You may not know it, but some of the things you are doing every single day may be damaging your hair. Not only does your hair go through normal wear-and-tear, but there are other things you may be doing to damage your hair without even realizing it! These activities may result in dryness, limpness, and breakage. There are also various environmental aspects that may be damaging your hair, resulting in issues including frizz, dullness, and split ends.
Luckily, there are many DIY hair repair remedies and at-home hair treatments that you can utilize to bring some life back into that damaged hair of yours, and, best of all, you can use ingredients that are probably already sitting in your pantry or refrigerator!
How Your Hair Is Being Damaged
Every time you use heat to style or dry your hair, you are stripping your hair of its natural oils, which dries it out and can result in the ends of your hair breaking and splitting.
As summer approaches, keep in mind that swimming in chlorinated water can also strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dried out and damaged. Chlorine can also sometimes result in a chemical reaction with colored hair, changing your desired color and damaging your hair further.
3. Color Processing
Every time you get your hair colored or highlighted there is the potential to overprocess your hair, resulting in damage.
4. Physical Damage
Whether with a towel, brush or hair elastic, being rough with your hair will most definitely cause damage. Rubbing your hair with a towel or using a harsh hairbrush or hair elastic will physically strain and damage your hair.
If you’re not getting enough of certain vitamins and minerals in your diet naturally or through supplements, you may be causing damage to your hair – resulting in slowed growth, dulled shine, and diminished strength.
**For the best vitamins and supplements for hair growth, check out this post.
Household Ingredients For DIY Hair Repair
Aloe Vera is a great way to treat skin irritations like sunburns, but did you know that it can also be used as an at-home treatment for damaged hair? Aloe contains naturally moisturizing and healing properties (Vitamins A, B, C, and E) so naturally, it is a great remedy for dry, brittle hair. Soaking your hair in an aloe vera mask for 30 minutes or so will nourish your dry, damaged hair, resulting in higher levels of shine and moisture. It also removes chlorine and other unwanted deposits. You can use a basic aloe vera product from the store, or you can grow your own aloe right at home! Treating your hair with aloe straight from the source is an even better way to take advantage of its benefits.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Taking a “shot” of apple cider vinegar (ACV) in the morning became popular years ago for various health benefits. But did you know ACV can also bring life back into your damaged hair? Rinsing your hair with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water (specifically focusing on the roots of your hair) is a great way to repair damage and restore shine and energy to your hair. NYC stylist Will Johnson says that apple cider vinegar is also good for retaining your color, even if your hair has been damaged by the sun or chlorine.
Avocado isn’t just for great for topping your toast; it’s also a great solution for dry, damaged hair. Loaded with Vitamin E, when mashed up and applied to hair like a mask, avocado can act as a deep conditioner. Avocado also contains biotin, which is essential for hair health and growth. I suggest mashing up the avocado (as if you’re making guacamole – smooth as possible) and combing it evenly through your hair with your hands.
As a beauty blogger, I’ve seen people going bananas for banana as a DIY at-home beauty treatments for years. Bananas are extremely high in nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and protein. When mashed up and applied to your hair, banana will leave hair feeling soft, nourished and healthy. You can also use a blender to gently blend the banana into a smooth formula that will be easier to apply and comb through your hair.
Coconut oil is one of my favorite household items for both cooking and beauty treatments. It can be used for many different DIY beauty treatments, but DIY hair repair is one of the best. According to a recent study on hair cosmetics, coconut oil proved to reduce protein loss in both damaged and undamaged hair when used as a grooming product. I recommend applying a coconut oil mask to your hair (paying special attention to the ends and scalp) for up to an hour either before or after washing. I do this once every few months to condition and repair my locks.
There is a huge amount of research available to show the benefits of egg yolks and egg whites as an at-home hair treatment for damaged hair to promote hair growth. A recent study in the Journal of Medicinal Food shows that eggs contain a large amount of nutrients including biotin and proteins which remedy hair loss and promote a healthy scalp. Applying whisked or blended eggs to your hair for about 20 minutes can leave hair shiny and healthy looking. Incorporating them into your routine regularly can greatly diminish the chances of hair loss. Just be sure to rinse them out with lukewarm or cool – but not hot – water, or you’ll end up with scrambled hair.
I have recently started incorporating essential oils into many parts of my daily routine. While they are so versatile, one of my favorite uses for essential oils is as a home hair treatment for damaged hair. Oils are an important part of your hair’s health, so incorporating essential oils into your beauty routine is a great DIY hair repair option. Try geranium oil (which strengthens hair), jojoba oil (which moisturizes and adds nutrients), lavender oil (which conditions and moisturizes hair), Moroccan argan oil (which soothes and nourishes hair) and/or sandalwood oil (which moisturizes dry, damaged hair).
We use honey to moisturize and soothe a dry throat, so why not use it to soothe dry, damaged hair? According to a study on honey used for dermatology and skincare, honey contains many vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins that can have soothing and conditioning effects on dry, damaged hair and your scalp. The study suggests using shampoos and conditioners that contain honey. You can also apply straight honey topically as a mask, leaving it on for 30 minutes or so, then rinsing it off. Raw honey is ideal, but any honey will work well.
We’ve discussed essential oils, but what about that bottle of olive oil next to your stove? Warmed olive oil can be used as an at-home hair treatment for damaged hair, too! These treatments are called “hot oil treatments” and they can have super-moisturizing, healing effects on dry, brittle hair. After warming up your oil in a bowl or container placed in a larger bowl of hot water (use a squeeze bottle if you have one, and be careful not to add too much heat!) you can then apply the olive oil to dry or wet hair, and leave it on as a mask, or even leave it overnight for deeply-penetrating moisture and repair. Be sure to wash the oil out thoroughly once you’re done with your treatment.
A recent study has claimed that yogurt (including probiotic bacteria) can induce a “glow of health.” Sounds great, right? Whether you’re incorporating yogurt into your diet or applying it topically to your hair, yogurt can have major benefits for your scalp and hair. When applied to hair as a mask, yogurt has deep conditioning effects, soothing and nourishing dry, brittle, damaged hair. The study also shows extensive proof that adding yogurt to your diet can seriously amp up the natural shine of your hair.
Any of the above ingredients can be mixed and combined to create your own personalized home hair treatment for damaged hair.
Note: Be sure to do a patch test on your skin before attempting these at-home hair treatments to ensure you won’t have an allergic or other reaction.