what are the causes of damaged hair

What Can I Do About Damaged Hair?

Sometimes the effort we put in to making our hair look good is actually what causes damage to the hair cuticle. There is an abundance of opinions about proper hair care with some views providing conflicting advice.

This guide will give you an informative overview of what causes damaged hair and scientific based methods to preserve a healthy head of hair.


  1. Why do I have damaged hair?
  2. How can I improve my hair?
  3. How can I reverse damage to my hair?
  4. Conclusion

Why do I have damaged hair?

there are many different types of damaged hair issues

When you think of damaged hair, the image that comes to mind is likely split ends. However, damaged hair includes much more than just split ends. It most often presents as dry, brittle strands that break easily. Here are signs to tell if your hair is damaged:

  • Lacklustre hair: When the hair cuticle is no longer smooth, light does not reflect well. This can create a dull appearance, lacking shine.
  • Easily tangled hair: Loose pieces of damaged cuticles catch on one another, creating tangles more easily in the hair. Brushing the tangles with a stiff hairbrush can actually lead to further damage.
  • Frizzy hair: When the cuticle becomes compromised, it is affected by moisture differently. This can cause strands to swell, sticking up in the air or angling in an unusual way. Some hair types will naturally appear more frizzy than others.
  • Fading of colour treatments: Damage to the cuticle also inhibits the hair from maintaining a colour treatment.
  • Dry, brittle hair: When the cuticle has breaks in it, the strand of hair cannot hold moisture and dries out quickly.
  • Split-ends and hair breakage-: Hair breakage is more common with dry, tangled hair when the outer layer of the cuticle lifts and means the overlapping cells cannot lie flat. At the ends of hair strands, breakage leads to split-ends.
  • Rigid hair: A rough cuticle can be caused by age or exercise. This allows less overall movement in the head of hair.
  • Thinner hair: A thinning of hair occurs naturally with age. What many perceive as hair loss is actually just an increase in hair breakage.

Different types of hair are more susceptible to damage and the injury of the hair shaft can be caused by a variety of sources.

How can I improve my hair?

Knowing what caused the dryness and breakage can help you to prevent and restore further damage. Here are 8 sources of damaged hair and what you can do to prevent it:

1 – Internal Influences

Factors such as nutrition, age, stress, hormones, and illness can all impact the state of your hair. Proper nutrition is important for providing the body with the nutrients it needs for healthy hair growth. A poor diet can make hair more susceptible to damage.

How to fix it: Be sure to maintain a balanced diet that includes valuable sources of vitamin C, vitamin D, biotin, zinc, protein, and iron. Our Biotin and Keratin supplements are formulated to help improve the health of your hair by stimulating the follicles making them stronger and fuller.

2 – Environmental Effects

Just as UVA and UVB rays can damage the skin, the same can happen with your hair as well. Sunlight is responsible for breaking the bonds that hold the hair shaft together, leading to dryness and breakage.

How to fix it: Wear sunscreen on your scalp and apply a hair mask for added protection.

3 – Incorrect Shampooing

Knowing how often to wash your hair is crucial for maintaining a healthy mane, but the best washing schedule can vastly differ from person to person. It’s usually recommended to shampoo between 3-4 times per week depending on if your hair is oily or dry.

How to fix it: Be sure to use a shampoo that is formulated for your specific hair type. Elithair offers a shampoo and serum designed to strengthen your hair that can be used with all hair types.

4 – Chlorine and Saltwater

The chlorine in pools and salt from the ocean can strip your hair of its natural coating of keratin, leaving your strands dry and dull.

How to fix it: Before entering the water, wet your hair and apply conditioner. If you have longer hair, it will also help if you tie your hair up.

5 – Chemical Treatments

It is always best to avoid receiving hair treatments such as perms or relaxers, but if you must, it is important to maintain proper care to minimise damage. A perm or relaxer changes the chemical properties of your hair and those chemicals can have a harsh effect by weakening the cuticle, making it more susceptible to breakage. One chemical treatment can remove as much as 58% of protein in the hair.

How to fix it: Ensure to moisturise regularly your hair following treatments and avoid having both a colour and a perm or relaxer at the same time.

6 – Hair Colouring

One of the worst things you can do to your hair is chemically colour it. Chemical dyes make the hair porous, leading to extreme dryness and breakage. Having to bleach the hair before applying a chemical dye causes more negative effects than colouring the hair alone.

How to fix it: Stay within three shades of your natural hair colour and try to dye your hair less often. Use shampoos specially formulated for dyed hair and rinse with cold water to help you go longer in-between touch-ups.

7 – Mechanical Damage

Excessive brushing, hair ties, and towels can all lead to unnecessary breakage of the hair. In addition, a towel can cause friction to wet hair, resulting in damage to the hair cuticle.

How to fix it: Use conditioner in the shower and a wide toothed comb to brush it after it’s dry. Invest in a microfiber towel or t-shirt to dry your hair. Use hair ties sparingly or use a breakage-preventing style. Use an oil treatment with natural oils such as coconut oil or olive oil to revitalise the hair and scalp.

8 – Heat Tools

This is one of the most commonly known sources of damage. Excessive heat styling with a flat iron or if you blow dry your hair can make the cuticles porous and create raised surfaces. This will lead to dryness, brittleness, and flyaway strands.

How to fix it: Lower the temperature of your hot styling tools like blow dryers. Try to only use heated tools once a week. If you must use a hot styling tool, be sure to use a heat protection spray beforehand.

How can I reverse damage to my hair ?

cutting your hair is a radical way to fix their damage

The best treatment is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Hair is made from dead cells, meaning once it has been damaged it can almost never be permanently repaired. If you have split ends, it is more beneficial to cut off the split ends and focus on maintaining healthy hair moving forward. Cutting your hair will not cause your hair to grow faster, but it will help it to appear healthier overall.

Repairing damaged hair is not a quick process, but it can be done through proper hair maintenance. Any hair that is replaced with new hair growth will come back healthy. The best way to repair damage and make your hair healthy again is to take these preventative measures moving forward.


Every person desires a shiny, soft head of hair. Unfortunately, many activities in our daily lives can have damaging effects on hair that leads to dryness, dullness, and breakages. Damaged hair is caused by a variety of factors such as nutrition, aging, the sun, chemicals, improper washing, and hair ties that negatively impact your hair.

Establishing healthy, beautiful hair is not impossible, but it does take time and intentionality to achieve. Elithair has a great range of products designed to help with improving the strength of your hair while promoting improved growth and a healthy appearance.

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