4 Common Causes of Hair Damage And How to Solve Them

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Among the many hair raising questions we get here at HairMNL, the ones about damaged hair are probably among the most heartbreaking. Often accompanied with an undertone of panic, we know how harrowing it must be to see over-processed hair gummied by chemicals. Fortunately, you don't have to forgo that style you've been dreaming of.  There are ways to solve even the worst hair problems. With a lot of prevention, some things to watch out for, and a whole lot of acceptance, these do not have to be your story. So chin up and let’s work through the most common causes of hair damage and what you can do about them short of a quick snip. Be warned though, the answers aren’t always so cut and dry.
Color Dye
Hair dyes abound in the market. Today there is every color of the rainbow available to create any look you can dream up. But to achieve that color and make it stick, chemical hair dyes need to get the stain firmly rooted into the strand. To do this, color dyes often remove the natural protections from each cuticle layer drying your hair out.
What can you do?
  • Get a moisturizing treatment to bring back the natural protection of your hair.
  • Get color-safe shampoo. It’s one thing to have hair colored it’s another thing to have to maintain it. Understanding that even water will draw out color from your hair, use color-safe shampoos to make colored hair last longer.
  • Cold showers are also advised so that your cuticle remains closed and the moisture and color of your hair stays put.
How can you prevent future damage?
  • In Salon, treatment is a great way to jump-start the “healing” process for your hair after coloring. Keratin and Olaplex treatments are great additions to a color treatment because they’ll ensure your hair will still have strength and luster long after you had your visit from the salon.
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Chemical Damage Due to Bleaching
Bleach is the foundation for going from a brunette to blonde. But the toll it takes on your hair can be extensive for those unprepared. For bleach to do its work it removes the natural color from each strand and proceeds to dissolve the melanin from within your hair’s pigment. The process makes your hair brittle and fragile.
What can you do?
There’s no way around it. Bleach can and will damage hair. It is simply a matter of degrees.
  • We advice coloring within three shades of your current hair color and work your way up the levels  gradually. If you want to go higher on the scale, consider putting gap of a few weeks between colors with treatments in between so that your hair has time to recuperate.
  • Get a hair treatment. Bleach does not just strip away pigments, its strips your hair of natural oils and keratin as well. You can use shampoos and masks to add nourishment back into those locks, but a good in salon treatment really helps to move things along quicker.
  • And while you’re at it, enjoy the color you’re in as you move up the levels. Who knows maybe the perfect hair wasn’t blonde after all, but the shade between here and there.
How can you prevent future damage?
  • Stay out of the Sun. UV damages all hair types but more particularly bleached hair. Get a UV protection spray and apply generously to your hair especially on the top of your head, where the sun hits it most.
  • Stay away from chlorine and saltwater as well, as these tend to cause hair discoloration (a nasty green tinge) and dryness. If swimming is unavoidable, then wetting your hair before and  thoroughly rinsing your hair after, can lessen the negative chemical reactions that occur with bleached hair.
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Heating Tools
Gratisography
 
Blow dryers, flattening irons, curling rods can “cook” your hair, making it brittle, prone to damage and causes split ends.  For certain people, heat styling is simply unavoidable. Luckily there is a way to keep your hair protected.
What can you do?
  • Apply heat protection products thoroughly before styling to prevent split ends. If it involves a wait time, be patient enough to let the product work its magic.
  • Use styling tools that efficiently manage heat and that have graduated heat settings. Use the lowest setting especially for irons and curlers.
  • When blow-drying, remember to keep some distance between your hair and the dryer. Around six inches should do. When possible use the air-dry setting so as not to cook your wet hair.
  • Never iron or curl your hair while it is still wet.
How can you prevent future damage?
  • Brush up on the proper safety techniques when using heat styling tools. For more on this check out “How to use your heat styling tools like a Pro.”
  • Hydrating hair masks are amazing. If you haven’t started using one now is the best time.  
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Perms, Relaxers, and Rebonds
Hailey Reed
Transitioning from flat and straight to curly and vice versa really asks a lot from your hair. The process involves loosening disulfide bonds between keratins along the hair shaft, in other words, these chemical treatments rearrange the very structural composition of your hair. Amazing right? But it does come with a cost. Excessive use of perms, relaxers and rebonds can seriously damage hair making them brittle and almost irredeemably dry. Stylist, we’ve spoken to also agree that doing them in tandem with color or bleaching would simply be a death sentence.
What can you do?
  • Like bleaching or hair color, these are some serious chemicals so we advise that you go to a professional. We’ve heard one too many horror stories of people doing it on themselves and getting less than great results.
  • Tell your stylist how long ago you’ve had your last perm, relax or rebond, so they can determine what course of action to take moving forward. If your hair is still too raw to move forward with any treatment, take a breath, accept and reschedule at a time when your hair can handle it.
  • Clean hair sets better so use clarifying shampoos. Avoid conditioners, masks, and styling products before the chemical application, and make sure you remove all residue from your hair before you begin.
  • Sit still and pretty. The way to lasting beauty takes time. So be prepared to sit for a few hours. Take your stylist's advice and try not to move around too much either. These setting chemicals work effectively and in the process of you moving about could leave your hair set in the wrong way.
How can you prevent future damage?
  • Space out your perms etc. at least six months apart and always journal when you had your last perm. A post on social media helps. In that way, you have a digital reminder of sorts. So when the urge to change starts bubbling up, you know if you’ve had enough time in between treatments to give your locks some rest.
  • Solve frizzy hair with treatment not rebonding. Sometimes we think the solution to frizzy hair is to nuke it with rebonding chemicals. If that is the case for you, check out our article on hair treatments and what problems they’re meant to solve.
  • Be mindful of the tips of your hair. Always have some hydration product available especially for the tips which tend to dry out after its been permed. Also if by chance a lock or two of hair didn’t set properly, circle back to your stylist to see if there’s something you can do to fix it.
 
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Finally, whether it’s color, bleach, hot styled or perm, remember it’s a process. If you really are committed to a style take your time getting there. The fastest way to damage your hair is to rush every treatment all in one day. So enjoy the journey and may you always have happy hair stories.
For expert advice and more personal tips on how to care for your hair contact our professional styling team on Facebook or Instagram, or visit us at HairMNL Studio, Brixton St., Kapitolyo, Pasig City, Philippines.
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