How To Revive Overprocessed Fragile And Dry Hair

Overprocessed hair can become dry, damaged and just plain ugly. Use these tips to revive your traumatized locks.

Whether it was a bad dye job at home, heavy use of a curling iron, or too many products, overprocessed hair can happen to the best of us. No matter how bad the damage is, don't go hat shopping just yet. A few small changes in your daily routine can help revive your dry, fragile tresses and maintain a healthy head for years to come.

Most people wash their hair far too often, not realizing that lathering up daily strips hair of its essential oils. Frequent washings are even more harmful for overprocessed hair; since it is so brittle and dry, your hair needs those naturally conditioning oils more than ever. The solution is simple: lay off the shampoo. Limit your hair washings to a couple times a week, or every other day at the most. If you must shower daily, simply rinse your hair and work in a small amount of conditioner.

After you have finished washing your hair, towel dry it thoroughly but carefully. Remember, those fragile tresses need to be handled as gently as possible. Blot your hair instead of rubbing it. It may take a little bit longer, but the result is well worth the extra effort.


There are a few other things you can do while that will help bring your locks back to life. First of all, you can purchase a showerhead with a built-in water filter. (And you thought filtered water was just for drinking!) Chlorine is often added to municipal water supplies as a purifying agent, but it can wreak havoc on hair that is already dry. These special showerheads, easily found in most hardware stores, will filter out the chlorine, and best of all you can install it yourself.

While you are at the hardware store, you might consider picking up a humidifier if you don't already have one. Running it in your bedroom at night will help lock in the moisture that your dry hair desperately desires.

Traumatized hair requires special care during styling. Appliances like hairdryers and curling irons can easily damage a healthy head of hair, but pose an even greater threat to locks that have recently been overprocessed. When your hair is damaged, it is best to avoid heat styling altogether. If this is not a possibility, then use these appliances sparingly. Air-dry your hair if you have time. If you don't, buy a styling product designed to protect hair from heat and work it through your hair thoroughly before you begin drying. Whenever you use a curling iron, make sure that your hair is bone dry before you begin styling. Low heat settings are always best.

Finally, you might consider trying a special conditioning treatment. There are plenty of intensive conditioners available in the drug store and at the salon; buy a heavy daily conditioner, as well as a leave-on treatment that you can use every three or four days. If you're on a tight budget, plain old olive oil is a cheap and highly effective conditioner. Comb a small amount through your hair and leave it on for a few hours (or even overnight). You may have to spend a little extra time washing it out.

Once you've nursed your overprocessed hair back to health, be sure to get regular trims (every eight to twelve weeks) to keep your dead ends under control. While you're at the salon, consult your stylist for even more tips for keeping your hair happy.

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