Hair Damage Types & How To Fix It Guide 2023

Dealing with hair damage and looking for a way to fix it? Well, my friend, to choose which treatment option is best for you, it’s important to determine what type of damage your hair has. That’s right; if you didn’t know, there are different hair damage types, and today we’ll go over them.

We can all agree that damaged hair is not a pretty look; no one wants dry, split ends, brittle strands, or hair breakage. However, hair damage is more common than you might think. While you may have a healthy mane for most of your life, there are also periods in which your hair may start acting up for several reasons.

In this sense, you need to stay alert to the signs; perhaps you’ve noticed how your hair has started to feel different, it might not feel as soft as it used to, or it doesn’t have the shine and movement it once had. These and other signs are your hair telling you; you are doing something wrong that needs fixing.

Dealing with damaged hair is not easy, and it can take a long time, depending on the type of damage. However, not all is lost; the right hair damage treatment has proven to help tackle several hair issues. Learn more about hair damage types and how you can restore your mane back to health.

Products Reviewed In This Article

Hair Damage Causes

  • Hair elastics, ponytails, and tight styles: It might not come as a surprise that hair ties and high-tension hairstyles stress strands, particularly at the root, and can lead to breakage.
  • Towel drying: Avoid drying fragile hair with a towel. Curly girls have known for years that a towel’s coarse texture can rough up the hair shaft and contribute to damage. Try a microfiber towel or an old t-shirt instead.
  • Overprocessing: This means hair that has been damaged from color and bleach, chemical relaxers, and heat styling.
  • Coloring and bleaching: In the dying process, peroxide interacts with melanin to alter its natural color while also reacting with PPD to bind the applied color to the hair permanently.
  • Chemical relaxers: Relaxers are treatments used to chemically alter the structure of tight, kinky, or extremely curly hair in order to straighten it out.
  • Heat styling: With the capacity of many tools reaching 400°F (200°C), it’s tempting to crank up the heat to get the best results in the least amount of time.

5 Hair Damage Types Explained

Heat Damage

Any form of heat can damage hair, even if you only straighten your hair once a year. This includes blow drying, flat ironing, curling, and even too much sun exposure.

Anything hotter than 365°F will burn the hair indefinitely, no matter what your texture is, so choosing tools that come with a temperature dial is the best way to control the amount of heat that comes in contact with your mane.

Chemical Damage

Chemical damage is caused by perms and hair relaxants, which are used to change the shape and texture of your hair.

Chemical damage is very similar to color damage; unfortunately, it’s difficult to fix. In fact, experts say it’s almost impossible to reverse since you’ve broken down the hair from inside the cuticle layer.

If you’ve tried to change the texture of your hair with a chemical, you most likely will have to be patient until it grows out.

Split Ends

You don’t need a microscope to spot split ends. You’ll know there is an issue when the end of a hair strand is split into two or more heads or if the hair shaft feels rough due to little microchips.

Experts explain that the ends of our hair are the oldest and most fragile. They’ve had the most time on our heads and experienced everything we’ve done to it.

Every time we wash, detangle, style, etc., we spend a bit more time polishing those ends.

In other words, the constant “wear and tear” attributes to weak ends, and split ends begin to form.

Color Damage

Even taking a break from regular foils won’t undo years of lifting and stripping away color. You just have to wait for the color or bleach to grow out to eliminate the damage completely.

Color damage can occur for several reasons; the first is overprocessing, which can be caused by using an unnecessarily strong product, too much heat, or leaving the color on for too long.

An example is making any drastic color change can cause damage; imagine going from brunette to blonde in one color appointment.

Thinning or Hair Loss

Many different things can cause thinning and hair loss, including damage to the hair.

When dealing with thinning, you will notice less hair, thinner ponytails, a visibly wider part, and more of your scalp showing. When referring to hair loss, you will usually report a noticeable increase in shedding.

While some people lose hair as they get older, lifestyle habits can also impact hair loss.

