Over time, sun exposure, colouring, chlorine and heat styling all conspire to make you hair porous, dry and a tad dull. And while the obvious (and best) solution to rectifying these issues is to visit your hairdresser and have a trim and treatment, the good news is you can take some at-home steps to repair damaged hair (split ends and all) while keeping your length intact.
To find out how to achieve exactly that we spoke to two of Australia’s top hair experts, Ambassador for De Lorenzo Hair Care, Brad Ngata and Co-Creative Director for ELEVEN Australia, Joey Scandizzo.
The most common signs of damaged hair
Before you can start repairing damaged hair you first need to know what caused the damage in the first place. “One of the most common signs I see with my clients is thermal damage from blow-drying and heat styling, which dehydrates the hair, making it feel brittle and dry,” explains Ngata.
Scandizzo also notes “split ends, excessive frizz and hair that takes forever to dry” as additional signs that your hair is damaged and in some serious need of TLC.
The top causes of hair damage
According to both Ngata and Scandizzo, the most common culprit of hair damage is over-colouring or excessively bleaching strands, as going lighter is always more challenging for the hair than going darker. When lightening hair, “you’re removing pigment and opening up the cuticle, so you need to use the right products to add in lost moisture and rebalance pH,” says Scandizzo.
It’s also important to note that excessive heat styling and UV exposure will never be your hair’s best friends.
How to repair damaged hair without having it cut
In order to protect and repair your hair, it’s essential that you’re using the right products. According to Ngata, “to avoid cutting, it’s important your home regimen consists of a UV protectant, colour-protecting shampoo and conditioner, and most importantly, a treatment. I recommend De Lorenzo’s Instant Rejeven8 Conditioner as it nurtures the hair with berry fruits [to] replenish lost moisture while maximising hydration and keeping ends strong.”
Scandizzo also says, “environmental damage and chemical damage can be restored by upping the protein in your hair, as your hair needs protein in order for it to hold onto moisture. Without protein, all the hydrating products and treatments you use won’t be able to work their magic. Using ELEVEN Australia 3 Minute Repair two to three times a week will help restore both protein and a lack of moisture.”
If you’re on the hunt for a product that will protect your hair from both heat styling and UV damage, we recommend trying Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray.
How your hair’s needs change throughout the year
The changing seasons can wreak havoc on both your strands and scalp, with your hair becoming scaly or dry due to the environmental changes. That’s why it’s essential to reach for products that boost hydration levels as we make our way into the cooler months to ensure the blustering temperatures don’t zap all the moisture out of your strands. One of our favourite serums we constantly reach for is Kérastase Serum Thérapiste Dual Treatment as it hydrates, repairs and restores hair fibres while improving their strength and elasticity.
Additionally, it’s also necessary to incorporate products that soothe and prevent scalp irritation during the winter months. To do so, Ngata suggests opting for gentle cleansing and conditioning products that focuses on calming irritation.
Gentle shampoos and conditioners we currently have on high rotation include Bumble and bumble Gentle Shampoo and Davines Dede Conditioner.
Want to discover more tricks to repair your hair? These are the five oils your mane needs this winter.
What products help keep your hair in tip-top condition? Let us know in the comments below.
Main image credit: Getty
Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.