Realizing that your hair is damaged beyond repair can bring on a paralyzing sense of fear. If you’ve damaged your hair through over-processing, over-coloring, or over-styling, and now find yourself with split ends and endless breakage, we feel for you.
But don’t worry – not all is lost. It may seem like a long journey ahead, but there is so much you can do to get your healthy hair back. And quicker than you think.
So, does damaged hair grow back healthy? Yes, damaged hair does grow back healthy. In fact, any new hair growth is going to be healthy, unaffected by heat damage, bleach frying, split ends, or anything else that your old hair has taken on.
The bad news is that the hair that is already damaged cannot be fully restored to its former glory. The best thing you can do is let healthy hair grow out.
But don’t fret – we gathered a few tips for you that will help you grow your hair back as healthy as possible while making your damaged locks look smooth and rejuvenated in the process.
How To Grow Out Damaged Hair
The main thing to remember is that while you’re putting in efforts to summon healthy new growth, you can take a lot of steps to make your existing damage less apparent.
Trim The Worst Of It
The first step to healthy new growth may sound counter-intuitive, but trimming off some of the split ends is actually going to help.
Not only does it instantly give your hair a healthier appearance by removing the thin and frizzy edges, but it actually prevents further damage from happening.
Split ends have a tendency to continue splitting up the hair shaft. So if you leave them for the sake of preserving your length, you’re setting yourself up for more damage traveling up toward your roots.
This can lead to a frustrating cycle of dull and thin-looking locks. Don’t put yourself through it – just bite the bullet and remove the split ends as soon as you’ve noticed them.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll feel much better. Your hair may be shorter, but it’s a fresh start that will allow you to grow your hair faster and healthier going forward.
Leave-In Conditioner Is Your Best Friend
Once most of the obvious damage is gone, it’s time to start treating the rest of the hair with nourishing products to give it a smoother, thicker, and healthier appearance.
This is where a leave-in conditioner will become your best friend.
Leave-in conditioner is a product you put in your damp hair after a wash, and you leave it in for the whole day, or until your next hair wash. This allows the product to work over a long period of time.
Some leave-in conditioners are really great at repairing the damage. We love anything with these ingredients:
- Coconut oil
- Argan oil
- Shea butter
- Aloe vera
These ingredients are known for bringing hydration to your locks and smoothing out the cuticles to seal it in.
Not only will a leave-in conditioner make your hair appear less damaged, but it will also prevent any further damage from occurring. Win-win!
Eat For Healthy Hair
Few things can affect healthy hair growth as much as your diet. A healthy diet can speed up growth and ensure that hair grows back as shiny and strong as possible.
A diet full of vitamins and nutrients is essential. Your hair needs proteins, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, D, and E for the best results.
Ideally, you should aim to get this nutrition from whole food sources, such as:
- Leafy greens
- Sweet potatoes
- Milk and yogurt
- Whole grains
- Citrus fruits and berries
- Nuts and seeds
- Lean meats
- Beans and lentils
Additionally, hair thrives off of extra biotin, which is a B-vitamin found in many of these foods that you can also get as a supplement.
Pay attention to your diet and supplement when necessary to ensure you’re getting a proper amount of these nutrients if you want your hair to grow back quicker and healthier.
Incorporate Scalp Treatments
To encourage strong new hair growth, you have to start with the scalp. A healthy scalp leads to healthy growth! Look into getting a scalp treatment, which is a product you can put on your scalp like a mask for your head.
Scalp treatments come in different forms – sprays, creams, oils, and more. Most of the time it’s best to apply a scalp treatment at night or at least 30 minutes before a hair wash.
Look for scalp treatments that have the same hair-growing nutrients we listed above – biotin, vitamins, oils, and keratin.
Pro tip: spend a few minutes massaging the treatment into your scalp – this will stimulate blood flow to the cuticles of your hair encouraging better growth. Not to mention give you some much-needed relaxation.
Avoid Heat Styling
Using heat in your hair can exacerbate the damage, even if you use a heat protector. It can also cause damage to the healthy re-growth before it even gets a chance to shine.
To ensure that your damaged hair grows back as healthy as possible, avoid heat styling your hair at all costs. Try to embrace your natural texture and show it some love!
Allow your hair to air dry and find creative ways to rock your style without resorting to flat irons, curlers, or other hot tools.
For example, you can explore Youtube for some ideas on how to achieve heatless curls. You can also experiment with different hairstyles – like braids or buns – that add character to your look without relying on heat styling.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Another thing that can cause further breakage is the use of harsh chemicals. If your hair is already damaged, please avoid coloring, relaxing, or perming the hair.
All of these activities can be extremely damaging to healthy hair and detrimental to damaged hair.
Damage to the hair occurs when the proteins from the hair cuticle are depleted. Hair coloring is a process that lifts these proteins to deposit hair pigment into the shaft.
So if your hair is already damaged, lifting any remaining proteins can lead to more protein loss and more severe damage.
Perming and relaxing work in a similar way, leaving your hair more fragile and brittle as a result.
If you want to save what is left of your locks, learn to embrace your natural texture and color at least long enough for new healthy hair to grow out.
Take Extra Caution With Wet Hair
When your hair is wet, it’s more fragile than when it’s dry. This is because the actual structure of the hair changes when it’s wet – the proteins form weaker bonds when water (specifically, hydrogen molecules) is introduced.
This means that even a little bit of pulling or tugging can make your hair shaft snap in an instant.
If your hair is already damaged, this phenomenon is even more pronounced since there are fewer proteins, to begin with. To prevent your hair from breaking off entirely, be extra careful when handling your hair after a shower.
Here are some tips your should follow when dealing with wet hair:
- Do not rub your hair dry with a towel
- Gently detangle using your fingers or a wide-tooth comb
- Use a leave-in conditioner to make the detangling process more gentle
- Begin detangling from the ends and slowly work your way up
- Do not use heat on your hair
Following these steps, you will be able to preserve as much of your hair as possible without inflicting further damage to your hair follicles. These tips will help make your damage less apparent and create a nourishing environment for new hair growth to come in.
How Long Does It Take For Damaged Hair To Grow Out?
According to the Trichological Society, hair grows at a rate of 0.2 – 0.7 inches per month. Whether you fall at the lower end or higher end of that range depends on your genetics, age, and diet.
You can maximize the rate of growth if you eat healthily and provide a nourishing environment for new hair to grow.
But even at 0.7 inches a month, you won’t grow out the damage overnight. The best thing you can do is be patient and take care of your damaged hair to make it look healthy while you wait for new growth.
Remember that damaged hair cannot be fully repaired, but its state can certainly be improved with the use of conditioners, treatments, and regular trims.
Some other factors that slow down hair growth include:
- Some medications like beta-blockers and antidepressants
- Crash dieting
- Eating disorders
- Vitamin deficiencies
Maintaining your overall health can help you maximize hair growth and preventative measures can help avoid additional damage.
Over time, your locks will start looking strong and shiny again, and you will realize that no matter how bad the damage is, it’s always temporary.
They say time heals everything, and we concur – including hair!