Sunday, 14 April 2013

Hair Damage

Hair damage is a huge issue for everyone, it makes hair dull, break and generally unhealthy!

But what it is? How can we recognise it and what REALLY causes it?

What causes damage

Damage can be caused by many processes including chemical damage (dyes, relalxers, perms), the sun,  every day wear and tear and heat.

Mixed race hair  and curly hair can be particularly susceptible to damage, every bend in your hair is a weak point. 

What is damage?

We can identify damage as the hair splitting or breaking, loosing natural curl pattern, hair feeling dry or bubble hair.  Hair that cannot hold a curl or straighten is often damaged.
A healthy hair strand will appear smooth, it will have no change in thickness throughout the strand and will have a natural shine.
Click below to read more

Chemical damage

When putting a chemical on your hair it is damaged, it doesn't mean it cant be healthy but essentially the hair is 'damaged'. Perms and relaxers reshape the chemical bonds. Dyes enter the cortex which damages the outside layers of the hair.

The easiest way to prevent this is simple, avoid chemicals. Although, if you do choose to use chemicals just be aware that your hair is already damaged and therefore minimising other forms of damage should really help maintain the health of your hair.

Sun Damage

UV light from the sun can break down the keratin in your hair, resulting in light streaks and drying out of the hair. If hair is already chemically damaged this can be a particular problem.

Wearing a hat or using a heat protectant can help to prevent this damage. Remember your hair needs protecting the same way your skin does!

Wear and Tear

Brushing, combing, wearing your hair in hair ties, hair brushing against skin and clothes are all examples of damage from wear and tear.

Protective styles are the simplest ways to avoid damage from wear and tear, particularly low manipulation protective styles. Examples include buns, weaves and wigs.


Heat can lead to dry and unmanageable hair, it robs the hair of moisture and can even cause the water in the hair to boil resulting in bubble hair!

Again, avoiding heat will prevent this, but when using heat always use your appliances on low temperatures and use a heat protectant

Important points

Its easier to prevent damage than treat damage
Use a deep conditioner at least once a week to help prevent damage
Cut off damaged ends to prevent it traveling up the hair shaft
Damaged hair CANNOT be 100% repaired


  1. Wow I never seen split ends like this before. I was blown away with the hair damage demostrations photos.

  2. Great post, Chantelle! Growing long healthy hair means ultimately fighting against damage. Love the Illustration too. Unfortunately some of those look too "Split", the "Taper", the "Offshoot" and the "Crinkle". LOL! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes definitely. Split and crinkle are my biggest problems!

      Thans for reading

  3. Never seen such detailed info re splits; very informative!

  4. Excellent! Thanks very much. I have four daughters with mixed hair and having had no experience of afro hair before I have found it quite a challenge to get to grips with it, especially as all four have different thickness and texture!! Plus dry scalps etc the list goes on. I am so worried about ruining their lovely hair and don't want them to have hair they are unhappy with as teenagers because of my poor choices. There is so much information out there and much contradictory advise thrown at you, it's hard to know what to do for the best. Ideally i'd never use heat or chemicals on the hair. I took my 8 year old to the hairdressers to have her hair straightened for a special occasion and did not realise they would be using a gentle texturiser. Since, I can wash and brush while wet with coconut oil, part in four plaits and take the plaits out every day for school. No heat no brushing while dry so although it was not my choice to use a texturiser (as I would have said no way had I known), i'm thinking perhaps it's better as before I had to blow dry and brush ALOT! My eleven year old now wants to have her hair texturised. I have booked her in. I hope I have made the right choice. Also, at £55 for four daughters it does not come cheap but, if it means this summer they can run around in the splashpark and at the beach without worrying about their hair, maybe its worth the risk!

    1. I completely understand, the key is research research research. But you're right there is a lot of contradictory information. I'd say just take everything with a pinch of salt or learn via trial and error. It seems like you already know a lot and that means that they'll take that on and hopefully continue to enjoy their hair. I agree, at young ages it should all be about having fun. Not worrying about getting wet etc because of your hair. I'd say go for it but continue to research. With chemicals their hair is more likely to break and snap etc. So it needs more gental handling.

      Feel free to contact me if you want anymore information on anything, I can help direct you to where you can get advice or give you some myself if needed.


    2. Thank you so much Chantelle! I'll be in touch :0)

  5. Very informative post Chantelle breakage has always been my biggest problem and any tips I can get on curbing my breakage highly welcome.

    1. Glad you liked it :)
      I think its good to be thorough when providing knowledge like this

  6. Chantelle, thank you so much! I wish I had found this blog before now!

    1. Glad you liked it :) thanks for commenting

  7. The Shielo Leave in Protectant was recommended to me by my hairstylist a few months ago after my hair suffered major heat damage due to excessive flat ironing and blowdrying. In just a few minutes, the Shielo Protectant transformed my hair completely and I definitely noticed a difference after just one use. I cannot stop touching my hair - it went from dry, damaged, and dull to shiny, healthy, and super soft. It is a little expensive, but it is a great investment and this product lasts for a long time ( I only use it 1-2 times a week because that is plenty).

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