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The Girl ...
Tigi girl, 21.
Dedicated to Andrew Kalapaca & Steve Tcherkezian

Andrew at Toni & Guy
180 Bloor Street West
Steve at Other sites

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Damaged Hair, What Happened?
Let's talk about how hair gets damaged. Don't you just dread it when you notice split ends? What about when your hair does not look as good as it once did? When it feels rough or brittle? When it just looks tired? When it just isn't like that other once was but something happened but what? All these things we dread in terms of our hair what happened you wonder? You think to youself, where did these split ends come from, why is it brittle now, why does it not look as good as before? Most of all you want to know how to FIX the problem. So now it's me tigi girl to the rescue to help you get your hair back to the way it was, or maybe even better than before. I'll also tell you how to prevent damage, but I must advise you, no matter what some damage to the hair will always occur, just a fact of nature...and the longer the more it occurs...let's see why.

Long Hair
I know, I know you love your long hair and there is nothing I can say that will make you cut it short...seriously that's not what I'm asking. I have long hair too, and let's say the thought of going short is not present in my mind at this time. Let me tell you some stuff about having long hair and give some advice to protect these precious locks that seem to take forever to grow (well at least in my case!)
Let's face it the longer the hair, the older it is! What is now the ends of your hair was once the root, and this hair has gone through alot. It's taken the beating from styling tools, (blow dryers, irons, curlers etc) from chemical treatments (colour, bleach, TR, X-tenso, other relaxers) and it's also taken a heck of a beating from environmental elements (sun, wind, smoke, pollution) Since the hair has taken all this beating the hair's protective layer, which is called the cuticle, will begin to disintegrate until you reach the inner part of the hair, which once damaged is irrepairable. In simple terms, the hair's natural protective layers wear away with the treds on the bottom of your shoes! The best thing to do is to get your hair trimmed regularily, if you start to notice split ends, try to get them cut as soon as you can, the longer they are left the worse they become...I'll deal with that in more detail later. You should talk to your stylist who can help you dtermine how often you should be trimming your hair.

Never Ever Do This No Matter What
Okay I am very serious about this, you all want to prevent your hair from damage and one thing that people do that really ruins the hair is the following....brushing the hair when wet.
Never ever brush your hair when wet...this often damages the hair beyond repair. Use a comb instead to detangle the hair, if you want to use some leave in conditioner before you comb your hair then do so. You have now been warned about this!

Styling Tools
I'm talking about flat irons, blow-dryers, curling irons, anything that impliments heat to the hair directly. First thing that you should know is that if you intend to use these styling tools please please use a heat protectant! I use Fashionista Smooth and Shine....any professional salon product will do the job. What heat protectants do is buffer the heat....basically the product prepares the hair for heat styling. Think of it as putting on an oven mit when you get something hot from the oven. Although you are using a heat protectant that does not mean that you ignore the adivce that follows, the less heat applied to the hair the better. Its also important to get good quality tools, I recommend getting professional ones, you can find them at beauty shops, for how to find a flat iron read my post on "Flat Irons" (you will have to scroll down) its a great guide on what to look for, so you get the best one for your money and hair! All these styling tools emit heat to the hair and affect the hair differently. Flat irons like curling irons should not be left in one spot for too long flat irons not more than one second, this goes for blow-dryers too. Curling irons I say not more than five seconds to hold the curl. The idea is to keep the tool moving, so keep moving the blow-dryer, slide the iron through the hair, don't hold it in one place no matter how stubborn that section of hair is...if you want to fry that section of hair than be my guest, but I don't think you want to do that. Curling irons should not be held in one position for more than five seconds, I firmly believe the longer you hold it there the more damage you are doing to the hair. Heat is heat will always cause some sort of damage, on the ends you will notice split ends (never right away but they will develop) you can also loose some of the hair's natural shine and strength, the best thing to do when this happens is to use a treament product. I recommend Bedhead's "Chocolate Head" this product I have nicknamed "miracle in a bottle" honestly it really restores your hair, it gives it shine, strength and makes it soft! I'll write about a regimine at the end of this post.

Hair Colour and Bleaching
Now I have to say that though alot of people get both these procedures done to their hair, it does cause damage. If you colour too often you are stressing the hair too much. When you colour or bleach the hair you tapping into the centre of the hair...the cortex. The strength of the colour and the amount of peroxide all factor in damage. Too much peroxide in the hair is not good because it will weaken it, cause it too loose shine and possibly split ends. That's why colouring too often is not good. Using good conditioners after the service will help prevent damage. At home you should be using shampoo's and conditioners for colour treated hair and some sort of treatment once in a while. Again I'll deal more at the end with regimines. Now bleach, it's the same as colour but what bleach does is destroy some of the hair's bonds. That's just how it is. If you bleach your hair sometimes you may notice it's dry or that it looks "dull" and you may notice that your hair breaks somewhat easier, that's because the bleach has destroyed some of the hairs bonds. The bonds in the hair are very important in regards to its strength and elasticity.

