Damaged hair sucks, there’s no denying that! And more likely than not, we’ve all dealt with it at some point in our lives, even if we didn’t know it. And no, that’s not meant to scare you. Many of us have done some kind of damage to our hair because, guess what, it’s not very hard to do! Literally some of the common things we do every day to our hair can cause damage.
But don’t freak out. We’re going over everything about damaged hair in this post. The signs of damaged hair, the things that cause it, and the products formulated to fix and repair damaged hair, so your hair can look and feel healthy again!
Damaged Hair: 6 Signs You Have It + The 5 Products Proven To Repair It
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Before we get into the signs of damaged hair, let’s talk a little about what causes it. Of course depending on your hair type and overall hair health, you may be more or less likely to develop damaged hair as a result of doing certain things, but no one is immune to hair damage. And there are a few very common things you may be doing that cause damaged hair.
7 things you may be doing that cause damage to your hair
Absolutely no real shock here. (Also, the reason why I’ve dealt with my own damaged hair a few more times than I’d like to admit). Hair dye breaks through into the cuticle with chemicals and removes the natural pigment of your hair, which in turn, causes the structure of your hair to change. This makes your hair more vulnerable to damage.
Whether you’re chemically straightening your hair or chemically curling it, perms cause loads of damage to your hair. Perms work by breaking down the inner bonds of your hair and reforming them back together in a different way. And let’s face it, that alone sounds extremely damaging!
This is probably the most common way to damage your hair. It doesn’t matter if you’re straightening, curling, or blow drying your hair, you’re causing damage anytime you apply heat to it. If heat styling is done on a daily basis, more severe and permanent damage can happen.
Certain Hairstyles, Extensions, or Weaves
Listen, we all wear our hair in ponytails from time to time and many of us use weaves or extensions to create different, non-permanent looks. If these things are done and worn correctly, damage to your hair is more limited. The damage actually comes from how tight these things are. If your ponytail is extremely tight, or you’re wearing tight braids, you’re going to cause your hair to break. This is especially true if your hair is wet when put into a style, or if a tight hairstyle is worn daily. Extensions and weaves are often considered worse because they tend to cause damage at the roots, ouch.
Over-Brushing or Brushing Your Hair The Wrong Way
Contrary to popular belief, brushing your hair a million times a day does not make it healthier, shinier, or longer. It can actually cause more breakage. So, myth debunked! Also, brushing your hair when it’s wet and trying to brush knots out starting at the roots are other big hair brushing don’ts. Wait for your hair to dry before brushing it, or work slowly and delicately with wet hair. And when brushing your hair when it’s knotty, start at the ends first. Once you work the knots out there, work your way up to your roots.
This may come as a shock to you, but for many of us, our hair isn’t supposed to be washed every single day. We have natural oils that regularly moisturize our hair, but when we use too much shampoo, we end up washing away the natural oils, making our hair dry, thus leaving hair more at risk to damage. How often you wash your hair fully depends on your hair type and how long it takes to get too oily. For me, I can go about two to three days between washes.
This is probably the most shocking thing that can cause damaged hair, but also probably the one we do most often, without even realizing it! When you dry your hair with a towel, in a fast rubbing motion, you’re causing damage to your hair when your hair is most vulnerable, (when it’s wet). When towel drying your hair, pat it lightly a few times, just enough to get some excess water out.
If you do any of the 7 things listed above, (no judgement here, I’ve done all of them), you hair has probably accumulated some damage. But how do you know if your hair is actually damaged? The signs are usually pretty obvious, you’ll be able to see or feel the damage. But sometimes they’re not.
Here are 6 Major Signs That Your Hair May Be Damaged:
Pretty sure everyone has had split ends at some point in their life, but many people don’t know that it could be a sign of damaged hair. When you have split ends, the ends of your hair split into two or more segments, similar to a rope unraveling at the end. Not only can split ends be a sign of damaged hair, they can also cause further damage if left untreated since the hair will continue to split up the shaft of your hair.
Hair That’s Too Knotty Or Hard To Work With
If you find that your hair is getting knotty pretty much immediately after brushing it, or it’s harder to work with, your hair might be damaged. Knotty hair happens when the outer layer of your hair becomes damaged, causing pieces of hair to get tangled up with one another.
Hair that’s excessively dry can be another sign of damage. Dry hair is lacking in hydration and nourishment. Over-washing your hair could cause your hair to become dry or brittle because shampoo strips your hair of it’s natural oils. Using products that don’t properly moisturize or nourish your hair can also cause it to dry out.
When your hair is damaged it may appear dull and lack that healthy shine. Hair may lose it’s shine and look dull when it’s not producing enough oils or if you hair’s natural oils have been stripped away from over-washing or heat styling.
It’s totally normal for you to shed hair every day, but when you’re shedding a lot, you might have damaged hair. Hair that’s dry or brittle will shed more than hair that’s healthy.
Hair breakage can be one of the worst signs of damaged hair. Breakage can be described as hair that’s excessively dry and brittle, to the point of breaking off. You’ll know if you have breakage if your hair appears to shed in larger chunks, or if you find big pieces of your hair that appear way shorter than the rest of your hair.
Your hair may be damaged and show just one sign, or you might be dealing with some more extreme damage. Either way, you want to stop, erase, or prevent any further damage to your hair.
In a perfect world, we’d all just stop dying, bleaching, perming, straightening, over-washing, or any of the other damaging things mentioned above. But that may not be a desired option for you, or your hair may already be damaged and in need of repair. And that’s what we have products that treat and prevent damaged hair for!
