Do you have frizziness, split ends, and/or breakage that you just can’t seem to get a handle on? Whether you’ve had your hair relaxed, bleached, colored with harsh chemicals, or your hair is just suffering from a severe case of heat exhaustion, we have some tips on how to take better care of your over-treated hair.
1. Comb, DON’T Brush, Wet Hair
Wet hair breaks much more easily than dry hair. Running a brush through wet hair can cause breakage that goes beyond repair. Get a wide-toothed comb to detangle wet hair after you shower. The wide teeth cause less damage because they won’t pull your hair as hard as a regular brush might.
2. Invest in a Soft Bristled Brush
Use a soft bristled brush to smooth dry hair, dispersing natural scalp oils into the hair follicles. Those oils then coat your hair, making it shinier and healthier-looking.
3. Avoid Hair Products with Harsh Ingredients
Chemicals like ammonia and resorcinol can damage the healthiest of hair. Look for products that are free of these like Madison Reed Color and Hair Care Products.
4. Daily Shampooing is Not Required
Shampooing too often can irritate your scalp and wash away natural oils. If you feel like you need to shower daily, try rinsing your hair with warm water, and then apply a lightweight, moisturizing conditioner. Eliminate the shampoo step, which can be very drying to over-treated/damaged hair when done too frequently.
For best results, simply rinse your hair well with warm water, then apply conditioner starting about 2 inches away from the scalp and smooth it through to the ends. Apply more conditioner to the ends of your hair if they are dry. Avoid applying conditioner to your scalp unless it is especially dry. To finish, rinse the conditioner from your hair completely.
5. Use the Low Heat Setting on Your Blow Dryer
Remember that faster doesn’t equal better, turn the heat down and protect your your hair from potential heat damage. A low heat setting might take a little more time, but the results you will achieve will be worth it. When using straighteners, curling irons, or hot rollers, use them on a low heat setting. Leave them on a bit longer and you should be able to achieve the same results that you did on a high setting. This will spare your hair where it needs it most: at the ends.
6. Air Dry Once in a While
Give your hair a break and let it air dry about 70-80% of the way before you blow dry. Then, with your dryer on the coolest setting, blow your hair dry, keeping the dryer about 6-inches away from hair at all times and moving it around continuously.
7. Take Warm Instead of Hot Showers
We hope we’ve said it enough to make it clear: anything too hot is detrimental to the health of your hair. The same is true for washing your hair with hot water. Hot water can dehydrate your hair, which makes it dry, brittle, and more likely to snap and break. Keep your showers warm to save your hair.
8. Loosen Up
Throwing your hair up in a ponytail might be easy, but super tight ponies–and similar tight styles–aren’t good for your hair’s health. They can actually stress out and damage your hair. In fact, even wearing a hair tie or bobby pins in the same place every day may damage your hair. Give your hair a break every once in a while by changing the placement of your hair accessories.
9. Keep Stress Low
If you’re constantly stressed, eating unhealthy foods and losing out on sleep, it’s going to show in your hair. There are some things in life that are beyond our control, but if you want your hair to be at its best a healthy lifestyle is vital. Stress may be inevitable, we do have a choice as to how we respond to and deal with stress, how we eat and sleep. Keep those things in mind before you invest in expensive hair care products and treatments.
10. Get a Trim
A lot of us are not willing to give up our length. We recommend getting a trim or a light dusting, taking very little off the ends every 6 weeks to help stop your ends from splitting all the way up your hair strand.
Check out the Madison Reed Field Guide to Hair Color every other Monday for more insider knowledge and tips.
Next time: Professional Tips for Straight Hair Care
Have questions about Hair Health? Ask our Color Crew in the comments below or call 1-888-550-9586.