201301-HAIRNow that the holidays are over, you may have noticed some damage on your hair. The many outdoor activities, which you engaged in, such as swimming, sun basking and traveling to various destinations may have left you hair not in good condition and it is time to do repair works.

Damaged hair looks dull, dry and has split ends. It is not easy to manage damaged hair since it is more porous than healthy hair and therefore frizzes easily. The damage to your hair could be as a result of many hours of exposure to the sun without a hat or headscarf.

The first step to getting your bouncy hair back is to trim the split ends. After that you will need to use the right shampoo, treatment and conditioner to restore the hair back to its normal state. Braiding or weaving the hair before you have repaired it is not a good idea, as it will cause further damage. Here are the steps you need to take to get back healthy hair.

Use the correct shampoo…

Use a shampoo that is specifically formulated for dry or damaged hair. Most shampoos contain one or more conditioning agents to make hair shiny and smooth. Do not shampoo your hair daily, as this will strip the hair of its natural protective oils. Acid balanced shampoos and conditioning shampoos are specifically formulated for damaged hair. They help prevent excessive dryness and damage during the cleansing process.

Conditioning shampoos also help to avoid damage to chemically treated hair and improve manageability. Do not use hot water when shampooing, as it can cause more damage. Ensure that you rinse out all the shampoo with lukewarm water.

Get the right treatment

Hair should be treated at least twice a month, whether or not it is chemically treated. Treating hair brings a shiny bouncy look and also prevents breakage. For damaged hair, deep conditioning treatments are recommended. Choose a protein-based treatment designed to restore damaged hair.

You should leave the conditioning treatment on the hair for 15 to 30 minutes, preferably covered with a heat cap and under heat. You should massage the head and comb out the hair using a wide-toothed comb before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Deep conditioning treatment penetrates the hair shaft and replenishes lost moisture, while combating further damage to the hair.

Damaged hair should be treated on a weekly basis and if damage is severe you can use emergency treatments to restore the hair quickly. Emergency treatments penetrate deeper than the conditioning treatments. They rehydrate and revitalize all hair types. They deeply penetrate dry and damaged hair to seal in moisture and prevent frizzing, breakage and split ends.

Always use conditioners…

A hair conditioner is applied after shampoo. It is especially useful on dry or damaged hair. It improves the overall look and feel of the hair. There are a wide variety of hair conditioners, including those you rinse out, leave in or spray on.

The commonly used conditioners are those applied after shampooing and then rinsed out. This is routine when one goes for a wash and set. Dry brittle hair must always be conditioned after shampooing. Leave in conditioners and those with sun protection factor (SPF) are best for badly damaged hair. They condition the hair by restoring moisture and smoothing the cuticles of the hair follicles.

Leave in conditioner is either sprayed on or applied to towel dried hair and not rinsed out. It protects your hair from damage during styling, while restoring lustre and manageability. Spray on conditioner is great for swimmers and athletes. It is wise to use a conditioner with an SPF if you are going to do some hair damaging activity, like being in the sun for too long or blow drying. This will protect the hair from heat and sun some damage.

Styling…

For your hair to look good, it should be well styled. To get the style you want and also keep the hair in good condition, you need to use good styling products. These include hair gel, which helps to hold hair into place; hair mousse, to give hair volume, body and bounce; hair wax, which is great for achieving flicks and defining layered hair; and sprays and gel sprays, which keep a strong hold on hair all day.

Published in January 2013