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by: Better Not Younger
February 04, 2021
Hair damage is more than frizz or split ends. Badly damaged hair forms cracks on the outside cuticle layer of your strands. Once your cuticle opens, the shaft is in jeopardy of further injury or even breakage.
Your hair damage may also be a result of poor scalp or follicle health. Aging, over-styling, or environmental issues can damage your follicles, leading to brittleness, texture change, or hair loss. You can help your hair become stronger and restore damaged follicles using high-quality hair products targeted for your maturing scalp and hair biology.
Continue reading to discover tips to rebuild the health of your scalp and help you fix your badly damaged hair.
Your hair fibers are made up of a tough protein called keratin. They consist of the "living" hair bulb and the "non-living" strand. The bulb forms your hair follicle base and is where living cells grow and divide to construct the hair shaft.
We were born with about 100,000 hair follicles on our scalp. Blood vessels in your scalp nourish the bulb cells and convey hormones that affect follicle structure and growth at different times in life.
The hair fibers on our heads are made up of three layers:
Dry hair consists of nearly 95% proteins and about 2% lipids. Though made up of keratin, our hair strands are extremely porous. To protect our hair fibers from becoming dry or waterlogged, they are coated with a lipid membrane called 18-methyleicosanoic acid (18-MEA).
Lipids are what help give our hair its slip and smoothness. Discovered in 1985, researchers learned that 18-MEA could reduce future harm and even stop the aging process. The lipid attaches to damaged areas, makes repairs, and restores the surface of your strands.
To counter our aging hair challenges, many of us take steps to undo our natural lipids' good work.
Repeated exposure to friction, rough washing, alkaline chemical treatments, and sunlight can reduce this lipid layer, leaving your strands vulnerable to damage. The permanent dye we color our hair with contains hydrogen peroxide and ammonia, which completely strips away 18-MEA.
All of this changes our hair texture and leads to breakage. When our strands are badly damaged, our cuticles become worn and can no longer close. As we try to correct the problem, we add more products and oils, leading to scalp buildup, clogging our pores and follicles.
Despite the wear and tear we put our hair through, there are ways to bring our tresses back from the brink. Here are some suggestions:
The sun's ultraviolet rays can play a large part in drying out your hair and scalp. Avoid direct sunlight and wear a hat or scarf if possible when going outdoors.
Better Not Younger's Hair Redemption Restorative Butter Masque combines Vitamins A and E with macadamia, avocado, cupuaçu, murumuru, and mango butters to keep damage at bay and nourish your brittle locks.
Use it one or two times a week in place of your regular conditioner to increase hydration and softness while protecting your hair from environmental stressors.
If your badly damaged hair is splitting and breaking, a haircut could be the answer. You can get a healthy trim while still preserving your length by having your hair layered, or ask for a "lob" (a long bob) to add texture and fullness. Your stylist will know the right cut and shape for your face.
Sulfate-free shampoos not only clean your hair and scalp but can prevent hair shaft damage and itchy skin conditions. When using clarifying shampoos or sulfate formulations, you will likely face tangles, frizz, scalp dryness, and possibly inflammation. Sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS) and others can remove 18-MEA lipids and sebum oil from your hair and scalp.
Better Not Younger's Low Suds Repairing Shampoo for Dry/Damaged Hair gently cleans your mane with mild surfactants. Ingredients include protein-rich rice bran oil, which adds strength and body, and passionflower fruit extract with linoleic and omega-6 fatty acids to slow free radical damage and add sheen to your strands.
Not all conditioners condition your hair equally. Better Not Younger's Second Chance Repairing Conditioner for Dry/Damaged Hair contains ceramide-NG. Ceramides (along with 18-MEA and cholesterol) are lipids vital for cementing your cuticle "shingles" closed.
This is crucial because porosity reduction, improved elasticity, and breakage resistance depend on your strands having sealed cuticles.
The root cause of badly damaged hair often gets its start inside our bodies. As we age, our skin (including scalp skin) loses protein, including collagen, and nutrients become increasingly difficult to absorb. Better Not Younger's Power Within Skin & Scalp Collagen Gummies helps your body replenish itself with this vital protein to help your follicles produce healthier, more elastic hair.
Significant Other Hair Fortifying Vitamins are packed with folic acid, biotin, and 11 other micronutrients. Shore up your body with the vital resources it needs to establish a thriving hair and scalp biome.
Seasonal weather changes, menopause, pollution, chemical processes, and other factors can deplete 18-MEA, ceramides, sebum, and other natural safeguards from our hair and scalp. Thankfully, with better care and a few focused hair care treatments, you can help restore your cuticles and boost your hair's look and texture.
Please stop by our Better Not Younger Shop page to create a healthy beauty regimen that solves your damaged hair challenges from the inside out.