Damaged hair? Here’s how to treat it!
Aug. 24, 2020
Damaged hair is often neglected for too long. If you’re not sure what to do about it, here’s your answer.
What are the causes of damaged hair?
Most of the time, damaged hair is caused by hair being subjected to excessively harsh conditions – common for people who over-style their hair. The damage results from the use of things like heated styling tools (think of blow dryers, flat irons, hot combs) and chemicals (used in perms, coloring and bleaching). In addition to that, being careless with your hair could also lead to accidental damage – overexposure to the sun, not conditioning, brushing too often or forgetting to condition are common culprits.
For some, damaged hair is a reflection of underlying health issues. Your hair is actually a reflection of your intake of vitamins A and B12, folate, selenium and iron. Not having a balanced diet could lead to damaged hair. Hormonal changes and imbalances, for example because of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and menopause can cause thinning. Hypothyroidism, which is when your thyroid is not able to produce thyroid hormones in sufficient quantity, can also lead to thinning. Lastly, autoimmune disease such as lupus and scleroderma can cause your hair to become fragile and thin.
Why does hair get damaged?
To answer this question, it’s important to first of all understand the structure of your hair. Although each hair just looks like one long strand, it’s in fact a complex structure made up of three layers, from the outside in:
1. The cuticle is made up of overlapping dead cells, think of them as scales on a fish. The cuticle is there to protect the soft inner layers from damage. If your hair is healthy, the cuticle should not be raised and should be smooth and flat, locking in the moisture in your hair and giving it bounciness.
2. The cortex is the middle layer, consisting of long fibers of keratin, a structural protein that makes your hair strong, yet flexible and elastic at the same time. Your hair colour is determined by how much melanin, a naturally-occurring pigment produced by your body, in the cortex.
3. The medulla is the layer at the heart of each hair shaft. It is made up of a sot, thin core of cells and air spaces.
Damage to the hair usually happens because of various assaults that result in the cuticle no longer being able to protect the inside of your hair shaft anymore. For example, washing your hair too much or using the wrong type of hair products can strip your hair of the natural oils that it needs to stay moisturized and hydrated, resulting in the loss of the lipid layer that prevents your hair from being waterlogged. The result is hair that becomes extremely porous, which can therefore dry out easily, becoming brittle and easy to break.
Heat, chemicals and sun exposure are a big attack on the cuticle, and can cause it to wear out and lift up. Because the overlapping cells that are meant to shield the inside of your hair shaft are no longer overlapping, the hair shaft becomes fragile, and can easily split or break. Similarly, when you brush your hair too much, you could end up overstretching your hair and causing damage. While hair has elasticity – you can stretch it up to 30% its original length and it’s still fine, stretching to 80% or more can cause fractures and bad damage.
How to prevent and treat damaged hair
Prevention is the best medicine, so it’s important to have a balanced diet that ensures you’re eating enough vitamin A, B12 and iron. If you lead a particularly busy lifestyle where eating and controlling your diet is a challenge, you might want to consider taking nutrient supplements.
If you have split ends, the split hair will continue to split up the hair shaft and cause more damage. So the best you can do is to trim your hair regularly to avoid more breakage.
You go to the beach without your sunscreen (hopefully!) so the same goes for your hair. Wear a hat if you’re going to be exposed to the sun a lot, as this can help reduce the likelihood of UV damage, which can render your hair brittle, weak and dry.
Your regular, off-the-shelf conditioners work. But there are in fact many more nourishing things you can use to condition your hair. Consider pre-shampoo treatments, where you use nourishing blends (such as coconut oil, honey and essential oils like rosemary or tea tree oil) for 20-30 minutes before you shampoo it off. It can work wonders to re-moisturize your hair. Some people also swear by extra virgin olive oil as a leave-in treatment. Whatever it is, find your oil.
Do you have stories about you rescued your damaged hair from death? I’d love to hear about everything you tried, what worked, what didn’t work and how you maintain your hair nowadays!
