Is your hair in need of some serious attention before Valentine’s Day? Then read on for some essential tips on how to rescue damaged hair before the big day!
How does hair become damaged?
There are plenty of ways that hair can become damaged. One of the biggest reasons is the impact of harsh chemical treatments, such as those used to relax or straighten the hair, but even environmental factors such as the cold, dry winter air can take their toll.
Everyday styling can damage the hair too, particularly when it includes heated tools. From your hairdryer to your curling tongs to your straighteners, heated tools aren’t doing your hair any favours.
Then, of course, there is the impact of the pandemic. Have you had to trim your own hair using the kitchen scissors due to your hair salon being closed? This is the ideal breeding ground for split ends. Even going too long without regular trims can leave you fighting to keep split ends at bay.
Bad news on an ordinary day but even worse with Valentine’s Day almost upon us. 42% of people are inclined, under normal circumstances, to get a haircut or hair treatment before a first date, so you’re hardly alone in wanting to look your best and rescue your damaged locks.
What do we mean by damaged hair?
Damaged hair can vary in severity. The term is used to describe hair that is dull, dry and prone to breakage due to being very brittle. It can also include frizzy hair. In extreme cases, such as where a harsh chemical treatment has been applied incorrectly, the damage can also be to the scalp, resulting in scarring and permanent hair loss (in such cases, we recommend seeking professional input).
The reason that hair becomes so dry and brittle is that the cuticle – the hair’s outer layer – becomes cracked. It is these cracks which leave the hair looking frizzy, as well as being so prone to breakage. And, once the hair has become brittle, the impact of any further damage that occurs intensifies.
Why is it important to repair damaged hair?
The main reason that repairing damaged hair is so important is for the sake of the hair itself. Just as with any other part of our bodies, from skin to bones, a long-term approach to good health is essential. The kinder you are to your hair, the more resilient it will be as you age.
Of course, rescuing damaged hair also means you can look your best! And with Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, that will be a key consideration for many people. After all, research from All Things Hair recently discovered that it’s important to 85.4% of people that their date appears to have put some effort into their appearance. Clearly, the stakes are high!
Prevention is better than cure
When it comes to hair, prevention is always better than cure. As such, if you can take steps to reduce the damage caused to your hair, then do. That could range from embracing your natural hair rather than undergoing harsh chemical treatments to steps as simple as wearing a hat to protect the hair from cold air in winter.
Reducing the damage that heated styling tools causes can deliver major benefits, as can wearing your hair in a protective style, which can benefit the tips of the hair, avoid knotting and even protect the scalp/hairline. The more damage you can prevent, the less you will need to repair!
How to repair damaged hair
If it’s too late for advice on prevention, it’s time to find the cure. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available to you. Now, most people (46.97%) like to spend between $0 and $40 on their hair before a date, while a significant chunk will stretch that budget to between $50 and $100. You can certainly make some great inroads into repairing damaged hair with that kind of budget.
If you’re on an at-home hair repair mission, start by investing in a decent pair of hairdressing scissors and take your split ends in hand. Professional hairdressing scissors are designed to cut hair and sufficiently sharp to do so without bending the hair in the way that kitchen scissors do. This is non-negotiable if you’re trying to repair damage, as trimming with unsuitable scissors will actually do more harm than good.
Ok, lecture over. Now it’s time to have some fun with finding the right products. The range of healing treatments on the market is staggering. A good starting place is a pre-shampoo treatment. Usually oil-based, you can leave these in to deliver a wonderfully beneficial, deep moisture boost to your hair. Coconut oil treatments are particularly popular due to their richly moisturising qualities.
When it comes to conditioners, there are a couple of ways to enrich the condition of your hair. The first is to invest in a decent leave-in conditioner for everyday use, to ensure that your hair has maximum protection after every wash. Also important, particularly for badly damaged hair, is to use a healing mask at least once a week. These also tend to be rich in natural oils and butters, with shea being a go-to rescue product for many women.
When shopping for hair repair treatments, remember to suit your rescue products to your hair type. If your hair is curly, for example, it will tend to be drier than straight hair. As such, you’ll want to focus on deeply hydrating masks and treatments. And if you’ve dyed your hair, look out for products that include UV protection to keep your colour vibrant as the weather warms up.
Living with damaged hair can have a serious impact on your mood and how you view yourself. So don’t live with it if you don’t have to! Even if your budget only allows you to invest in a single product, doing so can make a difference, particularly when you pair it with some of the damage-preventing steps we’ve included above. So take matters into your own hands, starting today.