Repairing Damaged Hair
Damaging your hair is actually very easy to do, and can be very difficult to deal with. Some different types of damage are chemical, heat, and mechanical (being torn, broken and stretched) or a combination of these. Whatever the cause of the damage there are a few things you can try to repair your hair, and I recommend trying some of these before getting your hair cut. You may just get lucky and not have to get as much cut off as you originally thought.
The first and most common thing to do is a store bought deep conditioning treatment. Essentially you wash your hair as normal but then you lightly towel dry it and slather the deep conditioner into your hair. Keep in mind that you don’t have to treat ALL your hair - just the damaged area. Once your hair is coated twist it up on your head and use a clip to keep it there, after all, you have 20 minutes or more before you can rinse, you might as well get it out of your way. If you want to make the treatment a bit more affective you can use mild heat to open up the cuticles of your hair to help it soak in the nutrients, much the same as a warm facial for your skin pores. This can be accomplished by wetting down a towel with hot water and wrapping it around your head, take a second dry towel and cover the first to help keep in the warmth (keep in mind this can get heavy). Or you can cover your hair with a plastic bag (preferably clear) and use a blow dryer. The bag will prevent your hair from drying as well as make sure your not going to heat up a single area too much - if the plastic starts to feel soft back off on the heat.
If the idea of using a commercially made deep conditioner doesn’t appeal to you or you don’t have the funds then you can also research home made conditioners. Many of these types of conditioners use yogurt and other ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. I often treat the ends of my own hair with plain olive oil, simply soaking them in oil when I get home from work and showering before bed.
If your hair feels like cotton when it’s wet then it’s as damaged as it can get without completely falling apart. Even at this stage you’ll likely notice that when it’s dry little bits of hair fall out whenever it’s touched. At this stage a treatment must be done daily if your going to save any of it. I also suggest a mix of conditioner types. Get a really good salon deep conditioner, a good oil treatment (home made or commercial) as well as a leave in treatment or two of your choice. With your hair in this condition, brush it as little as possible. Any tension on the hair can cause more breakage, this includes hair ties and clips. If you need to keep you hair of your face during the day use a wide headband and loose type scrunchies and scarves.
Obviously you have to brush your hair sometimes though, otherwise it will become a rats nest. Brush slowly and carefully when you feel it’s necessary, an extra wide tooth comb might be a good investment for this. Also, feel free to use such a comb during your deep conditioning treatments, this will help keep the tangles at bay and remember to be nice to your hair when your towel drying. If you don’t flip your hair over your head or rub it with the towel to much, then it should remain tangle free as it dries. Also - no heat (blow drying, ironing, etc) and no products containing alcohol (hairspray, mouse and gel as well as others) and absolutely no hot-tubs or swimming pools.