At Home Exfoliating Facial ✨✨
So I recently received the Mimi Co Exfoliating Wand via IG PR. I couldn’t wait to do a full facial and I decided to do it tonight. Order: I purchased a steamer from Amazon for $23 and I’m obsessed with it (DM me for product info). I started with UpCircle - Cleansing Face Balm With Apricot Powder As my oil cleanse to get my sunscreen from today off and any other oils and dirts. INDIE LEE - Purifying Face Wash This cleanser is perfect for getting dirts and oils from skin as well. It’s not drying and it’s totally worth it! I paired it with a face cleansing scrub brush, I also purchased from Amazon. I love it and I paid around $20 for it as well! It doubles the vibration frequency put out by Foreo. CLARISMA - Namaste Glow Energizing Face Mask This was the mask I chose for the enzyme properties. This breaks down dirts and oils in pores and dead skin cells. I also steamed my face during this time. Follain - Toning Mist: Balance + Prime This was what I sprayed over my face for the prep for my exfoliating wand. I didn’t have a true medium and I am out of Aloe Vera plants so😭 I then exfoliated with my wand starting at my cheeks and working upward and then to my forehead. I went down and to the sides of my nose. Glow slow! innisfree - Jeju Lava Seawater Lotion I used the toner to cleanse my skin and get any dirts left over from me exfoliating. SUMMER FRIDAYS - Jet Lag Mask I use this as my hydrating mask. I took the back of my Mimi Co Wand on switched to the Moisturizing Setting. I gently slid upwards my entire face for the last 2 mins only and then wiped the mask off with a damp cloth. earthtoskin - Tea Time Anti Aging Eye Cream This is the most hydrating eye cream I own. I used this with the back of my cleansing brush on the heat setting! Yes it made my eye feel so hydrated and relaxed. fresh - Lotus Anti-Aging Night Moisturizer This was the final step as a good moisturizer seals in everything! To prevent acne I use the SUNDAY RILEY - U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil as my last step. I didn’t use an astringent type toner, so I wanted to still treat my skin💚
Black Owned Makeup Look
So I decided to use the products I pictured in my first photo (minus my highlight shade and lipstick) I used the #Ace Beaute - Nostalgia Palette[products]#[FiveStars] for my entire eye look. I definitely enjoyed these products. My only advice is to shake the UOMA BEAUTY - Say What?! Foundation before use (because it can come out watery) but the coverage is absolutely flawless. I was shocked with the consistency the coverage I got. What’s your favorite black owned brands? (I do not own right to the song)
A Journey of Self 🌹
I figured Black History Month was as good as any opportunity to talk about my self finding. Growing up in a small yet old family, I always had questions about my roots and family history. I also struggled with self conscious doubts about my appearance. Why is my nose this big? Why is my hair this curly? Why am I taller than average? These weighed heavy on my mind growing up because honestly, sticking out sucked. So, I finally dove deep into my family’s origin and decided to do an Ancestry DNA analysis. I immersed myself with every corner of the site. I only got the chance to finish my maternal grandmas side of the family tree, but even that has plenty of gaps. Yet, when I received my DNA results I was stoked. Then I realized, I don’t know much about any of these places. So I dug even deeper. I have a little journal of things I’ve learned and want to know, but this was quite the experience. It was heartbreaking and satisfying at the same time. I highly recommend for every race and background to do this DNA Test. The best part of this was scrolling through photos of the people of the respected countries I was DNA matched to. I swear I saw a girl who looked like me, but everyone else thinks I’m tripping lol. In the end, I’m satisfied with my results and findings. Relatively speaking, this way of self discovery has been the most effective.
My Farewell To Cherie
Follow me on Ig for more skincare since Cherie is leaving 😭 @naturedskinv This has been an amazing journey and I’ve made soo many amazing friends. Thank you for all the love, conversations, and just overall happiness I’ve experienced on this app. I’m definitely sad, a little upset, and a dash of confused, but thank you @cheriefor giving me such an amazing confidence boost and guidance. The way the app shaped my thoughts on skincare has been insane. I’m still willing to forget this and call it a joke if y’all are! 😭 Anyways thank you again and hopefully we can stay in touch 🙏🏾
Stay Young Forever? ✨
That’d be great right? Well in taking those steps, I definitely recommend these amazing serums. I was gifted the: Intoxicated Cosmetics: Snake Serum Bee Serum Snail Serum I started using the Snail Serum last night first and wow did I notice a difference. The Snail Serum mainly targets dryness. I used this in place of my usual night time serum and boy did I notice a difference. I N G R E D I E N T S : All Serums contain: ✨Niacinamide Bee Serum: Bee Venom Plant Based Stem Cells Royal Epigen Snake Serum Snake Venom Green & White Tea Extract Peptides Snail Serum Snail Peptide Hyadisine Echinacea Moronga Oil Extract I definitely will try the other serums in my routine as I get used to the Snail Serum but so far my skin is definitely happy. What serum would you like to try?
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