If you have ever had hair damage then you know one big question is how to protect your hair from damage. After all you do not want to have hair damage again, right? In this article I’ll discuss tips to help prevent damaged hair.
Prevention is the key on how to protect hair from damage. Protection routines include keeping your hair moisturized, do not use high heat, invest in high quality tools (like a ceramic hair dryer), do not over brush or shampoo your hair. See the full list below.
Once you already have hair damage the job just got a lot harder.
For more on how to deal with damaged hair be sure to read my other articles on this site that is jam packed with great information. After reading you might be surprised what you may have learned. Here they are: Does damaged hair grow back healthy, Broken hair on top of head, and Damaged hair men
According to Ashley Adams a Licensed Cosmetologist and Hair Stylist in Illinois and Eugene Toye a stylist at Rita Hazan salon who has styled has styled hair for countless designer runway shows, from Versace and Valentino to Dolce & Gabbana and Jean Paul Gaultier:
Pro Tip: One of the first steps to taking care of damaged hair is keeping it moisturized. Dry hair is often very brittle, which leads to damaged hair.
How to stop Protect hair from damage
- Use the right tools
- Use the right techniques and proper methods
- Let hair dry naturally before styling
- Do not style wet hair
- Do not comb wet hair in the shower
- Do not use a boar brush on wet hair
- Do not use a curling iron on wet hair
- Do not use a hot brush straightener on wet hair
- Do not use a flat iron on wet hair
- Bush your long hair from he ends to the roots
- Do not vigorously rub your hair with a cotton towel
- Avoid coloring and harsh chemicals
- Avoid using ammonia, look for ammonia-free hair dyes instead
- Avoid using sodium lauryl sulfate shampoos
- Know your alcohols
- Wear a swim cap
- Wash your hair after swimming
- Protect your hair from UV rays
- Use UV protectant spray
- Avoid overdoing it
- Stop over washing
- Stop over brushing
- Consider using a deep conditioning treatment
- Use a high quality conditioner
- Deep condition your hair on a regular basis
- Avoid high heat
- Set you styling tools to the lowest heat setting you can
- Use a heat protectant spray
To prevent damaging your hair use the right tools
Do not use a boar bristle brush to detangle your hair. The bristles are too close together and you will end up ripping your hair out. Instead use a good brush like the The Wet brush. The Wet brush is specifically designed to detangle hair. Knowing what I know about The Wet brush, if you do not already have one I would just go out and buy one. You will be glad you did. Another option is to use a wide toothed comb. Revlon, Denman and Cricket make great combs to mention just a few. Read my article called “Should I comb my curly hair in the shower” to learn more.
Using a high quality hair dryer can make a big difference in the quality of the outcome. Plus it can save you time and save your hair in the long run because it will give you precisely the right amount of heat you need to set your style.
Table of Contents
Use the right techniques and proper methods to prevent damaging your hair
You should always try to let your hair dry naturally as much a possible before styling. Your hair should be a bout 80% dry before you go into your styling routine. Wet hair is at it’s weakest point. You can easily stretch your hair and then it can snap if you choose to comb or brush while your hair is still wet. But if you must comb your hair while wet then at least use a leave-in-conditioner to help slide the comb through without pulling or creating too much tension.
If you have longer hair then always start brushing your hair from the tips and work your way to the roots. If you start at your roots the brush or comb will pull your hair thus creating much more tension. The tension can actually pull out your hair. By staring at the ends you work through the tangles and by the time you reach your roots the comb or brush should glide through much easier.
Cotton towels have micro fibers that can catch your hair and pull it out or create so much tension it causes your hair to snap. Try using an old T-shirt or letting your hair air dry while you do something else for a few minutes. Avoid at all cost vigorously rubbing your hair using a cotton towel.
Coloring and harsh chemicals can damage your hair instantly
Harsh chemicals are everywhere and unfortunately they are included in many products we use every day. But by reading the ingredients you can avoid harsh chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate and others. When looking for a shampoo look for ones with natural ingredients. I am still searching for the perfect shampoo, so if you have any that you sear by please leave a comment. I would love to know more.
Some alcohols are OK, so when reading the list of ingredients just because you see alcohol listed as an ingredient does not mean the shampoo contains hard chemicals.
These are damaging or bad alcohols:
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Propyl alcohol
- SD alcohol 40
These are OK alcohols:
- Cetearyl alcohol
- Cetyl alcohol
- Stearyl alcohol
The damaging alcohols will dry your hair out and make it brittle and susceptible to damage. Please comment below if you know of other hard chemicals.
Protect your hair from damaging UV rays and swimming
When the weather is nice it’s time to get outside and have some fun. But this is also a critical time when UV rays can damage your hair. According to the NCBI:
Pro Tip: Excessive sun exposition is the most frequent cause of hair shaft’s structural impairment. Photochemical impairment of the hair includes degradation and loss of hair proteins as well as degradation of hair pigment. Hair protein degradation is induced by wavelengths of 254-400 nm. UVB radiation is responsible for hair protein loss and UVA radiation is responsible for color changes.
