How to Fix Color Damage
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What would you hair tell you if it could talk? Style expert Kyan Douglas says, “Your hair would say, “Girl, I need a drink. I’m thirsty.”
“We spend about a year and a half of our lives, especially women, doing our hair,” Kyan says. “So that’s blow-drying, flat-ironing, coloring, brushing, curling, all of that. And we ask so much of our hair but we rarely give back.”
Now’s your chance to give your hair what it really needs! Check out Kyan’s tips for repairing some of the most common hair headaches.
The Problem: Color Damage
If you color your hair on a regular basis, you might wonder if it’s damaged. Kyan says, “Here’s a simple test: if you take a few strands of your hair and put it in a bowl of water, if it floats, you’re doing pretty good, if it sinks, that means your hair has [color damage].”
Kyan reveals, “There’s a new class of product out there: bond repair.” These products, like Redken pH-Bonder, repair the damage caused by color, while your hair is being colored in the salon. There are also take-home versions you can do at home.
If you’re on a budget, Kyan recommends repairing color-damaged hair with a treatment using products you probably already have in your cupboard. He suggests mixing two parts coconut oil to one part olive oil, then leaving it in your hair for 30 minutes to an hour, then shampoo with a mild shampoo and condition as usual.
The Problem: Frizzy Hair
Frizzy hair is caused for two reasons, Kyan says. The first reason is that when you have wavy hair, not all of your hair is wavy in the same way. Another cause of frizz are “raised cuticles.” A raised cuticle (or the outermost layer of a strand of hair) has lots of protrusions as opposed to a smooth cuticle. Having a hard time envisioning this? Check out the handy graphic below.
The Fix: First, make sure to get a haircut with lots of layers to lighten the overall profile of your hair. Then, when choosing shampoo and conditioner, try products that contain glycerin, which can help smooth your cuticle.
Next, be sure to use a curl-activating cream. When you get out of the shower, first gently squeeze the water out of your hair. Then squeeze curl activator (warmed in your hand for a few seconds) into the hair, roots to end. Finally, take small sections of hair and wrap it around your finger or twist.
Sound like a lot to do every time you wash your hair? Kyan says, “Once you get used to doing it, you can knock it out in ten minutes.”
Last tip: Kyan says, “Don’t touch it, don’t brush it, don’t futz with it.” Let it air dry or use a hair dryer on low with a diffuser.
The Problem: Split Ends
The Fix: The only way to get rid of split ends it to cut them off. You can also look for products featuring “PEC” or “polyelectrolyte complexes” for a temporary fix until you can make it to the salon for a cut.
Three Bonus Fixes Everyone Needs:
Even if you don’t have any of the issues listed above, Kyan recommends using the below products to keep your hair happy at all times.
Wide-Toothed Comb: Use this on wet hair. You can even hang it in your shower to comb through conditioner.
Deep-Conditioning Treatment: Kyan recommends using a deep-conditioning product of your choice from time to time in order to put protein back into your hair. Make sure to leave it in for the full amount of time recommended and rinse with cold water. (You might be saying, “Yikes!” but the cold water will seal the protein into your hair and Kyan notes that it helps with circulation anyway, so why not?)
Paddle Brush: When brushing dry hair, Kyan recommends a wide paddle brush because the bristles are spread out so as not to break your hair.