The 6 Signs of Damaged Hair + The 5 Amazing Products That Saved Mine!

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You may have noticed or maybe you haven't, who knows honestly, but I'm a blonde. And no, sadly, it's not natural. (Shout out to all the babes out there with naturally blonde hair. Just know that I'm forever jealous of you!)
I've been dying it regularly for the past 9 years, but the past year or so I took the dive and decided to go platinum/white and let me tell ya, I'm obsessed with the color!

Unfortunately, going that light does loads of damage to your hair. I'm talkin that dry, dull, hair breaking off kind of damage, which makes dying your hair a pretty color kinda pointless. 

Damaged hair sucks and I really don't mean to scare you, but chances are you probably have damaged hair too. Most of us have done some kind of damage to our hair, it's not exactly very hard to do so. So many things cause damaged hair, including diet and genetics. 

But if you do any of the following 7 things, you are at an increased rate for damaged hair. 

1. Coloring/dying/bleaching
No real shock here, and the number one reason why my own hair is damaged. Dye breaks through into the cuticle with chemicals and removes the natural pigment of your hair, which in turn, causes the structure of your hair to change. This makes your hair more vulnerable to damage. 

2. Perms 
Whether you're chemically straightening your hair or chemically curling it, perms cause loads of damage. Perms work by breaking the inner bonds of your hair and reforming them back together in a different way, which, lets face it, sounds extremely damaging! 

3. Heat
Probably the most common way to damage your hair. It doesn't matter if you're straightening, curling, or blow drying, you're causing damage to your hair anytime you apply heat to it and if done on a daily basis, permanent damage can happen! 

4. Certain hairstyles/extensions/weaves
Listen, we all wear our hair in ponytails from time to time and many of us use weaves or extensions to create different, non-permanent looks, and if done correctly, damage is limited. The damage actually comes from how tight these things are. If your ponytail is extremely tight or you're rockin tight braids, you're causing your hair to break. This is especially true if your hair is wet or if these styles are worn daily. Extensions and weaves are often considered worse because they tend to cause damage at the roots, which is never a good thing. 

5. Over-brushing
Contrary to popular belief, brushing your hair a million times a day does not make it healthier or shinier. It can actually cause more breakage, ouch!

6. Over-washing
This may come as a shock to you, but our hair was not designed to be washed every single day. We have natural oils that regularly moisturize our hair but when we use too much shampoo, we end up washing away the natural oils, making our hair dry. 

7. Towel-drying
The most shocking one, and probably the one we do most often, without even realizing we're doing it. When you dry your hair with a towel, in a fast rubbing motion, you're causing damage to your hair when your hair is most vulnerable. When towel drying your hair, pat it lightly a few times, just enough to get some excess water out. 

If you do any of the 7 things listed above, (don't worry I do about 5 of them), your hair has probably accumulated some damage. You may be asking, "but how do I know if my hair is damaged?". The signs are usually pretty obvious. Most of the time you'll be able to see or feel the damage. 

Here are the 6 biggest signs that your hair may be damaged:

1. Split ends
2. Hair that's too knotty or hard to work with
3. Dry hair
4. Dull hair that's lacking a healthy shine
5. Excessive shedding
6. Breakage

Your hair may be as damaged as mine and show all the signs, or it might only show one or two. Either way, you want to either stop, erase, or prevent any further damage to your hair. 

Now in a perfect world, we'd just stop dying, bleaching, perming, straightening, over-washing, or any of the other damaging things mentioned above. But that may not be a desired option for you or your hair may already be damaged and in need of repair, and that's what we have products that treat and prevent damaged hair for! 

We really are so lucky that we have so many options nowadays. I mean, not even that long ago, (think 30-40 years ago), there weren't many options for treating damaged hair. Now, with advancements in technology and hair care as a whole, we have countless products and procedures to choose from. 

I've tried so many products ranging from drugstore, to high-end, and I'm sharing with you the best of the best. 

These are the 5 products I use that have literally saved my damaged hair (p.s. they're all super affordable!):

This stuff is a life-saver. An employee at Sally's Beauty actually recommended it to me when I went in and asked for a hair mask that wouldn't interfere with my hair color, and I'm so glad she did! It's not really a mask but actually a hair treatment that rebuilds hair texture and stops breakage. 
The first time I used it I was floored with the results. My hair hadn't felt that soft and smooth and didn't look that healthy in a long time. I use it once a week and right after I dye my hair, when my hair is weakest, for added strength! 

If you're planning to use the Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment, you MUST use this immediately after, (hence the name Two-Step Protein Treatment). I also love using this in place of my conditioner. It improves manageability, adds strength and shine, and thickens hair. 

If you're not using coconut oil for basically everything, wyd? Nah, but really, coconut oil is a life saver. I love using this in between treatments to add a little extra moisture to my hair. Tip: don't use too much and avoid the roots because it could make your hair look and feel extra oily.

I love this stuff for the convenience. It's much easier and more convenient to use than the regular coconut oil. Coconut oil comes in a large container that you have to dip your hands into, it's hard at first but softens in your hands and as you use it, but it can be messy and a little time consuming. This stuff is a spray, which makes it easier to carry and bring along with you for an on the go pick me up. 

My fav lil pick me up. The smell is amazing, it reminds me of that fresh out of the salon smell, and it does wonders for my hair. I usually use this when my hair needs a bit more life, like first thing in the morning. It softens, smooths, makes hair feel thicker, and adds shine, all without feeling greasy! 

A few more tips for preventing damaged hair:

Whenever possible, do not wash your hair when it's wet.

Want to wear your hair in a ponytail or bun? Opt for a looser style!

Treat your hair like you would your skin. Your hair is strong, but also sensitive. There's only so much it can endure before showing signs of damage. Be kind to it.

Worst case scenario, sometimes you gotta chop it all off and start again, and there's nothing wrong with that! Go out there & rock your new look!


  1. I am notorious for having damaged hair. I didn't know towel drying damages the hair! I thought using a blow dryer would make it damaged easily. Oh man, there's a lot of love that needs to be put in. Love that there are various products to help with your hair.

    Nancy ♥

    1. Yes, when I found out that just rubbing my hair with a towel causes damage, I freaked out & stopped immediately! I know, we're so very lucky that there's so many amazing products that fix our damaged hair!

      xo a

  2. I went dark recently, but I lived with bleach blonde hair for the last 6 years, so I can totally relate. The only product I've heard of was the it's a 10! My go to used to be the Redken extreme leave in conditioner, and the alterna protein leave in cream. They were my life savers! Great post Ali xxx

    Melina |

    1. Oh yeah, you def can relate. Blonde kills hair, but I wouldn't want it any other way! I don't think I'd be able to pull off dark hair like you!

      xo a

  3. The 10min leave in product sounds awesome, I'll try that out because while I don't dye my hair or colour it at all, I have been noticing some breakage.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    1. It's such a good product and the smell is amazing!

      xo a

  4. About the only thing I do in that list is wear my hair in a ponytail frequently. I wrap my hair in a towel, but i don't rub, I squeeze it a little then move on to my body. My hair still has split ends, but most beauticians love my hair because it's natural!

    1. ugh I wish! I've destroyed my hair by dying it so much but these products are totally helping restore it!

      xo a

  5. Great post, trying so many different hacks to get my hair hydrated and healthy again.

    1. I feel ya girl! You've got to try these products out, they're all life savers!

      xo a