Ask an Expert: Help! My Hair Is Damaged Beyond Repair

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Our expert Anthony Dickey – Hair Stylist and Co-Founder of The Hair Rules Salon in NYC – is back to answer another reader’s question.  For over 20 years, Dickey has created iconic hairstyles for designers, advertisers, photographers and celebrities including, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alicia Keys, Kelis, and Andre 3000. Dickey has also contributed editorial imagery to magazines including Vogue, Vanity Fair, Essence, Vibe, The New York Times Magazine, Glamour, and Allure.

Question:  Landyn asks: I was adopted so taking care of my hair has always been trial and error. Now that I am 30, it’s damaged beyond repair (my opinion and obviously I’m not an expert). I tried cutting it off and starting over but now it is growing back patchy. Help!

Answer:  Hi, Landyn!  The patchiness is probably due to your naturally dry kinky texture being cared for improperly (kept away from water and conditioner) which will cause the texture to break off.  Remember: dry hair turns to brittle hair and brittle hair breaks!  Unfortunately, it sounds like you were led to believe your texture needed a relaxer in order to look good. Most women with a kinky or curly texture have been victim to an industry of hair stylists and manufactures that have never known anything about your texture except how to change it. Or those companies just relegated the human race into two isles to shop in. One white and one black. That one-size-fits-all approach has made it quite the challenge to have any sort of love affair with your hair.

First, I would suggest getting a proper haircut to depart from the old dry stuff.  Second, avoid shampoos that have suds. Now that doesn’t mean sulfate-free shampoos (only shampoos that have suds). What you want is a cream non-sudsing cleanser that’s closer to a conditioner than soapy sudsy or even low-foaming shampoos. Try Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream. This will gently clean your naturally dry texture without stripping it of essential moisture and oils. In turn, it will allow for your conditioner, Hair Rules Quench Ultra Rich Conditioner to work more effectively and leave your natural texture softer and more pliable for greater versatility.

If you are all natural, you will co-wash every day or up to as many times a day as you like with your conditioner but never beyond 2-3 days. The looser kinky 4s and curly 3s can go a bit longer. The kinkier 4 types shouldn’t go beyond 1-2 days. This co-washing process will be perfect for your wash-n-go style and you will be able to do as often as you like.

Having natural hair is amazing for ladies who like to do ironman or train for marathons!  J Impossible to over wash-n-wear (co-wash).  All you’re doing is reconditioning a texture that’s naturally dryer.


For more information on Anthony Dickey and Hair Rules, visit or you can follow them on Twitter at @HairRules. Remember, if you have questions for our experts you can submit them on our submissions page

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