What is damaged hair? Damaged hair is caused by rough handling, over use of products, heat styling at too high temperatures, over processing and more. Physically damaged hair is rough, brittle to the touch, prone to split ends, weak, and breaks easily.
1: Heat Styling
Heat Styling is a leading cause in damaged hair. Heat at high temperatures causes the hair to boil and swell draining moisture from your hair -- leaving hair dry and brittle. Below is a list of heat styling tools which damage hair and some tips to prevent heat damage.
Heat Styling tools which damage hair:
- Hair dryers
- Hot rollers
- Curling irons
- Flat irons
Using heat at high temperatures can cause irreversible heat damage. Try using low heat or air dry when styling hair. Always use a heat protectant spray or serum prior to using heat. Keep hair dryer temperatures below medium - high. Set Curling and Flat iron temperatures below 375 F. Refrain from using heat more than once a week.
2: Harmful Chemicals
Many chemicals such as bleaches, perms, and relaxers have the potential to damage hair greatly. In order for them to work they must swell hair's cuticle to break down protein bonds in hair--this process causes weaker hair that is more prone to damage.
Below are common chemicals which damage hair:
- Hair dyes
Try extending your chemical treatments to once every 12 weeks and apply only to new growth. This allows your hair’s new growth time to grow out preventing overlapping of product and over processing.
3: Harsh Weather Conditions
Environmental conditions affect hair year round. Harsh weather conditions cause hair to become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. During the summer, the sun's UV rays break protein in hair.
Hair's composition is 88% protein. Protein protects hair and when it breaks down- hair becomes dry and damaged. The sun is especially rough on chemically processed hair.
Most of all, the winter is most drying to hair. This is because there is less moisture in the air. The cold winds tangle hair and roughen hair's cuticle.
Protecting your hair year round is essential. If you plan on being outdoors for long periods of time cover your hair with a hat or hair scarf and practice protective hair styling.
Friction damages hair most frequently. Daily activities such as combing your hair, loose hair styles and sleeping cause friction. The constant rubbing of hair against a surface breaks hair. If you do not protect your hair, the friction between rough surfaces and hair will cause damaged hair.
Also, combing hair too often and not using the appropriate comb such as a wide tooth breaks and damages hair. To avoid damaged hair from friction incorporated protective hair styles such as updos, braids or twists into your hair regimens.