Tips on Growing Out Damaged Hair

Hair becomes damaged when it is processed, colored, burned and otherwise abused through the course of each day. Straightening, relaxing and overall misuse of your hair can render it dry, split and messy. If you long for the nourished locks that you see in your favorite shampoo commercials, you’ll need more than a good shampoo to repair your hair. Since hair is essentially a dead protein, notes the American Hair Loss Association, it cannot be repaired, only grown out in the hopes that you’ll care for it better the next time around.

Get a Trim

It may sound counterintuitive to those who want longer, healthier hair, but a haircut is the first step to growing out truly damaged hair. Hair splits from the ends up, so if you hair has begun to split, if you leave it, it will eventually split all the way to the roots of your hair. To get healthier hair, you must trim off all of the damaged, split and dry hair, notes Visit your hairstylist for a quick trim to have you on your way to healthier hair.

Deep Condition

Deep conditioning your hair at least once a week can help you keep your hair moisturized. While you can buy various deep conditioning treatments from the drugstore, you can also make your own using a peeled avocado, an egg and a tablespoon of olive oil mixed together to form a paste. Comb the mixture through dry hair and leave to set for at least 30 minutes. You can then rinse out with cool water to seal in the moisture. This will help keep your hair healthy while you grow it out.

Go Sulfate Free

Sulfates are the detergents used in shampoos to make them lather. The most popular, sodium lauryl sulfate, can actually dry out hair and make it more susceptible to damage, says Look for natural shampoos that are sulfate-free to protect your growing hair from further damage. Most natural shampoos are so gentle that conditioner is not needed, just a conditioning treatment each week.

Stop Styling

Your everyday styling methods, like blow drying, flat ironing, curling and teasing, all wreak havoc on each hair shaft, exacerbating damage and making your hair look dry and frizzy. Try a new approach to styling by letting your hair air dry as often as possible, and staying away from heated styling tools. If you must style your hair, blow dry until it is 80 percent dry and leave the rest to air dry, and never use a flat iron on hair that is not entirely dry.

Eat Well

What you eat will have a bearing on how quickly and healthily your hair grows in. Philip Kingsley, hairstylist and author of “The Hair Bible: A Complete Guide to Health and Care,” recommends eating a diet rich in red meats, for B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids commonly found in eggs and fish, and complex carbohydrates for your healthiest hair while growing it out. Eating a balanced diet may be the best way that you can grow out damaged hair altogether.