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Here's the deal on Damage, Part 1: How It Happens

Ever wondered why your hair gets so damaged seemingly out of nowhere?! Or you know exactly how it happened, but don’t know how to make it better?

Don’t worry! I’ve got a few tips, tricks, and product recommendations for you!

I’m going to break this up into a few parts, so keep an eye out!

Welcome to Part 1: How Damage Happens.


So, here’s the deal on damaged hair: it can happen to anyone, even if you think you’re being careful. There are 4 main types of damage to the hair: mechanical, chemical, environmental, and thermal.




Mechanical damage occurs literally all day. Your hair rubbing against the collar of your shirt, getting caught in a necklace or your sunglasses, brushing too roughly, rubbing around on your pillow or your car’s headrest, twirling or playing with your strands, scrunchies getting caught when you pull them out, your cat or dog munching on your hair (it happens!). All of these are examples of day to day things that stress our hair that we don’t think about. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg! Preventing this kind of damage requires a little thought on what you can and can’t control in your daily life. Some easy things to change are:

  1. start using silk pillowcases (bonus: also good for your skin!)

  2. Use a wet brush to detangle your hair gently, work in sections if you need too

  3. Don’t put your sunnies on top of your head

  4. Be gentle when pulling scrunchies or rubber bands out of your hair

  5. Don’t rip your hair if it gets caught in your jewelry, try to gently ease it out. use scissors in needed, but never yank it if you can help it


Chemical damage happens when color, lightener, smoothing and/or straightening treatments are done poorly, wrong, and/or by a non professional. While I always recommend seeing a stylist about any chemical service, I KNOW some of you prefer to try to do it yourself* to save money**. Some things to watch out for:

  1. Make sure your stylist doesn’t overlap bleach (there are exceptions and your stylist should know them) or chemical straighteners (never, ever overlap)

  2. Low and slow is always better in terms of hair health. This means you may have to sit longer when getting highlights, but it’s worth the time to have healthy hair after a chemical service

  3. Only use permanent color on your new growth. If you are coloring your hair at home with box color or bleach, this is especially important!!




Environmental damage is very much related to weather changes throughout the year. Your hair (like your skin) needs different things depending on the seasons. I usually recommend having a rotation of products to be able to adapt to what your hair needs at the time. Generally 2 sets will do. This is more of a general guideline than anything as everyone’s hair is different.

  1. Summer/Fall: nourishing shampoo and conditioner, lightweight leave-in conditioner with UV blockers, clarifying shampoo (once a week use, especially if swimming), humidity resistant styling products, light oil

  2. Winter/Spring: moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, heavier leave-in conditioner. deep conditioning mask, styling creams or lotions, thick oil


Thermal damage happens when you burn the hair with hot tools. I highly recommend using professional tools because they are designed to be more gentle on the hair. Also, if your using a hot tool that is over 10 years old, it’s time to upgrade. Just because “it still works” does not mean it’s working well. When the heating elements start to go bad the tool will start burning your hair when you style because it heats up way higher than it should.

Another way of creating thermal damage is using a hot iron on hair that isn’t 100% dry. I can’t stress enough how important it is to fully dry your hair before going in with an iron!

  1. Pro tools are always worth the investment and usually have a better warranty

  2. Don’t keep going over the same section of hair more than 3 times with an iron

  3. Dry your hair down the hair strand

  4. Never, ever use an iron on hair that isn’t completely dry

  5. Don’t hold the ends of your hair in the curling iron. The ends of your hair are fragile and can’t withstand the same amount of heat as the rest of the strand


Part 2 will be posted next week!

Leave a comment below if you have any questions!





*please don’t try to chemically straighten your hair at home! It almost never ends well! and while we’re on the subject, be very careful about attempting to bleach your hair at home

**keep in mind that corrections can easily cost $600-$1000+


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