Hair problems are common, and most African Americans have experienced hair damage at one point in their life. Do you know how to repair damaged hair as a black male?
I know in some cases, we may feel that our hair damage is beyond repair, and chopping it all off is the only solution.
What you need to know is that what causes hair damage could be something in your control.
What causes hair damage?
Understanding what causes hair damage is vital to ensure that it never happens again.
It’ll also be important in helping you decide what measures you’ll take to reverse (or at the very least reduce) the effects of the hair damage.
There are many things that can cause your hair to get damaged, but I’ve looked at four of the most common causes for black males.
Healthy hair doesn’t just happen. You need to get a good and effective hair regimen to make sure that your hair is in perfect condition.
Most people neglect the mane, and this contributes to you damaging your hair in the long run.
For starters, you need to cleanse and condition your hair regularly, followed by the application of a good moisturizer(s).
A good hair regimen doesn’t have to take hours. You can have a hair regimen that takes 20 to 30 minutes and you’re able to maintain healthy hair.
Unnecessary use of afro picks and brushes
I personally do not use a pick on my hair unless it has conditioner in it.
This is because black hair is quite fragile and can easily end up breaking if you don’t treat it gently.
Applying unnecessary force when brushing or combing your hair can be a perfect recipe for hair breakage.
If you have to use a pick or a brush, please be gentle. It’ll be better for your hair if you can use these tools if there’s some conditioner in it.
Use of chemicals
First, overusing chemicals is one of the main causes of damage to African American hair.
Hair products such as relaxers are easily available; almost everyone can buy and use, hence making it easy to overuse these chemicals.
What most don’t understand is that these chemicals may seem easy to use, but they cause a lot of damage to your hair.
Overlapping hair relaxers can make the hair weaker and may lead to breakage over time.
Over-processing the hair can also lead to hair damage.
Coloring or bleaching your hair without the necessary skills can also damage your hair in the long run.
If you’re dyeing your hair for instances, the whole process would be perfect if your colorist used a treatment like Olaplex to strengthen and repair your hair before adding color to your locks.
Heat styling appliances
It is never a pretty sight to watch your flourishing hair turn into an unhealthy mane.
Exposing your hair to frequent heat styling can damage your hair, sometimes irreversibly.
Using heat on your hair to style it is always a more accessible option for most people who are seeking to straighten their hair.
However, doing it frequently and using too much heat without even using a heat protectant can cause a lot of damage.
How to repair damaged hair for a black male
If you have damaged hair, you are probably wondering what you should do to get your hair healthy again.
The following are some of the simple things you can do to repair your damaged hair and bring it back to life.
Hot oil treatments
Typically, you may need more than your regular hair products to repair your damaged strands.
A hot oil treatment is one of the ways you can restore your hair back to health without having to visit a professional.
You will love how the hot oil treatment will help lock in moisture in your hair for days.
Hot oil treatments do wonders to your hair as the hair absorbs most of the oil.
These treatments are great, especially when done before and after wearing protective styles.
They mainly help hair that is prone to breakage, as well as hair that is overly porous.
Your hair will not only look better, but it will also feel better, especially if it is dry and brittle.
This is also one of the go-to remedies in case you are wondering how to fix burnt hair from flat iron.
The process of doing a hot oil treatment is simple.
Here are the steps to take to have hot oil treatments work effectively.
Heat up the oil
First, start by heating up your oil. You can use one type of hair oil or a mixture of different types of oil.
Whether you go for heavier oils such as coconut oil or lighter oils, it really doesn’t matter.
You can heat the oil by placing it in a bowl of hot water and let it heat up for a few minutes.
Once the oil is heated, let it cool to warm temperature, one that your scalp can withstand.
You can test the temperature by putting a few drops at the back of your hand.
Apply on hair and scalp
When the oil is at an appropriate temperature, apply it generously on your hair and scalp.
Massage it into your hair and scalp so that the oil coats every hair strand.
After you’re done, leave the oil in your hair for about 20 minutes. You can put on a cap to enhance its effectiveness.
Covering your hair keeps your hair warm, and the extra heat can also help your cuticles open further.
Sitting under a hot shower and letting the steam heat your hair is also a good idea.
Finally, rinse out the oil from your hair after time elapses.
You can then opt to follow up with a deep conditioner and a leave-in treatment.
Damaged hair can make you frustrated, and there is nothing you would want more than making your hair healthy again. Deep conditioning does the trick.
Deep conditioning involves treating your hair by adding moisture or protein to it. This procedure, therefore, keep your hair in good condition.
Some of the benefits of deep conditioning include moisturization of hair, preventing hair damage, improving hair elasticity, and bringing back your hair’s natural shine.
