10 Steps to Protect your Hair from Environmental Damage
Keeping your hair looking alive and fresh is not about having unlimited resources to spend in expensive spas and salons. It’s not even that hard, but it begins with a full understanding of what keeps your hair healthy and what can cause serious damage.
The Anatomy of the Hair
Before we begin a look into the many ways to protect your hair from damage, it is important to understand what it is we are protecting. The worst damage undermines the natural structures of the hair and the best protection empowers the body’s natural hair protection facility with balancing and nourishing effects.
If you look at a strand of hair on a microscopic level we see that each strand is divided into three layers. The inner layer is made of a fiber called the medulla which is surrounded by the second layer, the cortex. Coating the cortex is the cuticle which is a thinner-than-wafer material that plays an important role in protecting the hair and giving it that glow and soft silky feeling. Once this cuticle is damaged, your hair can also become susceptible to all kinds of environmental damage.
Split ends, hair that is brittle and hair that simply looks dead has lost this important layer and must be repaired and protected. The following article will introduce you to some best practices for protecting hair from environmental damage.
The good news you need to hear is that, no matter how damaged your hair if it is alive it can be restored. This will not require going to a pricey salon every weekend, most of the protective efforts will require time and care to mature and provide their benefits. It takes time for the nutrients and beneficial compounds to establish a healthier standard from which to ward off damage and begin improving the conditions of the hair.
- Be Aware of the Dangers
Believe it or not the worst damages can occur when the individual is oblivious to the effects their environment and actions can have on their hair. The hair must withstand the chaffing wind, salty sea-air, contaminated city smog, dry climates, wet climates and more. It’s even worse if the person is also applying harsh chemical treatments to their hair and neglecting to eat the foods that create healthy hair. If you know your hair could be subject to damage, it is essential that you begin working to improve your hair conditions immediately, if not yesterday. Eventually the only remedy is the razor.
- Trim Damaged Hair Ends
If you notice that the ends of your hair are split, imagine what is happening on that microscopic level. With fraying ends the neat cuticle layer is also frayed and begins to crack and dry along its numerous edges. This cracking and drying will continue up the strand of hair till the cuticle is gone.
Trim the ends before the damage becomes too expense. A nice clean cut keeps the cuticle in good conditions and avoids the hair fraying away. Important point, never use your garden shears or office scissors for haircuts, only a dedicated set of hair cutting scissors. Jagged edges and poor chop jobs lower your hairs defenses to environmental damage.
- Avoid Hot Styling Tools
If you notice your hair is beginning to succumb to damage, you should discontinue all heated treatments and styling tools. The thing is, with the cuticle gone your hair has no protection from the heat and the unhealthy hair will soon dry out and snap off.
- Avoid all Harsh Chemicals
Hair that is being subjected to environmental damage needs every bit of strength and protection to maintain a good look. Even perfectly healthy hair can be damaged by harsh chemicals and dried away by bleaching, dying and other treatments. Hair that is already tired and week will have an even harder time if their last bit of vitality is sapped away by further treatment.
- Protecting Damaged Hair with Natural Oils
The body produces natural oils that protect the hair and replenish the cuticle. If you feel these oils have been depleted, then look for a natural solution. Essential oils have a molecular structure very similar to natural skin and hair oils and can be used to restore and protects the hair from further damage.
Try jojoba, cubeb, castor and coconut oils even olive oils can be used. Coconut is one of the best options as it nourishes the hair in a very unique way.
- Natural Remedies for Damaged Hair
In addition to natural oils, there are many other natural products in your supermarket or pantry that can be applied to improving the conditions of your hair. Mayonnaise, avocado, honey, banana and eggs can all be applied as hair masques and allowed to work for twenty minutes before being washed out. The best thing is that these can be applied whenever you like for good results. Too many OTC treatments and your hair will be worse for the wear.
- Eat Your Proteins
Eggs, fish, dairy products and meats carry the important proteins your body needs to grow a thick head of hair and keep it safe from the damage of your environment. Your hair and fingernails are both made of this important nutrient and without plenty of nutrition your hairs conditions can falter.
Eat fish! Sardines, salmon and seabass all have plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids which also aid in the protection and production of new hair. This will also keep your hair moisturized and supple even when the cuticle is slightly damaged.
- Use Natural Products and Treatments
If your hair seems damaged and in a vulnerable place, go easy. There are ways to style, control and even change the colors of your hair with henna and teas. The best thing about these natural treatments is that they actually work to improve the conditions of the hair while they change the color or address the hairs dynamics. This is especially good for women, and men, looking to hide those grey streaks. Get the best deal on Three Squares Soil here.
- Condition Before Swimming
The pool and beach are popular summertime retreats from the sweltering heat. But before you jump into that highly-chlorinated pool or salty beach water, protect your hair with a hefty application of your choice conditioner. The conditioner can help to ward off the chemicals and keep your hair protected.
Stress has long been known to cause white hairs, and bald spots. If you feel like your hair is suffering from being over stressed, consider reducing the cortisol in your body with stress relieving yoga and aromatherapy.