No one wants damaged hair, we all aspire for shiny, supple, healthy hair. In fact, 30% of women’s main concern is damaged hair. Unfortunately, when damage sets in the easiest way to conceal the signs is with heat styling which, you guessed it, causes more damage and the vicious cycle begins. Below we explore what damaged hair looks like, what causes the damage and how to get your healthy hair back.
What does damaged hair look like?
· Dry and brittle
· Dull and lacking shine
· Little to no bounce or elasticity
· Split ends
· Tangles easily
· More porous, so hair drinks up products…
· But styling products don’t work as well
· Texture isn’t smooth
· Color may have changed
LET’S DISCUSS YOUR SCALP & HAIR NEEDS
What does healthy hair have that damaged hair doesn’t?
Healthy hair is abundant in lipids that cement the hair cuticles together, ensuring a smooth strand that is impermeable, strong and shiny. Keratin is another essential component of healthy hair. It’s a protein consisting of amino acids and is responsible for the hair’s inner cohesion, creating an internal fiber backbone. Hair with the optimal level of keratin is strong and healthy.
Lastly, there are KAPS (keratin associated proteins) which are micro-proteins found in healthy hair that bond and link the keratin together. KAPS are only found in hair, virgin hair is abundant in KAPS, but disappear when hair is damaged.
What causes damaged hair?
There are three main types of damage - mechanical, chemical and external - and plenty of causes that sit in each category.
Mechanical Hair Damage
Mechanical damage is caused by friction to the hair, which can come in many forms. Harsh brushing, using heat tools too much, excessive blow-drying or styling in salons. This type of mechanical damage will be visible on the cuticle - you’ll notice dry, dull strands, a texture change and breakage.
Chemical Hair Damage
Chemical damage is just that, damage caused by chemicals. This could be poorly applied chemicals at home like permanent color, or in-salon services that haven’t been carried out with care such as color, perming or straightening hair treatments. All chemical treatments come with the risk of some damage but, these days, much of the damage is avoidable which is why it is so important to visit a salon that you trust.
Chemical damage is visible on the cuticle, but the damage can also go deep into the cortex of the hair weakening the bonds within your strands which can lead to color and texture change, excessive hair breakage, as well as the appearance of dull, dry hair.
Every day our hair comes into contact with pollution and UV rays, these external factors can attack our hair leading to texture and color change, as well as weakened strands that are more prone to breakage.
How do I know if I have damaged hair?
Often, you can tell if your hair is damaged because so many of the signs are highly visible. However it’s important to know how damaged your hair is. Head to any Kerastase salon and as part of the diagnosis at the start of you appointment, your hairdresser can carry out a Resistance Test. This involves taking just one strand of hair and gently stretching it.
If it stretches and returns to normal = strong resistance.
If it stretches and remains slack = lacking strength (erosion level 1-2).
If it snaps = very damaged (erosion level 3-4).
Your hairdresser will also talk to you about your current styling routine, the products you use and more to get a complete picture of what could be causing the damage and how to fix it and prevent it in future.
How can I fix my damaged hair?
Kerastase has two collections that are targeted towards repairing damaged hair - Therapiste and Force Architecte. Therapiste is a range of hair products specifically for hair lacking strength that is at the erosion level 1-2. This type of damage tends to be caused by mechanical damage, so excess friction and heat tool use.
Taking inspiration from healthy hair, the Therapiste range contains Fibra-KAP, inspired by those naturally occurring KAPS, its packed with ingredients like amino acids and wheat protein hydrolat that help to bond the keratin in the strands and keep hair strong. It also boasts Sève de Résurrection, the resurrection plant is known for its ability to survive the harshest environments and is able to come back to life even after 10 years of near death, Therapiste contains this precious resilient sap.
The range includes Soin Premier Therapiste, a nourishing and protective pre-shampoo; Bain Therapiste, a gentle renewing shampoo; Masque Therapiste, a deeply reparative hair mask; and Serum Therapiste, to reinforce the hair fiber, protect against heat and repair split ends.
Force Architecte, on the other hand, is a powerhouse range designed to repair very damaged strands that are at the erosion level 3-4. This is the hair that breaks easily, usually caused by chemical damage.
This collection also contains the resurrection plant, alongside Vita Ciment which is composed of pro-keratin, a protein that mimics the function of keratin to rebuild the hair, and Ceramid, like those all-important lipids in healthy hair, it acts like the cement to bond the keratin, strengthening the hair fiber from the inside.
This range includes Bain Force Architecte, a strengthening and repairing shampoo; Ciment Anti-Usure, an anti-breakage conditioner; Masque Force Architecte, to deeply reconstruct, detangle and strengthen the hair; and Ciment Thermique, to strengthen hair from the inside, to speed up blow-drying time to reduce further damage and to protect against the heat. Whatever damage your strands are dealing with, Kerastase has a solution that will strengthen your hair and get it back to its glossy best.