4 Easy Ways to Undo Hair Damage

Whether you’re addicted to dry shampoo or use your blow dryer on a daily basis, hair damage is one of those things that’s impossible to avoid. Of course, this doesn’t even take into consideration all the harm that coloring your hair can do (and let’s not even talk about bleaching it). Even if you don’t think you're damaging your hair on a daily basis, your hair is likely in less-than-perfect condition. Just sleeping with your head on a pillow at night can cause friction and breakage. That hot shower? Another not-so-good choice when it comes to keeping your hair healthy.

It’s not all bad news, though. (We promise.) Having damaged hair doesn't automatically sentence you to a lifetime of dull, dry strands on the verge of breaking. In fact, it's a lot easier to repair that unfortunate hay-like texture than you think. With the right habits, tools and formulas (plus, of course, a healthy dose of TLC), it’s totally possible to bring your hair back to its gorgeous, shiny state. In partnership with Head & Shoulders, here are some easy ways to bring your hair back to life.

Start With The Scalp

Giphy

Healthy hair starts at the scalp, which is why taking care of it is so important. Not only should you not OD on too much dry shampoo (since the mix of oil, dead skin cells, and product can build up around follicles and impede hair growth), but you also need to choose your shampoo and conditioner carefully. Head & Shoulders Nourishing Care shampoo and Nourishing Care conditioner will gently cleanse your hair with its naturally derived ingredients, including cotton, guar, and hydrating lavender essence. A freshly scented formula will ultimately keep your scalp healthy, balanced, and clean — paving the way for strong, shiny hair.

Head & Shoulders, $18, Amazon

Brush & Style With The Right Tools

Giphy

Put down the plastic. Plastic or metal teeth can put extra stress on hair, causing it to stretch and (in the worst-case scenarios) break altogether. Soft, supple boar bristles are way gentler on hair, meaning they’ll untangle strands without yanking or tugging.

It also helps to use an ionic hair dryer. The ion function releases negative ions into the air, which help break down water molecules. The benefit is that you can lower the temperature and still get the same blowout without spending extra time on it. If you plan on heat-styling your hair with a straightening iron or curling iron (or anything with the word "iron" in it, really), make sure the iron itself is ceramic. Ceramic flatirons disperse heat evenly so you can curl or straighten hair in a single pass; that way, you don't have to add extra heat to get it the way you want.

Take Time To Treat

Giphy

Look, time is valuable, and the time you spend wearing a hair mask might not seem worth it. Try to build it into your routine— say, do it on a Sunday night and queue up your favorite TV show — instead of trying to squeeze it in on a Tuesday before work. Try a DIY mask with avocado, which is super-rich in moisturizing fatty acids and can nourish and strengthen strands in a matter of minutes. Once you rinse it out, lock in hair's hydration with a hair oil. It replaces the lipids in hair to help prevent breakage and restore shine. If you're dealing with serious damage (aka, you can't even brush your hair without it snapping) go for an overnight oil treatment.

Prep & Protect

Giphy

If you heat-style your hair every day, treating it first with a heat protectant is the single easiest thing you can do to prevent future damage. You could crank your straightening iron up to 450 (...but don't) without singeing your ends off. And if you’re hoping to spend your entire summer at the beach, it also helps to apply sunscreen formulated for hair. The ocean might score you gorgeous waves, but the combo of UV rays and salt water can dry them out, making them look dull and feel crunchy. It might look good for a hot second, but over time, it could be rough on hair (literally).

This post is sponsored by Head & Shoulders.

Images: Fotolia (1); Giphy (4)