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How to Fix and Repair Hair Damaged from Chemicals

Updated on March 2, 2009

Do you have damaged hair? Have a stylist told you that the only remedy was a hair cut or a chop with the razor? Well, fret not. Damaged hair is a fact of life. In fact, the hair that appears to be damaged to you is frankly more than just damaged, it is mostly dead. This results in its ability to easily fry, crack, and split as it no longer is connected to the lifeline of nutrients to hair follicle receives to keep it healthy and strong. So, what can you do about it?

 

Hair is primarily protein, almost 90%. These protein is hard and fibrous, and known as keratin. Keratin protein is comprised of polypeptide chains, or multiple individual amino acids chains. The hair itself is considered a helix coil of the polypeptide chain, which gives it its unique structure and shape. However, the shape and structure can be changed through the hair’s hydrogen bonds.

The hydrogen bond is located between the helix coils of the hair and is responsible for the hair’s elasticity. If you destroy the hydrogen bond, as many chemical straighteners do, the hair has difficulty until new hair sprouts from the hair follicle in returning back to its original shape. Hydrogen bonds are responsible for approximately 50% of the hair elasticity.

Other important hair bonds are salt, cystine, and sugar bonds. The salt bond is also an ionic bond formed by the electron transfer from the side chain of anamino group to the side chain of an acidic amino acid. The salt bond is also responsible for hair elasticity, about 50%.

The cystine bond gives the hair some protection or resistence. You many be familiar with the amino acid L-cysteine, the cysteine gives strength to the hair as that amino acid does to the body. Lastly, the sugar bond, it also give the hair toughness. But does provide any strength.

So, what good is all this information? Too often, we are bombarded with the message that are hair is dead, and that we cannot control its health or outcome. But, the information above should let you know that, at some point, your hair was alive, specifically at its infancy stages before it flowed down your back. If you want to forever change the outlook and health of your hair, a frequent trim just won’t do. You have to create a hair care regimen that supports internal and external hair health so that current and all future (this is key) hair follicles and future strands are healthy and have strong bonds.

How to Stop Damage

Damage to the hair caused by heat through hair irons, blow drying, curlers, heat lamps, the sun, ultraviolet lights, tanning beds, mechanical devices, chemicals, and poor diet can be reduced. Here are some tips and ways that you can reduce your hair’s damage.

1) Use a thermal protector when using heat. Better yet, reduce the amount of heat you apply to your hair. Isn’t global warming enough?

2) Do not blow dry the hair completely dry or completely damp, wait until the hair is at least 50% dry before beginning to blow dry.

3) Use products with natural uv protection. I recommend products with coffee butter. Coffee butter is a good antioxidant that reduces hair aging effects, while also adding shine, gloss, strength, and un protections. It is quickly absorbed and smells fabulous I recommend Beauty 4 Ashes La Java Hair Recovery System, which works wonderfully on chemically treated and color treated hair. It can be found in Canada at myb4acom or in France at mybeauty4ashescom. I believe you can also find their products in the States at discoverb4acom

4) Use a low or no ammonia hair color. Better yet, stop the hair coloring. It is know to cause allergic reactions and dry the hair. If you must color, you may consider experimenting with henna. Although, you will need to be careful.

5) Never brush or comb wet or damp hair. Always use a wide toothed comb and comb hair from the ends up to reduce breakage and shedding.

6) Try to stay natural

7) On dry hair use a boars hair brush and start at the ends and work up. Be gentle with round boar brushes

8) Clarify your hair after you swim

9) Blow dry on the "cool" setting.

10) Eat protein rich foods, chicken, fish, nuts, and beans and eat foods rich in oils, such as olives, salmon. Also, consider adding coconut milk in replace of traditional milk.

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