Women tend to do more heat styling than men, but plenty of guys also use a blow dryer on the daily to deal with wet hair and get out the door faster. If you opt for a simple blowout or you add a curling iron or flat iron to the mix, you will have damaged hair.
Ditch your damaged hair
In the beginning, heat treatments are great. They help you to shape your hair, achieve a desired style, and accomplish the sleek, manicured look that tells the world you pay attention to your appearance. In the long-term, however, heat can lead to damaged hair, can not only dry your cuticle, it can actually change the structure of hair proteins, especially when paired with tension (as with clamped irons or with a brush while you blow dry).
Split ends, breakage, and frizz are the outcome, although you could also end up changing curl patterns, and if splits and breakage progress up the hair shaft toward the root, you could suffer fuzzy baby hairs along the hairline and part that are impossible to tame without a lot of heavy product (that is likely to require more washing that further dries and damages hair). It’s a vicious cycle.
How can you break it without giving up your beloved daily heat treatments? Here are a few strategies to help you prevent further damage and repair the harm you’ve already done with hot tools.
FDA-Cleared Laser Caps
FDA-cleared laser caps are a medical device designed for men and women suffering from hair loss and/or damaged hair. These laser caps help improve the overall health of the hair on the scalp, as well as encourage new growth of damaged hair follicles.
Laser caps use low level light therapy (LLLT) to stimulate the scalp and follicles. They are completely hands-free and are a non-invasive, pain-free, and chemical-free hair growth option.
Reduce Heat Treatments
Well, let’s get right to it. If you want to eliminate heat damage, the quickest way is to do away with heat treatments altogether. Of course, for many adults who love their perfect coif, this simply isn’t an option.
The next option is to cut down on heat treatments. Instead of a blowout followed by an iron, consider learning to style with the blow dryer alone, paired with a suitable brush or comb. Can’t give up your curling or flat iron? Set your blow dryer to cold to avoid double heat damage.
In addition, make sure you’re using heat styling tools that do less harm, such as those with ceramic or tourmaline heating elements, and always use heat protectants. Brands like Living Proof, Cantu, Not Your Mother’s, Pureology, and more offer heat shielding products for different hair types (fine, curly, color treated, etc.) so you can find the perfect match for your mane, and many offer additional benefits like shine or a frizz-free finish.
Choose the Right Salon Treatments
If heat treating is a must for your hair, try to skip other chemical treatments like dyes or perms that can further damage hair. Just don’t forget to make appointments for regular trims. Damaged hair splits and breaks more easily, especially at the ends, and regular trims can help to stop damage from progressing up strands to the roots, where long-term harm can be done.
Treat from the Inside Out
Like any part of your body, your hair needs nutrients to remain healthy and strong. So, what kind of diet is conducive to healthy hair? For starters, you’ll need to add healthy proteins like eggs and fatty fish to your diet. Hair is composed of a protein called keratin, and in order to grow thick and strong, it requires dietary protein.
Eggs are great because they happen to include a protein called biotin that is essential to hair growth – it’s responsible for the production of keratin. As for fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and so on, it contains not only protein, but omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies need but can’t produce on their own. Omega-3 contributes to healthy hair and a healthy scalp.
Other helpful nutrients include vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, as well as iron and zinc. You can get these from a combination of dietary sources, such as dark leafy greens (like spinach), berries, sweet potatoes, avocados, nuts, and more, but the easiest way to ensure you’re getting all needed vitamins and minerals is with a daily multivitamin or targeted supplements.
Re-Hydrate Your Hair
One of the biggest problems with heat treatments is that they dry your hair, leading to damage like splitting and breakage that cause frizz and further harm. It is therefore essential to increase your efforts to hydrate hair with moisturizing treatments that seal the cuticle. Conditioning products can help, but you really need to add deep treatments, as well, such as hair masks.
You can certainly spend a lot on pricy products for this purpose, but you might be surprised to find suitable options in your own pantry. Coconut oil, for example, is a great option. All you have to do is warm the oil to liquid consistency (do not overheat or you risk scalding), massage a small amount between the palms (depending on the length of hair), and apply to damaged sections (mainly lengths). If you also suffer scalp dryness, you can apply to the scalp, as well. Let sit 20-30 minutes, then wash and condition as normal.Love Lilla xx