Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Damaged hair saviours

As someone who has had a lot of experience with hair damage, I have gathered a fairly wide knowledge of which products really work and help, and which ones just exacerbate the problem, making your hair even more tangly and unmanageable. I have been dyeing my hair since I was fifteen, and am now nineteen. That's a lot of bleach and dye for one head of hair to go through! As I said, over the years, I have experimented with several different products, with some hits and some misses. However, I think I've now found a good hair routine to keep my hair as healthy as it can be. 

Schwarzkopf got2b Guardian Angel heat protection spray - £3.00, Superdrug

Now, this product is definitely more of a way to prevent damaged hair, rather than to repair it, but it can really make a world of difference. I have to say that I am guilty of not practicing what I preach here, as I never used to really bother with it. To be honest, my hair is poker straight even if it dries naturally, so I never blow-dried it and rarely straightened/curled it, but when I did, the heat really did affect it, especially as it was already dyed. Over the past year I have been blow drying it and using more heat on it, and I finally bought this little gem. It smells gorgeous and doesn't leave that hideous sticky residue on your hair, no matter how liberally you spray it! This is a great product which is essential when using heat on your hair, especially if it is dyed, but even if it is not. It's cheap as chips and works great.

TRESemmé Platinum Strength shampoo and conditioner - £3.32 each

This duo have probably been the most amazing set of products in terms of restoring my hair to a healthy state. I used to use the Aussie Miracle Moist shampoo and conditioner, which I do absolutely love, but they just weren't intensive enough. At this point, a few months ago, my hair was seriously badly damaged from bleach and dye. It had got to that awful state when it goes kind-of stretchy when it's wet. It was basically unmanageable. I couldn't brush it without what felt like half my hair coming out. I knew I needed something to really strengthen my hair, as I was fairly sure that I would soon be bald if I had carried on the way I was going. I mix the shampoo with my Provoke Touch of Silver toning shampoo, and leave it in for about 3 mins, rinse and then put the conditioner in for about the same amount of time. It is the first thing which seems to have really started to repair my hair. I have noticed a lot less breakage and hair loss. Again, really affordable, fantastic products.

John Frieda Full Repair Touch-up Flyaway Tamer - £10.99, Boots

This little beauty has been a fairly recent purchase, but it does exactly what is says on the tin (tube actually). From bleaching AND then dyeing over my roots for such a long time, I had noticed a lot of breakage in my root area. There were basically lots of chunks of very short hair on the top of my head, which make you look a bit weird when they blow up in the wind (and sometimes don't flatten down),and for a while I was a bit confused about it. What had happened to them? Was it because I cut out my braid from Zante 18 months ago? Hmmm, maybe not. I realised after a bit of research that my hair had been literally breaking off. It's quite a scary thought, but from the amount of hair I was losing every time I brushed it, I could see how it was happening. Anyway, it scared me off bleaching my roots before dyeing them each time, and I now just dye over my dark roots. I was amazed when I found out about this product, as I didn't think anyone else had this weird problem except me. It claims to polish and smooth flyaways and frayed ends, and certainly does the trick. The packaging of the product reminded me of those super cool colourful hair mascaras which were ever so popular many years ago (90s kid), but of course the liquid is clear. You smooth the wand through your hair, and it leaves it a tiny bit crispy, but it can be brushed out. It is actually exactly the same size as my Benefit Badgal Lash mascara, and is a nice size to keep in your bag for on the go. I have included some photos down below of my hair before and after. Although slightly expensive for a tiny drugstore product, this really does work wonders. I have never seen anything else like it, and it saves me from looking like a loony with a dodgy mullet.

L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 mask with Pro-Keratin and Ceramide - £3.59, Boots

Hair masks have always been a bit hit and miss with me. I feel that some of them simply do nothing, and some just leave my hair feeling like I dipped it in a vat of grease. Luckily, this cute little pot has been quite a success. I will stress that I have found it most effective when my hair is in its healthiest state. I know this may sound counterproductive, but hear me out. Basically, I bought this at the stage in my life a few months ago which I shall call Holly's Hair Hell (not very catchy, sorry), and slathered it all over my wet locks in a desperate, hopeful attempt at 'Fully restoring' my hair, as the product describes. Now, this is a claim which several products make, and I am not fooled by it, and neither should you be. I have seen so many different serums/masks/conditioners which claim to repair even the most damaged hair, and I'm sorry but this is just not feasible, even considering the small print which says "*with seven uses". But at this point, I just wanted to believe that it was possible. Hair is dead, so you obviously cannot FULLY repair it, but a combination of several products and good habits can help revive it a little, which is what this post is basically about. At said point, I left this mask on for about an hour in the bath. Afterwards, it felt slightly better, but a bit strange and heavy. My hair was too fried for this to make a considerable difference. I have since been using it now that my hair is a bit more revived and healthy, and it really helps as a weekly treatment to keep my hair feeling soft.

THE CHOP! Hairdressing scissors - £4.49, Superdrug

Cutting your hair is something which can often be daunting for many girls. I myself was so obsessed with growing my hair as long as possible, that I didn't even want to ever have it trimmed. But the reality of it is that for your hair to grow and remain healthy, you need to cut it once in a while. I recently chopped off all my hair on a whim. I had had it long for such a long time, and it was about down to my waist, but it just looked thin and damaged from so much bleaching and heat etc. I couldn't really do anything with it, and I fancied a new look anyway, so I went out and bought a pair of scissors from Superdrug and cut it up to about shoulder-length myself. Now I am not advocating for everyone to do this, as I sometimes make stupid spontaneous decisions which don't turn out well. However, I was actually very pleased with the results from this. I do not have any hairdressing skills at all, I basically just washed and combed out my hair, and cut it while looking in the mirror. I really didn't fancy forking out £27 or however much haircuts are these days, on a student budget, and so I just thought "I can do this myself!" (perhaps with a little too much confidence). I have actually had a lot of compliments from people, who are all shocked when I tell them I did it myself (not to get too big for my hairdressing boots), and my hair actually feels amazing. I couldn't get over how soft the ends felt for weeks after I did it, and they still do now to be honest, about a month later! Anyway, the point I am making is that to help repair and grow your hair, cutting it is so important. I don't mean you have to chop off six inches like I did each time, but just a little trim every couple of months can really make a huge difference. I will include a photo of my new, shorter hair :)

^ My long bob which I am very pleased with !

^ You can sort of see here how broken my hair is on top. Unfortunately it is quite hard to photograph the top of your own head.

^ These two photos show how seamlessly the John Frieda product smooths the shorter hairs onto the rest of your hair.

Have any of you had any hair damage disasters? What are your favourite hair repair products?

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