5 Types of Hair Damage and How to Repair Them: A Comprehensive Guide

Our natural hair experiences various forms of damage, including split ends, dryness, and heat damage.
This damage to the hair can be caused by daily manipulation or other factors beyond our control.

Instead of getting worked up about something we can't control, we can take steps to repair our hair.
Before we discuss how to repair damaged natural hair, let's first understand what hair damage is and its common causes.

What is Hair Damage?

Hair damage typically occurs when external factors such as friction, heat, and harsh chemical treatments penetrate the protective layers of your hair, causing it to become cracked and prone to breakage.

Signs of hair damage include dryness, frizziness, and difficulty in managing your hair.

Hair damage can be caused by various factors, including the following:

3 Possible Causes Of Hair Damage

1. Stress

Stress disrupts the hair growth process by triggering hormones that cause your hair to enter a resting mode. This mode causes your hair to grow out prematurely, and as a result, they fall out.

2. Dryness

Unusually dry hair is a precursor to damaged hair. When your hair doesn't receive regular and timely moisture, it becomes dry and brittle and tends to break off when you comb it.

3. Incorrect Brushing and Combing

This happens when you rough comb your natural hair and aggressively pull at knots. Rough combing can wreak havoc on your hair, damage your hair cuticles, and make it more prone to damage. The harsher you comb your hair, the more damage-prone it becomes.

5 Types of Hair Damage and How To Repair Them

1. Split Ends

It is easy to spot hair that has split ends. You'll know if your hair has split ends if it tangles more, becomes dry, brittle, and breaks off easily.

How to Get Rid of Split Ends

An effective way to repair split ends is to trim or cut your hair, depending on the extent of the damage.

To avoid split ends, we recommend that you trim your hair every 2 months and moisturize your hair properly from roots to ends on a daily or weekly basis.

Learn how to effectively get rid of split ends with this tutorial by Simply Subrena.

2. Color Damage

It's okay to add color or dye to your natural hair. Who doesn't want to set heads turning with a blonde look today and a dark red hairstyle the next few days, right?

However, these products (dyes) contain chemicals that can strip your hair of its natural moisture. When this happens, your hair becomes dry, fragile, and coarse to the touch, which can lead to breakage.

How to Repair Color-Damaged Hair

If your hair is damaged by dyes, you can either cut it or wait for the color to completely fade away.

Alternatively, you could consult with a hair professional to recommend a product that would repair the damage caused by the dye and is specifically suited for your hair texture and porosity.

Does this mean I should stop dyeing my hair? Not at all. If colored hair is your preferred style, you should ensure that you moisturize your hair on a daily basis or apply deep conditioning treatments more often.

Also, it is important that you engage the services of a professional colorist whenever you want to dye your hair.

See how you can repair hair damage caused by hair coloring or dyeing in this video by Savedbythestylist.

3. Mechanical Damage

If your strands are always tangled, have regular split ends, or your edges are thinning, you most likely have mechanical damage.

This kind of damage is caused when you roughly handle your hair during manipulation, especially when detangling your braids or weaves.

How to Repair Mechanically Damaged Hair

Fortunately, there are ways to reverse this damage. You could use Beauty & Pin-Ups Fearless Hair Rescue Masque to restore your hair's vitality or try one of these detanglers to make combing easier for you.

In this video, Sofnfree will explain how you can repair mechanically damaged hair.

4. Heat Damage

It is an unwritten rule for naturals that it is unhealthy to apply excessive heat to our hair strands.

During hair styling, heat tools like hot combs, blow dryers, and hair straighteners tend to dry out the hair cuticle, making it weaker and eventually causing it to break off massively.

The constant application of heat to your hair is never a good thing for your precious strands.

How to Repair Heat-Damaged Hair

To reverse this damage, you can do the following:

  1. Wear protective styles more often.
  2. Deep condition your hair.
  3. Trim your hair, or cut everything off.

If you prefer to wear straight styles with your natural hair, you could try one of these no-heat methods for straightening hair or wear natural blow out hair extensions so you don't need to apply heat on your hair at all.

If you still insist on using heat on your hair, we recommend that you apply some heat protectant and allow your hair some breaks in between heat styling.

In this tutorial, Studio Techilo will show you how you can repair heat-damaged hair.

5. Over-Processed Hair

Over-processed hair happens when we use various products and treatments on our hair. They usually result from incorrect or excessive use of bleach, perming, excessive use of hairstyling tools, or hair relaxers.

How to Repair Over-Processed Hair

  1. Get a haircut to remove split ends.
  2. Reduce the frequency of hairstyling to allow your hair to breathe.
  3. Invest in reliable, professional hair treatments.
  4. Apply homemade hair mask to keep your hair hydrated and nourished.
  5. Use a heat-protective spray before exposing your hair to heat styling methods like straightening, blow-drying, or curling your natural hair.
Here's a video of Linwood showing how you can repair over-processed hair.

5 Tips for Healthy Natural Hair

If you are experiencing any of the hair damages mentioned above, don't worry, you can still have healthy natural hair.

There are plenty of methods you can use to grow and maintain healthy natural hair. Here are some tips:

  1. Trim your hair regularly.
  2. Moisturize your hair frequently.
  3. Drink plenty of water.
  4. Use hair products recommended by a professional hairstylist.
  5. Protect your hair at night by using a satin bonnet.
For more tips, check out this article.