoo and conditioner, use a leave in conditioner and some Argan oil on the ends.”
According to Ceara Milligan, “Mayonnaise, when used as a hair mask, adds shine and strengthens hair from root to tip. The main ingredients in mayonnaise are egg and oil. The high amount of protein in eggs helps strengthen and thicken hair follicles. Olive and canola oils deeply moisturize hair.“
1. Deep Condition To Fix Damaged Hair
Ed (yep that’s me) says, “After every shampoo use a deep conditioner like coconut oil. And consider using a leave in conditioner.” There are tons of products out there on the market that can help. Here are 2 of my top product recommendations and don’t’ forget to read my other article “Damaged hair men” for even more ideas to help with damaged hair:
Amplixin Hydrating Hair Mask – Deep Conditioner Hair Treatment With Coconut & Argan Oil – Sulfate Free Hair Repair Conditioner For Men & Women With Dry, Damaged Hair
What I like about Amplixin is it contains NO sulfates and parabens which can cause scalp inflammation and in some cases increase hair shedding by suffocating the follicles. Amplixin hydrating hair mask contains Argan and Coconut oil. Argan and Coconut oil contains vitamin E and fatty acids good for your hair. What I like is both oils help treat split ends and can tame frizzy hair.
Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Split-End Bandage
I like this product because it’s a leave in product that contains phyto-keratin a plant based keratin. According to Meesh, our in-house hair product analyst, “lipids works to strengthen your hair and help prevent further split-ends.” It conditions your hair without leaving it oily. If you can find this product in stores I would advise to buy there instead of ordering online. The reason why is sometimes the cap can come loose and the product can spill out of the bottle during shipment.
2. To Fix Damaged Hair Use Natural Products
If you have damaged hair the one thing you don’t want is even more damage. So stop using products that could potentially further damage your hair. Stop using harsh chemicals. Many shampoos and conditioners contain sulfates and silicone for example. These ingredients are in most products like laundry detergent to regular hand soap. And you don’t need them when there are better natural alternatives available.
According to Crystal Aguh MD, and her book called: 90 Days to Beautiful Hair: 50 Dermatologist-Approved Tips to Un ‘lock’ The Hair of Your Dreams, “Be patient! It may take months, even a couple of years, before you find the right set of products for your hair, but if you’re not satisfied, keep looking. The ideal shampoo should leave your hair feeling clean, but not dry. The ideal deep conditioner should make your hair feel nice and soft and allow it to retain that level of moisture for at least a few days.“
Instead of using sulfate look for natural ingredients, sulfate free shampoos. Instead of using silicone look for a silicone free conditioner. The main reason silicone is added to conditioners is to make your hair shine. But after continued use the silicone tends to build up in your hair. For example you could use a product with Coconut oil. The oil will give your hair that shine and from a protective barrier that you want to protect your hair form further damage.
My top 2 favorite shampoo and conditioner products to help with damaged hair
WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo & Hair Conditioner Set – (2 x 16.9 Fl Oz / 500mL) – Increase Gloss, Hydration, Shine – Reduce Itchy Scalp,
Dandruff & Frizz – No Parabens or Sulfates – All Hair Types
PURA D’OR Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Shampoo Clinically Tested, Infused with Argan Oil, Biotin & Natural Ingredients, Sulfate Free, All Hair Types, Men and Women, 16 Fl Oz
Shampoo no more than once or twice a week. did you know your scalp produces a natural oil called sebum that keeps the hair from drying out. When you wash your hair too often, you wash away this oil before it has the chance to go down the length of your hair and provide protection. Washing your hair merely a few times a week will help your hair stay bright and healthy.
When you initially stop washing your hair every day, your scalp will overproduce sebum, as it’s used to your routine of washing it away every 24 hours. After a week or so things will balance out and your hair will no longer look greasy right away. If you have oily hair or skin, this process can take up to three or four months.
3. Stop Using Tools That Can Cause Damage To Your Hair
Many people do not realize you can easily ruin you hair by over-doing-it. Too much heat, too much styling and too much brushing. If you already have damaged hair this is just going to make your problem even worse. By over doing it, you hair can become, frizzy, dull, and limp. The simple answer is to start wearing you hair in a more natural style. And start using hydrating products. Stay away from heat. But if you must use heat then consider using a good heat protectant spray.
