Winter is always tough on hair, with the harsher weather and drier indoor air. This year, we can throw in home dye jobs (whoops!) to the laundry list of abuse we put on our hair. That’s why we turned to the experts at Paulo Lanfredi, a family-friendly salon located on Greenwich Avenue, for advice on bringing back damaged hair. We spoke to owner Paulo Lanfredi about the most common ways hair can be damaged–and his best tips for strong, shiny locks (even in a pandemic winter…).
What are the most common ways hair gets damaged?
There are all kinds of factors that attribute to broken, damaged hair. Among these are self-induced habits like applying extreme heat to the hair, wearing the hair tightly bound by ties or pins or roughly brushing through the hair. Other reasons are due to poor nutrition, medications, genetic disorders, hormones, surgeries and post pregnancy hair loss which affects 40% to 50% of women. Until now, no one has realized the damage and trauma that these factors can impute on your hair and confidence as a woman! Thankfully, we are now able to rehabilitate your hair back to health.
Have you seen a lot of damaged hair from quarantine “DIY” jobs?
Oh, some of the DIY jobs we’ve seen are interesting; I give people credit for trying! It’s tempting to chop off your hair or grab a box color when your roots have grown out 2 inches and your ends up split half-way up the length of your hair. The worst damage I’ve seen is when people try to highlight their hair at home which can cause major breakage if the hair is overprocessed. You can essentially burn your hair off if you don’t know what you’re doing, and it can also turn out splotchy if you’re not careful with your placement. It’s not worth the expensive and time-consuming color correction you’re going to need afterwards so we recommend holding out or having a stylist come to your house if needed! In some cases, services done at home are just a temporary expedient; we recommend coming to the salon for the best results.
Is winter also especially tough on hair?
Yes, I would say winter is hard on the hair and scalp. They often become dry in the winter months which can lead to breakage. It’s important to use hydrating shampoos and conditioners if your hair tends to get dry. The more moisture the better, to keep your ends intact.
How can we start to repair our hair, both at home and at your salon?
Yes, that’s our specialty! We love to see that transformation from damaged to flourishing hair. Like I said, there are many different things that can attribute to broken hair. The most obvious reason is self-induced styling habits like applying too much heat or too long with some type of hot tool. This can be prevented by lowering the heat on your iron to 350 degrees or lower and using a heat protectant spray or cream. As a professional we can use heat at a higher threshold because of how fast we work. If you are going to attempt using hot tools at home, we recommend smaller sections and less time (between 3 to 5 seconds) on each section. One of the most common mistakes we see is when people try to speed up the process by taking bigger sections. This can lead to more damage for the hair that is directly touching the iron because the section is so thick that you need to leave the iron in the hair for longer to see a curl form.
Secondly, poor nutrition will slow down hair growth, cause breakage, thin out the hair and give a dull, lifeless appearance. Make sure you’re getting adequate lean proteins, (healthy) fats and plenty of greens in your diet!
Lastly, the easiest way to prevent damaged hair is to get it trimmed more often. This is something that most people neglect because they want their “hair to grow out.” If hair isn’t cut often enough, it gives the ends a chance to split up the hair shaft which will actually slow the hair down and prevent it from growing the way it should. The longer you wait, the more it breaks and the slower it grows. This is why I created a special technique that helps the hair reach its fullest potential. The purpose of my signature haircut is to preserve every layer of hair at its respective phase of growth to allow it to get strong, silky and shiny. What most people see is only the outer layer of hair. There is more than what meets the eye in constructing beautiful, luscious locks!
This story is sponsored by Paulo Lanfredi.