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Repairing Damaged Hair

Damaged Hair

Repairing Damaged Hair Takes Patience and TLC

Yesterday, I ran into an acquaintance who had recently tried both a home hair style perm and hair coloring treatment that ended in damaged hair. Her hair was a mess . . . time to wear a wig for a couple of months. She asked for my advice and I told her I would send her an email. Here is my reply:

There is no hair care product on the market that will repair damaged hair. Truly damaged hair should be cut off and then protected from future damage while the new growth occurs. Quality hair care products can protect the hair from the damaging heat of hair dryers and curling/flat irons. Look for hair care products that moisturize, nourish and strengthen the damaged hair. When hair dries out it will break. You should limit shampooing to every few days or so, however, you could get it wet daily to add moisture and body.

With a good hair cut you shouldn’t need a lot of hair styling products. Your hair type should be deep conditioned once or twice a month. This means you should use a heat-activated penetrating conditioner. Heat swells the hair so that the conditioner can penetrate the hair easier. You should use a plastic bag and a hood dryer, and let the heat penetrate for 20 minutes to a half-hour. If you don’t have a hair dryer, wrap a hot towel around your head. Actually you should do this deep conditioning more often up front till you begin to feel the benefits.

Like I said earlier, you may need to cut the already damaged hair off and start over. Unfortunately finding the perfect hair care product is a trial-by-error proposition. What works for one persons damaged hair may not work for you. Only a handful of the hundreds of products out there may work for you.

  • My suggestions for you to try:

    • Biogenol Replenishing Shampoo by Framesi

    • Biogenol Reconditioner

    • Super Charge Conditioner Treatment by Paul Mitchell

,,

Barb Quinn on Google+  

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Got a question, war story or comment about this topic? Click on the "Leave Your Comments" link at the very bottom of this article. Some of my best ideas for future articles come from reading reader comments. I'd love to hear from you!





32 Comments »

  1. Hi! I need some adivice for my hair and I would really appericate any imput!
    Ok so two days ago i attempted to put Caramel highlights into my nice thick brown hair.I havent dyed or done anything to my hair like that for about 8 years and it was only small highlights with the very same color. My mom wanted to apply the highlights to my hair herself and since it was my mom its not like i could have told her No. Well anyways when we finished my hair color was definatily NOT caramel highlights. My hair went from the healthy brown that it was, to a dirty Blonde with periodlic brown in it.Not to mention that my hair is now dry and kinda frizzy.
    I was wondering how long Before my hair will be healthy again? It’s only been two days so maybe Im just a little parinoid about the drastic change in color? And im not sure that i really care for the color much so i was wondering if it would be a good idea to dye my hair back to the original color? Or should i wait to for it to grow back naturally?
    I Would appericate any Input!

    Comment by Cheyenne — September 5, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  2. Hola:) my hair is healthy and Ive been drinking loads of water for a week or more. I just finished relaxing only the front of my hair and want the front to have blonde highlights. School is 4 days away and I want to dye it on teusday. Will my hair fall out?

    Comment by Fay Fay — September 4, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

  3. I straightened my hair from the late 70′s to early 90′s and have been coloring my hair since the early 90′s. My hair is so fried and damaged. The damage in parts of my hair starts at the shaft. I had my hair cut up to my ears, which it was looking healthy. It gave me my curls back. Once it grew out, the curls turned into waves. I try not to color my hair much. My last straitening was in 2004, a Japanese Chi, which really fried my hair. I only wash my hair 3 times a week because it’s so dry. I have a very hard time finding a good stylist who knows how to cut curly/wavy hair right. I, like many, tried alot of different kinds of product on my hair, but it’s not working. Now, I can see that I need to cut it off again. It’s only going to grow back the same for me. What else can I do about this mess? I even pulled out some of this hair, but it grows back the same. Thanks for your input.

    Comment by Tina — July 27, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

  4. Kylee,
    Sounds like you’ve done too much already. Can’t advise bleaching it again . . . unless you are willing to have it all break off.
    Get some professionals hands-on advice. It’s your best bet!

