If you are scrolling through this website, you probably have one goal on your mind – healthy, fabulously looking hair. However, the current condition of your hair – hair feels like straw – might not be as good as you wish. If you have damaged brittle hair, you have come to the right place.
Treated hair usually means brittle hair prone to split-ends and breakage. Many things can cause damage – hair dye, bleach, hairdryer, hair straightener, even brush and external influences, such as the cold and the sun.
Since our goal is to help you grow long hair, we will not recommend cutting it. However, if it is extremely damaged and brittle – do visit a hairdresser, but be sure that you find one who will listen to you and will not cut off too much of your hair.
It is actually possible to repair damaged hair follicles. By following these instructions, you will repair your severely damaged hair in just one month. This might seem like an impossible task, but it is really not that hard.
Just remember – be persistent, and you will be amazed when you see the results in just one month.
WEEK 1 – Choosing the products for damaged brittle hair
The best way to start the first week of your repair treatment is by giving a special gift to your hair. Start by replacing your shampoo with a mild sulfate-free shampoo. Mild shampoos are usually shampoos that don’t contain sulfates – which are aggressive surfactants, better-said detergents.
For this reason, begin this week with washing your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo, such as Eden BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi Moisturizing Shampoo or Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing Lather Shampoo. These shampoos are extremely gentle, so they will not cause any further damage to your hair.
They will clean your hair well, without drying it out. Do not be worried if you notice there is less foam than you are used to. It is because they do not contain soap that is responsible for creating the foam.
Conditioners for damaged brittle hair
Damaged brittle hair is prone to losing keratin. Keratin is the basic substance the hair is made of. It is a protein that protects the hair from the stress.
To maintain an optimal protein level in your hair – you should use protein treatments. You will recognize them by having proteins at the beginning of their ingredient lists.
Very good protein masks are Davines Nourishing Hair Building Pak and L’Oreal Professionnel Absolut Repair Lipidium Masque. Both of these masks contain good proteins, but they also contain moisturizing ingredients. Since they are very strong, you will not have to use too much of the products. Use no more than 10 ml when you wash your hair. How long will you leave them on your hair depends on the hair condition itself. Usually, it is enough to leave them between 5 and 15 minutes.
Since protein masks can sometimes stiffen your hair, make it look lifeless, and hard to comb, we recommend using a moisturizing conditioner afterward. You don’t have to use extremely strong products or deep conditioning treatment at this point. Just use a small amount of your regular moisturizing mask. I always use AlfaParf Semi Di Lino Moisture Nutritive Mask for Dry Hair, which is my go-to cheap version of a good hydrating mask. Leave it for 5 minutes, and your hair will look great.
Leave-in products are very underrated when it comes to hair breakage and repair. They are extremely important and have many benefits. Carefully chosen leave-in product will moisturize your hair additionally. It will also protect your hair from external influences.
There are different kinds of leave-in treatments – oils, creams, sprays. Make sure you choose the best one for your hair type. It is best to choose products that contain silicones because they will help you protect hair tips. Some leave-in products we recommend using after your protein treatment are Macadamia nourishing leave-in cream, Amika Leave-in Cream, and of course Moroccanoil styling hydrating cream.
At the beginning of this one-month project, treat yourself with a good hairbrush. Aggressive brushing is probably one of the reasons your hair became brittle in the first place. Forget about the myth that says you should comb your hair over 100 times a day – brush it just to detangle it or style it. The best brushes to buy are Macadamia No Tangle Brush or Tangle teezer brush.
WEEK 2 – How to repair damaged brittle hair by co-wash routine
The next step in this project is going to be co-washing. Since our goal is to prevent further and severe hair damage, and not just to fix what is already broken, at this stage, we advise you to avoid even those mild shampoos. The biggest myth out there is that co-wash is meant only for coarse natural hair. This is not true. More on this topic in some other article.
What is co-wash? To put it simply, using your conditioner instead of shampoo. Choose a silicone-free conditioner, because you don’t want silicones on your scalp causing clogged or damaged hair follicles and whatnot.
