Reverse Damaged Hair Today

The Style Glossy: Hair Studio

Reverse Damaged Hair Today

By Shelley Levitt for The Style Glossy

Shiny, bouncy, healthy hair -- it’s every woman’s best beauty asset. But as much as we treasure our hair, we put it through a lot of torture. Blow-dryers, flat irons, hair dyeing or bleaching, chemical straightening and tight ponytails can leave our hair dry, fried and unable to hold a style. Hair expert John Gray, author of The World of Hair, explains all this rough handling strips away your hair’s outer protective layer -- the "F" layer -- leading to a degradation of the cortex, the central core of the hair shaft.

Dire as that sounds, with just a few tweaks to your hair care routine, your stressed-out tresses will act, look and feel healthy while you prevent future damage. "Hair care technology has come a long way," says Pantene senior scientist Jeni Thomas. "You can still colour your hair, use styling tools or spend time out in the sun and have great hair -- as long as you are taking the right steps to protect it."

Here’s how to mend your damaged hair from the four main types of assault.

If you dye or lighten your hair, staying within two shades of your natural colour will be far less damaging than going from dark brown to blond -- or the other way around. When you touch up your hair at home with permanent or semi-permanent colour, focus on the roots so you’re not processing your porous ends again.

Be cautious about exposing your colour-processed hair to chemical straightening or permanent waves. If you love the results you get with chemical straightening, talk to your stylist about switching to a gentler process that improves the texture of your hair -- leaving it soft, glossy and manageable rather than pin-straight.

Use a shampoo and conditioner formulated for coloured hair. Chemical treatments alter the structure of the hair and these products contain ingredients, such as certain polymers, that enhance this new structure.

Heat Damage
The highest setting of your flat iron, curling iron and blow-dryer may actually exceed the boiling point of water. Instead of poaching your tresses, apply a heat-protecting spray and use the lowest setting that will allow you to get the results you want. Don’t blow-dry your hair when it’s sopping wet; wait until it’s two-thirds dry, or blot with a towel to absorb extra moisture. When you use your flat iron, keep it moving: Try to go through each section of hair only once.

Look for shampoos and conditioners that contain the words "moisturising" or "hydrating" on the label; these will provide your thirsty locks with the restorative drink they need.

Rough Handling
Only use a wide-tooth comb to detangle wet hair. Cut down on how frequently and aggressively you brush your hair. Forget the 100 nightly strokes maxim and use the minimum number of brush strokes that are needed to achieve or refresh your style. If you wear a ponytail, be sure to use seamless elastics and take care when you remove them; carelessly ripping out your pony holder can lead to breakage. If you already have signs of breakage, such as flyways around the crown, use a smoothing cream. Rub a cent-sized amount between your palms, then lightly apply to your flyaway zones.

Sun Exposure
Just as UV rays damage your skin, they also wreak havoc on your locks, weakening the protein structure that keeps hair strong and healthy. The best way to protect your hair from damage on a sunny day is to wear a hat; choose one with a wide brim and you’ll protect your skin too. If your tresses have already seen more sunny days than you can count, choose a shampoo and conditioner that are designed to strengthen your hair, and pick the formula that’s right for your texture (fine/fragile or medium/thick).

Shelley Levitt is a contributor to a variety of women’s lifestyle and celebrity publications.


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  • Wice says
    Are you a hair guru? Here are sixty quick questions to test your knowledge!

    I love quizzes so I made up this list of questions so you can find out how much you know about hair and hair care. They all have True, False responses. Answers are at the bottom and if you want full explanations, then take a look around the web as all the information is web-based. I have to admit there were a couple of questions with conflicting bits of information so I have gone with the majority where this happened. It will be interesting to see scores if anyone wants to post, as well as whether you agree. I hope we get some interesting discussion anyway.

    1. Wearing a ponytail in the same place al the time can give you a bald spot?
    2. A cold rinse adds shine to your hair?
    3. Blow drying produces hair loss?
    4. Pluck out one grey hair and two will take its place?
    5. Colouring hair during pregnancy should be avoided?
    6. Hair care products advertised as ‘natural’ are chemical free?
    7. Trimming your hair makes it grow faster?
    8. Smoking causes grey hair?
    9. Sharing combs and brushes can spread scalp diseases?
    10. Excessive hair washing causes dryness?
    11. Brushing 100 times every night makes your hair look healthier?
    12. Chemical straighteners change your hair texture permanently?
    13. Hair can become immune to shampoos and conditioners?
    14. Standing on your head prevents hair loss?
    15. Brushing thinning hair makes it fall out faster?
    16. Steroids have no side effect on hair?
    17. By shampooing less often, your scalp will gradually produce less oil?
    18. Flat, fine hair can’t look full of body?
    19. Eating jelly will make your hair grow faster?
    20. Diet is related to hair loss?
    21. The more shampoo you use, the cleaner your hair will be?
    22. Conditioner helps repair split ends?
    23. Massaging your scalp stimulates hair growth?
    24. Excessive washing of hair causes hair loss ?
    25. Brushing hair will make it grow faster?
    26. Colour treatment causes hair loss?
    27. Men prefer long hair?
    28. Hair will always remain the same texture?
    29. Grey hair can only be covered by permanent colour?
    30. You can’t make your hair dry by washing it too often?
    31. Stress can make your hair fall out?
    32. Sleeping with wet hair causes scalp fungus?
    33. Switching shampoos can make hair look healthier?
    34. If you have greasy hair, your should skip conditioner?
    35. All hair grows at the same rate?
    36. Split ends can be repaired without trimming?
    37. Blow drying can cause hair to smoke?
    38. Lemon juice will bleach hair blonde?
    39. A sunburnt scalp can lead to hair loss?
    40. The ancient Greeks and Romans dyed their hair?
    41. Dandruff is caused by dry scalp?
    42. Hair grows back thicker when you shave it?
    43. Chlorine can turn bleached hair green?

    44. Dandruff is contagious?
    45. Shampooing makes hair colour fade?
    46. Baby shampoo is better for hair?
    47. Mayonnaise can be used as a deep conditioner?
    48. Rinsing with Chamomile tea will cut the brassiness out of blonde hair?
    49. Sunshine makes hair colour fad more quickly?
    50. Red heads have more sex than blondes or brunettes?
    51. Red hair occurs naturally in 1-2% or the world’s population?
    52. Natural blonde adults make up about 2% of the world’s population?
    53. Hair grows from its tips?
    54. Blondes have more hairs on their heads than brunettes or redheads?
    55. The word “shampoo” derives from the Hindustani “chimpo”?
    56. Cocoa can be used as a ‘dry’ shampoo?
    57. Prior to the 1970s most people used soap to wash their hair?
    58. Hair growth has a three stage cycle?
    59. Hair is dead matter so cannot be ‘nourished’?
    60. Human hair has been re-cycled to make soy-sauce (Hongshuai)?

    True: 1, 8, 9,16, 20, 27, 30, 31, 33,39, 40, 43, 48, 50, 51, 52, 54. 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60

    False: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 28 , 29, 32, 34, 35, 35, 36, 37, 38, 41, 42, 44,45, 46, 47, 49, 53

  • 5 Star Chikita says
    Good article, but it didnt tell me anything i didnt already know, darn it. i was hoping to read something new that might help me.

    im sure it will help others though. :)
  • RobertGilliland says
    Yes, this is so important information for me to think about and to form my opinion about it. And I have to read this important source to gain even more knowledge.

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