Dealing with split ends, straw-like texture, frizz, or increased breakage? These are common signs of damaged hair. Learn how to fix damaged hair with simple hair care routine changes, proven products, and overnight treatments to give your hair the extra TLC it needs.
Learn How To Fix Damaged Hair
Damaged hair is hard to avoid with today’s beauty standards. Whether it’s chemical processing, daily styling with hot tools, or general rough treatment of your strands, it’s shockingly easy to damage healthy hair with seemingly harmless routines.
If you’ve been noticing signs of damaged hair like increased breakage, split ends, rough or straw-like texture, or stubborn frizz, you know all too well how frustrating dealing with damaged hair can be.
But while your current hair care routine and habits may have left your mane a little worse for the wear, there are (thankfully) plenty of ways to combat and reverse damage.
In general, most damage-repairing techniques and products focus on one or more of the following:
- Boosting moisture to hydrate dry damaged hair
- Adding protein to rebuild and smooth damaged strands
- Using oils to moisturize damaged hair and seal the cuticle
- Avoiding physical and chemical damage whenever possible
- Supplementing with hair-nourishing vitamins, minerals, and botanicals
By tweaking your current hair care routines and focusing on giving your damaged locks the extra TLC they crave, you’ll be able to reduce the signs of damage and begin physically repairing broken bonds that leave damaged hair weak and brittle.
This guide makes it easy to start repairing damage and unlock your mane’s potential with simple methods and products that nourish, rebuild, and hydrate even the most damaged hair.
Today can mark the start of your journey to healthier, softer, and stronger hair. Keep reading to learn how to fix damaged hair with 10 different treatments, techniques, and products that will help your hair reach its healthy potential!
How To Fix Damaged Hair: 10 Treatments to Repair and Reverse Damage
Fixing damaged hair isn’t easy and you can’t expect your hair to recover from years of damage overnight. But can you repair damaged hair without cutting it short? Absolutely, when you’re armed with an effective damage repair plan.
Working these steps and products into your routine will quickly become a habit that you don’t want to break.
You’ll start seeing positive results and reduced signs of damage right away when you use these methods and products to treat your damaged hair. And every little victory is going to strengthen your resolve to continue taking better care of your hair.
Once you’ve cut out the main sources of damage from your hair care routine and start being mindful about giving your strands what they crave, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy, flowing mane straight out of a shampoo ad.
The treatments, products, and techniques you see below are the keys to fixing and repairing damaged hair. You can choose any that feel like a good fit for you, but take our advice and don’t skip the first step no matter how much you’re dreading it. Let’s get started!
1. Start With a Trim to Remove Split Ends
Mark Twain once said “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” If you’ve been avoiding trimming your damaged or split ends because you want to grow your hair out, “get a trim” is the advice you were dreading.
But split ends are impossible to permanently mend, no matter what that miracle mask or hair treatment claims. The only way to fix ‘em is to cut ‘em.
By getting a trim to knock off your split, weathered, or fragile ends, you start your damage-repairing journey off on the right foot. Without dry, frizzy split ends to weigh you down, you’ll be able to see results faster and notice an instant improvement in the overall thickness, health, and texture of your hair.
So go ahead and eat that live frog by getting your ends trimmed up. You won’t lose much length and your hair will look a lot healthier right away. Everything else from here will be easy!
Read Next: What Is a Trim Haircut?
2. Deep Condition Weekly to Hydrate Damaged Hair
You should be deep conditioning your hair once a week if you’re seeing signs of dryness and damage. Deep conditioning is one of our favorite ways to combat damage because you’ll see and feel the results instantly.
While a single deep conditioning treatment won’t repair damaged hair, it will definitely help disguise the signs of damage by hydrating and deeply moisturizing strands to make them plumper and softer.
To deeply condition damaged hair, look for a conditioning treatment (don’t use your regular conditioner) that will be able to penetrate strands and seal in moisture for long-lasting results.
