Can You Repair Damaged Hair?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Well formulated, natural conditioners, oil treatments, and masks can definitely improve texture and appearance of hair and offset damage with protective ingredients but these products that make the hair soft and shiny must be reapplied regularly to maintain the results.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a “dry” hair type. This is not the same as “dry scalp,” which is a real scalp condition, “dry” hair is actually lightly damaged hair - hair that is beginning to break down and can only be made to appear healthy, temporarily.

There are different hair types like straight, wavy to curly, and different hair textures like fine, medium or coarse, but dry hair is not a hair type. Dry hair is lightly damaged hair.

Most hair is made of three layers – the inner fiber called the medulla, the middle layer called the cortex, and an outer layer called the cuticle. Extra fine hair textures sometimes do not contain a Medulla. When the hair appears damaged, the cuticle raises, chips, becomes fragile, easily tangled, and loses the moisture, luster, and shine created when flat, smooth, and healthy.

Hair can become dry and damaged for many reasons. Over processed, color-treated hair can lose oil and protein and eventually grow brittle and break if it's not conditioned continually, which can offset or stall more damage. But the damage that has already been created, is ultimately permanent and irreversible.

Damaged hair has less elasticity which makes it more prone to breakage and eventually splitting. Split ends are absolutely not repairable and are very challenging to conceal, especially when there are many. Split ends must be cut off. If ends of the hair are split and not removed, the strands will split unevenly and faster than the hair that is growing from the follicle. Split ends infect healthy hair. If you want healthy, shiny hair, trim your hair regularly. If you're holding onto your split ends because you don’t want to “lose your length,” you are actually contributing to your hair appearing shorter. The hair will appear as though it’s not growing - it is growing, in this case, it's just breaking off faster than it grows. Cut it.

Lack of nutrients internally can make hair more susceptible to breakage. Hair is formed by the nutrients in the bloodstream. Split ends can also be caused by build-up, chemical color processing, mechanical damage from harsh brushing and heated styling instruments, and sun overexposure.

You can temporarily add strength to weak, mushy, chemically damaged hair via hydrolyzed protein and rehydrate brittle, crunchy, damaged hair with moisture. Most people need moisture and they do not know it. Too much protein can cause breakage. Read this blog: Does Your Hair Need Moisture Or Protein Conditioning?

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