Straightening your hair too often can cause serious damage. While it may create a beautiful smooth and shiny look that turns heads and makes you feel great, the heat from the flat iron strips the hair of essential oils, lipids and proteins that keep hair healthy. The long-term result of this damage is that your hair will begin to look dry and frizzy and will be difficult to style as it becomes brittle. The good news, however, is that hair damaged from straightening can be restored back to health! By changing bad habits, using good products that will improve the health of your hair, and looking after it well, your hair will soon return to being shiny and healthy again. Here are some tips to follow to get your hair back on the road to repair:
1. Stop the heat!- First things first – stop the heat! Stop straightening your hair with the flat iron, which is the major cause of all the damage – and no more heat means no blow-dryers, curling tongs, or hot rollers either. Air-drying your hair is far healthier, and while it may not produce the super-sleek straight look you require, it allows you hair to being to recover and restore the proteins, oils, and lipids lost from over-heating.
2. Trim and Snip- Damaged hair from straightening can cause dry, brittle hair and split ends, and the best way to get rid of these is to get a trim. Cutting the split ends off will immediately give your hair a ‘facelift’ and have it looking healthier. Once you are rid of the split-ends, you can begin to work on repairing the rest of your hair.
Remember – no blow-drying or heat treatments after your trim!
3. No More Color- Any form of treatment is damaging to the hair and color treatments are one of them. The process of dying or coloring your hair involves adding chemicals and bleach to the hair and this is extremely damaging. Add this to the damage caused by using a straightener and you have a bigger problem, so stop coloring your hair while you are trying to restore it back to health.
Expert tip! Don’t go for an expensive salon deep-conditioning treatment that ‘promises to restore you hair back to health.’ These often have chemicals in them as well, so control what goes onto your hair yourself and do a deep-condition with a natural product such as olive oil.
4. Change Your Products- Many shampoos and conditioners are full of sulphates, which strip the hair of their natural protective oils and dry the hair out. Head to your nearest health food store, which will stock products made with natural herbs and oils, that will restore your hair’s balance. The same applies for styling products – use products with natural oils or make your own at home using a simple mixture of water and gelatin.
Expert tip! If your hair looks slightly oily after the first few shampoos, don’t worry – your hair has been over-producing oils to compensate for the lack of them, so this will balance out in a few weeks to a beautiful natural sheen.
5. Cut Back on Washing- Washing your hair too often can also cause it to dry out and become frizzy, so instead of washing your hair every day, try washing it two or three times a week instead. Follow the wash with a deep condition using a natural product such as olive oil. Let the oil soak into your hair for about 15 minutes before rinsing it out with cool water.
6. Avoid the Sun- Just as the sun causes damage to your skin, so it does to your hair as well, so stay out of the sun. Wear a swimming cap if you are swimming in a chlorinated pool and avoid sitting in the sun afterwards, as the sun combined with the chlorine is extremely damaging. Always rinse your hair out with fresh water after swimming.
7. Eat Right- A healthy diet works wonders for the body and the hair, so make sure you are eating a healthy, balanced diet, and getting the right vitamins and essential nutrients, such as Omega-3 fatty acids. And of course, drink plenty of water, which will keep your hair looking shiny and healthy.