Damaged hair is the unpleasant hair phase that girls with different hair types can encounter more than once in their lives. The factors that lead to damaged follicles, however, vary from person to person. It can be anything from matted hair lacking moisture to fried hair and dryness of chemical processing. We feel you; there’s nothing like seeing your hair get lifeless, brittle, and weak! But the good news is, chopping it all off is not the only solution.
There are lots of scenarios that may lead to breakage and dullness. And your task is to find out where you went wrong in your hair care to deal with the issue. In this article, we’ve prepared all the essential facts, tips, and hacks to fix and prevent hair damage in all hair types. Can damaged hair be repaired? Let’s find out together.
What Is Hair Damage?
When the cuticle, which is the protective layer of your hair, faces aggressors like friction, harsh chemicals, and heat it lifts and opens up. Once its structure is cracked, the hair becomes damaged, losing its natural luster and becoming even more prone to further damage. While it may start as just a couple of split ends, if you don’t take the right action in time, it can even affect your hair growth if not cause hair loss.
Every hair type reacts to such aggressors differently, as some cuticles are stronger than others. If the damage is not severe, there’s no need to rush to the salon; sometimes taking the right vitamins for hair and using natural treatments is enough. But it’s not always the case: more on that later.
First things first, you need to identify what was the cause of the damage.
What Causes Damaged Hair
Hair types are not created equal, but they all need a special approach to their hair care. In most cases, women end up with damaged hair because they don’t follow basic hair care recommendations for their hair types. Or, you can blame it on bad habits like overprocessing, over-styling, and misusing styling tools.
For example, women with straight and fine hair can go with almost any type of brushes, whereas girls with curly and coarse hair can hurt their locks if they go the same way. It’s all about personalized care.
On the other hand, environmental damage is a pretty common cause of damaged hair, too. A change of scenery coupled with new water, humidity level, and pollutants is likely to affect your hair. An imbalanced diet and lack of hydration and vitamins in your body can also be portrayed by the state of your locks.
Quick Test: Is My Hair Damaged?
Sometimes you feel that your hair acts differently, but you can’t tell for sure if it’s damaged. Here are pro tips to identify if you have damaged hair. And, if so, you can even define the type of damage.
- Hold a strand between two fingers and gently pull it at either end. Normally, the hair should get back to its original shape. If it snaps, it’s probably suffering from protein deficiency. When curly hair stretches but doesn’t get back to its initial length, it lacks moisture.
- Now, hold an inch-wide section between your fingers and pull them down to the ends. Focus on the texture: does it feel absolutely smooth from top to tips? If the surface is uneven and the hair snaps off under tension, it’s pretty damaged and should be fixed ASAP.
Can You Repair Damaged Hair?
As much as we want to give you an ultimate panacea on how to repair damaged hair, nothing can fuse once broken locks together. On the bright side, you can always prevent the damage from occurring, as well as make your hair look and feel better while it’s damaged. And last but not least, let’s not forget that there are different types of damage.
- Dryness is a minor type of damage that you can fix with the right care that includes hydrating leave in conditioner and hair mask for damaged hair.
- Split ends show up as a result of fried hair, and fixing it may be quite tricky. Technically, you can take an all-natural approach with nourishing treatments to make your mane look healthy and shiny, but your ends will still need scissors.
- Breakage is a deterioration of layers in the hair shaft, which is obviously a sign to call your stylist.
- Hair loss is severe damage usually caused by over-styling and pulling dry hair, which, of course, needs a complex approach from inside and out.
How To Repair Chemically Processed Or Colored Hair
Whether you are planning a bright makeover with purple hair dye or some basic blonde or brunette color, you should be aware of the possible damage. Of course, there are ammonium-free formulas, but it doesn’t mean they can’t affect your cuticles. Make sure to follow these basics once you notice your hair getting worse after yet another color session.
- Work with moisture-rich dyes If you can’t step out of coloring, you should at least work with the right products. Find a hair dye that is rich in conditioning elements. Although such dyes usually fade quicker than permanent ones, they’re way gentler to the hair, which is exactly what you need if it’s been colored for too many times.
- Dye the roots only Try minimizing chemical exposure on the length, applying the color as a root touch-up. In fact, it’s better to leave the idea of self-coloring if you already have damaged hair and leave it up to pros.
- Switch to shampoos designed for color-treated hair The best shampoo for damaged hair is the one that contains no harsh chemicals and sulfates. However, when looking for sulfate-free shampoo, you should pick only a color-safe item.
How To Manage Broken Hair
Do you have some baby hairs showing up? Well those flyaways may be the messengers of damage. Those hairs may have been broken due to wrong tools and untangling, leaving those baby hair-like pieces. Here’s how you can smooth things out and stop the damaging process.
