During a recent discussion with a group of women, we found that most of them suffered from dry and damaged hair. It is of no surprise, really. The harsh sun beams in Singapore; swimming in chlorinated waters; and especially frequent colouring, blow drying, rebonding or perming can really cause terrible damages to our hair.
Well, don’t despair just yet – here are 6 ways to save your dry and damaged hair!
1. Cut down on heat-styling
Rather than relying on the blow-dryer, air-dry your hair. If this isn’t possible, delay blowing your hair till when it is not dripping wet. Otherwise, apply a heat-protecting serum on your hair and place a nozzle at the end of your blow-dryer. The nozzle will help to concentrate the heat in a smaller surface and reduce any potential of damage.
2. Reconsider chemical treatments
One of the most common causes of hair damage, chemical treatments such as rebonding and perming can cause your hair to lose its natural moisturisers and make it look frizzy and dull.
Certain types of hair colouring, especially those that involve bleaching, can severely damage your tresses. If you MUST colour your hair, it is wise to seek ammonia-free formulas or natural hair dyes like henna. Remember to use a shampoo and conditioner that are colour-safe afterwards!
3. Remove build-up from your scalp
Having gunk in your scalp is akin to having clogged pores in your skin. Daily usage of products and even water and mineral build-up can contribute to limp and lifeless hair, and sometimes even brittleness and split ends.
It is ideal to use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove stubborn build-up and cleanse it more thoroughly (more than a regular shampoo). Be mindful not to use the clarifying shampoo too often as it can strip your strands of necessary lipids. Should you need to use a clarifying shampoo more than once a week, dilute the shampoo before applying it to your scalp.
4. Use a treatment mask regularly
Instead of purchasing hair products with ingredients like silicone and parabens that harm your hair, look out for a hair treatment mask with ingredients like keratin, shea butter or olive oil that can moisturise and restore damaged hair.
After washing your hair, towel dry it and apply the treatment mask to your hair for 3 to 5 minutes before washing it off. For best results, put on a shower cap after applying the mask and leave it to penetrate for an hour before washing it off. Do this 1 to 2 times a week.
5. Trim your locks
Hair is usually the most damaged at its tips as they have been around longer than the rest of the strand and been subjected the most by sources of damage. Trimming off the damaged ends is the best way to go so that your hair can be more easily restored to a healthy state. After chopping off the unhealthy part of your hair, use a restorative shampoo and conditioner and you’re all set to go!
6. Protect your hair from sun damage
The UV rays from a prolonged exposure to the sun can damage hair cuticles (the outside cover of hair strands). These UV rays behave the same way as bleach – by damaging the cuticle and protein (keratin) in your hair. Due to this protein damage, the sun rays and heat are allowed to penetrate the hair more easily and cause brittleness and dryness.
To prevent sun damage, wear a hat or carry an umbrella to shield yourself wherever possible. You might want to consider applying a small amount of coconut oil to your scalp and tresses and brush it through evenly too. Coconut oil has a natural ability to protect your hair (and skin) from the sun and does not contain any processed chemicals or fragrances!