How to Visibly Heal Damaged Hair from the Inside Out
What causes hair damage? A better question might be — what doesn’t? If you’re not hiding your hair under your favorite hat 24/7, you’re leaving it susceptible to damage.
What is the source of damaged hair?
Not all hair damage operates the same way — so what works to heal visible damage from, say, UV exposure, may not work for more serious damage, like bleaching and heat styling.
If you’ve ever put in the time in a salon chair to get your hair bleached, then you know your hair goes through a lot during the process. Why is it so important to give your hair extra TLC after bleaching? It comes down to what the bleaching process does — in order to lift your natural hair color, bleaching agents (usually hydrogen peroxide and ammonia) raise the outer cuticle of the hair.
An open cuticle is a vulnerable cuticle, so when that happens, hair loses proteins and moisture and becomes brittle, dry, and more prone to breakage. Bleaching also causes the hair to become more porous and swollen, so it’s more vulnerable to other forms of damage, like heat styling. Brunettes and redheads, take note. The darker you start out, the more damage you do, since the bleaching agents have to be left on longer on darker hair to lift the color.
Translation: caring for your newly platinum hair doesn’t end at the salon chair. To ensure your bleached hair looks its best, you need to replenish lost proteins and close those open cuticles. Don’t worry, we’ve got you.
The allure of pin-straight styles, bouncy curls, and a fresh blowout: impossible to resist. But if you’re heat-styling regularly, your hair needs some extra love.
No matter your weapon of choice — flat iron, blow dryer, curling wand, or even a set of hot rollers — heat styling comes down to the same process. Heat your hair to make it more pliable and easy to manipulate, and then let it cool to set the style and make it last. The downside: the heat that makes your hair pliable also dries it out. Your hair has water molecules inside the cortex, some bound to keratin proteins, which are critical to the structure of your hair. Heat evaporates those water molecules, altering that structure and changing the way molecules within each strand interact. The result is hair that’s frizzy, breakage-prone, flatter, and brittle.
Don’t pack up your styling tools just yet, though. Heat styling damage can be treated with the right nutrients and proteins. It can also be prevented with products that protect before you aim your dryer at your strands. When hair is unprotected, it’s much more vulnerable to heat styling damage. Stay one step ahead — protect with a leave-in conditioner before heat styling, and repair the damage that’s already been done.
Hair damage is a result of cracks in the outermost protective layer — the cuticle. This leaves behind a collection of dead cells and an open cuticle, resulting in hair that is susceptible to frizz, moisture loss, and weakness.
Don't despair severe hair damage, we get you and we've got you
You don’t have to give up the look you love — the Nexxus Keraphix line is a range of products specifically created to help visibly heal signs of severe hair damage from bleaching, coloring, mechanical damage and heat styling.
The Keraphix fix
Look to the Nexxus Keraphix’s unique PROTEINFUSION™ blend — made up of two precious sources of proteins and nutrients: Keratin and Black Rice.
What do carbs have to do with it? Our inspiration for using black rice comes from the Yao women of the Huangluo Village in China.
The Yao women are known worldwide for their long, beautiful hair — so remarkable, in fact, that they only cut it once in a lifetime. Their hair secret: washing their hair with rice water, a tradition also found in cultures across India and Japan. That’s where Nexxus researchers came in. Inspired by the Yao women, Nexxus tested the protein levels in different types of rice. The clear winner? Black rice.
Your hair is more than 90% protein — and keratin is front and center. A type of protein that’s essentially the building block of your hair, keratin is the one you have to thank for protecting your hair shaft and keeping your ‘do looking healthy. It works by smoothing the overlapping layers of cells that form your hair stands, giving you shine and softness.
The Nexxus Keraphix line’s unique PROTEINFUSION™ blend of keratin protein and black rice replenishes what hair loses by infusing a combination of essential nutrients. The result is a new ritual for visible repair for clinically proven healthy-looking hair in the first use.
If you follow these steps, you’ll notice a difference with just one use of the four-step Nexxus Keraphix system:
1. Shampoo with keratin protein
Apply Nexxus Keraphix Shampoo for Damaged Hair, a keratin protein-rich shampoo that cleanses, starting the process of visibly healing signs of damage, to wet hair until you have a rich foamy, lather. Rinse thoroughly.
Need some more serious TLC? Use the Nexxus Keraphix Gel Treatment for Damaged Hair, a powerful PROTEINFUSION™ treatment that features our highest level of proteins. A single-use dose contains an amount equivalent to that lost from extremely damaged hair over a period of one year. Apply treatment and leave on hair for up to five minutes. Shampoo again to rinse away excess treatment.
Follow up with Nexxus Keraphix Conditioner for Damaged Hair, which targets damaged areas by nourishing the hair, delivering a smooth, conditioned feel. Or, for a deep conditioning masque treatment, try our award-winning “2018 Allure Best of Beauty” Nexxus Keraphix Masque for Damaged Hair, which envelopes the hair’s surface with an ultra-fine film to restore the protective barrier.
4. For upkeep: be gentle with your hair.
Once you repair your damaged hair, keep its newfound strength and smoothness by treating it gently. That means:
When heat styling:
Hold your blow dryer a few inches away from your hair to avoid fyring hair. Closer isn’t better. You want to target the heat where you want it and also add a few inches of buffer between the heat and your hair.
Don’t turn up the heat
Stay away from one-temperature tools and opt for ones that allow you to set the temperature you want. And remember, hotter isn’t always better. It all comes down to your specific hair. When in doubt, check the package (or the online details) — most of your styling tools likely have guidelines for temperature according to hair type.
Air things out
Start by air drying. You’ll reduce the time your hair spends in high temps. And go easy on the towel drying when you step out of the shower. Wrap a microfiber towel around your hair to soak up excess water.
Rough dry first
There’s no need to spot-dry section by section until you’ve rough dried with the blowdryer about 80% of the way. That’s when you can go in with your brush and style as you dry the remaining 20%.
When bleaching and coloring:
Don’t look for a bargain
That too-good-to-be-true offering the cheapest prices on bleaching? It is indeed too good to be true. Not all bleach formulas are the same and not all colorists are as well trained to prevent damage, so make sure you’re going for quality, not savings.
Don’t wash right after bleaching
Give your hair a few days before you shampoo and condition. Your natural protective oils will save your hair from over-drying.
Take your time
Extend the time between dyeing — the Nexxus Color Assure Regimen will help maintain shine and vibrancy while you wait for your next color appointment.
But not too much time if you’re bleaching
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you wait too long between bleach sessions, you can end up with bands of different shades of blonde throughout your hair. And to correct it, you may need more time with the bleach next time you’re in the salon chair.
Condition, condition, condition
Do a pre-shampoo deep conditioning treatment a few days before you color your hair, and then keep it up weekly - we recommend the Nexxus Humectress Ultimate Moisture Masque for Normal to Dry Hair. Never skip the regular conditioner after shampooing.
And don’t forget...
Comb out knots in the shower with a wide-tooth comb. When brushing dry hair, start from the bottom up — going straight from the roots down will compact any remaining tangles.
Let your hair down
Literally. Give yourself a break from tight hairstyles. A silk pillowcase while you sleep will help avoid breakage-causing friction.
Damaged hair is not hopeless hair. Want to start small in the hair healing process? Try our Nexxus Keraphix On the Go Damage Control travel-sized starter pack.