Alternatively, you can mix up your own natural deep conditioning cocktail with ingredients from your kitchen! Try any of the following nourishing combos to deep condition damaged strands. Avocados and bananas are some of the best base ingredients to start with.
Avocado-Coconut Oil Deep Conditioning Treatment
Avocados are packed with plant nutrients that moisturize, strengthen, and help repair damaged hair. To get these benefits deep into strands, try an avocado and coconut oil treatment to deeply condition your hair.
Mash half an avocado, whisk in 1 egg, and mix in 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Apply to hair, saturating the ends especially, and cover with a plastic shower cap for 20 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
Banana + Honey Deep Conditioning Treatment
Bananas and honey both have antibacterial properties that fight scalp infections and microbes that can mess with your hair’s health and appearance. Bananas contain powerful antioxidants that fight off damaging free radicals that can cause hair to become brittle and damaged.
Honey is antibacterial and antifungal, so if you’re dealing with dandruff or an itchy scalp, this treatment can help resolve those issues, too. Mash 1 ripe banana and add 1 tablespoon of honey.
Combine thoroughly and apply the mixture to your hair from root to tip. Focus the treatment on the driest areas and make sure your ends are saturated! Double the recipe if your hair is very thick or long.
Greek Yogurt, Honey, and Avocado Deep Conditioning Treatment
Greek yogurt is a great, nourishing treatment base for damaged hair. It has double the protein content of regular yogurt, plus contains zinc and lactic acid for improved hair health and growth.
Combine that with the antibacterial, antifungal honey and fatty, moisturizing avocado, and you’ve got a premium deep conditioning treatment that is all natural and cheap to make! Mix 1 cup of plain protein-packed Greek yogurt with half an avocado (mashed).
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of honey into the mixture, then combine thoroughly. Apply to hair from root to tip and ensure the treatment covers your ends.
Cover with a shower cap and allow it to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. If you’re enjoying mixing up different deep conditioning treatments with natural ingredients, it’s worth trying The Cardi B Hair Mask (click for the original recipe).
This deep conditioning treatment/mask uses 8 hair-healthy ingredients and can be used up to 3 times per week on very damaged hair.
3. Take Advantage of Nourishing Natural Oils for Growth
Repairing damage can be as easy as applying a little oil to your weakened strands a few times each week. While just about any type of natural oil will work, you’ll see reparative benefits quicker when you use one of the 6 clinically-studied natural oils for hair growth.
The list includes argan oil, coconut oil, hemp oil, pumpkin seed oil, essential oils (especially lavender and rosemary), sesame oil, and horsetail extract oil.
Each of these oils will help repair damage by penetrating the hair shaft and moisturizing strands from the inside out. Oil can also seal any existing moisture into the strand by preventing it from evaporating.
Every oil has unique properties and benefits, but generally, they contain nourishing fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can strengthen and hydrate damaged hair.
Some of the oils on the list act as antioxidants, fighting off free radicals that further weaken and damage hair. Some promote faster, stronger hair growth by balancing hormone levels perfect if you’re hoping to achieve lots of healthy, damage-free growth.
4. Use a Special Hair Mask to Combat Signs of Damage
Damaged hair needs extra TLC, and grabbing a mask formulated specifically to repair and smooth damaged hair is one of the easiest ways to reverse signs of damage.
When you use a hair mask for damaged hair, you treat your hair to nourishing moisture plus damage-repairing protein and smoothing ingredients. There are tons of options out there, but if you’re looking for hair masks with excellent customer reviews, try any of the following.
We love the Marc Anthony Grow Long Hair Mask for Dry Damaged Hair for seriously damaged hair. It contains hydrolyzed protein, which is broken down into tiny molecules small enough to penetrate hair strands and fill in gaps where protein loss has occurred.
- Inexpensive product.
- Hydrates, controls frizz, and nourishes hair.
- Long ingredient label with synthetic ingredients.
- Not ideal for thin hair.
The result is smoother, more moisturized hair that feels soft and strong to resist breakage. If breakage is your main damage symptom, try Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment.
