How To Repair & Revive Severely Damaged Hair

So, you got a bad dye job, your straightening treatment went awry or you used too many heat tools, now what? Dealing with dry, damaged hair can be frustrating and it can feel hopeless, but before you chop it all off, try these tips.

 Invest in Quality Products

First things first, you will need to invest in high quality products including shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioning masks, and serum etc. meant for severely damaged hair. Redken’s Extreme Line, Alterna’s Caviar products, and Olaplex are excellent for repairing seriously damaged hair. If you’re on a budget, Hask’s Keratin line and Mane n’ Tail also make excellent products for damaged hair.

Do Overnight Masks & Hot Oil Treatments

Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment, $28

To start the repairing process, you will need to do some heavy duty overnight treatments. Luckily, there are several products make specifically for emergency situations and extremely damaged hair (see above). Cleanse your hair, towel dry, and apply a deep conditioning mask or oil treatment. Cover with a shower cap and leave on overnight. By the next morning, your hair will be in much better shape. Repeat this at least 2 times a week, but be careful not to over-do it. Sometimes applying too much of a reparative product (such as keratin) can dry the hair out more by opening and closing the cuticle too much, further stressing the hair.

Shampoo Less

amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo, $25

Shampoo can strip the hair of natural oils, so shampooing less will help revive your hair more quickly. Try shampooing only 2-3 times per week and using dry shampoo in between washes to refresh hair and absorb excess oil.

Cut Off Dead Ends

It’s likely you’re going to need to take off some length from your hair. Try trimming off 1-3 inches to remove dead, frayed ends. This alone will help your hair look much healthier.

Dye It Darker with Deposit-Only Color

Darker hair almost always looks healthier and shinier, so dying your hair darker with a gentle deposit-only color will immediately help improve the integrity of the hair and fill in damaged, porous strands. Deposit-only colors do not damage the hair and actually improve softness and strength, so they’re excellent if your hair is stressed and frayed.

Take A Break From Bleach

After a traumatizing hair experience, your strands are going to need serious TLC. Definitely stay away from bleach and other lightening products. You will need to give your hair a solid break to prevent further damage.

Try Hair Growth Supplements

Viviscal Extra Strength Hair Nutrient Tablets, 60-Tablets, $25

Products with Biotin and vitamins made for hair, skin, and nail growth will help repair your hair from the inside. Nutrition plays a huge part in the health of hair, so taking a supplement will help your hair grow and bounce back more quickly.

Avoid the Sun and Heat Tools

During the healing phase, it’s best to avoid any sort of heat such as blowdryers, flat irons, curling irons, and the sun. During this time allow your hair to air dry. If you want waves or curls, braid your hair and allow it to dry. Or if you want it straight, try this no-heat straightening technique: How To Straighten Your Hair Without Heat.

Try a Trendy Short Cut

If all else fails, try a trendy bob or shorter cut. Shorter hair is “in” right now, so now is a good time to try a fun, shorter cut. Don’t fret; hair grows back!




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Mandy Ellis

Mandy Ellis is a certified nutritionist, journalist, traveler, and endless adventurer. Her work has appeared on Yahoo, AOL, Fox, and many others. When she’s not wanderlusting, she’s usually spending time with her French bull dog or hitting the yoga mat.

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