Hey ladies! The summer is officially here. I know for sure that with the hot summer months also comes lightening of the hair! This time of year I get calls all the time from women who want to be blonde or close as possible to blonde! I also get calls from new clients that have been hilighting at home or been to a professional stylist who has ruined their hair by over processing it trying to go as blonde as possible.
Today i am going to explain over processed hair repair. Not only that but also how to maintain the health of your hair between color and lightening services.The hair is over processed when the cuticle layer of the hair has been damaged by chemicals from incorrectly coloring or heat from styling tools..
Here is an example of over processed hair before and after…
Understanding the structure of the hair shaft.
The hair shaft is made of three different layers, the medulla the cortex and the cuticle layer.
The cuticle layer is the protective layer that covers and protects the cortex and medulla. The hair cuticle is the outermost part of the hair shaft. It is a hard shingle-like layer of overlapping cells, some five to twelve deep. It is formed from dead cells which form scales that gives the hair shaft strength and do the best job of providing protection for it.
Medulla (from the Latin for “marrow”): The innermost layer of the hair. It is made of cells that form a shaft through the middle of the hair. Different amounts of medulla may be present in the hair.
The cortex of the hair shaft is located between the hair cuticle and medulla and is the thickest hair layer. It also contains most of the hair’s pigment, giving the hair its color. The pigment in the cortex is melanin, which is also found in skin.
Protecting the cuticle layer
OK so now that I’ve explained the hair structure to you I can explain how to protect the cuticle layer wich is very important if you want healthy damage free hair.
When you lighten your hair, the cuticle layer is opened up during the process. This has to be done to expose the cortex (where the color pigment is located) This cuticle layer also needs to be sealed back closed after the color service. If it is not it leaves the cortex and the medulla exposed and that’s when you start to get damage.
After several times of coloring your hair the same way, trying to go blonder and lighter using bleach and peroxide. Overlapping bleach onto already bleached hair, Blow drying ,hot ironing, swimming in chlorine, being out in the sun and just daily ware on the hair. If you never sealed those cuticles, or if you dont know what youre doing, your hair is going to get damaged and overprocessed!! The cuticle layer has been opened and all roughed up therefore exposing the cortex and the medulla which is killing your hair..in this state your hair can not hold in moisture or anything else good because the cuticle is wide open
There is hope though! You can repair the damage that has been done without having to cut off all of your hair. (most of the time, however there are extreme cases that are beyond repair.) Now, you have to start taking better care of your hair! Your hair is with you every day all day! It needs some tlc.
Start taking care of your hair!
For starters if your hair is feeling over processed then you need to ask yourself why? What could you do differently?
If you have been coloring your own hair, using what the lady at Sally’s told you to use, that could be the problem. Or if you have been going to a licenced stylist and this is still happening and they haven’t noticed and helped you correct it..maybe you need find a new colorist.
Maybe you’re one that always wants to be blonder and blonder, until you almost have no melanin left. Keep this in mind, sometimes your hair needs to be toned down some. The hair shaft needs to be filled in and nourished and sealed shut . So sometimes the answer is no you don’t need to go blonder. At least until the health of your hair improves.
When someone comes into the salon and damage is present , I never recommend bleaching or lightening the damaged hair.. I work with your natural pigment and tone down the overall color. The Paul Mitchell color has many helpful nutrients and proteins and condition and shine agents that penetrate deep into the hair shaft and immediately start to nourish and rebuild from the inner layer all the way to the cuticle.
After your service I will make sure your hair is completely nourished by giving you a conditioning hair cocktail made of a few different products that will truly make your hair feel amazing.
Before drying I recommend using Rusk smoother leave in conditioner mixed with Paul Mitchell super skinny hair sirum. These two products are amazing and have so many benefits for your hair. I’ll get into these products in a different post..but trust me they are great for damaged and dry hair.
The blow-dry is also important. When you dry your hair you need to make sure you angle your blow dryer from the top going down the hair shaft. Brushing at the same time to keep it as smooth as possible as it drys. The angling of the dryer and smoothing with the brush also starts to seal the cuticle as it drys. When maintaining at home it’s not always necessary to blow dry..air drying is great for your hair too.
Next step is flat ironing.(if necessary) This final step really seals the cuticle if done properly and not too often. I never recommend doing this with out some kind of heat protectant product to be applied after the hair is dry and before flat ironing.
I recommend the Aquage beyond shine spray. When this is used with the flatiron the cuticle will be sealed and shiny. Spray it on each section and be sure to keep the flatiron moving down the hair shaft never holding it in one place keep it moving.
Eventually your hair can and will be restored to complete health if you make the necessary changes to make it happen. Some hair takes longer than others. But if you do your part iy will happen .Then who knows maybe you can try to go blonde again, this time you will be more careful because you have learned from your mistakes!
Jill Jones at Sabre Hair Art
561 Meeting street
West Columbia, S.C.