Repair Damaged Hair

Blonde hair cut in a bob
Photo: Vitalii Smulskyi/Shutterstock
Q: Hi. I am 29. I naturally have a dark blonde hair color that for the last 10+ years I have dyed to a light ash blonde. Over the summer I used a flattening iron (not a very good one) and I did some damage to my hair. My thought now is that I need to quit dying my hair so light.
I have also cut my hair to about my chin and I'm thinking it might help to cut my layers shorter as well. Are there any products that you would recommend that would be better on my hair? What can I do to begin the repair process without shaving my head bald? Thanks!

A: Well, if your hair was layered before cutting it to chin length, you can certainly re-layer it if you want or need to in order to remove more of the damaged hair.
However, my main recommendation is to start giving yourself weekly deep conditioning treatments, use a very gentle shampoo and moisture-rich conditioner and add a leave-in conditioner and anti-frizz serum to your hair care routine. Because your hair has been colored so frequently for so long a period of time, it was probably ripe for damage by the flat iron you used.
Most people forget that when their hair is color treated, whether lightened or darkened, it can be more easily damaged by heat-styling appliances. This is why I always stress using caution and testing your heated appliances like curling irons and flat irons before touching them to your hair.
To test a heated appliance, take a piece of tissue paper and moisten it with a sprayer. Place the moistened tissue between the heating elements, or in the curling iron's clamp, and hold for 10 seconds. There may be steam and a sizzle sound as the water is evaporated, but when removed the paper should come out clean with no scorching or discoloration. If it is discolored or scorched, the appliance is too hot to be used on the hair.
I refrain from recommending specific product brands because we don't have any affiliation with any company or product makers and want to maintain a level of objectivity. However, there are new products now available from a number of makers that are well-suited to your hair's current condition.
These are the new intensive cream hair conditioning treatments that can be found in your grocer's hair products aisle or at your local drugstore. They work well when used as a deep conditioning agent for damaged hair. Feel free to select the brand you prefer.
See also:
Damaged hair
Will I damage my hair if I use my curling iron and flat iron too much?
Will coloring damage my hair?
What's the deal with all the different types of conditioners?