by Richelle Kimble
Split ends, frail strands and dry ponytails may reflect hair that needs refreshment. If your hair is victim of sun or heat styling damage, or seems overworked from salon visits, perhaps it’s time to give your locks a little love.
Josephine White, owner, stylist and educator at JoJo’s House of Beauty in Grand Rapids, explains the technicalities of ensuring proper hair health during treatment; for example, waiting the recommended time of six to eight weeks before treatments such as relaxing, perming, bleaching or coloring; balancing protein levels; and intensely moisturizing when necessary.
“Anytime you alter the hair with a chemical, the process can cause damage if the hair is not properly taken care of,” White said.
The good news, according to White, is 80 percent of hair damage can be saved by seeing a stylist or dermatologist depending on the severity of the damage.
See a professional.
Schedule an appointment with a professional salon for proper evaluation of the damage. Depending on the type of damage, the stylist may suggest a deep conditioner, hot oil treatment, steam treatment or haircut. “I ask every client with damaged hair to give me a year to get the hair healthy again,” White said. “This is a marathon not a sprint, and it takes time to repair the hair, but it is worth the investment.”
Refresh your body.
“Healthy hair begins within!” White said. “Fuel your body with plenty of fruits, vegetables and protein and drink half your body weight in water ounces per day.”
In addition, routine haircuts or trims every six to eight weeks will maintain healthy growth. Ask your stylist if monthly or bimonthly deep conditioners are a fit for your hair type, and ensure you’re using professional grade and non-toxic products. White also mentions keeping an eye on any new medications you may begin and if they affect your iron levels; iron can cause thinning or hair loss.
White recommends biotin, fish oil, iron (if you have low iron), prenatal, and odorless garlic supplements for added vitamins for optimal hair development
If you’re exposed to the sun for an extended time, wear a hat for scalp and hair color protection, or wear protective styles like sew-in extensions or braids. White suggests prior to swimming in a chlorine pool, wet your hair down and apply conditioner. “This will keep the chlorine from getting in the cuticle of the hair shaft,” she said. “After swimming, be sure to use a clarifying shampoo, especially for blondes, to keep from having a green cast.”
When she’s not editing for WLM, Richelle enjoys exploring, traveling, writing, reading, cooking, learning and playing. Follow her for adventure inspiration: @richelle.kimble