Bring Your Damaged Hair Back To Life: The Step-by-Step Recovery Plan You Need Now

Full Width Featured Image with Sidebar

Written by Annie Walton-Doyle

Updated: April 23, 2024

Damaged Hair In Content
image via @luxyhair

Many of us are guilty of just doing too much to our hair: bleaching, coloring, heat treating, and styling can all cause damage to the hair strand, which can make hair brittle, more prone to breakage, and hard to work with.

Damaged hair can also look less healthy, and the deterioration of individual strands gives a less glossy and bouncy appearance overall. So it’s no wonder that those with damaged hair want to fix it.

Luckily for all of us hair abusers, there are steps that can be taken to help to repair hair damage.

Restoring your hair to its most healthy, happy, and beautiful can take a few different methods and some time, but it’s all worth it when you can once more enjoy your undamaged locks. So for a step-by-step recovery plan for reviving damaged hair, look no further…

How To Spot Damaged Hair

The NCBI explains that in the first stages of hair damage, the results are a loss of gloss and softness, but with further damage, hair may lose its strength and elasticity, and eventually its complete structural integrity, resulting in hair breakage.

So if you’re noticing your hair looks dull or feels dry and brittle, or you’re noticing breakage, split ends, and flyaways, it could be time to take action to repair your hair’s damage.

Types Of Hair Damage

Damaged Hair 1 450 x 560
image via

There are four main types of hair damage categorized by the NCBI. This study claims that deterioration of the hair fibers occurs through the following four processes: mechanical, chemical, thermal, or environmental—or a combination of those.

Put simply, hair can be damaged manually, by over-brushing or styling, chemically, through treatments like bleach or perming solution, thermally, by the application of heat to the hair, or environmentally, by pollution and UV light.

Hair is also more prone to damage the longer it gets, as it has been more exposed to environmental factors (alongside any self-inflicted damage like color and heat treatment).

How To Care For Damaged Hair

The main two things you must consider if you want your hair to be less damaged. The first is minimizing the damage you’re currently inflicting on your hair. This may mean stopping (or at least cutting down on) color treatments, heat styling, or introducing less harsh manual haircare products, like a gentler hair brush

There are also things you can do to help to repair the damage that has already been done to the hair. This primarily involves rebuilding the bonds within the hair’s individual shafts – which we’ll explore in more depth later. But on top of that simple advice, there are other important elements in the step-by-step guide to reviving damaged hair…

Choose Your Shampoo Wisely

Damaged Hair 2 450 x 560
image via @garnierusa

An overly harsh detergent in your shampoo can dry out your hair, making it more brittle and prone to damage or breakage. It could be helpful to look out for a shampoo without sulfates, as these cleansing agents can be a little too aggressive for damaged hair.

Make sure to opt for a product that promises to be suitable for damaged hair, and to read the ingredients of your shampoo before purchasing.

Enhance Your Conditioner

You’ll also want to choose a more intensive conditioning product to help to repair hair damage. Look for products specifically designed with damaged hair in mind. For every other hair wash, you can swap out your regular conditioner for a more heavy-duty hair mask.

Leaving your conditioning treatment on for several minutes can help allow hair to soak up the benefits, too.

Soak And Smear

It sounds odd, but the soak and smear is a method beloved by haircare professionals. Wash your hair as you normally would, using your favorite shampoo and conditioner. Gently pat your hair dry with a towel—no need to rub it!

While your hair is still damp, apply a leave-in conditioner and work it through evenly. Finish with a few drops of hair oil to lock in all that moisture. This will leave your hair feeling softer and much easier to style.

Take Care Of Your Scalp

Damaged Hair 3 450 x 560
image via @minhabeauty

An unhappy scalp will never produce happy and healthy hair. Stimulating your scalp can help increase blood flow to the area. This, in turn, can enhance the strength of your hair’s roots, which can also help nutrients better travel down the strands of your hair, per NCBI.

This doesn’t just help with existing hair damage, but can also encourage the regrowth of brand-new, healthy and damage-free hair strands.

Limit Mechanical Damage

Damaged Hair 4 450 x 560
image via

If you want to minimize hair damage, finding a brush that effectively detangles your hair without tugging at the roots or pulling hair out is essential. Healthy hair is much stronger than damaged hair. That’s why damaged hair tends to break easily when you brush or style it.

According to the AAD, overbrushing the hair is one of the leading causes of hair damage, but there is a way to avoid this.

Something that boasts more gentle detangling properties, like the Tangle Teezer or the Aveda Wooden Paddle Brush, is perfect if you want to brush your hair without causing or worsening hair damage. Hair is also at its most delicate and prone to snapping when wet, so avoid brushing it then.

Mechanical damage doesn’t just come from hair brushing, though – it can also be caused by being too rough when towel drying your locks. Rubbing hair causes abrasiveness on hair when it’s at its most fragile and can lead to damage.

Consider instead opting for a microfibre hair turban, like The Aquis Rapid Dry Hair Turban. This allows hair to dry in a more gentle, protective manner, sucking the water out of your hair without any friction.

Opt For Silk

A great way to prevent hair damage while you sleep is by opting for a silk (rather than a cotton, polyester, or linen) pillowcase. Silk is less absorbent than other potential pillowcase materials, so it won’t pull oil out of your hair while you sleep.

It’s also a material that generates less friction, which can prevent further breakage or damage. This means you’ll wake up to hair that feels more nourished and softer.

Cool It Down

A hot shower is one of life’s major pleasures – but it can be stripping and therefore damaging to the hair. Using lukewarm water to wash hair can help keep the process as gentle as possible.

On top of this, using heat to dry your hair can also be a major stressor, per the NCBI. If you really must use heat on your hair, make sure you’re protecting your hair with an effective heat protectant.

Treat From The Inside Out

One major area in your diet that may be having a negative impact on your hair health is your protein consumption.

Hair strands are actually made of protein, so the BBC points out that: “If you are not consuming enough protein in your diet, your hair is likely to become dry, brittle and weak. Extremely low protein diets may result in restricted hair growth and even hair loss.”

Adding more protein to your diet can help repair the damage you’re seeing in your hair!

Introduce Oils

Damaged Hair 5 450 x 560
image via @amy.l_beauty

Natural oils are some of the best treatments to add strength and nourishment to weakened and worn-out hair. Coconut oil, Almond oil, Castor oil, Argan oil, and Olive oil all have deeply reparative qualities on hair damage.

Oils are emollients, meaning they create a coating over the hair shaft, sealing the cuticle and trapping the moisture inside. They also offer lubricant properties, providing increased slip in between the hair strands, detangling the hair, and flattening the cuticle surface which improves the hair’s health and appearance.

Add Protein

Damaged Hair 6 450 x 560
image via @k18hair

In addition to the moisture-enriching attributes found in hair masks and oils, hair suffering from notable damage can also find solace in a specialized reparative solution.

The K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask harnesses the power of the brand’s patented K18 peptide, designed to mend damaged hair strands deeply. This innovative peptide protein works by bridging the gaps within the polypeptide chains constituting the hair strands, gradually restoring and reinforcing the structure.

Over time, this treatment aids in reversing damage, fortifying against breakage, and promoting the growth of a resilient and lustrous mane.

To Sum It Up

There isn’t a single miraculous solution for repairing hair damage and restoring healthy and resilient locks.

Yet, by adopting a comprehensive approach to your hair care regimen, integrating lifestyle adjustments and effective hair care techniques, you really can help both fix hair damage and prevent it from occurring in the future, too.

Related Hair Ideas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}