I’m pleased to say I’ve finally sat down to write this post which I’ve been promising you for ages – probably over a year now – I’m terrible, I know. Now, a little warning. This is going to be a long post, so maybe don’t try and read this if you’re in a rush. I’m hoping it will be worth your time and you find it useful, but if you don’t, I apologise in advance 😉
So where do I start……? Let’s go back to early 2018…. I’d been having the Olaplex No.1 and No.2 treatment on my hair in the salon for some time and loved it – so I decided that I would buy some myself and do it at home between salon visits, in the hope that it would further protect my hair. I looked online to see where I could buy it, but as it’s a professional only product you couldn’t buy it from any reputable retailers – only on eBay and Amazon. That should have rung alarm bells to be honest! I found it cheapest on Amazon and I read the reviews. There were thousands of them. I’d say around 70% of people were saying it was amazing. The other 30% said it was a fake and it had damaged their hair. Well I thought I’d risk it and hope that the 70% were correct, and I handed over £120 of my hard earned money. Ouch, that hurts to say that now.
My hairdresser gave me detailed instructions on how to use it, which I followed to a tee. The first time I used it, my hair felt really dry, which I thought was odd as in the salon it does the exact opposite. Anyway, I kept (stupidly) persevering with it, and I must have used it about 3 or 4 times – but each time my hair felt worse and worse. It was dry, brittle and lacked any shine, as well as making the colour really dull.
I then started noticing that my hair was snapping off really high up. Can you imagine the panic!? To cut a long story short I ended up with so much breakage that I had a huge patch of hair on the top of head that snapped off to only about 2/3 inches long, which then constantly poked up. The rest of my hair had split ends of all different lengths, and my hair just looked a mess. I was so worried that I was going to lose all my hair, as every week I would notice another patch of hair that had broken off. I’ve got to say it really knocked my confidence…. as shallow as that may seem 🙁
All I could do to try and cover this up was to wear the top part of my hair up. If you look at my Instagram pics, most of them from February 2018 until late 2018 are with my hair up or curly to try and cover up that fact that I’d lost lots of hair. I then had to have a lot of my hair cut off, so by January 2019 I had a short bob to try and even ut the hair that was growing back.
It’s now been 2 years since that happened and as you can imagine I wanted to do everything I could to stop my hair breaking anymore. The first thing I did was throw away the Olaplex that clearly was fake and did ruin my hair – just like those 30% of reviews on Amazon said it would! But along the way I’ve tried so many other things to help reduce further breakage and hopefully repair some of the damage. I’m so chuffed with where my hair is now. It’s still fine and thin – it always will be, but it’s a huge improvement on what it was. It’s all one length, the longest it’s been in years and it feels so much thicker – even my hairdresser comments on how much thicker she can see and feel it is.
I’ve detailed below what I’ve done over the past 2 years to help repair my damaged hair. Now I can’t tell you which part has had the most impact, or if it is a combination of all of them, but if you’re suffering with damaged hair then I hope this gives you some ideas as to what you can try.
Also, it’s annoying that I don’t have any photos that really show how bad my hair was before. As you can imagine I didn’t ever like taking photos of my hair when it looked bad, so these before pics are all I could find on my insta.
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer
I cannot rate this product enough! There is a reason the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer (gifted and purchased myself) has got a huge a cult following and a tub of it is sold every 2 minutes across the world. If you didn’t know, the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer was made by Philip Kingsley specifically for Audrey Hepburn over 40 years ago, to keep her hair in tip top condition while she was on set. Audrey contacted Philip in 1974 as she was concerned about the state of her hair. As a result Mr Kingsley created Elasticizer – the world’s first pre shampoo treatment for Audrey which helped restore elasticity, and add bounce and shine to her hair. Audrey quickly fell in love with the product and was regularly getting tubs of it shipped to Switzerland, where she lived at the time. After Philip saw how much Audrey loved Elasticizer he decided to go to market with it and now it’s one of the worlds most hailed hair products, which has won over 28 awards.
Healthy hair will stretch when wet, where as damaged hair is more likely to snap and break. Elasticizer helps to reduce breakage by adding elasticity, bounce, shine and manageability to improve the condition of your hair.
