dry damaged hair

Pssst. Your curls are dry and damaged. If you have been natural for a while, luckily for you, there are solutions to this problem. From products to a good cut, there's a lot you can do to restore dry, damaged hair to full health. If you don't want to big chop all of your damaged ends off and start over, re-evaluate your current hair care routine and tailor it to what your curls need now. But first, you must know what damaged your hair in the first place, and what will bring your curls back to life.

Natural progression

Hair damage can happen even if you do not realize it. It could be the shampoo or conditioner you have been using. You notice that your hair is limp and lifeless, with a ton of split ends and strands that just don't curl right.

Chemical over-processing

When it comes to constant hair coloring and bleaching, your hair might not appreciate that perfect shade if it took you five tries in a matter of weeks. Depending on your hair type, there is a way of restoring your hair.

Heat styling tools

There are extreme ways you can absolutely ruin your hair. Burning your hair either via birthday candles or a hair straightener is definitely one way. Constant heat will dry out your hair over time. If this is your hair, there is a cure.

Do a hot oil treatment

Damaged curly hair responds well to hot oil and deep conditioning treatments. It is recommended you practice one at least once a week. This recipe is easy enough for beginners:

1. Start with extra virgin olive oil and add another carrier oil that will give attention to your specific hair issue. 
2. Heat oil in a microwave safe bowl for about 1 to 2 minutes. Place a paper towel over the bowl to avoid splattering. 3. Slowly add any other ingredients  you want in the hot oil treatment and mix well.

4. Wet hair thoroughly, section your hair, and apply the hot oil to each section. Brush through with a detangling brush or your fingers to ensure that it gets evenly distributed from root to tip. 

5. Wait 45 minutes before hopping into the shower and washing it out. Some naturals have to shampoo twice to get the residue out completely.

  • Optional: Apply a leave-in and a styling pomade after washing your hair to help condition and seal in moisture and vitamins from the hot oil treatment.

Extreme Measures

Unfortunately, there’s only one cure for irreparable hair damage: a good haircut. There are many hair products that boast restorative properties, but split ends, fried hair, or colored hair never really go away, and a haircut is the only way to start over. 
  • If you color your hair or tend to expose your hair to a lot of heat, one way you can have healthy hair is by simply taking preventative measures.
  • Use color-safe, heat resistant conditioners and shampoos.
  • Apply Jojoba oil to your hair before spending the day out in the sun.
  • Moisturize your hair daily with a hydrating leave-in.
  • Use a deep conditioner once a week, and if your hair needs a protein treatment, try that once a month till your curls bounce back.

These treatments are formulated to treat damaged curls:

What processes and treatments have helped you restore your hair? Or did you just big chop?

This article was originally written in 2011 and revised for grammar, timeliness, and clarity.