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How to: Get Healthy, Soft Hair Again

Let me just start by saying I am an expert in killing my hair, so this post is a long time coming.

In high school my best friend and I would straighten, perm, dye, (you name it) to our poor locks, all in the hopes of finding our ‘style’ and what suits us. I’m happy to report we have both found out that shoulder length, wavy hair suits us best (at least for now) but getting there was not easy. I stopped straightening and dying my hair years ago, which resulted in the healthiest my hair has ever looked. However, earlier this year I was very naughty and got a awful digital perm that ruined my hair. I also backcomb it quite a bit for volume so my poor locks is in dire need of a detox. Here are my tips to getting your hair back in shape… Good luck!

1. Trim Dead Ends

Really, the only way for your hair to look and feel remotely healthy again is to get a trim, no matter how painful it may be! Snip off at least 2 inches of dead ends and it’ll really start to make a difference, promise.

2. Lay Off The Chemicals

You can do it! This means no dying, and God forbid, no relaxers or perms – they are horrible to your hair. If you must dye it once again to get back to your root color, do so. After that, give your hair a serious break.

3. Lay Off The Styling Tools

Just like chemicals, heat is absolute death to your hair as well. Try to keep styling tools to the bare minimum, if not cutting it out completely. If you do continue to use them, consider these tips: air dry instead of blow dry, apply heat protective styling lotion and use warm setting instead of burning hot. When using the styling tool, don’t keep it in the same place too long a time, for risk of burning off your hair. When you’re done, apply leave in conditioner to the ends.

4. Shampoo/Condition Like Crazy

Shampoo gently with moisturizing shampoo. Don’t scrub too hard. Wash your scalp and let the shampoo run into the ends, and rinse until the water turns clear – no extra rinsing is needed.

Follow with weekly deep conditioning masks. When my hair was at its worse, I would deep condition it 3 times a week. One of my favorite is Aussie’s 3 Minute Miracle. For super soft hair, rub in a teaspoon of coconut oil into towel dried (but still damp locks) once you’re out of the shower. I did this for the longest thing and it’s amazing – it made my hair very soft and strong. I hear Morrocanoil is fantastic as well, though I haven’t tried it out yet.

5.  Protect From The Sun

If the weather is really hot, wear a hat. Also, there is sunscreen for hair, so use it! If you have spray sunscreen, that works too – just hold it above your head and spray it on a few times. This also protects your scalp from sunburn.

Bottom line? Take care of your hair and give it a bit of a breather. Have a good trim and then leave it alone for awhile, and I promise in no time your hair will be back to normal. But the most important tip is to cut it first! I always used to skip this ’cause I wanted long hair, but it really makes a difference. Trust me.

What do you think of my list – anymore points to add to my list? How do you get your hair condition back to its healthy state? Please share!

{ 37 comments… add one }

  • Ri October 18, 2010, 12:36 am

    I think one of the best ways to get healthy hair back is to leave it alone as much as possible. Boring as it sounds: shampoo, condition, towel/air dry and that should be it. Abt 4 yrs ago, I wanted to do something different as well as give volume to my limp, fine hair so I went and got permanent perm.. THREE times! because my hair was just too stubborn that every time I washed it, it just straightened out again. I paid A LOT of money to get curly hair and since I didn’t, I would go back to the hairdresser’s and they would perm it again. What’s worse, the hairdresser probably put stronger chemicals each time I went to try and make the perm stick! :( That was the last time I did anything major to my hair (dye/perm) and I’m sooo glad I decided to stop because my hair is now its original, natural colour (which I’m very happy for) and it doesn’t look like straw anymore. It’s not fully back to its healthiest state and I reckon it never will :( but at least it’s not so damaged anymore.
    (Though I am guilty of pulling my hair back into a high ponytail which I hear IS damaging.. but it just gets so hot sometimes, it’s the only way to go out and not feel icky and sweaty!)