Environmental Elements
Let's start with the sun...the sun can in a sense "bleach out" some of your colour, it can cause your hair to fade regardless of whether or not you colour. In the summer I notice that my hair always gets discoloured. The sun's rays can also be damaging and like the skin the hair needs UV protection, many products do contain ingredients that block out UV rays, Fashionista Smooth and Shine contains ingredients to block the UV rays. The wind is another culprit of damage, see when you look in the mirror after the wind has been blowing your hair, how it looks messy...the wind tosses the hair all around and therefore the hair gets tangled. Heavy winds are harsh on the hair as they are on your skin, it is recommend that you wear a hat or put your hood on. The winter weather can dry out the hair, since the air is dry and cold in the winter this affects the dries out the hair, therefore affecting the softness of the hair. The summer well if you hair is frizz prone, have fun because without a good anti-frizz product you will suffer through the frizz. Pollution has to do more with elements that build up in the hair because of the pollution such as smells and the tiny particles from gasoline, smog and well smoke...even the cigarrette kind. The thing you want to do is to use a clarrifying shampoo once a month to ensure completely clean hair, and that you strip away all the things that can build up in your hair.

In itself is a harsh chemical for the hair, it really dries out the hair, and if you swim often I recommend wearing a cap!

I mean relaxers, curl reducers (X-tenso) and TR (thermal reconditioning) if not done properly they can cause serious serious damage...remember for TR and X-tenso (thio based relaxers) the first solution is not to touch your scalp! Also for TR the hair has to be ironed properly if not you can get breakage! Okay so you get the point there, if they are done improperly then you get serious damage, including breakage as they affect the bonds of the hair. The same goes for the hair analysis if the hair is not analysed for competancy before doing one of these services you run the risk of serious damage again even breakage. The hair has to be able to withstand the chemicals and the procedure...check with your technician and read my TR and X-tenso articles...more are comingin the next few weeks!

Split Ends
Ah the dreaded split ends that just ruin a great style. All the above factors that were mentioned can cause split ends.....basically the hair has been damaged...the cuticle(the protective layers of the hair) has been worn away and the interior has been damaged so the hair then splits. Kinda complicated to really explain how it happens but you get the idea I hope...if not e-mail me I'll try to explain better! Split ends do have the ability to continue to split further and further up the hair strand if they are not stopped. The only way to stop split ends is by getting a haircut, make sure that your stylist removes all the split ends.

Proper Care
Now in order to keep your hair in a great condition you need to take care of it, and the first step begins by ensuring that you get regular haircuts. Seriously this is important, in essence when you get a cut your stylist can remove damaged and split ends leaving the ends looking wonderfully healthy and beautiful. Plus you can always get a new hair cut, or change your style....that's always fun! ;) Its important to get a haircut often so that the split ends are not splitting further up the hair strand causing more damage...the earlier they are cut the better. Your stylist can help you determine regular intervals for getting your haircut. I would not go longer than 3 months...the damage will get worse! Now the next part regimines!

Hair Care
It's important that you choose quality products, I recommend that you buy professional salon brands, they are a bit more expensive than drug store brands, but professional salon brands have better quality ingredients, gentler cleansers and they last longer. Trust me when you make the switch into professional salon brands you will never go back to drug store brands. My stylist converted me and now I'm much happier with my hair's condition. In case you are wondering I use Bedhead and some Catwalk products, however they are both from TIGI (Toni and Guy) they are really excellent products that have quality ingredients and leave the hair in a great condition, they have products for all hair types. Other pro brands that I remember are Redken, Abba, AG and Bumble and Bumble. Go to your nearest salon that carries these products as many of them do. However with Bumble and Bumble you have to find the salon that carries the line (the salon that carries it will usually sell just the Bumble stuff because of company policies!) TIGI products (Bedhead and Catwalk) can be found in any Toni&Guy salon as well, and they are the best places to go to get the stuff because they carry the entire line! Many salons however do carry most professional brands, some of the company websites tell you the nearest salon that carries the products. I know of two places that carry Bumble and Bumble...if you are having a hard time finding a place that carries them e-mail me. Now the care process
Use a shampoo and conditioner that is for YOUR hair's needs! Seriously a stylist can help you choose....YOUR stylist is best to help you pick out not trust the people at these beauty supply stores most times they know nothing about recommending products. Once a month or once every two months use a clariffying shampoo, just to cleanse the hair thoroughly every once in a while to remove any build up. Twice a month I recommend using a treatment product, if you heat style your hair then I would use a protein treatment like Bedhead's "Chocolate Head" a hair mask is good too!
For those of you with hair that is damaged from heat styling....if your hair looks dull,tired and breaks from too much use of the flat iron then this is what I would do....once a week for two weeks use Bedhead's Chocolate Head and then after the two weeks make sure to use good conditioners! I recommend Bedhead's Dumb Blond Reconstructor (its okay to use for any colour of hair not just blondes) or Catwalks Oatmeal and Honey Conditioner...smells great and full of vitamins!
Just remember when heat styling use a protectant!
For frizz control I live by Bedhead's Control Freak Serum...since my stylist started me on this I have not been able to frizz, no reversion (if I straighten it, it does not go curly in the humidity) I swear by this stuff and should officially be the product ambassador. I love that stuff....TIGI you get a round of applause for making great products that deliver what they promise to do!
If you have a TR or curl reducer (x-tenso) or relaxer make sure the technician is experienced and has knowledge of what they are doing (look at my article "How to find a TR technician" and the "TR/X-tenso interview sheet" I have posted, you will need to scroll down but you will see it! Make sure you follow the after care regimine your technician gives you....products and warnings.
So now you know alot about how to prevent damage and how to take care of your hair.
Have a great hair day always and on those days it just won't listen to an appointment with your stylist, he or she can fix it and make it look good!

Tigi Girl. e-mail me at Archives |

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