    Comment by Barb Quinn — March 10, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  5. Okay guys… I used to bleech my hair every three months.. My hair never got damaged and I blow dry it and straighten it everyday for some stupid reason I decided I wanted to dye my hair brown well the lady that did it turned it black and I am very very very pale so I looked sick all the time and it just did not look good so I have tried to go back to blonde not platinum just blonde and I catheter it there it’s like a brownish redish color now and I have dyed it 9 times in the last month so it’s way damaged I went and got my hair cut and it didn’t take all if the damage away but it’s better than it was but I can’t stad my hair color and wanna be blonde so is there anything that I can use to just take out these ugly colors that won’t damage my hair or is there a box color I can use? I deep condition it and I put oils and a leave in conditioner in it and I put a protectabt on it when I blow dry and straighten but I just want onesolid color blonde on my hair and then I can focus on repairing it do you guys have any idea on what I should do???

    Comment by Kylee — March 8, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

  6. ive straightened my hair for about 6 years now daily. i made the biggest mistake of my life last year getting extentions. (glue ins!) and had re-applied them every few weeks for about half a year. not knowing the glue kills the hair folicals. so ever sence then for about two years my hair hasnt grown! please help me.

    Comment by Ashley — January 24, 2010 @ 8:09 pm

  7. Ashley,
    See a professional!
    Get some hands-on recommendations, then choose.

    Comment by Barb Quinn — January 12, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

  8. So ive been dying my hair for the past two years and I’ve died it brown and blonde but mainly blonde and when I dye my hair blonde I dye it platinum blonde and It was never as damaged as it is now cause i died my hair four times in a matter of two days it is now damaged and breaks off its about sholder length and I deep condition it weekly I haven’t died it in about two months and my rooots are coming in really bad and im a redhead and i can’t stand my red hair and I don’t want to cut it what should I do???

    Comment by Ashley — January 11, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

  9. Lakaria,
    No one should give you advice on this without seeing your hair. I suggest going in for a consultation.
    Good Luck!

    Comment by Barb Quinn — December 29, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

  10. i have almost shoulder length hair i dyed my hair at the top blonde….weeks later i permed my hair and my hair came out in the middle i used a african pride perm..how long should i wait til i put a perm on my damaged hair? right now i have a cap on my head well they call it quick weave an ive had it on for about 3weeks now..should i keep getting the quick weave until my damaged hair grows back because i was thinking about going to the beautician and getting the quick weave removed and getting a perm and wearing my natural hair or should i just take the quick weave out and get it washed and wrapped instead of getting a perm?? im so undecided and need help??PLZ

    Comment by lakarla — December 28, 2009 @ 3:47 am

  11. DO NOT BLEACH HAIR I HAD HAIR PAST MY SHOULDERS NOW I LOOK LIKE HAVE SHORT BACK AND SIDES :( PLZ LISTERN AND DO NOT DO IT!

    Comment by laurie — December 2, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

  12. right. im 14, and i dye my hair an awful lot, but i hate my natural hair colour you see because its ginger. so i used to dye it light brown with blonde highlights, but then i dyed it dark brown for around a year. ive just dyed my hair black, and my hair is starting to become “elastic”, and its started to stretch :S also when its wet if i pull it a little bit hairs come off, and when i brush it i malt extremeley bad. i straighten my hair everyday, sometimes twice aday if needed as my hair is naturally wavy. please help me, i think its going to break off, and ive wanted to grow my hair for ages now, i even wear extensions. my hair is shoulder length and wont shift with growth!! help please!

    Comment by demi — August 2, 2008 @ 2:56 pm

  13. Daniele,
    Do I really need to tell you to STOP!
    Stop coloring, stop using too much heat, stop forcing your hair into submission!
    Do more deep conditioning treatments and less shampooing. I’m afraid the damage is not repairable, but ask a stylist who can see and feel your hair. Maybe you will be able to do with trimming it every 4 to 6 weeks . . . can’t say without seeing it!
    Best of Luck!

