Bleaches, flatirons, relaxers. Blow drys, curling irons, highlights. Styling treatments can damage your hair and leave you with locks that are dry, brittle and lifeless. Breakage and dullness are your hair’s cry for help. Bringing your hair back from the brink takes some serious coddling and time, but it’s worth it. Strong and healthy hair looks best and grows the fastest. When you’re ready to stop beating up on your hair, use these tips to return those locks to gorgeousness.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Hydration is key to prevent frizzy hair and dry scalp once you decide to stop damaging treatments and start enjoying natural hair. Invest in a good mask for your hair and scalp and deep condition once a week. Apply and let the mask sink in for a few hours or overnight, then rinse with cold water to seal shut the cuticles of your hair shut, boost shine and hold in moisture.
Unplug the heat.
Leave your hairdryer in the drawer. Bring hair back to life within a few months by adopting a style that lets you air-dry hair after shampooing. Air drying can take some time, so braid your hair or pull it into a bun after working in a leave-in conditioner or treatment.
Once your hair is restored to health, you can return to coloring it but make sure to avoid dyeing your hair too frequently. Protect your hair with a bond-fortifying treatment. Apply heat protectant products formulated for color-treated hair before using heat styling tools.
Find a colorist who understands your hair.
If your hair is over-processed and damaged from years of bleach, find a supportive colorist who will pay attention to your hair health and avoid using bleach that’s too strong for your hair. You can expect to end up spending more time at the salon if your colorist uses a lower concentration of bleach that requires longer processing.
Use products designed for treated hair.
Coloring and dyeing hair can leave strands dry, brittle, and broken at the ends, especially if you color your hair as often as every other month. The damage will be even more serious if you’re not using products that can protect color-treated hair. You may want to limit washing your hair. Give up shampooing every day and only wash a couple of times a week.
Look for products with nourishing ingredients. A shampoo infused with shea butter not only cleanses and moisturizes but is cost-effective because a small amount goes a long way. Look for products that contain strand-strengthening keratin to fortify and protect damaged hair. Reach for ingredients such as coconut oil, argan oil, aloe vera, and spirulina.
Beat the frizzies.
Smooth frizz by putting down the towel. Apply products in the shower when your hair is wet and scrunch for curl definition before either using a dryer to diffuse-dry or letting your hair air dry.
Cover for longer-lasting curls.
Make your curls last longer by covering them when you sleep. Wearing a scarf to bed will encourage hair to hold curls a few more days and prevent hair from getting tangled and frizzy.