Tips for healthy hair from the American Academy of Dermatology

2011-02-07 00:01

At the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, Zoe D. Draelos, MD, FAAD, consulting professor at Duke University School of Medicine shares tips to keep hair healthy and lustrous.

Chemical damage from hair dyes, perms and products that straighten the hair are major contributors to hair damage that occurs over time. However, Dr. Draelos says what many people don't know is once hair is damaged you can't repair it.

Once hair is damaged, the protective lipid layer is gone, causing frizz, "bad hair days", dryness and a dull appearance. For women with damaged hair, Dr. Draelos says moisturizing conditioners are necessary.

“One of the most common misconceptions about hair is that it is alive, when in fact hair is nonliving and does not heal itself once it is injured,” said Dr. Draelos. “For this reason, once the hair is damaged it cannot heal itself except through new hair growth at the scalp. Women need to understand that the very things that they do to hair to make it appear beautiful, such as using hair dyes, perms and products that straighten the hair, will eventually end up damaging the hair’s structure and ultimately affect its appearance.”

Products to minimize the effects of hair damage include conditioning shampoos in combination with hair conditioner during the rinse. Draelos also says hair products with dimethicone can restore shine, reduce static electricity and make hair more manageable. Serums applied to the hands and run through the hair – but not the scalp – are also recommended.


If you wish to dye your hair, use colors as close to your natural shade as possible and go darker rather than lighter. Natural hair color is always best though says Dr. Draelos.


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