I’ve been using the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer weekly as a pre-shampoo treatment for the past couple of years now since my hair hair first broke off and I can honestly say I think this has been the biggest cure for my damaged hair. Immediately after using it my hair just feels stronger and softer.
You can buy the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer here.
Reduce Trips To The Salon
As I hate having any regrowth showing I used to get my hair bleached/ highlighted every 6 weeks, but I’ve now switched that to every 12 – 14 weeks. The last 4 weeks of those 3 months are really hard for me, but it saves my money and means my hair isn’t being as bleached as often, which I think has been a big help.
It’s widely known that heat is a big cause of daily damage to your hair. Using excessive heat can give you split ends which can result in your hair snapping off, as well as making your hair dull and very dry. In order to help reduce the amount of heat I use on my hair I’ve been cutting down how often I blow dry it. On days where I’m not going to meetings or going out anywhere particularly fancy, I will wash my hair and let it dry naturally. As my hair is thin and fine it only takes about an hour to dry so it’s not an issue. I’ve also become very conscious of how many times I use straighteners and curling tongs, and tried to reduce how often I use them on my hair. At the moment I would say I’m only using heat styling tools like tongs/ straighteners about 3 times a month.
Go To The Best Of The Best
If like me, you get your hair bleached, it’s really important (I’ve now realised after having lots of hairdressers over the years) that you get your mane coloured by an expert, and I mean an expert. I spent too many years seeing hairdressers who would just bleach my hair within an inch of its life, and not use a toner to to try and achieve the colour I wanted. If a hairdresser overlaps the bleach too much then that’s also a recipe for hair breakage. The best hairdressers may cost more, but I for one think they are 100% worth it. They have the knowledge and skillset to ensure you get the look you desire, all while keeping damage to a minimum.
Olaplex No.1 and No.2
Buying fake Olaplex may not be good for your hair but the real stuff is amazing! I’ve been having Olaplex No.1 and No.2 used on my hair every time I get my hair highlighted at the hairdressers. Olaplex and.1 and No.2 are for professional use only, so can only be used in salons. No.1 is mixed with the bleach before its applied to your hair, and No.2 is left on your hair as a treatment for about 20 minutes after the bleach has been washed off. Olaplex is a bond protector and rebuilder, so it not only protects the hair from the bleaching process, but it also prevents further damage, makes the hair strong, healthier, shinier, and also helps mend some of the previous damage. Following the treatment your hair will feel a lot softer and I definitely think its helped towards repairing my hair and reducing further breakage.
New Nordic Hair Volume Tablets
Now I can’t guarantee that these have done anything, but last year I started taking New Nordic Hair Volume tablets (gifted) for about 3 months and I definitely think my hair went through a growth surge during that period, I can’t put it down to just these tablets but I wanted to include everything I did different over this period, and this was one of things I tried. The New Nordic Hair Volume tablets contain biotin – yes that buzz word you’ve been hearing everywhere that is meant to assist hair growth, zinc, apple extract and millet extract. All you need to do is take 1 tablet a day with water and it contains all natural herbal ingredients.
You can buy the New Nordic Hair Volume tablets here.
Ditch the hair bands
I’m not sure where I heard it, but about a year ago I heard that wearing elastic hair ties/bands at night while you sleep was bad for your hair. Apparently (if worn tightly) they put undue stress on your hair and can damage the hair shaft due to it being tight and you moving around a lot in your sleep. I’m not sure what evidence there is of this, but I always used to wear a hair clip or hair band at night to keep it off my face and now I don’t. If you really want to wear your hair up while you sleep then the best thing would be to wear it in a loose plait to reduce the tension on your hair and scalp.
Denman Tangle Tamer
As my hair has always been thin I’ve only ever used a comb on it – you don’t need anything more when you have 5 strands of hair! But around 9 – 12 months ago I stopped using a comb to brush my hair with, and started using the Denman Tangle Tamer hair brush (gifted). It feels so much nicer to brush my hair with it than a comb, that I’ve not looked back, but I have also wondered if its helped reduce the breakage I get too.
You can buy the Denman Tangle Tamer hair brush here.
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