Stress causes hair to shift from the growth cycle to the resting cycle, in which it is more likely to fall out. Your diet also plays a significant role.

How To Choose Hair Damage Products

When picking out the best products for damaged hair or hair damage treatment, it is necessary to keep in mind important factors such as hair type, hair texture, what kind of ingredients are better than others, etc.

There are tons of products for damaged hair, so how do you pick those that will actually work for your tresses? It’s simple, do a label check for the ingredients.

With products specially formulated for hair damage, you’ll get nourishing ingredients infused with moisturizing actives to repair damaged hair if needed.

That’s why in choosing, one should first decide what hair conditions need to be treated, in other words, your hair damage types.

Damaged hair products should help in cleansing hair follicles and promote natural hair growth. Many of them are infused with essential oil and natural ingredients making them a perfect option to cleanse your hair gently.

These products make your hair healthy and sound by giving sufficient nourishment to your tresses.

How To Treat Hair Damage Types Guide

Heat Damage: OGX Protecting + Silk Blowout Quick Drying Thermal Spray

To treat heat damage:

  • Reduce or eliminate applying heat on previously damaged areas
  • Trim damaged hair every six weeks until hair grows out
  • Prep hair with a heat protectant each time before styling

We recommend using OGX Protecting + Silk Blowout Quick Drying Thermal Spray. It decreases blow-dry time while protecting strands from high heat.

Blended with hydrolyzed silk & quinoa, formulated to cut drying time and protect hair up to 450°F for big, beautiful blowouts.

The blowout hair primer spray also helps to prevent split ends in all hair textures and types. Get ready to perform your best hair flip while rocking a big blowout after applying the OGX Protecting Silk Blowout Quick Drying Thermal Spray.

Chemical Damage: Aveeno, Fresh Greens Blend Sulfate-Free Shampoo

To treat chemical damage:

  • Transition to a sulfate-free shampoo to cleanse hair
  • Add more time in between appointments; instead of getting highlights every two months, do it every six months.
  • Reduce heat exposure to damaged ends

Try using Aveeno, Fresh Greens Blend Sulfate-Free Shampoo. This clarifying and volumizing formula is paraben-free and perfect for thin or fine hair.

Infused with oats, rosemary, peppermint, and cucumber, this farm-fresh inspired shampoo clarifies, thickens, and adds light moisture to make it a perfect shampoo for fine to medium hair.

This shampoo enhances natural beauty and is free of sulfates, dyes, and parabens. In addition, it is safe for color-treated hair.

Split Ends: John Frieda Frizz Ease Nourishing Leave-in Conditioner

To treat split ends:

  • Use soft hair elastics for braids or ponytails instead of tight rubber bands
  • Use a leave-in conditioner when detangling with a brush
  • Trim split ends every 6-8 weeks until damage grows out

John Frieda Frizz Ease Nourishing Leave-in Conditioner is highly praised by users. The unique, anti-frizz formula for dry and damaged hair will make hair glossy and smooth.

Using a proprietary blend of polymers with keratin protein, our weightless spray removes frizz from each strand for a glossy, smooth finish.

Keep your straight hairstyle with our uniquely formulated flat iron spray for a sleek, straight hairstyle that lasts.

Color Damage: Marc Anthony Deep Conditioning Hair Mask for Dry & Damaged Hair

To treat color damage:

  • Avoid using bleach
  • Always utilize color-safe products
  • Incorporate weekly deep conditioning treatments into your routine

We recommend Marc Anthony Deep Conditioning Hair Mask for Dry & Damaged Hair. Formulated to help you achieve those perfect lengths without limits.

It features a moisturizing, anti-breakage formula blended with Caffeine and Ginseng. This formula will revive the elasticity of your hair and reinforce strength from the inside out.

Apply generously to wet hair after shampooing. Leave on for 3-5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

Thinning or Hair Loss: DrFormulas HairOmega 3-in-1

To treat thinning or hair loss:

  • Practice a healthy lifestyle and take effective vitamins for healthy hair growth.
  • Ask your doctor for an oral supplement.

