When I was a little girl, I always heard my mother say, “Her hair was fried, dyed and laid to the side.” I guess there was a time when a bone-straight coif was a good thing, but now we know better.

Over-processed hair happens in the blink of an eye. All it takes is a few months of hardcore chemical-processing, coloring, blow-drying, and/or flat-ironing to strip your tresses of essential moisture, leaving dry, limp locks that are screaming for some TLC.

So, how do you know for sure if your hair is over-processed?

  1. It’s brittle and breaks off very easily.
  2. Your hair is dull and lacks shine.
  3. It’s difficult to style. You work hard to curl your hair and it won’t hold.
  4. When wet, your hair is very stretchy, which is a sign of a weakened hair shaft.

Here’s a natural remedy that will restore shine and strength to your ‘do: coconut oil.

Step 1
Heat your coconut oil in 30-second intervals in your microwave until it is no longer solid. Ensure that you use extra-virgin coconut oil, advises Allison Tannis, author of “Feed Your Skin: Starve Your Wrinkles.” The oil will give your hair shine, restore its moisture and soften it, Tannis says, noting that coconut oil will enrich your hair’s natural color as well.

Step 2
Apply the coconut oil at least 1/2 an hour before you plan to wash your hair. Work it into your hair and scalp with a massaging action. Coat your hair and scalp entirely, but not so much that your hair is dripping wet, advises Bruce Fife in his book “Coconut Cures.” You may leave the mix on for up to an hour.

Step 3
Shampoo and condition your hair as you normally would.

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