Deep conditioners contain a high amount of moisturizing and strengthening hair ingredients like keratin and vitamin B5, and some even include coconut oil.
The moisturizing and hair enhancing ingredients penetrate the strands and help in repairing and protecting your mane from further damage.
For deep moisture penetration, you may want to consider deep conditioning with heat using a hooded dryer, a steamer, or a heat cap.
Deep conditioning also makes the detangling process a walk in the park.
In case you are recovering from heat or chemical damage, getting a deep conditioner with protein is a sure way to strengthen your hair and give you good results.
Some people also prefer adding honey to deep conditioner to reap the benefits of this great humectant.
Trimming split ends
Cutting our hair is not something many look forward to, especially if you love your long locks.
Trimming split ends is one of the best ways to deal with damaged hair.
Split ends appear when the ends of your hair become frayed, extremely dry, and brittle.
This comes as a result of using chemicals, heat styling appliances, extreme weather conditions, among many other reasons.
Once the hair has started to split at the ends, it can lead to constant breaking which can damage your hair.
Split ends need to be trimmed constantly or they can lead to stunted hair growth.
Therefore, trimming these split ends can help in preventing further damage to your hair.
Incorporating deep conditioning in your hair routine is one of the ways to prevent split ends since it improves hair elasticity as discussed above.
Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner
Moisture is essential for African American hair. Our type of hair is very curly, making it prone to dryness.
Due to the strand’s curly/coily shape, natural oils don’t often get to travel down the hair shaft.
As a result, our hair hardly ever gets enough moisture to stay healthy and strong.
This is the reason you should always go for products that have moisturizing properties, and free from harsh, drying ingredients such as alcohol and sulfates.
For instance, it’s good to go for moisturizing shampoos that deeply hydrate your hair.
These shampoos also make the hair more robust and protect it from breakage less breakage.
Always remember that a healthy scalp environment will enable your hair to grow healthy and strong.
If you are suffering from a dry, itchy scalp might even be having dandruff, please address this issue as soon as possible.
You should consider looking for the best men’s shampoo for a dry scalp. If this doesn’t work after several weeks of use, please book an appointment with a dermatologist.
While conditioning, it is vital to pay attention to the ends of the hair as they are the oldest and require more moisture content to avoid breakage.
Always follow-up the cleansing process with a rinse-out conditioner that will help to add moisture back to the hair.
Apart from infusing your hair with moisture, there are many other benefits of conditioners such as detangling, softening the hair, and helping to repair hair damage.
You should also consider using daily leave-in conditioners which aren’t rinsed out to help moisturize and soften your hair daily.
When your hair is dehydrated, using a moisturizer on your hair can do the trick and help your hair look healthier.
Dehydration can be a result of using hot tools on your hair, bleaching, coloring, or extreme weather conditions.
Moisturizers are crucial for curly/coily African American hair. Moisturizing dry and damaged hair makes it feel and even look better.
Regularly moisturizing your hair also helps to promote hair growth.
Go for moisturizing products that have water among the first ingredients.
As mentioned above, stay away from products that contain ingredients such as sulfates and alcohol because these can really dry out your hair.
You can use moisturizing products in different ways, depending on what works for you best. These include the LOC or LCO methods of moisturizing hair.
Once you start using hair moisturizers regularly, your hair will start feeling healthier, softer, and more nourished.
Protein treatments are beneficial to damaged hair, especially if your curls have lost their elasticity.
These treatments also come in handy when if you have high hair porosity, extreme hair breakage, and shredding, or have limp and stringy hair.
Protein treatment refers to using a product loaded with protein that works to strengthen and repair damaged hair.
It’s important to mention that our hair is largely made up of keratin – a protein that keeps the strands strong and healthy.
Thus, when hair becomes damaged as a result of one reason or the other, this keratin starts to break down.
Protein treatments work by hardening the hair cuticle layer and patching up pores in the hair cuticle, therefore preventing further hair damage.
A protein treatment will also leave your hair smoother and shinier.
Including protein treatment in your regimen is something you should look forward to doing.
It’s possible to rescue your damaged hair without resorting to chopping it all off.
To avoid having to regularly deal with dry and damaged, I’d advise that you start by having a simple hair regimen that must include regular cleansing, conditioning, and moisturizing.
Trimming your hair regularly to remove split ends is important to prevent constant hair breakage.
Incorporating deep conditioning, hot oil treatments, and protein treatments can give your extremely damaged hair a second lease of life.
It’s important to add these practices to your regular hair regimen in a bid to promote healthy hair growth.
Although most people get things like split ends at some point in their life, you can avoid getting heat damage or chemical damage by adhering to the best hair care practices.
Paying attention to the state of your hair is very crucial, especially if maintaining perfectly healthy hair is your goal.