    • Renee October 18, 2010, 11:00 pm

      Wow a perm THREE TIMES?! I’m surprised the hairdresser didn’t even flinch, three perms is absolutely terrible for hair! I’m glad to hear it didn’t fall out, though! And yeah, leaving it alone is the best – once it grows out it should be fine again, though as we all know growing out takes ages. -_-

  • Krib October 18, 2010, 2:00 am

    Thanks for the tips ! I just wanted to say that I love the 3 minute miracle Aussie conditioner, along with the shampoo, it has made my hair really and noticeably healthier :)

    • Renee October 18, 2010, 11:01 pm

      Thanks, Krib! Yeah, Aussie’s 3 Minute Miracle is fantastic! I just used it on my hair just now :)

  • Alee October 18, 2010, 10:13 am

    I am an expert in killing my hair (2).
    I´m using Loreal Expert Neofibrine,
    I hope it works.

    I´m from Brazil. I found your blog by “google search” typing “lime crime, she didn´t”.

    Não sei inglês, vou falar no meu Português.
    Adorei o teu blog. coloquei-o entre os meu favoritos.
    Depois eu voltarei para ler mais.

    • Renee October 18, 2010, 11:02 pm

      Ola Alee! Welcome and thanks for visiting… I don’t know Portuguese but I think I can figure what you said out from my broken French. :) Thanks for visiting!

  • miu October 18, 2010, 2:59 pm

    If you want healthy and shiny hair you should definetley read the ingredience list of a shampoo (not only the front label or commercial…). If it contains sulfates it will damage your hair. Sulfates are detergents and are used to create lather. Washing your hair constantly with sulfate-containing products may cause hair loss – small baby hair can’t grow anymore, they fall out because the natural oils of your scalp is removed and follicle gets damaged. It dries your hair too and you are more likely to get split ends. Sulfates are very irritating. Sulfate free shampoos are more expensive but are better for your hair and health (sulfates may cause even cancer).
    For me it’s important not to use products that are tested on animals. I’ve seen too many horrible pictures of animals suffering. I avoid “mainstream” haircare products and have changed my hair-routine completely – now I only use natural shampoos and oils (like pure coconut oil, argan oil, olive oil) to take care of my hair and I’ve noticed huge change. My hair is shiny, I have no split ends, they grow faster and my scalp isn’t itchy anymore.

    • Renee October 18, 2010, 11:04 pm

      Totally agree, Sulfates are pretty bad for the hair but at the same time it’s quite hard (in Asia, I feel) to find organic alternatives… at least I haven’t seen any that is readily available, like at drugstores :(

      And yes, I too try my very best to avoid brands who test on animals, because it’s disgusting what they do. I wrote a post on that, and brands that don’t test, check it out here: http://beautyfool.com/which-beauty-brands-do-not-test-on-animals/

  • shekin October 18, 2010, 6:06 pm

    oh yes! If possible, use pure coconut milk to condition your hair! U will feel the diff!

    • Renee October 18, 2010, 11:05 pm

      Oh never seen them before, where do you get yours? :)

      • shekin October 19, 2010, 7:19 pm

        My mum beauty secret to shiny & thick hair! (: should try it! and it’s better to use natural products than chemical on our hair!

        • Beth January 31, 2012, 11:09 am

          You can find Pure Coconut milk in the grocery stores, In America at least… I used it before I take a shower.
          Pour it in your hair, massage into the scalp, cover all of your hair and pay extra attention to the roots and tips.
          Leave it on for an hour, easier if you wrap it up in a towel while you wait so it’s not dripping everywhere.
          Then just wash it out :]
          I can’t wait to start using the coconut oil after my showers too! Great tip!
          I used deep conditioning masks constantly as well because I do such TERRIBLE things to my hair. I know it’s bad but I love it so much! I dye it; I even bleached it a few times before, use the hot iron on it almost daily and curl it- both on high settings. But I take the best care of it otherwise. Haha It may be futile but I still try my hardest.

