Rough, dry, frizzy hair? Split ends? Chances are you have hair damage. However, there are natural therapies that can help repair and promote the healthy growth of hair.
What is it?
Healthy looking hair has a smooth, tightly closed cuticle layer that protects the inner cortex from drying out. The cuticle layer allows hair to maintain its moisture balance, and gives hair its elasticity, strength and shine.
Hair damage can range from uplifted cuticle scales resulting in dullness and decreased shine to bubbled and brittle cuticles to complete removal of the cuticle layer. Damaged hair is dry, porous, weak and hard to manage.
What causes it?
The causes of hair damage can be split up into three sections; mechanical damage, environmental damage, and aging.
Mechanical damage can include:
- Rough combing of fragile wet hair.
- Knots, tangles, back-combing and hair elastics.
- Cutting hair with blunt scissors or a razor.
- Combing or brushing can induce static in the hair.
- Heat/Thermal damage.
- Heat from appliances like curling or flat irons.
- Chemical Damage caused by chemical disruption of the hair structure.
- Hair colourants.
- Perms break the sulphur bonds in hair.
Environmental damage can include:
- Ultra violet rays from direct sunlight.
- Wind tangles the hair.
- Cold weather dries out hair.
Aging damage can include:
- When a new hair first grows it has 10-12 layers of cuticle scales, these are gradually worn away over time. At the ends of the hair the cuticle may be worn away altogether exposing the cortex.
What are the symptoms?
- Hair looks dull and lack-luster.
- Hair feels dry and brittle to the touch.
- Hair is difficult to comb because it is always tangled.
- Hair is flyaway and has split ends.
- Hair is hard to manage and may be difficult to style.
Are there any natural therapies?
- Antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C, and vitamin E can help repair damaged body tissue and promote healthy skin and hair.
- Supplement with fish oil and evening primrose oil. These oils contain omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.
- Use organic shampoo and conditioner rather than ones containing artificial chemicals.
What else can I do?
Avoid using hair dryers, heated rollers, bleaches and chlorinated pools. These are an ideal way to damage your hair.
Did you know?
The sun has two types of ultraviolet radiation that can cause damage to the skin and hair.