This isn’t a traditional moisturizing hair mask for damaged hair instead, it focuses on repairing the protein bonds in the hair to make it stronger and reduce weathering.
If dryness is your primary concern, a great option is the SheaMoisture Manuka Honey and Marula Oil Intensive Hair Masque.
Your hair only needs 5 minutes enveloped in this intensely hydrating mask to get all the damage-defying benefits. Nourishing avocado, honey, figs, and oils bathe every strand in a moisture matrix that will soften and hydrate even the driest damaged hair.
5. Tweak Your Washing Routine
If you wash your hair every day, you’re causing unnecessary damage to your hair. Harsh sulfates in many shampoos can also exacerbate existing damage.
Luckily, making a few simple tweaks to your washing routine can help you reduce the signs of damage you’re dealing with:
- Try a prewash or pre-poo (conditioning before and after shampooing) to better protect your hair and avoid stripping your natural oils away.
- Switch to a gentle sulfate-free shampoo to avoid subjecting your hair to harsh sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
- Avoid washing your hair everyday. Aim to wash as little as once to 3 times per week to get moisturizing benefits from your natural sebum (oil).
- Leave conditioner in your hair for at least 3 minutes after shampooing to give it time to do its job. Avoid your roots and focus only on the ends if your hair tends to get oily fast.
6. Take a Break From Chemical Processing
Chemical damage as a result of coloring, bleaching, highlighting, perming, or relaxing your hair severely weakens and dries out your hair.
If you’ve been chemically processing your hair for a while, or if a back-to-back bleaching session left your hair a little fried, you need to hit pause on all chemical processes for a while.
Giving your hair some downtime in between damaging chemical treatments is essential and will give your hair additional time to get healthy.
Every time you make a chemical change to the structure of your hair, it’s like starting back from square one in terms of damage. Perms, relaxers, color, and bleach all force the cuticle layer of your hair to open up.
Your hair can become fragile and weakened with increased breakage when you chemically process your hair too often or overprocess. So do yourself a favor and take a break from chemically processing your hair give it at least 2 months if reducing signs of damage is your goal.
7. Tread Carefully With Heat
Heat damage will leave your hair weak, dry, and frizzy. Hot tools are one of the most common sources of heat damage, so if you style your hair with a curling iron or flat iron daily or multiple times per week, you need to tread carefully from here on out.
Even hair dryers can be a source of heat damage especially if you’re using a cheap dryer on the high heat setting. The best way to control and prevent heat damage is avoiding heat styling and blow drying whenever you can while allowing your hair time to recover from damage.
Air drying is much better for your hair and there are tons of cute ways to create heatless curls while you’re off the hot tools. When you plan to heat style or blow dry, make sure you have a good heat protectant spray on hand.
You should mist your hair all over before blow drying, curling, or straightening your hair with heat. These sprays create a protective barrier over each strand and protect against heat up to 450 degrees.
8. Sleep Smarter With a Satin Pillowcase
Damaged hair should be treated as gently and carefully as possible to avoid breakage. Surprisingly, your pillowcase material can make a big difference!
Switching your cotton pillowcase for a satin or silk one will be much gentler on your hair and leave it smooth and tangle-free in the mornings. Satin pillowcases allow your hair to glide across the slippery surface while you sleep.
This reduces physical damage to your strands from tugging and tangles (which can lead to brushing aggressively to remove and further damage your hair).
Another benefit of switching to a satin pillowcase is increased moisture. If you’re using damage-repairing moisturizing products to protect and nourish your locks, a cotton pillowcase will soak up a lot of the product and leave your hair dry.
Satin pillowcases don’t soak up moisturizing products like cotton, so more of the good stuff stays on your hair, not your pillow.
9. Adjust Your Hair Brushing Habits
When you’re in damage repair mode, making even small changes to your daily hair care routines and habits can make a big difference.
Pay attention to your hair brushing habits to ensure you’re not causing damage on a daily basis with every stroke.