- Don’t brush hair when it’s wet Even at a gunpoint, don’t ever brush your wet hair! By brushing the hair after the shower, you put a whole lotta tension that may consequently lead to breakage. Instead, brush your hair before shampooing it so that it’s smooth when you’re done. If you need to detangle it wet, gently run your fingers through your hair. As the curly girl method suggests for curls and thick hair, you can get rid of knots right in the shower, working some conditioner on the most tangled spots.
- A good brush is key Soft and smooth bristles without plastic balls on the ends are a perfect tool to prevent breakage. Make sure to avoid brushes with too spaced-out bristles. Moreover, a brush is a fundamental step to regrowing the hair that’s been broken. So, when looking for ways how to make your hair grow faster, you should have a good brush as a start.
How To Repair Damage From Heat Styling
We’re all no strangers to flat irons, curling wands, and blow dryers, right? And sometimes we pay back with brittle and dry hair. And you know what? It’s actually so easy to prevent.
- Heat protectants are the musts Sprays or serums containing silicones or polymers coat the hair with a protective barrier, making it resistant to high temperatures. That’s why it’s crucial to apply such a product to your hair before you get to styling.
- Don’t style wet hair Before turning on your hairdryer, make sure to towel-dry or air-dry your hair partially so as not to boil the water inside a strand and intensify the damage. Basically, the same goes for any heat styling tools.
- Invest in new styling tools After serving you for more than 5 years, the plates on your styling tools get rougher and hence don’t distribute the temperature evenly. In this way, you can apply too much heat on some sections while other strands may not meet the heat at all. When drying your hair, work with a nozzle - it’s safer. And when choosing a new flat iron, go for ceramic plates.
How To Repair Environmental Hair Damage
Chlorine, water, and even the sun may be stressful for your hair. Here’s what you should know to deal with it the right way.
- Avoid exposure to the sun On really hot summer days, a tightly-woven hat is the best savior for sensitive hair and scalps that are used to getting sunburned.
- Use waterproofing products If you go to the swimming pool as a part of your workout routine or simply plan a vacation, you should protect your hair from chlorine in the water. Regular or leave-in conditioners, as well as special serums, will work great to protect your hair from stripping off the color and breakage. By the way, how often do you wash your hair? If you go with regular conditioning, make sure that it fits your shampooing regimen.
Now, let’s round-up all the essentials you should know about hair damage by answering the most popular questions.
📌Can damaged hair be repaired without cutting?
It depends on the kind of damage you’re dealing with. If it’s a minor type like dryness and dehydration, you can fix the problem by involving more nourishing and moisturizing products into your hair care.
📌How long does it take to repair damaged hair?
Again, the time your hair needs to recover from damage depends on how severe it is. If the hair has been chemically processed and its cuticle is open close to the roots, there’s no better way than to cut off the broken length and start growing out the new, healthy one. Split ends are fixed in just one appointment, whereas colour-damage may take from 4 months to 1 year to regrow a healthy length.
📌Is my hair dry or damaged?
Hold the strands between your fingers and gently pull it: if the hair stretches but doesn’t get back to its original shape, it’s just dry. And if the surface of your hair is not even and snaps under tension, then it’s damaged.
📌How can I repair my damaged hair fast at home?
Start a whole new hair care routine full of nourishing and moisturizing treatments, leave-ins, and DIY masks. You should also start a protein-rich diet to nourish your hair from inside and out, as well as drink enough water. For the best results, give up on heat-styling, switch to air-drying your hair, and style it with heatless methods.
📌What does heat damaged hair look like?
If your hair has lost its natural lustre and elasticity and became brittle or you’ve noticed broken hairs, you certainly need to take a thorough approach to its care.
📌Can fried hair be repaired?
The best solution for fried hair is to cut off the dehydrated and unelastic strands for good and start growing out a healthy length. However, it’s possible to go without scissors if you’re ready to shell out on a professional treatment kit including extremely rich shampoos, conditioners, masks, and serums.
📌Can coconut oil fix damaged hair?
This oil is one of the greatest remedies for dry and overprocessed hair. Not only does it smooth out the cuticle but it also makes the hair shiny and more manageable. Consider it as the main ingredient of your DIY masks or apply pure oil to the dry sections.
Dryness and split ends may seem harmless at first sight. But if you let them do their own thing, beware of the consequences! Although no one is safe from damaging the hair, now you know how to how to fix damaged hair on its different stages and how to prevent it from happening.
- Spend too much time under the blow dryer. Decide to go from deep black to dirty blonde without the help of your stylist. Here`s how to repair damaged hair. Source