DrFormulas HairOmega 3-in-1 supplies vitamins for hair loss and healthy growth and nutrients to improve the feel and appearance of your skin and nails.

Support your immune system and keep your hair, skin, and nails healthy all year round.

The 3-in-1 proprietary formulation of nutrients helps to increase your hair growth and promotes the production of collagen, which improves the skin’s structure and helps reduce the effects of aging.

Common Questions About Hair Damage Types

What are the most common hair damage types?

While the term hair damage is pretty broad, the most common forms of hair damage include split ends, heat damage, color damage, chemical damage, and hair loss.

What is most damaging to the hair?

Believe it or not, your daily haircare routine often causes the most damage to your mane, though you may be looking to obtain opposite results; think of heat-styling, aggressive brushing, sun damage, and improper washing.

What does damaged hair look like?

Damaged hair has a brittle, straw-like appearance. The hair shaft is fragile and prone to breakage, resulting in split ends and stray, unruly hairs. It will feel stiff and crunch upon touch with little movement.

What is mechanical damage to your hair?

Hair damage can be split into three main categories: thermal, mechanical, or chemical.

  • Thermal damage is damage that’s been caused by the overuse of heat-styling tools.
  • Mechanical damage is wear and tear or excessive friction on the hair.
  • Chemical damage is caused by the use of chemical treatments on the hair.
  • Chemical damage is any type of damage to the hair caused by chemicals, such as coloring products, bleaching products, or even chemical straightening or perms.

Is your hair more prone to damage than others?

Fine hair and textured hair have the greatest risk of hair damage. Fine strands can be fragile and often do not have a medulla, the center layer in thicker strands. This makes the hair more vulnerable to stretching and breaking.

Generally speaking, the more tightly curled hair is, the greater the risk for damage because cuticles may not lay flat while hugging such tight curves.

How to prevent hair damage?

Some of the most common things you can do to prevent different hair damage types include:

  • Coloring your hair less frequently or limiting bleach use
  • Heat-styling less frequently and at a lower temperature
  • Applying thermal protective creams and hair oils
  • Using sulfate-free and natural shampoo and conditioner
  • Eating well is the best prescription for overall health
  • Using the gentlest cleansers on your body will preserve your skin and hair.

How To Treat Hair Damage Video Tutorial

The video below will teach you the exact steps to treat hair damage. Make sure to follow the process and start seeing improvements right away.

Products Mentioned In This Article

  1. OGX Protecting + Silk Blowout Quick Drying Thermal Spray
  2. Aveeno, Fresh Greens Blend Sulfate-Free Shampoo
  3. John Frieda Frizz Ease Nourishing Leave-in Conditioner
  4. Marc Anthony Deep Conditioning Hair Mask for Dry & Damaged Hair
  5. DrFormulas HairOmega 3-in-1

Disclosure: The Hair Products recommended in this article are our top favorites because they have a great combination of quality, features, and affordability. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through the links as a way to support this site. If you buy a qualifying product, you’re not charged anything extra, but I’ll get a small commission to help pay for my expenses. I hope you find our advice helpful and discover the Best Hair Products for your needs on this list.

Photo of author
After graduating from an apprenticeship program in 2010, color specialist Doris began working behind the chair. She started with color corrections and then moved on to creative color. Currently, she works with blonding and grey-blending clients. Sarah views hair color as both an art form and a science and is passionate about salon education, which is the main reason why she started this blog. She has the Invisible Bead Extension Certification and the Bellami Master Certification for extensions.
Photo of author
After graduating from an apprenticeship program in 2010, color specialist Doris began working behind the chair. She started with color corrections and then moved on to creative color. Currently, she works with blonding and grey-blending clients. Sarah views hair color as both an art form and a science and is passionate about salon education, which is the main reason why she started this blog. She has the Invisible Bead Extension Certification and the Bellami Master Certification for extensions.