Weak and damaged hair conditioners simply fill in he holes where your cuticle has been damaged and after a few washes those holes get uncovered again. This is why those conditioners need to be re-applied every few weeks.
Scientists are currently working on developing ingredients that can repair hair permanently but for the moment that research is in it infancy and the best you can do, is avoid getting hair damage in the first place. Here are a few tips:
- Don't over-comb hair.
- Don't comb very wet tangled hair - wet hair is much more fragile than dry hair.
- Don't comb very dry hair.
- Avoid styling techniques that pull the hair too much. When you tie your hair up, braid or cornrow it, be wary of how tightly you are pulling. Hair is extremely strong stuff but it can only take so much tension.
- Don't over handle hair; rough vecro rollers and other hair implements that tear at hair can damage the cuticle surface.
- Avoid excessive heat exposure including the sun! The sun's rays have the power to burn off the fatty layer that coats hair. Heat from hair straightener and blow dryers can also cause this kind of heat-induced damage of the cuticle layer.
- Know that any chemical processing involves the hair cuticle getting lifted and if it doesn't get sealed again properly your hair has incurred irreversible damage. Chemical processing includes:
- Permanent waves products, e.g. JheriCurl - do they still make that greasy stuff?!
- Hair color - some temporary hair dyes just coat the outside of hair without lifting the cuticle so they are not likely to lead to hair damage. That said, longer lasting temporary dyes also make some changes to the bonds inside a hair cuticle.
How about henna?
Well, henna only coats hair, it doesn't change the bonds in hair but by coating hair and making it fuller there may be more friction between hair leading to more tangles. Personally, if I were to dye my hair I would go for henna or a dye that coat hair (i.e. increases the likelihood of tangles) than dyes that lift the hair cuticle (i.e. and hence increase the likelihood of damage).
Get your FREE ebook on How To Grow Long, Healthy Natural Kinky or Curly Hair.