Words by Jared Michael Lowe
Between using toxic chemicals, changing temperatures, a crazy workload, or lack of self-care – there’s several ways that can cause hair to become dry, brittle, and in a word “damaged.” It’s even worse if you have long hair or in the process of growing it out. Yet most men don’t think twice about hair habits they’ve had over the years or even what they use/ do, says Shaun Miller, hair stylist and co-owner of the Co-Op Shop in Philadelphia, Pa. “Some of the main causes of damaged hair in men are chemical, nutritional and environmental. It’s everything from the products we put in our hair, to the food that we eat and even the weather,” Miller says. “There are so many factors.”
Having damaged hair can be a frustrating experience. Although you might have the urge to chop everything off and start new, don’t do it just yet. Here are a few ways to salvage what’s already there, and rebuild your hair back to its normal state.
Stop Stressing Your Hair
Think of it like this: how you treat your skin should be how you treat your hair. If you’re into moisturizing and healthy eating, then why use products that contain harsh sulfates that will leave your hair dry? As easy as it may sound, getting more sleep, eating a balanced diet, specifically lean protein and foods high in monounsaturated fats – like avocados, oily fish, and nuts — and stock up on your vitamins, can work wonders for restoring hair. Also, avoid frequent touches to your coils and curls as it can lead to breakage. To protect from breakage, try sleeping on a satin pillowcase.
slip™ for beauty sleep ‘Slipsilk™’ Pure Silk Pillowcase – $79 at Nordstrom
Replenish and Rejuvenate
“The best way to treat natural hair is to take it back to basics,” says Miller. “Try to use products that are all natural and provide nourishment to the roots as well as rebuilds your hair.” For starters, try a shampoo that will not only clean your hair but also restore moisture to the scalp and to go an extra step, sparingly use a hair mask that will provide deep nourishment to your roots.
D R Harris Coconut Oil Cream Shampoo – $25 at West Coast Shaving
MACADAMIA PROFESSIONAL Nourishing Moisture Masque – $36 at Ulta
A Good Conditioner Can Go a Long Way
Let’s face it, a good leave-in conditioner can be a miracle wonder to dry and brittle hair, if used properly. Conditioners play key roles, not only when it comes to enhancing a style, but they also provide much needed moisture that can improve the texture of your hair.
Going Forward, Keep it Light
When it comes to restoring hair, it’s about consistency and steady maintenance, not using a billion products all at once to achieve the same goal. “Too many times people will go overboard and use multiple products in their hair at once that it can cause a slower than normal growth process,” Miller says. Instead, keep it simple – stick to what works well and that’s it. How simple is that?