Have you noticed your hair could use some TLC? Trying to repair damaged hair can be an arduous task, and almost everyone has experienced hair damage in some form whether it be split ends or breakage. Lackluster and broken hair strands can cause major frustrations in anyone’s hair journey. If you’re noticing your hair follicles have been dry, dull or frizzy or if the ends of your hair are splitting, your hair could be damaged.
If your hair strands are breaking and causing hair loss, it could be the result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions or medications(1). Damaged hair can also be caused by scalp conditions such as Psoriasis, Alopecia, and Seborrheic dermatitis due to oxidative stress secreted from the scalp from these scalp conditions(2). Daily tasks like coloring and straightening hair or swimming can even lead to damage but don’t worry, there’s still hope.
Here is a list of the reasons your hair could be damaged:
Whether you’ve chemically damaged your hair or simply made being unkind to your hair a bad habit, these tips, and natural remedies can help condition dried out locks and restore your damaged hair. .
How you treat your body plays a role in the health of your hair. Nourished hair is a reflection of physical health, which means poor diet and lack of nutrients can cause hair to become fragile by impacting both hair structure and hair growth(7). Hair requires vitamins such as iron, zinc, B-12 and proteins to support hair structure, promote growth and moisturize the scalp for flourishing hair. Vitamins and minerals are crucial for normal cell growth and function and may contribute to hair loss when there is a deficiency(8). The best way to absorb vitamins is through the food you eat, but if you have trouble eating healthily or have vitamin deficiencies, supplements are an effective way to maintain healthy hair.
Taking vitamins for hair growth is an easy and natural way to achieve length and healthy strands. With the onslaught of supplements advertised across social media, it can be difficult to choose the proper supplements. When oral supplements are taken, they are absorbed in the bloodstream where it nourishes cells and hair follicles(9).
Biotin has been shown to create stronger and thicker hair. A lack of Biotin can result in thinning hair over time, leading to damage and hair loss(10). Taking biotin supplements can help restore your body’s biotin levels.
Taking a vitamin specifically engineered to promote healthy hair likeTotal Hair can rebuild stressed strands.Total Hair helps provide the body with bioavailable keratin, which is easily absorbed by the body and repairs hair at a cellular level. According to a controlled study, Cynatine can reduce hair loss in as little as 30 days, making Total Hair an effective hair supplement(11). Total hair is formulated with the following ingredients to help you achieve optimum hair health:
Heat damage happens when heat is applied to hair strands on a setting that is too high, which potentially causes damages in the cuticle and cortex of the hair fibers(14). This happens because the heat causes the denaturation of the α-keratin and the degradation of the components of the hair cortex.
Products such as protein treatments can help improve the look of your strands, but once heat damage has irreversibly occurred, your hair won’t ever completely bounce back. If you can’t bear to say goodbye to damaged ends, avoid further degradation with the following ways:
Pre-treating your hair with protectants before heat styling has been shown to improve moisture restoration and water retention of hair, especially when pre-treated using products with selected polymers(14). The body is estimated to have 100,000 different polymer-based proteins. Collagen, one of the most common proteins in the body, is used for support and structure(16). The polymers help the hair because the improvement in cuticle health and smoothness of the heat pretreatments play an important role in eliminating breakage.
Just like skin, hair can also be damaged by extended sun exposure. Long-term exposure to UV light emitted from the sun can contribute to the removal of the lipid layer on the outer surface of the hair fiber, making it challenging to detangle and style. When venturing outside to enjoy a dose of sunshine, limit sun exposure by covering up with a hat and use hair products with UV filters.
If you’re struggling with sun or heat-damaged hair, the best option may be to cut off the dead ends to get rid of the damage and start from scratch. Chopping off the limp, heat-damaged ends of your hair can give them a chance to grow healthily again. But you don’t have to do it all at once. If you regularly trim your hair, it will keep your hair healthy and help you retain a longer length.
Even though you can’t change your genetics and age, your eating habits are something you can control. Malnutrition can cause hair to change color, weaken or fall out. The living part of hair is under the scalp skin where the root is housed within its follicle. Hair derives its nutrients from blood, so eating properly is essential to repairing and preventing damaged hair(17). Using crash diets can cause temporary hair loss due to necessary nutritional factors. To prevent this, add the following foods to your diet for proven results:
Dealing with damaged hair is never easy. Whether you’re suffering hair damage from heating tools or poor eating habits, there are natural and healthy solutions to reverse and repair damage. From taking supplements to limiting sun exposure, these tips are effective ways to witness proven results and return to having beautiful, flowing strands.
Laura Tolliver - Contributing Writer, Physician’s Choice