- Never brush your hair while it’s wet. Wet hair is more elastic and stretchy than dry hair, so it’s a lot easier to break hair while it’s wet. To avoid excessive breakage when you have damaged hair, only brush your hair while it’s dry. If you must brush while it’s wet, opt for a wide-toothed comb instead to avoid pulling and snapping strands.
- Switch to a boar bristle brush. If you have straight or slightly wavy hair, switching to a boar bristle brush can help you improve your hair’s health and fix existing damage. Boar bristles pull your scalp’s natural oils down along the entire hair strand for better hydration and protection from physical damage. The softer bristles also won’t snag or pull your hair like harder nylon bristles.
- Always brush from the bottom. When you brush damaged hair, be gentle by brushing it from the bottom and working your way toward the roots. By detangling small sections at the ends of the hair first, your brush will run into fewer tangles. That means less tugging on your strands and less breakage to deal with.
10. Start Taking a Hair Growth Supplement
When you can see and feel clear signs of damage in your hair, it’s a good idea to start taking a hair growth supplement to begin repairing some of that damage.
Hair growth supplements like Folexin contain essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to grow and strengthen hair.
It’s even better if you take a supplement that contains hormone-regulating botanical extracts that are proven to increase hair growth and make hair stronger and healthier.
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Try the growth supplement Folexin to get a daily dose of strengthening nutrients that help put your follicles into growth and repair mode. Your hair will be stronger, feel softer, start filling in sparse areas, and look healthier than ever.
You may see the added benefit of thicker, fuller hair when taking Folexin, too! We compared Folexin with other hair growth supplements here and it emerged as the clear winner in every single category.
Things to Consider
Learning how to fix damaged hair is only the first step to achieving strong, healthy, resilient hair. Now that you know the methods, products, and tweaks to make to your hair care routines, you’re ready for the next step: Putting it all into action!
You can use as few or as many of the tips as you like in this guide to fix your damaged hair. But you can get the most damage-busting benefits when you consider the following things:
- Keep your hair texture and tendencies in mind. If your hair tends to be chronically dry or super oily, these are important considerations to take. Consider your hair texture and type, too. Some of the methods in this guide work best for dry hair (like intensive moisture hair masks and pre-washing with conditioner). Others are better suited for a specific hair texture or type (like switching to a boar bristle brush not recommended for curly hair). Choose the methods that will specifically benefit your hair type and skip the rest.
- Commit to the changes. You won’t repair much damage if you only implement sporadic changes to your hair care routine. If you want to restore your hair to its healthiest state, you need to make a commitment to stick with a few changes long-term. You don’t have to avoid coloring or bleaching forever, but some changes warrant a long-term commitment. Washing no more than 3 times per week, using heat protectant spray every time you blow dry or heat style, and only brushing your hair while it’s dry are easy “rules” to follow that will help avoid causing new damage to your hair.
- Track your progress over time. Tracking your results with photos and notes can make the process of repairing damaged hair that much more satisfying. Before you use any of the methods here, take a quick before photo so you can compare it with your progress pics later on. Keeping a journal or notes in your phone can help you determine which of the methods and routine changes had the greatest effect on your hair. That means you’ll be able to drop methods that aren’t working for you and focus on the ones delivering the best results.
So, How Do You Fix Damaged Hair?
Damaged hair won’t fix itself. It’s going to require some effort on your part, but the good news is that even little changes to your usual routines can help repair damage.
Start with a trim to knock off split or frayed ends to get off to a healthy, fresh start. Work natural oils, hair masks, deep conditioning treatments, and a hair growth supplement like Folexin into your routine to start repairing damage from the inside out.
At the same time, begin making positive swaps in your hair care toolkit to prevent additional damage and start being more gentle on your strands.
From switching to a satin pillowcase to washing with sulfate-free shampoo 3 times or less per week, when it comes to fixing damaged hair, you are in full control. All you need to do is commit to making the changes and you’ll start seeing the results!