  • maria October 18, 2010, 11:50 pm

    i sometimes give my hair a final rinse in the shower with tea or lemon water…they get super shiny…and coconut oil is the best thing ever! i use parachute one…it smells so good

    • Renee October 19, 2010, 11:46 pm

      Wow lemon water for hair sounds great! Lemon juice is great for mild bleaching and shine so it definitely makes sense!

  • nisha October 19, 2010, 6:21 pm

    I used Vatika alot when I was younger and I do credit that for having really black shiny hair..however i recently got so busy and stopped! Baad move! My hair is so long;up to my arse, now it has started falling which is really so upsetting considering how long it took for me to grow it! Any recommendations for hair fall for long hair?

    • Renee October 19, 2010, 11:49 pm

      Hmm… hair fall I’m afraid I’m not too sure! But I do know that tying your hair up in ponytails aggravate it to fall out more, so try to avoid that! There are also some hair fall shampoos on the market, though I haven’t personally tried them out. Maybe try going back to Vatika, it makes hair so much stronger and perhaps helps in hair fall…?

      • maria October 20, 2010, 12:24 am

        okay so there is a yoga exercise for hairfall and ive tried it and mine have stopped…what it is…is you rub the finger nails of one hand with the other corresponding hand like you make a heart shape with both your hands…do it for about a minute and you’ll get this tingly sensation in ur fingers… :D and hairfall defi stops

        • nisha October 21, 2010, 8:11 am

          really? it helps? how do i rub my fingernails on the other hand? sorry.. thr is nth i wdn try! :D

          • maria October 21, 2010, 8:33 pm

            no finger nails to the fineger nails …

  • Rachel October 19, 2010, 9:22 pm

    I actually love her hair in this picture! And your blog is fantastic by the way, so glad you commented on mine so I could find you! x

    • Renee October 19, 2010, 11:50 pm

      Oh thank you so much, Rachel! Nice to ‘meet’ you! And your blog is fantastic as well :) x

  • astrorainfall October 24, 2010, 12:00 pm

    I’ve found that oil is a great way to revive damaged hair. I’ve read alot about Morrocan Oil and am dying to try it. You wouldn’t believe this when I say this but I use mustard seed oil (yeah the one used in Indian cooking) and it always works like a dream and it costs pennies (okay, maybe SGD4 a pop).

  • Zoe November 14, 2010, 10:31 am

    I went from blonde to brown , and then back to blonde again, and omg, it was the worst thing i could have ever done. The hairdresser bleached it twice, plus toned it about 5 times and its still orange. After that, i ended up chopping off my long orange hair (which used to be beautiful long brown hair that was really soft) to above my shoulders. I didnt dye it or tone it for like 10 months, and the regrowth was absolutely terrible, but it was worth it. Cause now my hair is really quite healthy, and looks quite fabulous and back to my my original colour :)

  • rhea November 15, 2010, 2:31 am

    i’ve just started using this: http://usa.loccitane.com/FO/aromachologie-repairing-mask.htm

    it’s pretty awesome. my hair hasn’t felt or looked this good since forever. LOL

  • estelleprimi December 13, 2010, 9:27 am

    Hello from Greece!!

    The problem with my hair..

    I’m a light brown, and i dye my hair beige blonde.
    But every time i go to my hairdresser, she is not just dying my root, but all of them.
    My hair is very thin, and it damages it.
    So, i started dying my hair alone, just the roots, but here is the problem.

    The last time, i told my hairdresser to cut mu hair about 3 fingers.
    They were down from my shoulders, and now they barery touch my shoulders.

    I thought i would get rid off split and medium damaged ends.
    But they still are a little bit dry. I ve used a lot of products but i can’t find the right one.
    My ends are crying!! :(

    I stoped using blow dryer, i just wash and condition, i use a mask for dry and damaged hair (pantene, elvive, l’oreal, kerastase) i even use silicon at the ends, but they are a little hard and dry when they are completely dry.

    What sould i do or use?

    It’s just the ends, for crying out loud….
    And i want to grow them for my wedding this summer.

    p.s: i trim my ends every 4-6 weeks.

