Longing for a head full of lush hair? Even if you have made some serious hair mistakes in your past, you can move past them and still have amazing locks. Whether you’ve been flat ironing your hair every day or have highlighted your strands to their breaking point, there is always something that you can do to make it look better.
From detox diets for your locks to avocado masks, there is help! Here is some of the best advice from the world’s greatest hairdressers that can help you make some home remedies for damaged hair at low cost but high quality.
1. Show a little respect
Whatever you are doing to your hair, stop it! If your hair is visibly parched, it needs a break. Whether you are coloring, washing, drying or brushing it, now is the time to call it quits. Less is really more. If you have shoulder length hair or if it’s longer, start treating it like a delicate piece of lace.
You are going to have the same strands hanging around for years so treat them with care. You know the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? That is especially true when it comes to your hair. It really is important to do as little to it as possible. Unless we are talking about nourishing masks, think twice before you touch your strands.
2. Use protection
If you must use heat to style or dry your hair, use it wisely. Try to limit your hair’s heat exposure to twice per week. When you do use heat on it, use protection! Any kind of heat protecting hair product will work, so grab some spray, serum, mousse or cream before you heat up your locks.
The heat of your styling tools will deplete your hair’s natural oil stock while weakening and destroying protein strands. Heat protection formulas aren’t just a gimmick. They really can help keep your hair in better condition.
Not only do heat-protectant sprays work to keep your hair healthy, they can also make your locks easier to style. Do a little browsing to find a product that can multitask for you. Look for a heat protecting product that will make your hair shinier, less frizzy, straighter, curlier or whatever it is that you are going for.
3. Get creative
There is a whole world that exists between having a fresh blowout and hiding your hair in a ponytail. There are countless no-heat hairstyles that can seriously save your hair while leaving you looking amazing.
Not only are there tons of heat-free styling options, there are a few reasons why they are better than traditional heat styling. Check out amazing braids, buns and up-dos that will have you out the door and looking stunning in under five minutes flat.
4. Sleep on it
If you are like me, every single second of sleep counts. There have been nights when I’ve seriously considered sleeping in my clothes just to shave a few minutes off of my morning routine. If you can relate to that, you will probably be more than a little excited to find nighttime ‘dos that actually leave your hair looking great in the morning.
Forget about heat. Never again worry about having to tug at knots in your hair. Go for a little bit of extra prep work at night, then just wake up and shake your hair loose. It’ll fall down into a stunning cascade and you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with heat styling.
Need some inspiration? Check out tutorials and pics of these amazing bedtime styles:
Headband curls: This is a great strategy because the style actually looks greats during every step of the process. You wrap your hair around a headband then let the curls set. I’ve seen tons of women out with the style and a nice looking headband so it’s great if you want an up-do during the day and loose curls at night.
It’s also a curly hair strategy for us flat-haired ladies who could never make it from 9 am to 9 pm with lasting waves.
Rag Curls: You can’t really go out and look normal with rag curls in, but they do have a few pluses. First off, they work for every length of hair. If your hair is too short or layered to work well for headband curls, this is the perfect solution for you. It’s also great if you have trouble keeping anything in your hair at night.
You can toss and turn all night and your rag curls will last. On top of it all, they are super cheap and you’ve probably already got everything that you need. Just cut up an old t-shirt or scarf so that you’ve got thin strips of fabric. Part your hair into thin sections, and then roll each bit of hair around the fabric and tie to secure.
It’s as easy as that! There are tons of different methods so do a quick search to find a technique that is perfect for your hair.
5. Head for the kitchen
Some of the best hair-care products come directly from your kitchen. Rather than heading down to your local drugstore or dishing out serious cash for salon products, go for natural products. Once you see the results, it’s hard to make an argument for prepackaged formulas.
Not only are homemade remedies just as effective as store-bought creams, they are also green and cheaper. Convinced yet? Here are a few simple hair repair masks that you can make at home.
This is a perfect recipe if you have avocados that are starting to go bad. Rather than letting them go to waste, why not mush them up and rub them all over your head? Grab a ripe (or overripe) avocado and mix it with one egg. Blend well and apply to wet hair.
Leave it on for about twenty minutes then rinse it away. Do it two to four times per month so your hair always has a little left over luster from the fatty acids in the avocado and egg.
Butter it up
Butter will leave a similar fat coating on your hair as the avocado. Simply run butter down the ends of your hair. Use it on dry hair so that the oil can penetrate it and stick to your ends because the oil can weigh down your roots. A little bit goes a long way, so don’t get too crazy.
