There are numerous reasons relaxed hair gets damaged other than using a hair relaxer. There is a popular belief that natural hair is the only kind of healthy hair. Often the word damaged hair is associated with relaxed hair due to the chemical process of straightening curl pattern. However, it is possible to have healthy relaxed hair.
Hair damage takes place when parts of your hair structure are altered. This alteration weakens your hair and sets off further damage which results in brittle/unhealthy hair. Standard hair care routines, such as washing and drying, or styling when done incorrectly can cause damage to your hair’s structure. Also, relaxers and chemicals such as hair dye, have the potential to damage your hair when not used properly.
In reality, relaxed hair is often easier to manage than natural hair. Nevertheless, this does not indicate that relaxed hair requires no maintenance to remain healthy. Even though natural hair and relaxed hair are visibly different, they both require almost the same amount of care and attention.
In this blog post, we share the top reasons your relaxed hair is suffering from damage, and explain why it may be happening.
The Various Reasons Relaxed Hair Gets Damaged
When this layer gets damaged, your hair becomes brittle and is prone to further damage and breakage. This damage can occur due to chemical/coloring processes like perming, hair dye, and bleach or improper styling and grooming such as straightening, and blow-drying.
The factors often responsible for causing damaged hair include the following:
Chemical Treatments Like Dye or Bleach
The use of hair color to express one’s style or personality is nothing new. When you dye your hair too often, it can significantly weaken your hair fiber and potentially wreak havoc on your hair without proper care.
Every time you lighten your hair, it opens the fibers’ cuticles and deposits color particles in the hair’s cortex. Doing this repeatedly will cause your cuticles to weaken permanently. A rough, raised cuticle is a sure sign your hair is damaged.
Bleach solutions can usually be harsher on hair than standard dyes. They are designed to open the cuticle and also remove the color from your hair’s cortex. In actuality, the more you bleach your hair, the weaker it’ll become. When coloring or bleaching your hair try to use a more gradual approach rather than “going blonde” in one appointment.
Relaxers alter your hair structure permanently, and touch-ups are only needed for new growth. Frequent touch-ups can cause overlapping, where you get relaxers on previously relaxed hair. This can lead to over-processing and cause damage to your hair.
This damage is more likely to occur if you apply the treatments yourself rather than a professional stylist. Be sure you have enough new growth before you book your next touch-up appointment. 6 weeks to 10 weeks is an ideal period to touch up new growth. Also, apply a leave-in conditioner to your previously relaxed hair before every session to prevent over-processing.
Reasons Relaxed Hair Gets Damaged: Heat Styling Tools
Often when we use heating tools like a straightener, it’s to get that straight sleek look or even bouncy curls. Yet, a single session of high-heat straightening without the proper heat protection can lead to a damaged cuticle and split ends.
Applying extreme heat when styling is a major cause of dry, dull-looking, and brittle hair. Using heat on your hair frequently can lead to loss of moisture and changes in core protein structure. To prevent future damage, you need to make big changes to your heat styling practice. Ensure to use heat protection sprays and low heat when necessary.
Chlorinated water can be incredibly harsh on the scalp and hair strands, harming your hair. The beach water and pool waters often leave your hair dry, brittle and dull. You should always rinse your hair immediately with clean water after every swim. In addition, apply a deep conditioner to help lock in the hair moisture and prevent dry/frizzy hair.
Reasons Relaxed Hair Gets Damaged: Poor Styling Methods
Little, day-to-day mistakes you make when styling your hair also contribute to hair damage. They include;
- brushing your hair when it’s wet
- wearing a tight ponytail for an extended period,
- using excess heat immediately after chemical styling, etc.
Pulling your hair into a tight ponytail every day can be damaging, especially when using rubber bands or similar accessories.
Brushing your hair aggressively when wet, will tear out the hair, both from the roots and from weak sections along the hair shaft causing breakage. These poor styling mistakes used every day eventually add up to weak and brittle hair.
The Differences Between Dry Hair and Damaged Hair
It’s worthy to note that dry hair and damaged hair are different. It’s common for most people to confuse dry hair with damaged hair. Dry hair is a result of a lack of moisture in the hair. It is important to know the difference so you can apply proper hair treatments and products.
Below are some signs to help you differentiate between the two types:
- Damaged hair has split ends and is prone to breakage
- Dry hair may have a coarse texture.
- Damaged hair requires protein treatment for strength
- Dry hair needs moisture to reverse its effects.
- Damaged hair does not hold hair colors and styles well.
Ways to Identify If Your Relaxed Hair is Damaged!
Damaged hair can exhibit itself in several ways. So, whether you use heat styling tools, or dye/bleach your hair, all of these behaviors harm our strands.
Identifying the signs of damaged hair helps you build a good hair care regime. It can also help you use correct proper styling methods, and corrective products.
You know that you have damaged hair if you experience any or all of the following signs:
- Looks Dull:
Your hair is most likely damaged when it lacks the natural oil, luster, and moisture that coats the outside of the cuticle. It loses its moisture and shine, appearing dull and lackluster.
- Brittle and Prone to Breakage:
Brittle hair can be a difficult symptom to manage. It usually occurs in overly processed hair like using relaxers, overly blow-dried, straightened, or curled hair. Brittle ends, cause hair to thin and break.
- Gets Tangled Easily:
Raised hair cuticles create friction and catch other hair strands. The absence of moisture on each strand can also add to the tangled hair situation.
- It has Split Ends:
Split ends can be caused by several factors like the use of harsh chemical products or excessive heat application. The dry ends lead to splitting and fraying of the hair shaft causing hair breakage. The best option is often to trim the split ends of your hair to avoid more breakage.
- Becomes Frizzy:
When your hair is healthy the cuticles lie flat against one another to strengthen the hair and give it a uniform, shiny look. When these cuticles are weakened, the core is prone to snapping. This can make your hair break into split ends and become frizzy.