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Can Damaged Hair Be Healed?

Updated: Sep 17, 2021

The question we often get asked is, "How can you heal damaged hair?"

The short answer is - No, you can’t repair your hair strands once they are damaged. The longer answer however, is that - while you can't heal them, you CAN help improve the appearance of damaged hair when waiting for it to grow out, if you do not wish to completely cut it off.

Our hair strands are made up of dead cells and therefore they do not have the ability to self-heal or repair. Having said that, well-designed hair care products can provide improvement to the appearance and feel of the hair and even protect the hair from further damage.

However, since they are temporary measures, they tend to be washed away and need to be reapplied for continuous benefits.

When we talk about hair damage, we usually are talking about split ends, frizzy, dry or brittle hair tend to break easily. And they are often caused by chemical treatments such as bleaching, dying or perming of hair, or exposure to natural elements such as the sun or dry air. Our hair “care” routines can also damage our hair, such as excessive washing with harsh shampoos, drying hair with styling products that cause deposits or simply the aggressive brushing of our hair.

Hair experts suggest that washing our hair daily is unnecessary and that by washing our oily hair daily, we might end up with even oilier scalp and hair. That's partly because shampoos targeted at oily scalps tend to be drying. Coupled with daily washing, we remove too much sebum from our scalp and that encourages our scalp to produce even more oil. So, use a gentler shampoo instead and start by washing your hair every other day. If your scalp still feels too oily, you can consider using a dry shampoo, which is simply a powder that helps control the sebum production.

If you use hair styling products such as hair spray or hair gel, not only can they be drying to your hair, they sometimes form deposits on your hair and scalp which will lead to dull looking hair or clogged hair follicles which may then cause other kinds of scalp problems. So it is good to use a clarifying shampoo at least once a week to make sure that this does not happen. A hair and scalp mask will benefit too.

We know that brushing our hair regularly helps improve blood circulation and gives us shiny hair. However, overly aggressive hair brushing (and worse if we use the wrong comb or brush) can end up causing injury to our scalp and hair breakages. If your hair is knotted easily, the hair end is too dry. Applying a small amount of oil or butter will help lubricate the ends and prevents knots and friction. My personal favourites are Argan Oil, Avocado Oil, Cupuacu Butter and Sal Butter. I whip them into a nice blend and a tiny bit of that helps relieve the dryness instantly. Having said that, different hair types should use different oils and butters to avoid greasiness or weigh down of your hair.

Also, avoid using plastic combs or brushes, as they can cause static and increase frizz in the hair. We love a good wooden comb so much that we are making available two versions of Neem combs in our store.

One has sharper teeth for people who prefer slightly stronger "scratch" on their scalp, while the other is gentler with wider gaps. Neem combs have been used in the Indian culture because of the wood's strong anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits. The combs made from the wood is known to help combat itchy scalp and helps reduce dandruffs.

If you dye your hair or perm your hair regularly, your hair is likely to be slightly or even very damaged. Reducing the frequency of these treatments would really help. Use deep conditioning or overnight hair treatment at least once a week to provide nourishment and moisture so that the hair will feel softer and silkier. In addition, choose a shampoo and conditioner which is made with less drying or harsh surfactants. You can even opt for a herbal wash once or twice a week in place of the normal shampoo. A herbal wash is one which is made with herbs and contain absolutely no surfactants. It however, may contain a plant sapponin such as Shikakai to help remove dirt and sebums trapped in our hair.

If you liked this article, please share it with your friends, and visit our Shop to check out our shampoo bars, as all of them contain surfactant blends that are mild and gentle for your hair. Patrichory's conditioner bar contains proteins, emollients and humectants to help provide moisture and softeners that strengthen your hair against further damage.

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