Leave it on there for about 20 minutes then wash your hair. If your hair still feels oily, you used too much butter. Cut back on your next session. A weekly treatment will leave your hair looking ultra glossy.
Olive oil is a great alternative to butter. If you don’t like the smell or feel of butter, try an olive oil mask. Simply heat up some oil (but not too hot!) then rub it over the ends of dry hair.
For maximum impact, try to keep the oil warm the entire time it’s on your head. Putting on a shower cap then wrapping a towel around it will keep the oil warm and maximize its effectiveness. Again, go for about 20 minutes once a week.
Rinse away your woes
Tea is great for adding a natural sheen to your hair. Just like tea can stain your teeth and your favorite teacup, it can also leave a stain on your hair- but in a good way! Use it to your advantage to make your hair color look lushes.
If you have blond hair, brew some chamomile tea and let it cool. Toss the tea bag then dump the cooled tea over your hair. If you have dark hair, use black tea. It will add shine and enhance your natural highlights.
Vinegar is great for adding gloss to your hair. Even a quick rinse of vinegar after your usual shampoo and conditioner can leave you with amazingly sleek hair (don't worry, the vinegar smell will dissipate).
For shampoo commercial strands, use one tsp of apple cider vinegar with two tbsp of olive oil and thee eggs. Again, heat is a good thing so put on a shower cap with a towel over it.
DIY protein shampoo
Eggs are amazing for your hair any way that you want to have them. They are pure protein and can seriously strengthen weak hair. A 50/50 mixture of shampoo and egg yolk will leave your hair ultra strong.
Like all protein treatments though, you need to find the right mixture for your hair type. Protein is strengthening but it can be drying. After you do the egg treatment, follow up with a rich conditioner. If your hair feels dry, use less yolk next time.
6. Help your environment
While we tend to forget about it, our hair is seriously affected by the environment. From the sun to the air to the water, it all affects how your ‘do is going to look. Fortunately, it's easy to keep the damage to a minimum.
Before you go swimming, add some conditioner to your hair. This will prevent chlorine and other gunk in the water from clinging to your hair. If you forget or end up going for an impromptu swim, wet your hair with clean water before you get into the pool. Basically, by filling your hair's cuticles, you are making it less porous so fewer chemicals will sink in.
If you live in a dry climate or your place tends to have dry air when you're cranking the heater in the winter, start using a humidifier. Making the air moister will add moisture to your hair so you can literally just sit there while the air improves your hair.
7. Quit while you’re ahead
Seriously damaged hair is often a result of a bad dye job. While this tends to happen most often when people color their hair at home, it can happen at the salon too. Don’t expect your stylist to tell you when your hair has had enough. Wherever you are doing the deed, it’s important to know all of your options.
One of the fastest ways to destroy your hair is to bleach it. It can be a necessary evil if you want to go several shades lighter but use it as sparingly as possible. Far too often I see women using bleach to get their hair platinum blonde. While you will need a bleach lightener to go more than four shades lighter, never use it more than once!
If your hair has an orange or yellow tint to it, grab some toner. Toner is truly a godsend for blondes. It doesn’t damage your hair and can make a dramatic difference in the color. Always, always try toner first and then decide if you really need to lighten your hair more.
If you dye your hair too dark, a lot of patience and a little clarifying shampoo will go a long way. Wash your hair twice a week with clarifying shampoo and it will get lighter. Rather than stripping the color out, give it a couple of weeks, then see how it looks.
8. Master the daily basics
Washing and brushing your hair is incredibly basic but important. It’s pretty easy to fall into bad habits since no one really teaches you how to do either of these things. So, let’s cover the basics. You probably already know that you shouldn’t wash your hair every day. This is especially important when your hair is damaged. Stretch out the time between washes with dry shampoo and avoid getting conditioner on your roots.
And forget about the idea that brushing your hair makes it healthier. Too much brushing and bad quality tools can cause some serious damage so don’t cling to broken or cheap brushes. Go for natural boar’s bristle brushes and wide tooth combs. Always start at the bottom of your hair so that you aren’t tugging on knots then slowly work your way up.
9. Know when to quit
You can never actually fix damaged hair. You can make it look better but there is only one way to get rid of split ends. If your hair is seriously damaged, you might just have to bite the bullet and cut it. Don’t obsess over clinging onto your hair’s length. It will grow back! It’ll also look and feel a lot better after you ditch the dead ends.