Caring for over-processed hair is important, especially if you want to get those lovely locks back into shape. It takes time and effort, but it can be done and it doesn't necessarily have to cost you a lot of money. You'll have to make the commitment, but you'll easily be able to care for your processed hair yourself, which is great if you're not really interested in making tons of trips to the salon. Just keep reading if you're interested in caring for over-processed hair and making it look healthy, shiny, and vibrant again.
1 Stop What You're Doing
When you're first caring for over-processed hair, you have to ditch some of your hair habits. If you spend a lot of time coloring or bleaching your hair, you have to give it a miss for now, otherwise you'll just keep damaging your already over-processed tresses. Try to step away from your blow dryer and your flat iron as well. If you simply have to use your tools, be smart about it: cool settings on the dryer and keep the straightening to a minimum.
2 Ditch the Sulfates
Make sure none of your hair care products have sulfates in them. Your shampoo definitely shouldn't, but check your conditioner and your styling products as well. Sulfates dry out your hair horribly, so if you keep using sulfate-based products, you'll also keep doing damage and you simply can't afford to do that if you want to improve the condition of your hair.
3 Condition X 3
Conditioning is the key to treating your over-processed hair. You have to condition with a rinse-out conditioner when you bathe or shower, but that's just the beginning. Use a leave-in conditioner a few times a week, and give your hair deep conditioning treatments once a week. It seems like a lot of work but you'll quickly see and feel improvements.
4 Add Extra Protein
Dry, damaged, over-processed hair needs protein. During your weekly hair care regimen, make sure you add a protein treatment into the mix. You can find one in any drugstore or health and beauty department. When you apply it, you have to make sure you get full coverage and then leave it in for 15 minutes or so. If your hair has gotten really weak, this should strengthen it.
5 Have a Hot Oil Treatment
Hot oil treatments are extremely beneficial as well. You don't want to do all these treatments at once, of course, but most hot oil treatments are monthly endeavors. If your hair is really bad, you can do this once every two weeks – or more often, if you make your own treatment instead of buying one. They're available everywhere as well, but making your own is quite easy. You just have to get an oil of your choice, such as avocado or coconut oil. Even olive oil technically works, because it's good for your hair and skin in general.
6 Beat the Heat
I really can't stress this enough: stay away from the heat! At the very least, stop blow drying your hair for a while. Even if you can only manage to do it a few times a week, towel dry your hair, then let it air dry the rest of the way. Change up your routine if it helps, and start showering at night instead of in the morning. If you have to straighten your hair, either look for no heat methods (we've got lots!) or keep your flat iron on a much lower setting. For adding curls, try no heat methods too (we've also got lots!).
7 Trim Your Splits
Sometimes you just have to seek out the professionals. Make sure you go get your split ends trimmed on a regular basis. You might have to do it more than once in a relatively short amount of time, but you'll be glad to get rid of the damage.
8 Protection and Prevention
When your hair is over-processed, you have to be vigilant. If you're out and about, even on a cloudy day, protect your hair from the sun in any way you can. You should also use protective products, just make sure they're incredibly gentle.
It's incredibly easy to over-process your hair – almost effortless, in fact. If you color your hair, highlight it, straighten it, curl it, or blow dry it, you've probably suffered from this problem. However, if you implement these tips, you'll be able to bring it back to its former life and luster. In fact, follow them all the time, and they work as preventatives as well as cures! What's the worst damage you've ever done (or had done) to your hair?
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