Today, you’ll be hard pressed to find a girl whose tresses are not chemically treated in some way. Most of us have had a little help in the colour department, for example, be it a few subtle highlights here and there or something a little more dramatic. Unfortunately, chemical treatment of any kind weakens the structure hair, and renders it more prone to dehydration, brittleness and breakage. In order to compensate for these pitfalls, we need to take steps to keep our locks in tip top condition; to help you to do this, I’ve done some research and put together this list of 7 ways to care for chemically treated hair.
1. Select the Right Maintenance Products
If your hair has been weakened by chemical treatments, you will need to make sure that the shampoo and conditioner you are using is not aggravating the damage. Ordinary products will, in all likelihood, have a drying effect; replace these with nutrient rich, moisturising variations and those directed specifically at repairing and protecting dyed or chemically straightened locks.
2. Don’t over Wash
Because chemically treated hair tends to dehydrate and lose moisture, it is not a good idea to wash it rigorously everyday. Too much exposure to hot water and shampoo –even the kind designed to help it – will simply further strip your hair of essential nutrients. Stick to washing every second day, and never be tempted to skip the conditioning step.
3. Handle with Care
Especially when it is wet, dyed or chemically straightened hair can become extremely fragile and easily snapped. Avoid brushing your locks when they are still damp; instead, apply a leave in detangler and, starting at the bottom, use a wide-toothed comb to sort out any knots.
4. Trim Regularly
Chemically treated hair is prone to developing dry and split ends. In order to deal with this problem and to prevent it from weakening your hair on a larger scale, it is a good idea to visit the salon about once a month in order to have the dead, dehydrated tips snipped off. Not only will this help to guard against runaway splitting and fragility, but it also keeps your hair looking and feeling smooth and healthy.
About once a week, it is a good idea to apply a deep conditioning hair treatment to your dyed or dried out locks. There are a variety of these available from cosmetics stores, salons and pharmacies; if you’re not sure which one to go for, ask your hairdresser to give you a few pointers.
Even though, technically, we should avoid heat stylers on our chemically treated locks, I suspect that most women are not prepared to give up their straighteners, blow driers and curling tongs. If you are going to intensely style your hair using a hot appliance, it is vital that you apply a defensive product first.
7. Sun Protect
Our hair, like our skin, is vulnerable to sun damage, and chemically treated hair is particularly at risk of being weakened in this way. In order to avoid the drying effects of UVA and B, it is a good idea to invest in a sun block for your locks. You’ll find a variety of suitable products on the market; choose from sprays, balms and defensive shampoos and conditioners.
Most women today have altered the colour or texture of their hair in some way, and unfortunately, damage and weakening is part and parcel of this process. In order to keep your dyed, straightened or curled tresses in great condition, you’ll need to spend a little time and effort on procedures and products that protect, strengthen and moisturise. Hopefully, my list of 7 ways to care for chemically treated hair will help you to do this; do you have any suggestions to add to it?
Top Photo Credit: Shandi-lee