What Does Damaged Hair Actually Look Like?

It’s time to talk about damaged hair. No one wakes up and decides that they want damaged hair; most of us want good-looking locks that keep the heads turning. It can be hard to know how to avoid damage, but you’re not alone! 

To treat damaged hair, you first need to get to the root cause (pun intended). Once you figure out what the cause of the damage is, you can move forward with repairing your hair and having hair that brings on the envy. 

Most of the time, damaged hair is easily noticed, but sometimes it’s hard to tell if your hair is actually damaged or if you are just having a bad hair day. Or sometimes, you may think your hair is perfectly healthy, but you are actually damaging it slowly by not taking the right precautions and steps to keep it healthy.

So, how can you tell if your hair is damaged or on the way to becoming damaged? We’re going to break them down for you! Keep reading to find out what damaged hair actually looks like and how to prevent your hair from getting to this point. 

What Does Damaged Hair Look Like?

Dry Hair

It can be on the easier side to spot dry hair. It’s not always a sign of damaged hair, but damaged hair is more than likely dry. 

Dry hair can have a rough texture and be brittle, unfortunately sometimes resembling straw. When your hair is overly dry, it can be much more susceptible to breakage. 

You can also spot dry hair by the frizz that acts as a less-than-holy halo. Sometimes frizz just happens due to the weather, but other times it can indicate damage. When the hair shaft becomes damaged, moisture will escape the hair, and it can become frizzy.

Split Ends 

Split ends are another indicator that your hair is damaged. Split ends can be frustrating, but none of us are strangers to them. One day your hair looks healthy; the next, you notice that the ends of your hair look like they are running away from each other. 

Split ends can tangle much easier than undamaged hair. When brushing your hair with split ends, you may see pieces of your hair breaking off easier — not the kind of confetti we’re into.

Split ends can be fairly easy to notice but not as easy to remedy. You can try various hair products to repair split ends, but the best way to get your split ends to take a hike is to get your hair trimmed. A hair trim gets rid of all the dead ends at one time and can actually support your hair growth in the long run.

Thinning Hair

Sometimes, thinning hair can just be another aspect of growing older, but other times it can be a sign of damaged hair. Traction alopecia is an example of this; it is caused by too much strain on the hair follicle. 

Traction alopecia typically starts with hair thinning on the front and sides of the scalp. 

Dull Hair

Healthy hair is generally glossy and vibrant. Sometimes when your hair is damaged, it can appear dull and a little lifeless. Your hair can have trouble holding onto its pigmentation, so that shine may be MIA. 

How Can You Prevent Damage to Your Hair? 

Preventing damage to your hairmay seem like a no-brainer, but it can take time and effort. The good news is once you find a hair care routine that works for you and your hair, it will be like second nature. 

Find the Right Products 

Finding the right hair care products is essential to prevent damage to your hair. It can be easy to grab whatever hair products you find on the shelf next to your groceries, but it’s important to consider the ingredients.If you’re unsure where to start, take our hair quiz to find the right products for you and your hair.

There are far too many toxic and harsh chemicals floating around in the haircare world nowadays, but finding natural and healthy products doesn’t have to be a chore. 

At Better Not Younger, we endeavor to create and offer products that are non-toxic and gentle on all hair types. Our Lift Me Up Hair Thickener is a terrific lightweight spray that wraps around thinning hair strands for volume and lift at the roots. It's non-drying and non-sticky, gentle on hair, won't add any unwanted buildup, and moisturizes the scalp and follicles.

If you have curly hair, find products that compliment your curls and have them look full of life. 

This doesn’t just go for shampoos and conditioners but for hair styling tools as well. Better Not Younger has products specific to curly hair that will have your curls looking and feeling luscious and full of life. From conditioning masks to curl creams, we’ve got what you need. 

Protect Your Locks

We cannot stress this enough: protect your hair! You can use several methods and tools to protect your hair to keep it healthy and thriving.

Protect your hair from heat by using a heat protectant when using heated hair styling tools. This is crucial in keeping your hair healthy. Using heated styling tools on your hair without a heat protectant can dry out your hair, potentially leading to breakage.

Better Not Young has a great heat protectant spray that is easy to use. This heat protectant spray is called No Remorse: Heat Protection & Taming Spray and protects your hair with heat up to 450 degrees! All you need to do is spray it gently, about six to eight inches from your hair. Then brush through your hair to make sure it is evenly distributed.

Protect your hair from the sun! Although getting sun is great for your body (hello, vitamin D), you still need to take certain precautions when in the sun. 

Just like you need sunscreen to protect your skin, you can also use protection on your hair. This could be as simple as throwing on a cute sun hat. The UV rays from the sun can directly damage your follicles. As we all know, healthy follicles are needed for healthy hair.

It is also smart to protect your hair from pulling too hard. This one seems like a walk in the park, but many people pull on their hair without even paying attention. When you are brushing or combing your hair, take a gentle approach. The more gentle you are, the less hair you will pull out.

Is Hydration Important?

Hydration is very important when keeping your hair healthy. Without moisture in your hair, it can get dry and prone to breakage. You can find shampoos and conditioners that give you hydration and help revitalize your hair. 

We also have hair masks, which are a great product to add to your hair care routine. A hair mask can be used a couple of times a week and will be leaving your hair moisturized and soft to the touch. We recommend using those masking minutes to attend to other self-care items on your list — hot bath, anyone?

Avoid Coloring Your Hair Too Often

Your hair can experience damage with frequent dye jobs. Hair dyes have certain chemicals in them that can cause damage to your hair. 

Bleach, in particular, can cause breakage if it’s left on the hair too long. While we all love an ice queen vibe, the damage may not be worth it.

If you are coloring your hair, make sure to use products that keep the hair color in your hair (often called color-safe shampoos). 

Nourish the Scalp!

Nourishing the scalp is vital to having healthy hair. Since the hair follicles come from the scalp, it only makes sense that a healthy scalp leads to healthy hair follicles which then leads to healthier hair. Most of us are pretty good at breaking out the body lotion when the air gets dry, and we can apply the same logic to our scalps.

Plenty of products can add nutrients to your scalp. You can add a hair serum to your daytime or nighttime routine to support moisturized and happy hair. Hair serums go directly onto your scalp and help revitalize your hair.

Take Care of Your Body

A healthy body leads to healthier hair. It can help to stay active and eat a balanced diet to ensure you’re getting all those good vitamins and minerals. While you’re at it, fight off stress by taking time for yourself and clearing your mind. Chronic stress can lead to hair damage, and we could all use a little me-time right now.

Is Damaged Hair Permanent? 

Unfortunately, damaged hair happens! But breathe easy — there is plenty you can do to support your hair health. We have been through way worse and managed to get past anything that has been thrown our way! 

Damaged hair can be repaired, and in time, you can have healthy, vibrant locks again. If you’ve concluded that your hair care routine just isn’t working for you, it’s time to change it up. Hair care is all about trial and error, so try different products and compare the results. 

Whatever type of hair damage you may be experiencing, Better Not Younger is here to assist. From conditioners to serums and everything in between, Better not younger has a variety of damage-repairing hair products that will have your hair looking good as new. And don’t forget to take our quiz to find the right products to protect and nourish your hair!


Transepidermal UV radiation of scalp skin ex vivo induces hair follicle damage that is alleviated by the topical treatment with caffeine | PMC

Effect of equilibrium pH on the structure and properties of bleach‐damaged human hair fibers | PMC

Hair Shaft Damage from Heat and Drying Time of Hair Dryer | PMC