What do you mean by damaged hair?
Brittle or damaged hair describes a hair shaft that is frizzy, breaks easily and looks dull. Dry, brittle hair can lead to damage, hair thinning and eventually hair loss, but brittle hair is not a hair type like curly or straight. It’s caused by internal and external factors such as illness, over-styling and age. Men and women of any age can experience brittle or damaged hair but you can address and manage brittle locks with treatments for dry hair and a change in your lifestyle habits.
What causes dry and damaged hair?
Dry damaged hair is common and the reasons are numerous. Women are more likely to experience brittle hair and although this may be due to the obvious damage on longer lengths, men can experience damaged hair too. Overall brittle hair is a sign that your hair is missing moisture. To repair brittle hair you need to restore those moisture levels and keep them in place.
Common reasons for brittle hair are too much styling and heat exposure. Modern hairstyles often need heat to keep them sleek such as hair straighteners and powerful hair dryers, but when your hair is heated up it loses moisture. Cut down on heating tools and look out for these other factors that can cause dry damaged hair too, such as:
- Chemical treatments cause hair havoc and even heavily moisturised locks can turn brittle overnight through bleach or chemical use. Dyes and chemicals are one of the main reasons for dry damaged hair.
- When you shampoo your hair do you rub the whole length of the hair strands? It’s not necessary to run shampoo into the ends of your hair. Concentrate on the roots where sebum and dirt collects and the shampoo will clean your hair as it’s washed out. It’s rare that hair ends need cleansing and doing so just dries them out.
- A poor diet will lead to brittle hair. If your body lacks vitamins and minerals that create healthy hair then you’ll be left with a head of fragile and damaged strands. Opt for dry hair supplements to boost flagging levels of nutrients in your system and boost hair moisture levels.
- Lack of water or dehydration will also affect your tresses. Water is essential, but most of us don’t drink enough. The NHS recommends eight glasses a day so drink up to help repair dry damaged hair.
- Besides the chemical treatments, there are health reasons for dry damaged hair, such as hormones which can seriously affect your locks. Women who take birth control pills may notice a change in their hair texture and pregnant women will certainly see some changes, but it’s menopause that really upsets woman’s hair. Dry damaged hair is a symptom of the oestrogen dive associated with menopause. Oestrogen keeps your hair healthy, so when it dips the quality of your hair dips too.
- Another medical condition that can affect your hair is a thyroid imbalance. A thyroid imbalance can produce dry hair, dry skin, tiredness, and make you feel cold. Dry damaged hair is one of the most obvious symptoms of thyroid troubles. If you think a medical condition is affecting your hair, it's worth speaking to your doctor.
How to help damaged hair grow again?
Losing your hair doesn’t have to be the end of the world. There are many natural ways that are great for the health of your hair and can help to stimulate it. Fuller and thicker locks are a lot easier to gain than you think, and here’s how.
Where there is a problem there is often a solution and when it comes to hair loss, there is no exception. Whether it's extremes like hair transplants or more natural hair loss pills, shampoos and herbal remedies, the choice is vast. But if you're a particular fan of natural methods, read on to find out how you can gain benefits for hair regrowth from these and why.
Home remedies for damaged hair
Onion juice - It is rich in sulphur that boosts collagen production in the tissue to promote new hair growth. Applying this juice onto your scalp, maintaining it there for 15 minutes then rinsing it off with a mild shampoo could work wonders for not only the health but also the thickness of your damaged hair. Read more about the study here.
Apple cider vinegar - This is beneficial for cleansing the scalp and maintaining the pH balance of your hair. Apple cider vinegar can be seen to increase and allow an acceleration of hair growth. Simply wash your hair, and then use the apple cider vinegar as a final rinse after. It suggested that to mix 75ml of the apple cider vinegar to 1 litre of water and use this solution for rinsing. Read more about the study here.
Fenugreek - It is another widely used home remedy to help overcome hair fall and damaged hair, and can potentially encourage healthier hair regrowth. It's advised to use 1 teaspoon of fenugreek paste with 2 teaspoons of coconut milk. Apply it all over your scalp, leave for 30 minutes then wash off with mild shampoo. Fenugreek is known to not only support the acceleration of hair growth but to also protect the natural colour of your hair and help prevent damaged hair. Read more about the study here.
Diet for damaged hair
As with most aspects of our health, our diet can have a huge impact on it. Whether it's to do with your skin, hair, nails or general wellbeing you can bet that there is something within your diet that needs tweaking to make your area of concern better. Therefore, a few dietary modifications can go a long way with regards to encouraging hair growth and repairing damaged hair.
Protein rich foods like chicken, eggs, tofu, soybeans and kidney beans can be great for the hair; our hair is made of a special kind of protein called keratin and eating particular types of protein can support its production to help repair damaged hair and support new hair growth.
Vitamin A, B, C and E are just a few of the vitamins you should look into increasing in your diet. Vitamin B works to stimulate the haemoglobin production in our blood, which essentially acts as the oxygen carrier. An increase in circulation to the scalp often has the positive knock on effect of stimulating healthier hair regrowth.
Some of the foods to look out for include potato, banana, chicken and oatmeal. Vitamin C tends to support collagen production (something that is essential for hair growth), while fighting off free radicals. This vitamin can be found in plenty of citrus fruits like kiwi, orange and amla.
Natural solutions for dry damaged hair
Not only do you want to use the best products to keep your hair looking great, you also want to use the best ones to keep it growing healthy and strong, particularly if you are spotting tell-tale signs of hair loss.
Natural hair care products come in all kinds of shapes and sizes - balms, sprays, gels, shampoos, conditioners - the list goes on. Generally speaking they hold lower amounts of chemicals, and many organic ranges contain none. They can be used for styling and cleaning purposes, as well as more serious issues as hair loss. Here are some alternate or natural hair repair solutions you can consider for dry damaged hair:
Supplements or capsules formulated for dry damaged hair help stimulate follicles from the roots and nourish them to reverse the damage. The results of the supplement may differ from person to person, but these aim to work on the follicles at molecular level and promote hair repair and growth.
A good shampoo will not just cleanse your tresses but help give a boost to dry damaged hair by retaining its moisture. A natural formula will clean the hair without adding to any further problems. The ingredients in the shampoo add body to the damaged strands and make them look fuller and lustrous.
These can be hair masks, sprays, oils or creams that help strengthen each damaged strand and restore the lost moisture. It also prevents the hair from further damage due to pollution, sun or weather. There are serums or after-wash sprays that keep the scalp healthy and are fuss free to use.
The Final Word
It’s upsetting when your hair turns brittle and dry but there are treatments for damaged hair that can restore your locks. Brittle hair needs help from the outside as well as the inside and it’s never too late to get started. Natural solutions arguably provide the best care without being harsh. Many of them make use of plant-derived ingredients which enables you to take the best care for your hair without fearing any allergies or irritations. Often natural products are mild and hypoallergenic, meaning they can be used by anyone, including those with sensitive skin and scalps. Their ingredients are chosen very carefully in order to offer your damaged hair the safest, kindest yet most effective way to boost its health and appearance.