The bottom line is it’s a good idea to use a UV protectant sprays like:
- It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In plus Keratin Spray 10 oz – $26.79
- HSI PROFESSIONAL Top 5 Heat Hair Protector & Conditioner | Flat Iron & Hot Blow Dry Thermal Guard | With Argan, Coconut, Macadamia, Olive Oil & Vitamins | Made in the USA | 8 Ounce – $12.74
Overdoing it can case hair damage
Many times we just don’t realize it that washing your hair too often strips away all your natural oils. Especially when you are using harsh chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate in your shampoo. If you have dry hair or even frizzy hair this could be the reason why. You are just over doing it with shampooing. And the answer is simple just cut back. Maybe you just need a good dry shampoo like:
- Dove Refresh+Care Dry Shampoo, Volume & Fullness, 5 Ounce (Pack of 1) – $4.88
- Batiste Dry Shampoo, Original Fragrance, 6.73 Fl Oz,Pack of 3 – $14.90
Over-brushing can also damage your hair. By brushing your hair too much you can actually cause split-ends. I’m not sure how many strokes you would need to brush before building up too much friction that would cause split-ends. I’m am guessing if you had healthy hair to begin with you would have to bush it an awful lot to cause any damage. Now on the other hand if you already have damaged hair I am guessing it would take less so it makes more since to cut down.
Deep conditioning treatment can help damaged hair
Consider using a deep conditioning treatment after your shampoo. a deep conditioner is different than your regular conditioner. Often deep conditioners contain more or a more concentrated amount of ingredients needed to repair and protect your hair. If you find you hair is always dry then you can use a deep conditioning treatment more than once a week. For hair that is mildly dry once a month should work just fine.
When in doubt ask your stylist. What you want is a deep conditioning product that also detangles, hydrates, improves manageability giving you a beautiful shine without feeling and looking oily. With most deep conditioners, unlike regular conditioners, you want to leave in you hair for at least 10 minutes. This gives the ingredients time to work. Some deep conditions work even better the longer you leave it in. Here are two that I like:
- Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner By Arvazallia for Dry or Damaged Hair – 8.45 Oz – $12.95
- Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment, 3.3 Fl Oz – $28.00
- Amplixin Hydrating Hair Mask – Deep Conditioner Hair Treatment With Coconut & Argan Oil – Sulfate Free Hair Repair Conditioner For Men & Women With Dry, Damaged Hair, 8Oz – $25.50
High heat can damaged your hair
Let your hair dry as much as possible naturally before picking up your hair dryer. The less heat you have to apply the better. Always start with the lowest heat setting you can possibly get away with to set your style.
Professional hair dryers cost more but they do have benefits above and beyond normal hair dryers. I consider one of the most important features of any hair dryer is the ability to adjust the temperature.
I like the Sam Villa Light Professional Ionic which has a built-in ceramic/tourmaline Ion generation which is great at creating shine while reducing static and frizz. the end result is you have a nice smooth and shiny finish. Ionic hair dryers emit negative ions which breaks up water droplets quickly thus allowing your hair to dry much faster. It also leaves your hair looking and feeling much softer and shinier with less heat.
The reason why I like it is because it allows you to turn on/off the Ionic technology. There are times when you do not want or need this feature depending on your hair style and this dryer puts you in control. To learn more about ions be sure to read and watch my video, What do negative ions do for your hair? Also to learn even more read my other article called, Is a ceramic hair dryer better?
And yes it’s going to cost a lot more than a cheap blow dryer but You are going to be able to control when you want the ionic generator to be used. You can turn it off and on when needed to suit your style. Really when you think about it how many times do you buy shampoo costing $15.00 per bottle or more per year. You probably spend more on shampoo than you do on a nice styling tool.
One last tip on hair dryers. Make sure you clean the back filter from dust and debris. This will make your dryer run smoother and last longer. And when cleaning take a good look at the condition to make sure nothing is worn or broken.
Always apply use a good heat protectant before your dry your hair. And here is why. You hair is made up of water and keratin so when you apply heat you are causing the water inside your hair to evaporate and thus changing it natural curl pattern. So by applying heat you have altered the properties of your hair and this can lead to dry, frizzy or even hot spots if you applied too much heat.
Most heat protectants also contains other ingredients to help strengthen your hair like antioxidants and oils. The main point to remember is that protectants are not super formulas that once applied can protect your hair from high heat.
They only help reduce the change of damaging your hair. The key word used here is reduce and not prevent. Be sure to read my article Broken hair on top of head to learn more and to see my top 5 protectants.
Woman Styling Hair of Customer Photo by Rene Asmussen from Pexels
Person Holding Grey Hair Dryer Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels