After three rounds of bleach processes and hair extensions gone awry, my hair was not only over processed, but damaged and in dire need of a little TLC and some serious repair. My usual products were not cutting it.
I always had relatively healthy hair with minimal work. There were obvious triggers like hair dryers and as long as I avoided those triggers as much as possible, I didn’t have anything to worry about. Most of the colors I’ve dyed my hair have been bleach and ammonia free, so when I found myself with a post bleach bird’s nest resting on my head, I freaked. I desperately wanted to rescue my sad hair.
The first step was to cut my hair, not just to help with the broken ends, but to even out the length. My hair was breaking around ear level, so the longer hair was of uneven length and thickness. I went as short as I was comfortable with even though I didn’t want to cut my hair AT ALL.
How to Wash Damaged Hair:
Melu saved my hair’s texture. After washing, my hair felt gummy and slimy to the touch, which is incredibly disturbing. Melu by Davines fixed the texture. My hair still feels slightly gummy, but it now feels strong enough to brush.
I also recommend Oribe Ultra Gentle Shampoo and Conditioner. I use this right now as well as Melu and my thirsty hair appreciates it. Oribe Ultra Gentle Shampoo is recommended for fine hair and works wonders on my non-processed hair by keeping it tangle free, so for gummy, processed, tangled hair, it also works well.
Protein, Protein, Protein.
Damaged hair is stripped of it’s natural cuticle and therefore has no protection, so it’s necessary to replenish the protein. This is true, but you have to be careful with protein. Just like your skin, your hair not only needs to be strong, it needs elasticity, so it can stretch and return to it’s original shape. Damaged hair is brittle and lacking elasticity. Add protein to brittle hair and it becomes stronger, which is good to an extent until the brittle hair becomes so strong that it begins to break instead of bend.
I found a Fortifying Protein Hair Mask on Amazon that worked like gold. Naturally, I thought I should slather this stuff on my hair daily, WRONG. I fully stand behind this product, but proper use is crucial. I cut back to using once every 2-3 weeks and my hair is shiny and smooth with each use.
Damaged and over processed hair is not able to absorb color as well. Boosting your color is easy when it comes in your conditioner. I know what you’re thinking, you’ve already told me about three different conditioners. I mix half Davines Alchemic copper tinted conditioner and half Melu. Davines Alchemic Shampoos and Conditioners also come in red, silver, golden, chocolate, and tobacco.
How to Style:
Avoid heat at all cost. One stipulation for my cut was that I still be able to get my hair into a half pony or braids. Hats are also a lifesaver. You may need to be a little creative to fit your new coif into your style, but sacrificing a little style will be worth it when your hair starts growing healthier.
Shop the Look:
Listen to your hair. If your hair is so severely processed that it feels gummy when wet, DO NOT BRUSH. Your hair should be dry before you try to separate, detangle or brush it; this means allowing it to air dry or taking a hair dryer, set on low, to it without running a brush through first. Hair is at it’s most vulnerable when wet and damaged hair does not handle that well. If you must towel dry it, use a soft t-shirt, not a rough towel that causes extra breakage.
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Fresh Cut Split End Mender is amazing for concealing split ends. Read the full review here. Use on damp hair fresh out of the shower and daily if desired.
AMIKA Bombshell Blowout Spray is crucial for preventing further damage caused by heat styling.
Osis Dust It is a texturizing powder that breathes volume and life into limp hair. Osis Dust It also adds texture, so it works well as a dry shampoo on that last day when you aren’t sure if you can make it last. I can make my hair stand up so tall with this stuff, you have to see it in action.
Ouai hair oil is essential to bring back shine to lackluster hair.
Whew. It looks like a lot of effort as I read this post, but the hardest part really is to leave my hair alone and be patient while it grows.
What’s your biggest hair dilemma?