Identifying if you’re over-processing
How can you tell if you’re over processing your hair? Do you have a routine of getting your hair relaxed every 8-10 weeks, does your hair feel brittle and breaks easily? Has your hair it lost its shine and become difficult to style? Does your hair feel stretchy and breaks when wet? If you can say yes to any of these situations you may have already or be on the brink of over processing your hair. Thinning hair is a sign that there is too much chemical use, you should stop all chemical procedures until you have returned your hair to a healthy state. There is no magic cream or shampoo that can repair over-processed hair. The hair follicles have been severely damaged, only the growth of new follicles can bring back your healthy locks. As you begin the journey there is one truth you must accept, this will take time and effort on your part. Commit to correcting the bad habits so you can avoid similar problems down the road. Before you begin any repair regimen you should get your hair analyzed by a licensed stylist, they can advise you on the proper course of action. Always start with the right information from a credible source.
Once you have the found out about the true heath of your hair, you have a choice to make;
1. CUT: Deciding to remove all the damaged hair by cutting it off is the most direct approach. It is effective and offers the most immediate results. However, depending on the amount of damage, this may be a traumatic option. This is pretty much cut and dry, remove all damaged hair and wait for it to grow back.
2. CONDITION: A conditioning regimen will require you to pay close attention to new growth while removing damaged hair. Heat is the enemy during this process, so avoid extreme heat. If you must straighten your hair let a licensed stylist do this for you. This will take away the possibility of causing more damage to your stressed out hair. Roller setting is also a good alternative for styling your hair. You will dab dry your hair with a towel and let it air dry. Do not use a blow dryer, flat iron or heat comb while repairing your hair. If your hair is thin and brittle, you will need a soft natural hair brush. This will add a natural moisture to the hair as you brush it every day, and it will not damage the new growth. Thicker hair will require a wide toothed comb to assist with straightening out the hair after you bathe, while causing little to no harm.
To avoid over-processing
You will need a sulfate-free shampoo (Dudley’s Cleanse Shampoo), a sulfate-free rinse out conditioner and a leave-in conditioner (Dudley’s Hydrate Leave-In Conditioner). The reason you need sulfate-free products is that sulfates dry out the hair shaft and prevent moisture retention.
Shampoo and use the rinse-out conditioner every time you bathe. If you do not have a sulfate-free shampoo avoid shampooing as long as possible, but you must condition the hair every time you bathe. Try to shampoo only twice a week if using a regular shampoo (this will increase your hairs’ healing time because of the sulfates’). Use the leave-in conditioner at least 3 times per week, this is important to add strength and improve your hairs health.
Protein is a critical need for over-processed or damaged hair to give it strength. Dudley’s Cream Protein Moisturizing Conditioner adds moisture while softening dry, brittle hair. Give yourself a protein treatment once per week and get a deep scalp treatment (Dudley’s DRC-28) every 2 weeks from your stylist. Try to do all your treatments at the same time to maintain an easy routine.
During this process you will need to trim your ends to remove the damage. You may need to do this a couple of times before you hair is back to its happy, healthy self. Be sure to just trim the ends, don’t cut the hair too short.
Depending on the amount of damage, this could take from a few weeks to a couple of months of diligent work. When the hard work is done and you have your beautiful locks back, you will remember what you had to go through to get back here. This is where you decide to continue the healthy habits you developed and keep your hair happy and healthy.