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When Your Hair Is Damaged


Messy, damaged hair
Michael Sugrue/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Sometimes, hair problems go beyond singular issues such as dryness or frizz. There are times when hair is damaged beyond repair. No amount of conditioning, protein treatments or any miracle product can help. What went wrong and how can you make sure it never happens again?

Chemical Abuse

This is a major cause of damaged hair. When products like relaxers and hair color are easily accessible, most anyone can buy them and use them. A lot of the time, they aren't used properly and that's where damage comes in. It can be especially difficult to apply a relaxer only to your hair's new growth, which is why paying a professional to do this is highly recommended. Overlapping relaxers on previously relaxed hair makes it weaker and will eventually lead to breakage.

Applying harsh color on chemically processed hair is another potential damage scenario. Blond hair color on bone-straight relaxed tresses is just asking for trouble. The lifting and depositing process on hair that's already processed is too harsh to leave in the hands of anyone who doesn't have experience treating double-processed hair.


Whether your hair is chemically processed or natural, too much heat can hurt it. This pertains to daily heat abuse through the use of flat irons, curling irons or pressing combs. It also applies to high temperatures used even once. Hair can and will burn if extremely hot tools are used on it. Unfortunately, some women have found this out the hard way by using flat irons to straighten their natural hair. The too-high temperatures permanently killed their curl and no amount of shampooing and conditioning is able to bring it back. There's nothing pretty about growing out your natural hair and then having stick-straight, damaged pieces throughout an afro.


When your hair is just dry, even excessively so, you can work to get the moisture back in it. It may take a while (at least several weeks), but it can be done. However, damage is completely different. Once hair is fried past the point of no return, there really is no return to healthy hair. The only solution is to cut off the damaged hair. This can be painful to hear if you really want your hair to grow longer, but long hair that's damaged won't do anything for your look. Instead, just get rid of the damaged bits, start over and vow not to repeat the same mistakes.

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