    Comment by Barb — May 14, 2008 @ 3:16 pm

  14. Okay im only 14 but Ive dyed my hair alot.
    It use to be about to my waiste dark dark brown and i decided to dye it blonde about 8 months ago and streaked my hair. I dyed it like 3 times blonde and when I got tired of it I dyed it back brown and it was too light well when I dyed it again and instead of it turning brown it went black well I cut it to about my chin, I hated it black so i tryed brown one more time and it went red. I tryed blonde again and it went white! I dyed it once more and it was brown way to light so I dyed it darker now its the color now Its so dry and I dont know why I didnt relize it! I want it to grow and its been around 9 months and its only shoulder length I use a straightner but I do put flat iron on it before I use it. I want it to grow sooooo bad and it wont Its really damaged and Im shampooing it alot and condetioning it alot its helped a little bit but not much what do I use how can I fix it?

    Comment by Daniele — May 13, 2008 @ 10:19 am

  15. Adrienne,
    If it’s breaking off, see a good stylist. At the very least they may trim and get a good shape to your hair. If it’s damaged all the way down the hair shaft, you’re best bet will be to cut the damage off and start over.
    Sorry but maybe it can be saved!

    Comment by Barb — February 21, 2008 @ 1:54 pm

  16. im mixed and my hair is damaged.i need to know how to get it healthy and curly again.its shorter and breaking off from dying and straightening it.but i need help on it getting healthy.thank yu

    Comment by Adrienne — February 20, 2008 @ 7:55 pm

  17. hello, i straighten my hair quite alot. But not so much now as my hair is breaking and the fringe is becoming frizzy and breaking off. It is becoming really scary for me as my hair quite thin and i dont want to lose my hair. But i really dont want cut my hair off. I was talking to my friend and she said shave it all off, but i thought she was mad as i really dont want to get rid of my hair. please help me!!! im really scared. HELP !!!!!!!!!

    Comment by lauren — January 23, 2008 @ 1:38 pm

  18. Okay, being that it is Christmas, I am a little strapped for cash. I usually get my hair done professionally (hilights and lowlights, brown/ blonde). Well, trying to save money, yesterday I bought Clairol Original born blond blonding kit (left it on for the full 90 minutes) but it still had orange. I assumed that once I put the toner on, this would go away, it didn’t….it just darkened the blonde a bit, but left the orange. So, this morning I tried to bleach it with a different brand (it made it completely yellow (some hint of orange) I called clairol & they told me the toner to use and mix w/ 2 oz shampoo. I did that and my hair still just looks ridiculously YELLOW! Any advice…can a professional fix it at this point? ~Jen

    Comment by Jennifer Coffman — December 17, 2007 @ 5:20 pm

  19. Hi

    Very interesting information! Thanks!

    G’night

    Comment by hiutopor — September 17, 2007 @ 1:26 pm

  20. my hair has always been coarse and fried…i dye it a lot and i straighten it atleast 4 times a week…i know its bad but im sure all of you guys can relate..sometimes you get that urge to change your hair…and i can never tell myself no…well i had really long hair and i cut 7 inches off after i graduated and i loved it, but then i highlighted it again and now it seems really damaged, but mainly my bangs..which arent really short but they arent the same length as my hair…so i was thinking about cutting it, and i have no prob cutting my hair i am very adventurous with my hair but i’m afraid it will look even more fried b/c of my bangs….what do i do about that?

    Comment by Amber — August 22, 2007 @ 10:01 pm

  21. OKay. You don’t *have* to cut your hair at all. Although trimming it every few months will help it feel more alive and lighter. It will not help it grow faster. Hair grows at a set rate, around 6 inches a month. Nothing you can do (other than extenstions) will help that. As for repairing, I advise you to stop using straighteners/blow dryers and dying or bleaching your hair. There are a few good conditioners out there that actually work to rebuild your hairs strenght and make it look less fryed. If you can’t find those wash your hair in warm water and condition in cold. The cold water locks the moisture and shine in your hair because it opens up the shaft of your hair to allow the conditioner to get in deeper.

    If you like to change your hair color a lot, or are thinking of starting, I advise to you to use Simi-Permenant hairdyes and NO HENNA. Henna is really hard to get out of your hair, same with black hair dye. If you go black don’t expect to go back until it grows out your you fry your hair by bleaching it.

