Photo Courtesy of Createherstock — Isha Gaines

When it comes to choosing a hairstyle, it is important to consider the technique involved in achieving the particular style. Just because a hairstyle looks nice does not mean it is the healthiest option for your hair and scalp. If you are unsure whether the look you want to achieve is going to cause damage, get the professional opinion of a cosmetologist who is skilled in the hairstyle you want. If you already have hair damage or hair loss, you still have style options but the type of styles you can wear can be limited depending on the level of damage done to your hair and scalp. Consider these four styles to try if you want to avoid hair damage and restore your hair’s health.

Twisted or Braided Updos 

Styling your hair in an updo or pin up is a great way to protect your hair from overmanipulation. They are also convenient for the person who has limited time in the morning or at night to style their hair. Pin up hairstyles can be done at home and you do not have to braid or twist your hair extremely tight to achieve them. If you have breakage or alopecia around the hairline, you can use the length at the back and sides of your head to create an updo. You can reduce traction alopecia by choosing updos that are styled loosely.

Here is a video of a natural hairpin up that is not adding any tension on the scalp.  A little bit of synthetic kanekalon hair can be added to the pin up for fullness when needed.

To avoid traction alopecia, do not wear ponytails or bun hairstyles every day, because they cause hair breakage along the perimeter of the head, especially if they are pulled tightly. Try to wear your hair down in a loose hairstyle that does not require any pulling on the hair or scalp.

Get a smoothing treatment if you like straight hairstyles

You can get an amino acid smoothing treatment if you like to wear your hair straight. The amino acids help strengthen the hair, and elongate curls.  Treatments such as Design Essentials STS Smoothing Treatment or Affirm Texture Release are formulated to temporarily straighten the hair. These treatments are activated by heat from a blow-dryer and flat iron to help soften your hair.

The key in preventing heat damage is to always use a heat protectant before thermal styling. I recommend Joico K-PAK Protect and Shine Serum. This serum will seal and protect your hair with macadamia seed oil and evening primrose oil.

Having a smoothing treatment does not mean you can straighten your hair every day. You can take advantage of all the smoothing treatment has to offer by wearing your hair in a wash and go hairstyle. Smoothing treatments are designed to reduce frizz and enhance your hair’s natural curl pattern. Try to flat iron your hair once a month and wear textured styles more often to prevent heat damage.

If you already have heat damage, try Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector at home. With continued use, it can help temporarily restore your hair and its loosened curl pattern from heat use, but there is no guarantee. Read more about Olaplex here.

Use rod sets in between permanent color retouch applications

If you already have color damage, try to prolong retouch applications. If you do not like to see your new growth where your virgin hair color meets your artificial color, use flexi rods or perm rods to create curls that can help hide your new growth.

Avoid doing your own hair color at home, because you can cause damage to the hair and scalp if you do not use the permanent hair color properly; the hair at the back of your hair is most vulnerable, as you cannot see it. You can overlap the color if you are doing a retouch application or leave the color on your hair too long, causing severe hair breakage and split ends.

Try to wait 6-8 weeks before you reapply your permanent hair color. Use permanent color instead of powder bleach even if you want to achieve high lift colors such as blonds or bright reds. Powder bleach strips your hair of the natural pigment and is more damaging on the hair than permanent dye this is why you want to avoid using powder bleach whenever possible.

Short hair cut

Sometimes your hair damage is so severe, your only choice may be to get a new haircut to get your hair back in shape. Tapered haircuts are low maintenance and are a perfect way to get acquainted with your curl pattern again.  There are several shapes available for you when it comes to choosing a short natural hairstyle. With short tapered haircuts, you can still two-stand twist or rod set the length of hair on the top of your head. I recommend using Design Essentials Natural Twist and Setting Lotion because it lightly holds the set without flaking or making the hair feel dry.  If you need a medium hold with wet sets on your short haircut, try Jane Carter’s Natural Twist Out Foam.

These four style options can help you avoid more damage to your hair. Whatever style you choose, make sure to research the maintenance and the effects the style can have on your hair or scalp.

Have you ever experienced hair damage? What are some hairstyles you tried to prevent further problems?

Would you like to learn more?

Read 4 Short Natural Hairstyles To Make You Feel More Confident.

Learn the difference between amino acids and keratin treatments.

Step by step instructions on how to maintain your blonde color treated hair at home.