When it comes to choosing a co-wash product, follow the rule „Less is more“. Choose a conditioner with a simple ingredient list. For this purpose, your conditioner should not be rich and nourishing, but the simple hydrating conditioner that will not grease up your scalp.
The result of having a co-wash routine is soft, silky, and shiny hair.
If you are afraid this method will not clean your hair, you can try the half co-wash half shampoo method. Mix a hazelnut size amount of sulfate-free shampoo with a mixture of conditioner and water. This is better than using just a shampoo, and it will give you a sense of clean hair.
Conditioning after a co-wash routine
Since the co-wash technique is a good way to restore dry and brittle hair, this week, after co-washing, you should continue in the same manner – moisturize your hair as much as possible.
A very good hair conditioner for dry hair is ArtNaturals Argan Oil Hair Mask – Deep Conditioner. Another highly recommendable hair moisturizer for dry brittle hair is Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Strong Conditioning Detangler Treatment.
These steps will result in extremely soft and amazingly hydrated hair. Also, you will easily manage your hair when humidity struck. You will not even have the need for extreme styling as you usually do.
This works well for both – straight and curly hair because it is meant for damaged and brittle hair no matter the type. It will define your curls and leave them light and without the frizz. You will be able to finally style them. On the other hand, if you have straight hair, it will be straight, sleek without being weighed down.
Leave-in products for damaged brittle hair
It might seem like this is a bit too much – actually, it is not. You can use a light silicone serum or oil to keep the moisture inside your hair. Use a small amount and apply it only to the very ends of your hair. If you are afraid this step will make your hair look greasy or weigh it down, try with some lighter leave-in products.
Many companies have „light“ versions of their products. For example Goldwell Moisture Definition Detangler Spray Light. It is also a good idea to use Sexy Hair Concepts Healthy Sexy Hair Soy-Tri-Wheat Leave-In Conditioner because they contain milk proteins that make your hair stronger. Following this and the previous step will result in shiny, moisturized, and healthy-looking hair.
If your hair is thin and you are not used to the co-wash routine, you may find your hair looking lifeless and weighed down. You might ask – can my hair actually look good through this healing process? Fortunately, the answer is it can.
This is the right time to try different hairstyles, such as varieties of fish bones, different kinds of hair buns, ponytails, and so on. These hairstyles also have a protective role – they will protect your hair from external influences. Also, in this period you should experiment with different ways to get straight, wavy, or curly hair, without using heat.
If you get tired of this look, you are welcome to half conditioner-half shampoo wash, and make the most out of this week.
WEEK 3 – First results – fewer signs of damaged hair
At this point, you should be able to see some results on your severely damaged hair. It should look healthier, silkier, and shinier. However, if you have dyed or bleached hair, this might be the right time to refresh your hair color.
This might be a problem too because we want to avoid any damage in this process, but also think hair should look good at all times. Luckily, there is a quick fix.
If you want to refresh your hair color and repair severely chemically damaged hair and avoid using a hair dye, you should – for blondes – use a purple shampoo. They contain a purple pigment that will neutralize orange and yellow tones. Usually, they usually contain sulfates, so they are a bit strong, but they will still cause less damage than hair dye. Also, since they are strong, just use the richest hair treatment in your collection.
Alternatives to refreshing a hair color
If you find that usage of a purple shampoo wasn’t enough, or you don’t find it useful, there are other ways to refresh your hair color without being too aggressive. One of the best ways is to use a colored hair conditioner. These products will add fresh color and shine to your hair, and since they are pigmented, they will refresh your hair color as well. So, they will extend the longevity of your hair color.
Although they have pigments, the color will stay on your hair only for a few washes, since they are not as pigmented or permanent as a regular hair dye. The best part about this process is that you can get it done in a salon, but also on your own if you want to save some money.
The third option would be using demi-permanent hair color to refresh your current tone and get some gloss. Demi-permanent hair colors are used with low volume hydrogen so they do not damage your hair at all.
Since you washed your hair with a shampoo that might be a bit too strong, now is the time to give it some extra boost. One of the best treatments for dry brittle hair is the so-called „deep conditioning treatment“. This is a way to get the best from your hair treatment or conditioner, and it is actually a very simple procedure.
