Toxic chemicals found in many products are extremely detrimental to the health of our hair. This is especially true if you dye your hair a lot. These chemicals combined with hair dryers, straighteners and curling irons make it inevitable that there will be damage done over the years.
I would know. I dyed my hair blonde for many years….then blue….then back to blonde. My natural hair color is dark brown. Just sayin’. The last time that I went blonde I decided it would be really fun to make it bleach blonde.
When I was living in NYC I did this myself, grabbing bleach and toner from Ricky’s and then throwing it all over my hair like I was an actual cosmetologist or something. When I moved to LA I found a hair stylist who was affordable and amazing at making my hair the exact shade I wanted, and by shade I mean no shade, aka white. To give you an idea of how bleached it was, let’s just say at the end of a session she told me I looked like a child from Village of the Damned, but less creepy. I remember thinking I wonder why no previous hair stylist was able to make my hair this white…this girl is awesome… no brassiness whatsoever. She was awesome because she was ruthless. She did what other hair stylists were afraid to do (for good reason). Ruthless wasn’t great for my hair though. She did what she had to do to get my hair the snow white that I wanted it, but that also meant extreme damage.
I’ve always had an invincible attitude in regards to my hair over the years. Maybe I got too confident in my hair’s ability to withstand damage after years and years of dying with no serious consequences. When I would hear other girls talk about being afraid to dye their hair because of the damage I thought they were being dramatic and just assumed it was totally fine. Then one day a tragedy occurred. It was 6 months after I started seeing the Snow Queen stylist. I was brushing my hair without a care in the world when I looked in the mirror and saw my hair breaking strand by strand. This wasn’t just dead ends breaking off, my hair was breaking from the top of my head, 2 inches from my scalp. I began to panic. I put Olaplex on my hair, and then I cut off all of the split ends and extremely damaged areas. I ended up having to cut about 7 inches off and it was traumatizing.
The next day I dyed my hair back to dark brown and then began to let my natural hair grow out. I was too late though because at that point 1/3 of my hair had broken at the top. Those few times in the past that I did stop and think about the potential damage I was doing to my hair didn’t phase me because I always thought I would have some sort of warning. I was sure my hair would give me a sign that it couldn’t take anymore, and that I would have a chance to go back to natural before anything serious happened. In the end there was no warning, just from fine to horror show in a matter of minutes.
I am now trying to grow my hair out again and dream of the day that my hair might be long again. Sometimes I even wear extensions to make this dream a reality. I won’t even go into detail about the pieces that broke at the top because it’s too depressing. I learned the hard way that no one is above hair damage. Ok, maybe if you never dye your hair or use any products or heating tools you MIGHT be above hair damage. But let’s be honest, how many of us does that actually apply to?
Now that you realize the importance of taking care of your hair let’s talk about the ways we can reduce damage. It’s just as important to take preventative care as it is to treat your hair after damage occurs. Some ways to prevent damage before it occurs include:
- replace your hair products containing toxic chemicals with organic products
- reduce the use of heating tools
- let your hair air dry whenever possible
- apply natural conditioning treatments
- stay away from bleach
- take biotin and folic acid
Here are some natural remedies for damage prevention:
1 egg + milk (1 cup) + olive oil (2 tablespoons)
Prevent Hair Loss
2 bananas + olive oil (1 tablespoon) + coconut oil (1 tablespoon) + honey (1 tablespoon)
Strengthen Hair Follicles (to increase hair endurance to damage)
ginger juice ( 5 tablespoons) + coconut oil (3 tablespoons) – Let sit for one hour, use twice a week
For the hair that is already significantly damaged there are many different restorative methods. Getting a conditioning treatment at a salon, Olaplex and keratin cream are an option; however, it’s best to use natural remedies. You can buy organic products or you can make them with simple ingredients you most likely already have in your home. Here are some natural remedies for damage repair:
Dry Hair Repair
aloe vera gel (4 tablespoons) + coconut oil (2 tablespoons)
Increase Hair Volume
1 ripe avocado + milk (1/2 cup) + olive oil (1 tablespoon) + almond oil (1 tablespoon)
open vitamin E capsules and mix them into your shampoo
coconut oil (3 tablespoons) + olive oil (2 tablespoons) + honey (3 tablespoons)
Some of you reading this might already be taking amazing care of your hair and that’s wonderful, but if you’re like me and choose to remain oblivious to the abuse your hair is taking, start giving your hair some TLC immediately. Try the recipes above and stay conscious of how often you dye and use tools and products. You will be thanking yourself later, trust me.