Repairing Damaged African American Hair
One question we get over and over again involves repairing damaged hair. It usually goes something like this:
I colored/permed/used too much heat on my hair and now it is breaking off. What can I do to get my hair healthy again?"
There's good news and there's bad news. The good news is some amount of damage to hair can be repaired. Hair is fairly resilient. The other good news is that damage to the hair that has grown on your hair, even if permanent in one sense is only temporary because eventually that hair will be replaced. The bad news is some damage done to hair cannot be repaired. Hair is not a living thing (except at the root). The structure doesn't change much and it doesn't repair itself. Superficial damage can be treated.
Following are the major ways African American damage their hair (at least in our experience):
- Chemical treatments- coloring and perming. Especially lifting color from the hair
- Excessive use of heat
- Neglect- not replacing moisture in the hair
Even if the damage you've done to your hair can't be completely repaired, it often can be mitigated so that, at least, you don't lose your hair. We can't guarantee that the following techniques will repair the damage. But, they will give you the best chance.
First of all we recommend a deep conditioning treatment. You can find some here. Treasured Locks Hot Hair Repair and Deep V Conditioner (both avaiable on the page linked to) are two great choices. Used along with a conditioning heat cap that allows the product's ingredients and warm moisture to penetrate the hair shaft, a deep conditioning treatment done every couple of weeks for a while can help quite a bit.
In addition to the deep conditioning treatment, we suggest (as always) that you wash with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Also, make sure you are moisturizing your hair regularly between washings. Two or three times a week is not too much for most African American hair. We like our Treasured Locks Nourishing Shea Butter Leave In Conditioner for that. If your hair is pressed or you flat iron you hair you might want to use Treasured Locks H2G Hair Growth Serum instead (doesn't contain water that would cause your hair to revert).
There is no magic cure to repair any damage done to your hair. But, by following these steps you can possible reverse some of the damage. And by doing regular maintenance on your hair, avoiding overlapping chemical treatments and using a minimal amount of heat you can prevent the damage from occuring.