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Chemically Damaged Hair

Chemically Damaged Hair

Chemical treatments such as perms, dyes, bleaches, and relaxers can dramatically improve the appearance of your hair, but they can also be harmful. Chemically damaged hair is common among women and the search for solutions often causes much frustration. While it may seem hopeless, chemically damaged hair can be repaired and prevented without having to sacrifice your unique style.

How Chemicals Damage Your Hair?

The causes of chemically damaged hair can usually be attributed to hair coloring, perms and hair relaxants.

Perms and relaxants change the shape of your hair. In order for this to happen the chemicals break down the disulphide bonds in your hair. Disulphide bonds are strong bond that helps keep the protein structures of your hair held together. By breaking this down the hair can be manipulated into a new shape.

Hair coloring penetrates the hair cuticle in order to access the cortex that changes the color of your hair (the cortex is between the hair cuticle and the medulla).

Treating Chemically Damaged Hair

The logical solution for treating chemically damaged hair is to stop using perms, dyes, relaxers all together. The problem with this remedy is that most of us don't really like the "bush woman" look. If you don't want to look like a cave woman, be assured that there are less drastic ways to repair chemically damaged hair. Treating chemically damaged hair begins with evaluating the chemicals you presently use and how often you use them.

Here are few questions you can answer to determine if you have chemically damaged hair:

  • Is your hair dull and lacking shine?
  • Does your hair feel brittle and dry?
  • Is your hair often tangled?
  • Does your hair look like a bird's nest or have split ends?
  • Is your hair's texture rough?
  • Does your hair fall out easily?
  • If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you probably have chemically damaged hair. Here's why. These harsh chemicals weaken your hair's protein bonds and cause it to weaken. The end result is either one of the symptoms mentioned above.

    Products for Chemically Damaged Hair

    The best way to treat chemically damaged hair immediately is to use a damaged hair repair product such as H2 Ion. To prevent future chemically damaged hair, regulate the use of the chemicals you use to style your hair. You can start by limiting the use of perms, dyes, and relaxers to once every 8 to 10 weeks to give your hair time to recover between treatments. Another way to avoid chemically damaged hair is to follow the instructions on home perms and dyes to the letter, so that the chemicals don't sit too long on your hair.

    Preventing Chemically Damaged Hair

    When you use chemicals to treat your hair, make sure that you don't over use harsh heat stylers. This is especially for those of you who perm your hair as a perm literally disrupts the structure of your hair, weakening each strand at its core. Adding the use of heat stylers to that causes your hair to become dry and brittle. Note: there are thermal-activated hair repair products available that neutralize the damage caused by heat, so if you're going to heat-style, purchase one of these products right away.

    When using chemical hair stylers, experiment with the amount that helps you achieve the desired results without causing chemically damaged hair. Some of the companies who manufacture perms, dyes, and relaxers may suggest a dosage and frequency that is only designed to make you buy their product more often. Determining the correct amount and frequency for your styling needs will certainly help you avoid chemically damaged hair.

    Causes of Damaged Hair

    The first step to solving any problem is discovering its root cause and dealing with it accordingly. Exposing the causes of damaged hair is no different. Damaged hair must be dealt with at the root. Otherwise you may end up repeating some of the same behaviors that caused the damage in the first place. Determining the causes of damaged hair in your particular situation is an easy process that merely involves engaging a simple evaluation of how you treat your hair on a daily basis.

    Chemically Treated Damaged Hair

    The most common causes of damaged hair can be traced to how you regularly treat your hair, particularly if you use harsh chemicals. Perms, relaxers, color treatments, and bleach can all be contributing causes of damaged hair. Some of these chemicals cause the cuticles of your hair strands to swell, which eventually leaves your hair with scales that are rough and apt to chipping or falling off all together. Other chemicals, like perms, relaxers and bleaches are perhaps the more severe causes of damaged hair as they destroy your hair's protein bonds, which weaken the internal structure of the strands.

    Physical Causes of Damaged Hair

    Over-grooming your hair or using a rough brush or comb can is perhaps one of the most common physical causes of damaged hair. After all, didn't Mom or some television matriarch tell us to brush our hair for one hundred strokes each night? Well, it seems they forgot to tell us that doing this too often or with a rough tool could damage our hair. Pillowcases, salt remaining on the hair after an intense workout or swim, and hair accessories can also be physical causes of damaged hair.

    Other Causes of Damaged Hair

    Sun rays and heat from hair styling instruments are also common causes of damaged hair. While the sun won't really negatively affect healthy hair, chemically processed hair doesn't respond too well to ultraviolet rays. The sun is often one of the causes of damaged hair because it can cause the hair's protein bonds to diminish and weaken. When heated styling instruments such as curling irons and blow dryers are used too often or on settings that are too hot, they can serve as causes of damaged hair. If you're going to use heat styling devices you should be certain to use a thermal-activated hair repair product that neutralizes the damage caused by heat.

    To reverse these damages you need serious hair repair. To see how to repair your hair at home, see our section on home remedies for damaged hair. Or for serious hair repair, see our editor's choice for damaged hair repair.