Damaged hair can affect each and every one of us. In fact, many people are unaware that their hair shows signs of damage at all! In our quest for beautiful hair, all the tools and techniques we use could sometimes be doing more harm than good. If you think about your daily haircare routine, it could involve a lot of excess heat from styling tools, aggressive brushing, or even improper washing. Don’t worry! Curlsmith is on hand to guide you through common signs and how to repair your damaged locks.
5 Signs of Damaged Hair
Hair damage occurs when your hair bonds are weakened or harmed. This can be caused by heat, friction or chemical treatments like bleach. Before looking for the signs many of us may be experiencing, understanding the structure of your strands could help you identify hair damage. Going back to basics, the core of your hair strands is protected by overlapping scales (cuticle). On healthy hair these scales lie flat against each other to form a unified strength. When damaged or weakened, the flat structure is replaced by raised scales, which leaves the strand’s core exposed and vulnerable to hair breakage.
If you are scratching your head thinking “I can't see the tiny cuticle scales on my hair!” Don’t panic! Cuticles are very small structures invisible to the naked eye. Here are some common signs to look for to determine whether you may be experiencing hair damage.
- Noticeable Split Ends - Split ends are a tell tale sign your hair may be damaged. We have all experienced them at some point and as a refresher, split ends can be seen as little white dots near the end of your strands or simply the hair strand split in two.
- Extremely Dry Hair - Dry hair can be a sign of damage as the natural oils may not be able to coat the full length of your strands. If you have curly hair, coily hair, or wavy hair you will already have drier tresses than straight hair, so it is even more important for these hair types to address early signs of damage.
- Dull Appearance - Dull hair could mean you’re suffering with damaged locks. Where the cuticle of the strands are raised, light is unable to reflect off them, which is what typically creates the illusion of shiny hair.
- Rough, Coarse Feeling Hair - Rough, coarse feeling hair is another sign you could have hair damage. Usually caused by heat when you are styling your curly hair, it's a feeling not many of us enjoy. We’re sure we would all prefer soft, silky locks.
- Breakage - Hair breakage is exactly as the name suggests. It’s when the strands of your hair bend or snap. It tends to occur because the hair bonds lose their strength and become weak. Breakage can happen at any point in your hair, from the root to the ends.
What Causes Damaged Hair?
Identifying what causes damage to your hair is a preliminary step to unlocking beautiful tresses. Hair damage can appear slightly differently from person to person depending on their hair type, but more often than not, there are universal causes which are responsible for it. Most of them are daily activities that may have gone unnoticed, but actually play a part in damaging your hair.
10 Common Causes of Damaged Hair
- Chemical damage from hair dye, bleach and relaxers
- Heat damage from styling tools (hair straighteners, tongs, even some blow dryers)
- Salt water (for example, if you swim in open water or the sea)
- Chlorine from swimming at the swimming pool
- UV damage from the sun
- Damage from hard water
- Elastic hair ties that pull on your hair strands
- Using products that are incorrect for your specific hair type
- Using the wrong brush or comb for your hair type (even the way you brush your hair could be damaging it!)
- Using the wrong type of towel for your hair (cotton towels can cause friction, so try using a microfiber towel instead)
This list may seem extensive and long, but if you can pinpoint the area which could be causing damage it will be easier to fix and repair your damaged hair.
How to Repair Damaged Hair at Home
As we have seen, hair damage can take all shapes and forms, but we are on hand to provide you with our at home solutions. These methods and tips could help repair and prevent future hair damage, leaving you with gorgeous tresses.
- Hair Washing Frequency - Depending on your hair type, how often you wash your hair will differ for each person. However, you want to get into a good routine as washing too frequently could cause dryness and infrequent washing can lead to scalp build up. Both of which can cause hair damage. A top tip is to wash your hair in lukewarm water. Turning the dial down on the temperature could help avoid knots and tangles, which can be created by steamy hot showers.
- Choose the right shampoo for your hair type - A big step in preventing and repairing damaged hair is to use products suitable for your hair type. Shampoos are no exception to this. From changing to a sulfate free shampoo or trying a clarifying shampoo, like our Wash & Scrub Detox Pro-Biotic. They all could aid in achieving healthy hair as they deeply cleanse your scalp to its most natural state. It is like hitting a reset button on your hair. If you want to make your hair even stronger on wash day, try our protein-enriched Core Strength Shampoo.
- Hydrate your hair - Hydrating your hair may seem obvious to most, but it's so important when repairing and preventing damaged hair. Without optimal hydration your hair is more prone to breakage. We recommend our Multi-tasking Conditioner, which is a 3-in-1 leave-in conditioner, rinse-out and deep conditioner for all curly hair types. This light texture melts onto your strands to deliver intense moisture without weighing down your curls. It is also supercharged with proteins and bond-building actives to strengthen the hair.
- Protect your hair bonds - Repairing your hair bonds from the inside out helps to support healthy and strong hair. Your hair bonds can be damaged and broken from everyday haircare tools such as your heated stylers. Our Bond Curl Rehab Salve is a strengthening hero that targets all bond types in the hair to strengthen and protect. Rich in proteins and superfoods, not only does it aid in repairing bonds, but also helps to restore the protein moisture balance in your hair. Which again, helps to prevent further damage to your hair.