These Are The 5 Products That Are Proven To Repair Damaged Hair
I use all of these products myself, and swear by them!
ApHogee Two-Step Protein Treatment
This stuff is a life-saver. The ApHogee Protein Treatment is a hair treatment that rebuilds hair texture and stops breakage. A protein treatment is great for damaged hair because hair easily absorbs it and it helps strengthen your strands externally, which helps your hair heal.
ApHogee Balancing Moisturizer
If you’re planning to use the ApHogee Two-Step Protein Treatment, you MUST use this immediately after, (hence the name Two-Step Protein Treatment). The ApHogee Balancing Moisturizer helps keep your hair hydrated after the protein treatment. It’s also a great product to use in place of a regular conditioner! It improves manageability, adds strength and shine, and thickens hair!
Olaplex No. 3
This is one of the most raved about hair care products out there, and for good reason! Olaplex No. 3 is a treatment, that helps repair and prevent excess damage to hair! It’s a product that can transform the quality of your hair after just one use. (Like seriously, this stuff is SO good!)
No. 3 is traditionally used as part of a three-step treatment. Use Olaplex No 3. first and then follow up with the shampoo, Olaplex No. 4 ,and the conditioner, Olaplex No. 5. This trio will make your hair healthy, strong, and beautiful again! I’m also a major fan of the Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil!
It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product
The It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Treatment is the perfect little hair pick me up! It softens, smooths, makes hair feel thicker, and adds shine. It also never leaves hair feeling heavy or greasy. Plus, it has that fresh out of the salon scent, something I’m obsessed with!
Bumble And Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil
The Bumble And Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil is a hair treatment oil that leaves hair absolutely frizz-free! It softens and smooths hair, and leaves it looking shiny and healthy. And as a bonus, it also helps prevent damage from heat styling!
A Few More Tips For Preventing Damaged Hair:
Whenever possible, avoid brushing your hair when it’s wet. Brushing your hair while it’s wet can pull and snag on your hair and cause damage. Wait until your hair is dry, or just a little damp, to brush through it. Or invest in a Wet Brush!
Want to wear your hair in a ponytail or bun? Opt for a looser style! Hair that’s too tight can easily become damaged. Also, try switching up the placement of your bun or ponytail to give your hair a chance to relax! You can also use hair clips, hair ties or scrunchies that aren’t as damaging. If you’re looking for non-damaging scrunchies, I love these ones from Slip! I’m also a really big fan of claw clips, like this one!
Treat your hair like you would your skin. Your hair is strong, but it can also be sensitive. There’s only so much it can endure before showing signs of damage. Give your hair a little rest time between treatments, invest in high quality products to keep it healthy, and be kind to it.
Worst case scenario: chop it all off and start over. Sometimes hair damage is so bad it can’t be repaired and you have to cut it, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Go out there and rock your new look! And remember to watch for any signs of damaged hair so you can treat it and keep your hair looking healthy and beautiful!
For more hair tips, check out Hair Care Tips For Healthy, Beautiful Hair!
I am notorious for having damaged hair. I didn't know towel drying damages the hair! I thought using a blow dryer would make it damaged easily. Oh man, there's a lot of love that needs to be put in. Love that there are various products to help with your hair.
Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me
I went dark recently, but I lived with bleach blonde hair for the last 6 years, so I can totally relate. The only product I've heard of was the it's a 10! My go to used to be the Redken extreme leave in conditioner, and the alterna protein leave in cream. They were my life savers! Great post Ali xxx
Melina | wwww.melinaelisa.com
The Sunday Mode says
The 10min leave in product sounds awesome, I'll try that out because while I don't dye my hair or colour it at all, I have been noticing some breakage.
Julia // The Sunday Mode
About the only thing I do in that list is wear my hair in a ponytail frequently. I wrap my hair in a towel, but i don't rub, I squeeze it a little then move on to my body. My hair still has split ends, but most beauticians love my hair because it's natural!
Zoe's Natural Path says
Great post, trying so many different hacks to get my hair hydrated and healthy again.
Tamra Elizabeth Cater says
Thank you for sharing these. I have a dry, damaged hair, so I will definitely have to check out these products! I also didn’t think about how towel drying can damage hair,
Omg yes, towel drying can be really damaging. You just have to be gentle with it and avoid rubbing your hair or twisting it too much with the towel, then you’re good!
Suzanne (FibroMomBlog) says
I totally relate to this! I have damaged my hair so badly over the years. In fact, I’ve done everything on this list that says it will damage your hair- lol. I really appreciate the tips and recommend products though will definitely be checking a couple of those out.
I’ve done it all too, especially when I was in high school and thought my hair was invincible. Learned the hard way that all of that damage would catch up to me one day!
I used to think leaving my hair natural all the time would prevent breakage- I found out a few years ago that it needs some more oil, nice conditioner & shampoo to really help and a lot less heat. Thank for sharing these products, I may have to try #1! Taking extra care of mine has really helped with shedding & it being less tangled
I used to think the same way, but sometimes our hair needs a little help and as long as the products are good for it, it’s fine!
Maria (Artsy Cupcake) says
Completely agree with the overbrushing and brushing when your hair is wet can cause so much damage. It just stretches out the hairs and weakens them. Thanks for the helpful info!
Oh definitely! I only use the Wet Brush for my hair and I pretty much avoid brushing when it’s wet as often as possible, gotta avoid that excess damage!
Great tips! I try to baby my hair as much as possible, but I still shed it more than I would like. Thanks for the list of helpful products.
Tell me about it! I shed so much hair!
I’ve been struggling with damaged hair for months now. Thank you for this really useful post xxx
So happy you found it helpful!