After washing your hair, just apply the hair mask as usual, only in a greater quantity. Be sure to get a good soak of the product on your hair. Put a shower cap over it, and use a hairdryer to heat up the product. Then wrap a towel around your head to keep it warm. If you are a complete beginner in this treatment, read this detailed guide on how to restore brittle hair using deep conditioning.
LOC method – how to fix dry ends
Another way to nourish your damaged and brittle hair is the LOC method. LOC is short for „liquid spray – oil – creamy leave-in“. L – O – C determines the order in which you should apply your leave-in products. Layering products will give you extra protection and amazingly good hydration. This will help you keep moisture in your hair.
As the name suggests you should apply the liquid spray first. For example, you can use HSI PROFESSIONAL Thermal Protector. Then, you should apply some oil serum, such as Marrakesh Oil or Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Treatment. The oil will preserve the moisture gained from the spray leave-in product. Lastly, you should apply a creamy leave-in. You can continue with Macadamia Natural Oil Nourishing Leave-In Cream. Although this may seem like you are using too many products – you are not. Just be careful with the number of products and avoid applying them to your scalp.
WEEK 4 – final tips on how to restore damaged brittle hair
Shampoo – We are entering the final week of this little project. If you chose to use a harsh sulfate shampoo in the previous week, this week you will have one less fun task – skipping or postponing hair washing for a few days.
Does this mean you should go out with dirty, greasy hair? Of course not. To avoid the greasy look, but also to avoid hair washing as well – use dry shampoo. The purpose of dry shampoos is to soak up oil, grease, and any other dirt from your scalp. They will also leave a nice smell on your hair. Of course, dry shampoo is not an alternative to regular shampoo, and it cannot replace it. Avoid using it too often. If you do not wash your hair, you might provoke scalp problems. Some of the best dry shampoos are Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle or just a great cheaper version – Batiste dry shampoo.
If you decided to wash your hair with a regular shampoo, we preach once again – be sure to use a mild sulfate-free shampoo. And don’t forget about the whole hair care routine afterward.
Mixing up different hair care products – the best recipe for damaged brittle hair
At this point, you should learn how to get the best from your products, and when to use them to get the best results from your hair care routine for repairing brittle hair. You can even mix different hair care products to get a special, extra strong, extra nourishing hair treatment.
This means you could combine different hair products, mix them together, and use regular treatment or a conditioner. This simple procedure will leave you with fabulous hair and it will bring out the best from hair care products you are using. It will make your hair look like never before. Oh, and you’re going to have so much fun while figuring out the mixing recipes!
Get rid of split ends
It is time to visit your hairdresser! Now that your hair is in much better shape, and you have repaired your damaged brittle hair, the hairdresser will be more than happy not to cut off more than needed. Be sure to find a hairdresser who knows their job, understands the basics of hair care, and only then you can give them the privilege to cut your hair. It took me years to find somebody who knows what am I talking about when I mention sulfates, moisturizers, deep conditioning, etc.
Since we spent one month repairing the damage, it is crucial to keep our hair healthy in the long run. This means that you should avoid excessive styling. If possible, forget all about curling or flat irons, hot rollers. There are ways and products that will help you get the look you want but without the heat.
For example, Nexxus Hydra-Light Leave-In Conditioning Foam, for straightening; or amika Curl Defining Cream for defining your curls.
Should you avoid using hair dryers?
I actually do not recommend avoiding hair dryers completely, since not using them can cause some damage and lead to health issues, and we would not want that. Just be sure to use it properly. Do not dry hair that is completely wet. Wait for it to dry around 20 percent, then use your hair dryer set on low temperature. Hold it several inches away from the hair. Also, keep in mind that you should protect your hair with a leave-in product every time you use any kind of heat on it.
Finally, we got to the end of this month. We are aware that repairing dry, damaged, and brittle hair is not an easy process. But, right now, your hair should look much, much better than at the beginning of this process. I am positive that your hair is now better hydrated and your hair care routine is on point for the future. That is all you need!
Of course, do not forget that haircare is a lifelong process. You should not stop with haircare now. You should use what you learned to take care of it in the future.