    Comment by Ash — February 27, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

  22. Tish,
    You HAVE to cut your hair. You know that one saying that goes, “If you cut your hair, it would grow faster.” Well it’s a fact. By cutting your hair, you’ll take off your ends, the most damaged areas in your hair. You don’t have to do an extreme cut, a trim would be fine. 1/2 an inch, an inch, or whatever floats your boat.. your hair will heal faster if you cut it. Most people assume they won’t look good with short hair, but you might love it once you try it. After cutting it, take Barb’s advice. Deep conditioning once or twice a week will heal your cuticles inside your hair. BEST LUCKKK!

    Comment by Lynne — November 28, 2006 @ 5:38 pm

  23. MY HAIR IS REALLY DAMAGED DUE TO COLOR AND PERM. BREAKING REALLY BAD WHEN IT’S WET AND SHEDDING BADLY WHEN DRY DO YOU SUGGEST A COMPLETE HAIR CUT OR PROTEIN TREATMENTS AND DEEP CONDITIONERS OR IS THE DAMAGE BEYOND REPAIR. I’VE HAD LONG HAIR FOR SO LONG I’M TERRIFIED OF A HAIR CUT TISH……..

    Comment by Tish — September 15, 2006 @ 4:42 pm

  24. I’ve straightened my hair for 4 times now in a span of 24 years. My last was about 2 years ago. I’ve already gone through haircuts many times to remove damaged hair. It is still unmanageable and it seems to be more curly than it used to be before I have it straightened. I also have hair fallouts. I’ve tried locally made conditioners and globally-known intensive care conditioners but still they look spongy. Please help….

    Comment by Cathy — July 1, 2006 @ 2:39 am

  25. Hi Tik,
    You are right to be scared of coloring again! Just don’t do it yourself… have a professional look at it and tell you what options you have.
    Meanwhile shampoo with a clarifying shampoo, it may help remove some color…then condition.
    Good Luck

    Comment by Barb — May 12, 2006 @ 6:22 pm

  26. i have very dry and damaged and really thin hair after dyeing it so much i have black hair at the momet and i want to change it to a red i have tryed to put the red over it but it didn’t work i am scared if i try it again it will fall out and i want to know how to get my hair thick again and healthy?

    Comment by tik — May 12, 2006 @ 4:02 am

  27. Nicole,
    Sounds like the damage is past from straightening and coloring…. it may need to cut out. As I said in this article, there is not a product on the market that will repair, they can only protect from future damage.
    You may do best to try a new hairstyle that cuts the old damaged hair off.
    Good Luck to you!

    Comment by Barb — April 20, 2006 @ 12:25 pm

  28. For about one and a half years my hair has been very damaged and broken. I used to straighten it everyday and i’ve dyed it several times. For a couple months i stopped straightening my hair and used many different products on it. It helped for a little while, then my hair just got even more damaged then before! I’ve tried everything in the book but i don’t know what else i can do. Any suggestions?

    Comment by Nicole — April 15, 2006 @ 11:55 pm

  29. I have naturally curly hair, and i like to straighten it. My hair is relatively healthy considering I have dyed it a few times. I was wondering what would be a good finishing creme? my hair sometimes is poofy for blow drying it

    Comment by bri — April 15, 2006 @ 3:04 pm

  30. Hi Laura:

    I hear a success story like yours , I’m always anxious to hear the details. Would you be interested in sharing the names of the products that got you this success?

    I’m sure others could learn from your experiences and save lots of time and effort in choosing the right products to use.

    Comment by Barb — April 12, 2006 @ 3:28 pm

  31. I used to have a similar sort of problem, however i started to use an intense conditioning treatment and leaving it in for a while, even overnight! In addition i tried to stay away from the straighteners as much as possible! Just a few weeks later now my hair is much softer, shinier and better condition. Also when using hair dryers/straighteners always use a protector cream/spray.

    Hopefully this helps.
    Laura.x

    Comment by Laura — April 12, 2006 @ 10:07 am

  32. Recently, I went into a salon to have highlights added to my hair. Because my hair was so dark, the stylist advised that she would need to lift my hair before applying color. The color turned out beautiful. Nevertheless, a few days later, I found my already relaxed hair extremely dried and some parts even appear “fried”. I have worked really hard to maintain my hair and the idea of cutting it is totally out of the question. I’m willing to wear a ponytail until my hair is restored. Would you please provide me with some tips on how to get my hair back in shape?

    Comment by Michelle Scott — January 25, 2006 @ 4:47 pm

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