How to Take Care of Fragile, Weak Hair
For many of us, our hair is our crowning glory, but when your hair is fragile and weak, it can feel like anything but. Weak, fragile hair is most often marked by a dry, brittle, and damaged hair look and feel. Caused by everything from excessive heat styling to too many chemical processes in a row, weak hair can feel difficult to manage. But, by following a few simple hair care and styling tips and tricks—and a stellar hair care routine—you can help to restore your hair to its former glory. Below, we’re sharing exactly how to care for weak hair to help make it look and feel its best!
What Causes Fragile, Weak Hair?
Our hair is made up of two distinct parts: the root and the hair shaft. The shaft is the part of the hair we can see—a strand that grows out from the scalp—and the outer shell of this shaft is called the cuticle. When your hair is in tip-top shape, the cuticle lays flat on the strand, is resistant to wear and tear, and acts as a shield against external aggressors.
Over time, the cuticle can become compromised, causing it to no longer lay flat—hello, frizzy hair! While there are many factors outside of our complete control that can cause this to happen—everything including the sun’s UV rays to pollution—there are still others that we may be causing ourselves. Brushing your hair the wrong way, being rough with wet strands, over-using hot tools like blow-dryers and flat irons, too many chemical processes (like straightening and coloring), and even over-shampooing can all contribute to a compromised cuticle and a change in the appearance of the hair fiber. When compromised, your hair becomes weak and fragile and over time this can lead to everything from hair frizz and dryness to split ends and even more excessive hair damage like breakage.
To help hair return to its optimal state and appear soft, shiny, silky, strong, and full of life, you’ll have to follow a few simple rules.
How to Take Care of Weak Hair
Since everyday styling is a leading contributor to weak, brittle hair strands, you’ll want to start here. Take a look at your current routine: Do you roughly brush out tangles on wet hair? Do you lather-rinse-and-repeat every day? Do you frequently color, bleach, or chemically straighten your hair? Are you always reaching for blow-dryers and other hot tools? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to make a change.
1. Be Gentle with Wet Hair
Did you know that your hair is most vulnerable when it’s wet? Because of this, it’s key to be incredibly gentle with damp hair. Try to brush your hair before you shower to remove tangles and post-wash use wide-tooth combs or specially-designed wet brushes to avoid any tugging. What’s more, instead of using a traditional bath towel and rubbing your hair dry, use a gentle micro-fiber towel—or even an old t-shirt—and gently squeeze out the excess water.
2. Turn Down the Heat on Hair Styling Tools
Heat is public enemy number one when it comes to the health of your hair. When you’re outside in the hot sun, protect your hair from the harsh—and damaging—UV rays by wearing a hat or seeking shade. When you hop in the shower, keep the water at a lukewarm temperature and try to rinse cold to help the cuticle lay flat! Finally, try to take a break from hot tools when you can. The heat from blow-dryers, flat irons, and curling wands can suck all of the moisture from your hair, so if you do use them, keep them on their lower settings and always use a heat protectant product first.
3. Use the Right Hair Care Products
Weak hair is often dry, so incorporating hydrating hair care products into your routine is key if you want to replenish your dehydrated hair with moisture. Look for hydrating shampoos, conditioners, and masks that have been formulated with hair oils and hydrating extracts and use products like hair serums and leave-in conditioners after washing.
4. Don’t Over-Shampoo
Just like you should take a break from heat styling too often, you should also consider taking a break from shampoo—that is, if you’re lathering up too often. Over-shampooing your hair can dehydrate hair and leave it weak and vulnerable to hair damage. Instead of shampooing hair every day, try to stretch the time in between and reach for a dry shampoo if you need a quick refresh. Note: Everyone’s hair is different and if your hair appears greasy, if you’ve just worked out, or if you can tell you need to wash, it’s important to do so. Just be sure you’re conditioning your hair afterwards in order to restore hair moisture.
5. Get a Hair Trim
If your weak hair already has split ends, it’s time to go in to the salon for a professional trim. Getting regular hair trims helps to keep your hair looking and feeling its best and prevents split ends from traveling up the hair shaft, which can result in hair breakage and a thinner appearance.
By following these simple tips, you can kiss fragile, weak hair goodbye!
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