Hair Science

Everything You Need to Know About Hair Damage and How to Prevent It

Say goodbye to hair damage.

Hair damage happens to nearly everyone at some point, so if it’s something you’re experiencing, you’re not alone. We’re here to break down some of the causes of damage and simple ways you can protect your strands going forward—because nobody has time for hair damage!  

Girl laying in the sand, shielding her face from the sun.

How does hair damage happen and how do I prevent it?

So let’s start at the beginning. Essentially, hair damage starts with the hair cuticle. When hair gets damaged, the cuticle opens up and your strands become, what we call in the biz, porous. This does three things to your hair: 

  • Makes it hard for your hair to retain moisture
  • Causes strands to lose their elasticity
  • It can become vulnerable to environmental factors, like UV rays

Although there is no way to completely reverse the damage, you can reduce symptoms with products that are focused on what your hair needs to get its groove back (like our personalized formulas). With that said, let’s take a look at a few examples of the culprits behind hair damage and simple ways to prevent it:

Cause of Damage: Overprocessing

Prevention Tip: Use Gentler Hair Dyes

Anytime you color your hair, bleach it, or try chemical treatments like perms, your hair can become porous and dry. Next time you color your hair, explore temporary pigments or demi-permanent dyes instead of long-lasting dyes and chemical treatments. These products may be gentler on your strands leaving hair with a healthy shine.

Cause of Damage: Exposure to the Elements  

Prevention Tip: Regular Trims and Added Moisture

Everything from strong winds, sunny days, and chlorine in pool water can cause hair to become vulnerable to breakage, dehydration, frizzy flyaways. It can be hard to avoid exposure altogether, so here are a few tips to keep your hair healthy while enjoying your favorite activities. 

If you are prone to split ends, try getting a trim every 2-3 months to prevent them from getting any worse. Cutting off the damage will allow your healthy hair to thrive. 

Adding more moisture to your routine can help keep frizzy hair at bay—so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! We recommend using a personalized AURA Masque weekly for a much-needed boost of hydration. With our personalized products, you can add Moisture as a hair goal in every product to ensure that your daily Shampoo and Conditioner are packed with maximum moisture.

Cause of Damage: Daily Styling

Prevention Tip: Go For Heatless and Natural Styles

Heat styling tools aren’t the only thing that can stress your hair out. Breakage can happen with rough brushing, snags from hair elastics, and improper styling—so be gentle!

In addition to a soft hand, try getting creative with heatless and natural styles. Heat styling tools can put unnecessary stress on your strands, especially in the summer. Try out some new heatless styles like French braids or a top knot to give your hair a well-deserved break.

Cause of Damage: Hot or Hard Water

Prevention Tip: Turn Down the Heat and Grab a Water Filter

Hot water can strip hair of its natural oils and dehydrate your scalp. Hard water, on the other hand, contains a buildup of minerals, such as calcium, which produces a film on the hair. As a result, your hair will feel dry and brittle so it’s important to pay attention to your water. 

One easy way to banish hot water damage is to simply consider turning the water down a few degrees to prevent any unwanted damage. If hard water is a concern of yours, you may want to invest in a hard water filter that easily attaches to your showerhead.

Cause of Damage: Diet

Prevention Tip: Hair-healthy Foods

Believe it or not, our diets have a lot to do with our hair (and skin) health. Certain nutrients can actually help boost the strength of your hair and prevent breakage. 

Try adding multi-vitamins to your daily routine, toss some nuts and seeds into your oatmeal, or pick up some fatty fish at the grocery store like salmon to make sure you’re getting enough zinc, iron, and folic acid in your daily diet. Diets high in protein and antioxidants (found in plant foods like blueberries) can also keep your hair in the damage-free zone.

We hope this handy guide to hair damage will help you protect your strands from stress in the future. As a way to reduce the symptoms of hair damage and give your hair a healthy look, consider adding Repair as a goal to your current Ritual as an extra line of defense. If you have any other questions or want more information about hair repair, our Specialists are always here for you.