Whether it's a result of too much coloring, heat styling, shampooing or brushing, damaged hair is never a good look. That's because when hair is damaged, it becomes dull, dry, brittle and straw-like. However, if your hair is looking a little worse for wear, there is hope. With the products that restore moisture and strengthen the cuticle, you can have shiny, healthy locks again -- you just have to choose the right ones.
While shampoo is necessary to keep your locks clean, traditional formulas can dry out fragile, damaged hair. Avoid shampoo that contains sulfates, which are the ingredients that help create a lather. Instead, opt for a moisturizing formula. Moisturizing shampoos clean your hair while keeping tresses hydrated. Typically, they contain moisturizing agents like silicone compounds that smooth and condition the hair shaft, so locks are sleeker. Usage is just the same as any shampoo. Following up with a conditioner will ensure that your damaged hair gets all the moisture that it needs.
In addition to a daily conditioner, damaged hair can benefit from a deep conditioning treatment. These treatments are thicker than traditional conditioners, and are often called hair masks because they work best when you allow them to sit for at least a few minutes to fully penetrate the hair shaft. Look for a deep conditioner that contains proteins, amino acids and antioxidants to help restore shine and strengthen your locks. Ingredients like shea butter, olive oil and jojoba oil are also important to help smooth and hydrate damaged hair. Typically, a deep conditioner is used once a week, but read the label for instructions. If your hair is severely damaged, you may want to use it more often.
Leave In Conditioner
If your damaged hair still feels a little dry or frizzy after regular and deep conditioning, a leave in conditioner can definitely help. Leave in conditioners contain moisturizing ingredients that help hydrate and protect fragile locks, but they have a lightweight formula that won’t weigh hair down or make it look greasy. In fact, many leave in conditioners come in spray form so you don’t have to worry about fine or thin damaged hair appearing limp. Look for a formula with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe, proteins, panthenol and oils to really moisturize and protect hair. Apply it to your hair after you get out of the shower and have squeezed the excess water from your locks.
For severely damaged hair that’s thick and coarse, a hair oil can also help restore moisture and shine. Oils perform like the natural sebum found in the scalp, so they can help soften and condition your hair. Olive oil is a good option if your hair is extremely dry and dehydrated, while coconut oil can help reinforce weak spots in your hair. Avocado oil contains fatty acids, vitamins and amino acids, so it helps strengthen damaged hair to make it less prone to breakage. Argan oil helps smooth the hair and boost shine. You can apply a hair oil to wet or dry locks – just add a couple of drops of the oil to your palm, rub your hands together and work it through the ends of your hair.
- Allure: 8 Products That Help Repair Damaged Hair
- Fitness: Hair Repair -- How to Get Strong, Shiny Hair
- New Beauty: Why Use Hair Oil?
- Huffington Post: Sulfate-Free Shampoo -- Why You Need To Check Your Shampoo Label, Now
- Fitness: Is Silicone Good For Your Hair?
- Stylelist: Deep Conditioner -- How to Choose One That Won't Dry Out Your Hair
- Naturally Curly: Do You Need a Leave In Conditioner?