  • Rachel February 26, 2011, 1:04 pm

    What should i do if i have really frizzy and unruly hair? No matter how much conditioner or treatment i do, it just won’t look smooth :(

  • Mich March 21, 2011, 3:53 am

    SO IMPORTANT- to nourish from the inside out,
    1) start taking omega fish oil capsules and folic acid- I still take my prenatal vits even after my 2 babies- ever notice how preggo women have glowing skin and healthy hair/nails that grow really fast? people who eat a lot of fish/ salmon/eggs tend to have strong healthy hair so take those omegas!!
    2) WATER, lol lots and lots of it
    3) I do mayo night treatment once a week- warm your hair, slather on MAYONNAISE- full of oils, eggs, protein- wrap your hair in saranwrap and a warm towel- wash out in the morning- seen it on DR OZ it works.
    4) there is a vitamin supplement at the health food store- im going to get it next week- it has ALL the vitamins that contribute to healthy hair growth- all the B vits, keratin, BIOTIN, etc- a whole pack full of them- biotin is THE Vit for hair growth it doesnt work well applied topically you must ingest it. This supplement is supposed to make your hair grow to its natural genetic full potential by making sure your not lacking in vitamins that would naturally give you healthy hair.
    5) of course try not to shampoo eveyday, try every 2nd day- the first few weeks it will feel gross but your hair will get used to
    6) stay away from products containing alcohol
    7)use heat protecting serums if you HAVE to use styling tools. rub a little serum/conditioner on any elastics you put in your hair.
    8) Water! lots of it, LOL

  • val April 15, 2011, 4:59 pm

    Hi Renee,
    Is it okay to use expired mayo on the hair?

  • Jessi July 18, 2011, 12:13 pm

    Rinse your hair in cool to cold water…then let it air dry- the cold water closes the cuticle. Also don’t shampoo everyday.

  • rooney October 1, 2011, 10:01 pm

    hello my hair is soft and also cool but it wanted it to be more softer so which is the best shampoo

  • rooney October 1, 2011, 10:06 pm

    plz help me na ma hair is just soft but i like it to have silky i mean plz any solution???

  • Hair and Laser Clinic October 17, 2011, 2:52 pm

    Herbal ingredients that some shampoo brands incorporate into the mix are aloe vera. You might want to consider buying this kinds because aloe vera naturally prevents hair loss effectively.

  • jeskah November 11, 2011, 2:18 pm

    If I laid of the straightener/heat my hair would look like a modern tumble weed. It did before I started straightening it so there is no way I can leave it ):

  • Eileen March 11, 2012, 1:09 pm

    Hi, i want to get my hair healthy again and will start with your tips, but, i always get my hair relaxed. My hair is a mix of african american and hispanic, so if i dont relax my hair is hideous even with a flat iron. Can you recommend me something or should i still end with the relaxers? Thanks!

  • feret April 9, 2013, 6:02 pm

    my hair was long half way down my back and i bleached it once and my hair all droped and it feels like straw and it splits everytime i brush my hair and it is now not even up to my shoulder what can i do and use to make it at least a bit healthier or something i need help

  • Sheila Westbrook January 27, 2014, 6:09 am

    Hi, I need suggestions I’m 45 and haven’t had a perm since I was a teen, I never blow dry and bought a straightener and used it 2x. I don’t shampoo every day I use conditioner and sometimes don’t even rinse it out because my hair is so dry. I have naturally curly hair but it frizzes so easy just a little activity and sweat it frizzes I’ve tried so many no frizz, sleek and straight products this is it for chemicals, also I’m inside so weather isn’t a factor I don’t think? Any help? Thanks!

  • Jordannn May 13, 2014, 4:33 am

    Hi! I really want my hair to grow again though I dyed my hair once 2 months ago. I mainly straighten most of my hair , because I have very curly/wavy hair with layers. My hair is close to my shoulders pretty much(kinda short) any suggestions for letting it grow faster? (I try not to straighten my hair that often now tho)

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