Many women use chemicals including relaxers and bleaching products to change texture and colour of the hair and make it manageable but it can be damaging leaving the hair burned, dry and brittle. With the right products and practices, you can repair damaged hair and bring it back to its healthy state.
Scalp exfoliation: Applying a preparation on the scalp will remove build up from sebum and hair products. It also creates a healthy environment, providing nourishment to the scalp and follicles. Your hairdresser should guide you on the best scalp preparation. A good one will strengthen the hair and sooth an irritated and dry scalp.
Trim: Getting rid of the damaged ends helps in turning the hair’s full health. Doing this every four to six weeks will give the best results. If you don’t trim dead ends, your hair will not grow.
Protect ends: This can be done by sealing the hair ends using Shea butter or lighter moisturisers like jojoba oil. Remember to also sleep on a satin pillow, or with a satin scarf over your hair.
Leave-in conditioner: Apply this on your hair daily. It restores natural oils without requiring water and improves the health and shine of your hair.
Shampoo/condition: Regular shampoo and conditioner will help your hair recover from chemical damage. Wash your hair once a week if it is damaged. Do not use a dry towel to dry it. Instead, allow it to air-dry then pat it with a towel. A blow-dryer is also an enemy of damaged hair.
Protein treatment: This should be applied fortnightly. Hair that is chemically damaged is often low on protein. Reconstructing protein treatment will restore your hair strength. They are designed for severely damaged hair because they help in rebuilding. These treatments are best applied by a professional since they know the right amounts.
Deep conditioning: Massage a moisturising conditioner into your hair every week. Sit under a steamer or steam with a hot towel to encourage the conditioner to penetrate the hair’s inner layers. Put your hair up and leave it in for at least a couple hours, or overnight. You can also do a hot oil treatment as this adds nourishment and moisture.
Protective style: A protective style like cornrows or braids will help reduce your damaged hair from exposure to elements that can cause further damage.
Brush regularly: Be gentle as you comb or brush your hair. Damaged hair breaks easily when combed, worse still if it is dry. Add a little conditioner or water to the hair before combing.
Reduce heat: Direct heat flat irons and blow-dryers will cause more damage. Use low heat if you must blow-dry.