Fun fact that is relevant to products for hair care, “repair” and “moisture” aren’t exactly identical. If you’re not sure on the exact requirements for your hair, the formulations you’re using might be doing more damage than good. Sort of similar to using products for oily skin to treat dry skin.

The reason this is difficult is it’s the case that “damaged hair” tends to be a generic term and we’re frequently marketed both moisturising products (which focus on dryness) as well as reparative products (which focus on structural damage) but aren’t given enough details to determine what kind of product we require. You may recall it this way: The dissimilarity between moisture and repair is soft and hard.  Repair refers to structure whereas moisture is about elasticity and suppleness.

However, that’s just the beginning of the story. Read on for all the following information that you’ll have to be aware of.

dry hair type

Structurally damaged hair vs. Dry hair

In the simplest sense, “dry” hair is hair that’s deficient in moisture. Most of the time it will manifest as frizz. This is because your hair is taking in moisture from the air in order to attempt to rehydrate it. If someone has lacklustre hair that is frizzy and dull and a rough cuticle, hence the need for moisture is evident. The cuticle has opened, and hair expands when it’s drying. In general, wavy, weather-beaten and curly hair requires a lot of moisture. There will be a noticeable improvement in shine when the moisture level is at its peak.

The truly damaged hair, also known as “hair that needs repair,” is an entirely different beast. If hair is structurally damaged it’s because the bonds which give it shape and elasticity are broken and damaged, which alters the texture. This is generally your over-processed coloured hair. You will observe that it’s not able to keep its shape after blow-outs, and it feels hollow, flimsy or limp.

To figure out what type of hair issues you are having, you’ll be required to treat your hair to a thorough washing and cleaning. Check that your hair is clear of product, oil and gunk. Sometimes, the elasticity and shine just being buried under the layers of too much residual accumulation and build up. You’ll then be able to gain a better understanding about the type of damage you’re really experiencing, and you can choose your hair products according to the kind of hair damage you’re dealing with.

How do you decide from “moisture” and “repair” products

If your hair is dry,

Since dry hair isn’t hydrated enough and is dry, it expands to drink up water from the air, causing it to become frizzy. The moisture can fill up the hair shaft, which will reduce dullness and frizz. This is why you’ll need products that will give your hair the hydration and moisture it requires.

Moisturising formulations (conditioners, shampoos and other kinds of treatments and leave-ins) contain ingredients that aim to rehydrate the cuticle, bringing the elasticity and suppleness back to your hair’s strands. Consider: Oils (coconut, olive, argan), Glycerin, shea butter, aloe vera,  Hyaluronic Acid as well as honey. In case your hair seems dry, it is important to restore your hair’s foundation using moisture prior to dealing with any other problems.

In the event that you have incorrectly applied reparative products for dry hair, you’re at a greater risk of causing more problems rather than solving the problems you already had. The reason? For example, injecting more protein into an already dry or brittle hair will only cause it to dry out further. If this happens, the hair will become stiff, and can break due to heat styling, especially in extreme situations. In any situation, too much structure could cause brittleness, making hair at risk of breaking.

If your hair has been damaged structurally,

The reparative products are claimed to be protein-rich and are focused on creating more strength in the shaft of hair. Think about the building structure and blocks. Companies that deal in hair care, such as Olaplex, use molecular bonds mechanisms of different kinds.

These formulas of repair bonds penetrate in the hair’s core proteins and help repair the broken bonds that have caused the hair damage. This helps build up the hair follicles. The result? Silky, shining strands of hair that are able to hold the natural feel of their hair.

If your hair is in need of repair and you’ve been dousing the hair with moisturising products the wonderful news is that you are likely not causing any more damage. However, you could be wasting your money and time to benefit the cause. This situation is not as bad but the hair will become more flat, lifeless, and dull. This can prevent hair from returning to a normal balance.

If you aren’t able to tell  what you’re experiencing

The “normal” product for hair is usually the best and safest bet. Such hair products offer “a balanced amount of protein and moisture -and that’s the aim. Finding the perfect balance between both is essential to an everyday routine. In excess of one or the other, it can have an undesirable effect. It’s not always the best option! Balance is key.

Your best bet if you are unable to discern what’s happening? Consult your hairstylist. They can provide you with an update on your hair’s health and recommend the best type of product that will provide your hair with the nutrients they need to attain maximum levels of shine as well as strength and hydration.