You Can't Really "Repair" or Heal Damaged Hair

I know what you might be thinking- but there are so many products that promise to repair damaged hair!  And yes, there are lots of conditioners, serums, and shampoos that promise permanent reversal for dry hair in need of restoration. It's marketing! Think about this-  hair is technically dead and has no nervous system, blood, or cell regeneration. Because hair is not a living tissue with regenerative ability, it cannot heal. You can use oils, conditioners, or hydrolyzed proteins to disguise the issues temporarily but it’s akin to using make-up, products improve the appearance but they will wash out and you are back to the original problem.

We need to become educated on the true science of hair and skin so we are not susceptible to and educated by marketing lies, twisted truths and false promises.

Well formulated, natural conditioners, oil treatments, and masks can absolutely improve texture and appearance and offset more damage with protective ingredients and products, but these products that make our hair soft and shiny, must continually be reapplied to maintain the results.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as “dry” hair. Before you start yelling at me in the comments section,  hear me out.  This is not the same as “dry scalp,” which is a real scalp condition, “dry” hair is actually damaged hair and it can only be made to appear healthier, temporarily. 

There are many different kinds of hair types or textures like course, fine, medium-course, kinky, curly, but DRY hair is not a hair type. Dry hair is a lightly damaged condition. 

Most hair is made of three layers –  the inner fiber called the medulla, the middle layer called the cortex, and an outer layer called the cuticle. Extra fine hair textures sometimes do not contain a Medulla.  When the hair appears damaged, the cuticle raises, chips, becomes fragile, easily tangled, and looses moisture, luster and shine created when flat and smooth. 

Hair can dehydrate and quickly become damaged for many reasons.  Over processed, color treated hair can lose moisture and eventually grow brittle if not conditioned continually, helping stall more damage. But the damage that has already been created, is ultimately irreversible.  

Damaged hair has less elasticity, is prone to breakage and splitting. Split ends are absolutely not repairable and are very challenging to conceal, especially when there are a lot, they must be cut off. If ends are split and not cut, the strands will split, unevenly and faster than the hair grows out of the follicle. Split ends infect healthy hair. If you want healthy, shiny hair, trim your hair regularly. If  you are holding onto your split ends because you don’t want to “lose your length,” you are actually contributing to your hair looking shorter. It will appear as though it’s not growing. It is growing, it’s just breaking in length faster than it grows. CUT IT!!! : )

Lack of nutrients internally can make hair more susceptible to breakage. Split ends can also be caused by silicone build up, mechanical damage from harsh brushing, sun overexposure, and heated styling instruments. 

You can temporarily add strength to weak, mushy, chemically damaged hair via hydrolyzed protein and rehydrate brittle, crunchy, damaged hair with moisture. Most people need moisture, not protein and they do not know it. Too much protein can cause breakage. (I am finishing up a blog on “HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR HAIR NEEDS PROTEIN OR MOISTURE BASED HAIR CARE” - Watch for it!!)

Brittle locks can be softened and made to appear less damaged by using natural oils and humectants. All of this temporarily smoothes and seals down the cuticle and creates the appearance of healthy looking hair.  Dry/damaged hair can be properly rehydrated and softened temporarily by penetrating plant oils and locking in moisture with such oils as almond, marula, coconut, hemp, jojoba, tamanu, evening primrose, apricot and argan.  All of these treatments are preventive for accelerating damage if the hair is “dry” damaged -  if the hair is “damaged” it can be concealed but it’s damaged, the cuticles are raised and broken and it won’t hold moisture effectively. When the hairs are split, you can camouflage split ends with my favorite, shea butter (found in the Josh Rosebrook styling cream). Butters and oils are excellent at creating an occlusive, “breathable” barrier, temporarily concealing split ends.