Thursday, March 14, 2013

Do You Need To Cut Damaged Hair Short And Start Regrowing It Longer Again?

The short answer is no. However, it can depend on the extent and type of damage and your patience. I had gone from longer hair to pixie short hair long ago, to deal with that. I know better now because of help I received from the cosmetic industry, my experience and research I have done.

I consulted years later, also long ago, with the head cosmetic chemist of the Research and Development division of a fairly large cosmetic company regarding my own hair, which had become damaged by one of the company's products, by my over zealous use of it, not realizing how badly it could and did, dehydrate my hair. It was a clarifying product. The cosmetic chemist created a regimen for me with the company's products, that re-balanced the moisture level of my hair and strengthened it, while I trimmed off split ends and kept my overall hair length.

The products I used then to help my hair are gone. The company was sold and the products I used were replaced with others I later tried, only to find they were not as effective for my hair. The point is that it can be done. The moisturizing product I used in the regimen contained mineral oil.

Protein treatments along with moisturizing treatments can be a solution to well-balanced hair care. Protein treatments do not last though. They can wash out easily and should not be repeated too often on their own as that can be drying to hair. The balance of the two types of treatments can be tricky. I learned that firsthand with my own hair, during the regimen I used. My hair before starting the regimen had a lot of splits and breakage.

It is important to not continue to abuse your hair when it is damaged by: rough handling, the overuse of product, heat styling at too high a temperature, or processing and more. I never used that clarifying product again. I could not even look at it, although I overused it. The reality is that many people do continue to abuse their hair while trying to deal with hair damage.

When I first theorized about mineral oil, I did not know everything it alone can do for damaged and undamaged hair but as I said herethere is absolutely no reason why mineral oil should not help even severely damaged hair. Through subsequent research here, in other posts in this blog, plus my own experience as well as reports from friends and others, I realized just what it is capable of doing on its own and importantly to me, how and why it can work so well.

The keys to damaged hair "recovery" are about protection and the hair's moisture level, which can help the hair not continue to break or split and be subjected to abrasion through tangling and any more abuse, while new growth is happening.

The protection mineral oil can provide is fivefold and can also strengthen hair.

1. It can take the place of lost cuticles by coating hair.

2. It can reduce the amount of water vapour and water absorbed by hair, by coating hair.

3. It has superb slip or detangling properties.

4. It can supplement, or replace lost lipids within the cuticle structure of hair.

5. It can protect hair from heat during thermal styling.

The moisturizing mineral oil can provide is twofold.

1. It can retain or reduce the loss by evaporation of added needed water in hair, by coating hair.

2. It can retain or reduce the loss by evaporation of needed water present in hair, by coating hair.

Regarding needed water, colour added by me, "Hair is composed of proteins, lipids, water, and small amounts of trace elements." Hair also typically contains "pigments", See "Result 1" or "Page 105".

Mineral oil's long lasting moisturizing capabilities and its application, without timing, or needing to cover the hair, or needing to be washed out after use, or fuss in general, can make it a very user friendly, cost effective, easy way to deal with hair damage. It can simply be applied in a small amount, after your hair is washed, can work beautifully without causing build-up and not need reapplication until after your hair is next washed.  

Mineral oil can protect and moisturize damaged and undamaged hair without leaving either looking or feeling greasy, heavy, or sticky.

See Also this blog post, for a research study included in the book Aging Hair here, in 2010. More information about the book can be found here, See "Result 2" or "Page xv".
Update March 25, 2013
This research study applies to hair, not skin. While mineral oil and sun or UV filters in cosmetic products may protect hair, with no SPF do not take UV exposure risks.

When there is no or a low SPF on a hair sunscreen product, cover both hair and scalp to prevent sun exposure and wear a sunscreen with a high enough SPF on your skin. To me that is 30 or more.

More information on SPF and protection can be found here.