Revitalizing Damaged Hair
Black women go through hell and high water over their hair. For most of us, our hair is like our third breast almost; its apart of our identity and it is a symbol of who we are as individuals via our color or cut and even the vitality. Damaged hair says a lot, it says you aren’t taking care of you hair properly. Women with relaxed tresses by far suffer with hair breakage the most. This is because when we relax our hair, we STRIP our hair of its natural oils. When relaxed hair is not properly moisturized and taken care of= BREAKAGE! Simple as that. Here are some steps to rescue and revitalize damaged hair…
1. TRIM-Sometimes, all it takes is a simple trim. Some women refuse to cut their hair for fear of having shorter hair, even if its only an inch, but this is the best thing you can do for your tresses. If not, you risk damaging your hair even further. If your split ends aren’t trimmed, the splitting travels further up the hair shaft, which means more inches that will ultimately have to be trimmed. One way to tell if you have to split ends is by looking at your ends after washing; if your ends look frayed before you have even dried your hair-that’s one indication its time for the ends to be snipped.
2. Be easy on the RELAXERS-this step is really broad because relaxers are the culprit of a lot of hair troubles. Limp hair indicates that the hair is too overprocessed. This is caused by several reasons- 1) relaxer is not being applied to the new growth only; instead relaxer is being applied to previously relaxed hair as well. 2)The hair is being relaxed too often- depending on hair texture the shortest time between a relaxer treatment is 4weeks, and that should be for coarsest of hair textures. Now, if your hair is naturally thin, be mindful of the relaxer your stylist or you are using on your hair (i.e. “regular” or “super”) and space out your relaxer treatments. Also, be mindful that you can’t go too long without a relaxer-no longer than 8 weeks! Shedding is an indication that is time for a relaxer. Shedding typically happens around the same time every month or using around the time you typically relax your hair. Shedding happens because your new growth becomes too strong for the relaxed part of the hair strand and the relaxed hair breaks off at the “line of demarcation” or where the two different hair textures meet.
3. WASH & CONDITION!– I think if more women did this step a lot of hair problems would be solved. When most of us get our hair done and if it’s a hot style, we keep that style in until it gets old and for some women this can be for months-especially those with braids or twist styles. This is a no-no! Just because you have braids does not mean you are exempt from the rule. Think about all the oil build-up, dirt and impurities that are in your braids. At least wash and condition your hair every two weeks, no exceptions. Condition more if you can. If your hair is itching its time for a wash and conditioning treatment and follow up with a leave in conditioner.
4. Get MONTHLY protein treatments- Hair is protein and damaged hair loses protein, therefore it is vital to get monthly protein treatments. Protein treatments, or protein reconstuctors, are key to damaged hair. It helps improve the hair’s elasticity, but must be used cautiously. When protein treatments are given, they MUST be followed up with a conditioner. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT have more than ONE protein treatment in a month span. If used incorrectly protein applications can cause serious damage, so if you aren’t sure, please seek a professional. APHOgee carries a great 2-step Protein Treatment.
5. Be mindful of heat– I’ve heard so many people say, “I don’t use heat on my hair” as if using heat is sacrilegious. Applying heat to your hair is NOT a bad thing- however, it is the frequency in which you use heat. If you are using heat on your hair everyday- that is a problem-step away from the flat iron. I only use heat when I wash my hair and style my hair, which is about every week and a half to two weeks. No more than once or twice a week though. Also, invest in ceramic flat irons and curlers if you can, I’m personally not a fan of the Gold N’ Hot irons, they pull my hair out. Oh, and never apply heat to naked hair (hair without any “dressing”), try to apply some sort of heat protection product to the hair. This can be some hair oil or hair lotion. Not only does this protect your hair from the high temperatures but it also smoothes the cuticle down for a smoother finish. Be easy though because this weighs down the hair if too much is applied and you won’t have body-and we loves body!
6. INVEST in the entire hair care line!– This was one of the things I said I would do more of this year. In the past I’ve always bought separate brands of products and used them and while they didn’t cause any damage, I didn’t see any dramatic results when I didn’t use the same brand of products. Then when I had some color damage a few years ago I invested in the entire line and bought the shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, etc., etc., and it was then that I saw dramatic results. Hair responds better when the same brands are used. However, be mindful that you shouldn’t use the same products no longer than two years – when hair gets use toa certain product you won’t see dramatic results and for women with damaged strands I say stick with the same brand for atleast two years. For women with no damage a year is fine before making a switch.
7. The scalp needs lovin’ too!– The scalp is where the roots lay, if the scalp is dry, guess what? THE HAIR IS DRY! Use oils like olive, carrot, and tea tree oil. Avoid petroleum, lanolin or mineral based products, also called “GREASE.” If you have an old school mother like mine, then she probably thinks grease is the savior to hair troubles. It’s quite the opposite in fact, it suffocates the scalp, the scalp can’t breathe=hair cant grow. So if you are using any of the following: Dax, Blue Magic, Murray’s or Softee, you are too old school and throw that mess out! Its too heavy for the hair. For instance, if you apply a grease to your hair and it doesn’t instantly absorb into the scalp, its too heavy. There are some “light” greases out there that are good for the hair, like I use to use Always time to time, not often though. Just invest in some good oil and a light moisturizing lotion.
I’ve said so many times on my blog that the best hair brands for black hair, especially damaged hair, are:
Oh, and I did I mention I went to Marshall’s and found Keracare products for half their retail price!?!?! Like I said before, please do not sleep on Marshall’s, I love them!