How To Repair Damaged Hair Follicles? 7 Effective Ways

Medically reviewedby Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Are you wondering how to repair damaged hair follicles?

Healthy hair starts with the roots, and understanding how to nurture them is key.

In this article, we'll explore practical tips to revitalize your hair from the scalp to the tips, ensuring strong, vibrant locks.

What are hair follicles?

As strange as it may sound, hair follicles are organs. They are small pockets made of connective tissue and cells,[2] found in the dermal layer of the skin (a step deeper than the more superficial epidermis), and their role is to regulate hair growth.

This, however, is not a straightforward process. Hair growth is influenced by a myriad of factors, and hair follicles regulate it through a complex interaction between hormones, neuropeptides and immune cells.[3]

how to repair damaged hair follicles

The hair root is essentially ‘plugged into’ the hair follicle, which helps attach the hair to the skin. As the hair follicles are also connected to blood vessels which deliver oxygen and nutrients crucial to maintain healthy hair, it becomes quite easy to understand why the hair follicle plays such an important role in hair growth.

As well as oxygen and nutrients, the blood vessels connected to hair follicles also deliver hormones which play a double role in hair growth:

  1. They regulate the hair growth cycle (which determines how long hair grows)
  2. They influence the structure and texture of hair (making it thin or thick, curly or straight, brassy or smooth, etc.)
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What are the effects of damaged hair follicles?

damaged hair follicles

When the hair follicles are damaged, all of the processes listed above can not happen as they normally would: oxygen and nutrients do not reach hair properly, the hair growth cycle is not properly regulated and hair texture and structure are affected.

Any damage incurred to the hair follicle will make it more difficult for hair to grow out properly, and can even lead to hair loss, and thinning. Other effects of damaged hair follicles are excessive scalp dryness, irritation, inflammation and dandruff. If you’re struggling with any of these, then it could be that your hair follicles are damaged.

What affects the health of your hair follicles?

The factors that affect your hair follicles vary widely, from salt water or excessive sun and UV exposure, to other reasons why your hair won't grow such as infections, hormonal imbalance or even traction alopecia and folliculitis.

A natural thing that happens as we age, however, is that some hair follicles simply stop producing hair altogether. This is why with older age come hair thinning and hair loss, even baldness.

People are usually born with around 5 million hair follicles, and it is believed that no new ones are created after birth - and that’s why it’s so important to maintain the ones that we do have in good health![4]

Can you repair damaged hair follicles?

damaged hair follicles

Ok, but what if your hair follicles have already been damaged? Is it too late for you to dream of having a beautiful head of hair, or is there still hope?

There are methods backed by scientific research aimed at improving the condition of hair follicles, which may contribute to healthier-looking hair and improved texture.

However, it is important to note that some damaged hair follicles are beyond salvation. The longer the hair follicles have been damaged, the more difficult it is to repair them - that is why for most hair loss treatments, being applied as soon as thinning and hair loss starts to appear makes them much more effective.

If you’ve seen this decline happen over years and haven’t done anything to mitigate it, then sadly it might be too late for you. If, however, you’ve only recently started to notice the signs of your hair follicles being damaged, then you still have a good chance of bringing them back to life.

So, if you are still safe, check out these early signs of balding.

How to repair damaged hair follicles naturally?

Here are some effective ways to repair damaged hair follicles:

1. Stay hydrated for healthier hair

Keeping yourself well-hydrated isn't just good for your skin and overall health—it's also crucial for maintaining a healthy scalp. 

Drinking enough water each day ensures that your body has the moisture it needs to keep your hair follicles vibrant and strong. 

Think of water as a natural elixir that helps everything function better, including your hair growth cycle.

2. Reduce chemical hair treatments

We've all been tempted to change up our hair with dyes or treatments, but frequent chemical processes can really take a toll on your hair's health. 

Instead, give your hair a break from harsh treatments. Opting for natural styling options and color treatments can help your hair recover and maintain its natural strength. 

Remember, less is more when it comes to keeping your hair follicles intact!

3. Protect your hair from heat

It's easy to love quick styling with blow dryers or straighteners, but too much heat can weaken your hair over time. 

Always use a heat protectant spray before styling and try to keep the use of hot tools to a minimum. 

Maybe embrace your natural hair texture a few days a week—you might find you love the low-maintenance look!

4. Trim your hair regularly

Snipping your ends regularly doesn't just keep your hair looking neat—it helps prevent split ends from working their way up the strand, causing more damage and breakage. 

It’s like nipping a problem in the bud so your hair can keep growing strong and healthy without any setbacks.

5. Choose gentle hair products

Selecting the right shampoo and conditioner is like choosing the best fuel for your car. Look for products that are gentle and free of harsh chemicals like sulfates and parabens. 

These products clean without stripping away natural oils that protect your hair. It’s a simple switch that can make a big difference in your hair’s health.

6. Wash your hair wisely

Over-washing can leave your hair dry and your scalp irritated as it strips away the natural oils that nourish your follicles. 

Try extending the time between washes, and use dry shampoo if you need a refresh. This can help your hair's natural oils do their job in keeping your scalp and hair healthy.

7. Sleep on silk pillowcases

Switching to a silk pillowcase can seem a bit luxurious, but it’s a game-changer for preventing hair breakage. 

Silk causes less friction than cotton, which means less tugging on your hair as you sleep. Plus, it feels pretty nice to lay your head on a smooth, cool surface at the end of the day.

Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Formulated to combat shedding & signs of balding
Hair Growth Routine | For Women
Hair Growth Routine | For Women
Formulated to combat thinning hair & visible scalp

FAQs

How to restore hair follicles?

Hair follicles can be restored through a healthy diet, regular exercise, and good hair care habits. Some specific steps you can take include:

  • Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B, biotin, and iron.
  • Massaging your scalp regularly to stimulate blood flow and promote hair growth.
  • Using hair care products that are gentle and free of harsh chemicals.
  • Avoiding tight hairstyles and heat styling tools that can damage your hair and follicles.

How to treat damaged hair follicles?

To treat damaged hair follicles, you can take several steps to promote healthy hair growth, such as:

  • Using a gentle shampoo and conditioner that are free of harsh chemicals.
  • Avoiding heat styling tools and harsh hair treatments like perms and relaxers.
  • Maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals commonly associated with hair health.
  • Massaging your scalp regularly to stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles.
  • Consider using supplements that contain ingredients like biotin and folic acid, as they are commonly associated with hair health.

Reference

Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.