Did you know by letting your hair air dry provides your hair the chance to repair? If you feel you really must use heat styling equipment, use them on a low level, and save it for rare occasions.
Additionally, use a cotton T-shirt to dry your hair, instead of a coarse towel. Cotton shirts are easier on your strands. And remember, being gentle is the key when it comes to caring for damaged hair.
My top recommendation for heat protectant and UV protections are:
- HSI PROFESSIONAL Argan Oil Heat Protector | Protect up to 450º F from Flat Irons & Hot Blow Dry | Sulfate Free, Prevents Damage & Breakage | Made in the USA | 8 Ounce
- It’s a 10 Haircare Miracle Leave-In product, 10 fl. oz
Also you should avoid restricted hairstyles. Certain styles strain on the hair and cause it to fray or break. Hair extensions and weaves are particularly damaging for the hair. Whether they’re sewed in or bonded to your hair, they ultimately end in damage. When you’re striving to restore your hair to health, it’s better to completely avoid styles that are rough on the hair.
4. Over Processed Hair – Stop Further Damage Your Hair By Stopping Coloring Your Hair
The process of growing out bleached hair or getting rid of fried ends 9chemical damage from chemical treatments) takes a long time but the the best way to deal with the problem is to get a pixie cut. This is the guaranteed way to get the best results and you can see the results immediately because all your split ends are cut off. But…
Well for some people that is going to be a tall order but if you can, it’s worth considering especially when you find out just how damaging it can be. There are some alternatives out there that use natural ingredients like Tea for example. But if you must color your hair then al least look for products that are ammonia free. The down side is that the color sill wash out faster. To read more click on the link, “Broken hair on top of head“. In this article I go into more details about ammonia and how coloring actually damages your hair.
Sever Hair Breakage | How Long Does It Take To Repair Extremely Damaged Hair?
Hair is going to grow at different rates for different people but the average rate of growth is half an inch per month. So for the average person in 6 months your hair will have grown three inches. And in one year it’s now about six inches. This is for the average healthy person who has no medical hair or scalp conditions.
According to Lyse Lauren, in her book called: Handbook of Hair Oils: Best All-In-One Hair Care Secret, “There are a whole host of wonderful natural oils derived from plants and seeds or kernels and other sources that have a wide range of benefits for the health of our hair. In most cases, the oils that provide the greatest benefit are natural, organic oils.“
Will Damaged Hair Grow | Does Cutting Off Damaged Hair Help It Grow?
No, cutting your hair has nothing to do with hair growth. Your hair is dead and it’s growth is formed in the hair follicle in your skin not at the ends of the hair shaft. Now that being said, if you are suffering from split ends then getting a trim will definitely improve the look of your hair and will help. Once your split ends are cut off your hair will have that healthy appearance again. If you hair follicle is not damaged you hair should continue to grow. Having split ends does not stop your hair from growing.
Conclusion For Growing Back Damaged Hair
Now you know why it’s not possible to repair damaged hair. Once your hair is damaged that’s it, there is no mending it since it’s dead. It will not grow back together if you have split-ends for example. The best option is to get a trim and to cover it up by using treatments.
Did you know, according to Lisa H. Gregory PH.D and her book Vitamins And Hair Loss: The Perfect Guide To Reduce Your Hair Loss Using Vitamins Intake, “There are a lot of women running around who are deficient and don’t realize it, because of either dieting, poor nutrition, or intense stress. And when you’re super stressed or not eating enough, your body will shut down your hair growth first and redirect nutrients and energy to the organs that need it most, thus leaving you vitamin deficient.“
As you now know is not permanent solution but can get you by till your next trim. The only real solution is to let your hair grow out and protect it from further damage. Your hair should be healthier again in about 6 months. During this time it should have grown about 3 inches in length.
Happy female photo by Adrienne Andersen from Pexels
Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Cetearyl Alcohol – https://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/115_buff3a_suppl.pdf