In the age of social media, the temptation to get a new hairstyle is bigger than ever. You’ve got celebrities like Kylie Jenner with a new colour and length every week and models sporting the new must-have cuts at every event. But how long is a neon green micro-bob going to be the ‘in’ thing anyway? Truth is, these influencers have teams of hairstylists at the ready to perform miracles that we can only dream of recreating ourselves. Most of these miracles come in the form of wigs and extensions too. It’s not really a question of ‘if’ your hair is damaged. It’s to what extent it ‘IS’ damaged. Because it’s not just about extreme dye jobs, it’s the straightening, curling, drying, hair treatments and even products we are using on our locks. Of course, the quickest and easiest way to reverse all that damage would be to chop it all off and start again. Although growing it back would take ages and even the most damaged hair can be revived with some simple changes. 

Switch to Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Many shampoo and conditioners contain sulfates and other harsh chemicals. Sulfates can strip the good oils from your strands and scalp leaving hair dry and brittle. Also, if you suffer with sensitive skin or scalp, this ingredient can cause dryness, redness, itching and general irritation. By adding this ingredient into shampoo it makes the formula nice and foamy and gives you a good lather effect. But you don't really need this. Switch to a sulfate-free shampoo and your hair will be left feeling healthier and shinier than ever.

Top picks: 

Use a Serum 

Hair serum can make your hair feel soft, smooth, shiny and help repair damaged ends. It can even tame frizz and make your locks far more manageable! Apply a small amount to your palms, rub together and then distribute to the ends of your hair. Avoid putting it on or near your scalp as this can cause hair to look greasy

Don't Use Heat

One of the best ways to prevent damage is to stop using heat on your hair altogether. This is where most of the damage is done. That familiar hiss of the hair straightener, the steam from the hair curler and the efficiency of a quick blow dry. Heat causes dehydration, moisture loss and protein damage to name a few bad side effects.  We all know we shouldn't be doing these things too often but we all get stuck in a rut. So have a break from the tools and have a detox. Try washing your hair in the evening and leaving your hair to dry in a towel. If you hate your natural hair texture, then pull it up into a bun or a ponytail.

If You Need to Use Heat, Coat Your Hair in Heat Defence

Of course, there will be a time where you just HAVE to use a heated styling tool. You might be in a rush one morning and have to dry your hair before work or be going out-out and need an Insta-worthy barnet. Just be sensible and use a heat protection spray or serum. Make sure to coat each section of damp hair before blowdrying and when straightening for curling, be sure to spritz a light mist before styling. 

Make Time for a Hair Mask

A hair mask is a deep conditioning treatment that helps to heal the hair. They contain many rich ingredients like natural oils and lipids in higher concentrations than a regular conditioner. Unlike conditioners, you can leave hair masks in for an extended period of time; anywhere between 3 minutes to overnight. Try and use one of these at least once or twice a week as part of your self-care, pamper routine. 

Take Care When Brushing

You may think you have the technique of brushing your hair down to a T. But there is actually a right way to brush hair. Brushing your hair can cause hair breakage. Follow these few simple steps to ensure you're doing it correctly:

  • Don't start from the root down. Start a few centimetres from the scalp and then brush down. 
  • Wet hair is more fragile. Therefore, stick to brushing your hair when it's dry. 
  • If you need to brush wet hair, then use a wide-tooth comb and use a conditioning or detangling spray. 
  • Invest in a decent brush. There are different hair brushes for different purposes and hair types.
  • Don't brush too much! 

Sleep On a Silk Pillowcase

Sleeping on silk will help keep that bed hair at bay. Their smooth surface can help reduce friction on your hair which can lead to damage. Traditional cotton pillowcases are more porous, therefore absorb moisture from your locks, while silk lets moisture stay put. 

Skip Hair Wash Day

Washing your hair every day strips the natural oils from the scalp and hair shaft, leaving it drier and prone to breakage. Excessive use of shampoo and conditioner can also lead to a build-up of product which in turn weighs the hair down and causes further damage. Try and wash hair every other day, but when you can leave it even longer for maximum benefits. If it looks greasy, you can just spray a bit of dry shampoo to freshen up. Pulling your hair back into a bun or a ponytail can also disguise this. 

Nourish from Within

A well-balanced diet is a key factor for healthy hair. Hair is primarily made up of protein, so be sure to get at least 45 grams of it daily. If you take in too little protein, your hair will suffer the co sequences. It can become weak, brittle and the colour can become less vibrant. Omega-3 is another great hair food, which can be found in fish, flaxseed and yoghurt. Upping your zinc intake can mean less hair is shed, keeping it thick and healthy. Nuts are a great source of Zinc, as well as leafy greens and fruit. 

For a little extra boost, you can take vitamin supplements to boost healthy hair maintenance. Here are my top picks: 

Water, Water, Water

I bet you're fed up with people telling you to fix your life with water. But water is the best way to replenish your body. Your hair is thirsty too! It takes up almost a quarter of the hair strand, therefore you should aim to drink at least two litres a day. Drinking enough water can also eliminate scalp issues including dandruff. 

Get a Trim

Even If you are trying to grow your hair, you shouldn't stop your visits to the hairdresser. You should get a trim every 6 to 8 weeks to ensure the ends don't split far up the shaft. If you don't want too much length lost, ask your stylist for a "dusting".