Remove Natural Hair Damage and Prevent it From Happening in the First Place

Remove Natural Hair Damage and Prevent it From Happening in the First Place


Damage is a barrier that will prevent you from seeing hair growth. Your hair is actually growing all the time, but with damage in the way, your hair is breaking off at the same rate it is growing, which is why there will appear to be no growth progress.

Hair that is badly damaged with split ends should be cut. Once the hair has damage the only way to restore its health is to remove the damaged ends. When you don’t rid yourself of split ends they will travel up the strand thinning your hair out and make it appear as if it is not growing. The tangles that come along with splits also make it easy for breakage to occur. No mater what any product tells you split ends cannot be repaired, they only thing they can do is mask the damage temporarily.

Make a goal to slow down the rate at which you damage your hair. Reduce is the word of choice used because it is impossible to eliminate all damage. Your hair is damaged to some degree every time you wash it, detangle it, and even touch it.

We will concern ourselves with the 4 types of damage that can occur and how to prevent these sources of damage altogether:

Manipulation of the hair

The more you comb, style, or touch your hair you are causing damage to it. If you have particularly fragile hair, like 4b or 4c hair, this type of damage is easy to come by.

Even if you are chemical free and you do have a good moisture routine, damage from manipulation will get in your way. To resolve this issue you have to be gentle with your hair.

You might be thinking to yourself, well I am gentle! Well, if you are experiencing breakage you are not being gentle enough.

As stated before you want to reduce the amount of damage that you experience, because you cannot eliminate it completely. You still have to wash your hair, you still have to style it, and detangle it.

The key is to cut down on the manipulation of your hair. How much manipulation is reduced will all vary from person to person. 

Hair Dryness

Dryness of the hair will lead to hair breakage and split ends which ultimately prevent hair growth. You have to have a good moisture routine if your goal is to have longer hair.

One problem is many people do not know how to effectively moisturize their hair. We will get into this more in the next section.

Heat Damage

While heat is a useful tool for giving us gorgeous stretched out styles, it is also good for sucking the moisture out of hair. Does this mean you can never use heat? No it does not, but if you want healthy hair you should cut down your usage of heat down to the bare minimum.

When you frequently use heat, you will also find that you will have to trim your hair more often, which again results in lack of hair growth progress.

You also have to keep in mind that you may not have a consistency in style if you continuously heat style your hair. High heat will cause permanent straightening of hair strands for some naturals.

If you are transitioning this is why you should avoid flat irons and hot combs altogether until you are fully natural. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between relaxed hair and the hair that has been permanently straightened from heat damage.

If you must have heat in your regimen do not use it more than every 2 to 3 weeks. Try to stretch out the time you use heat as long as you can!

I encourage you to try going 6 months without using heat styling tools in your hair. You will see a big improvement in your hair’s health.

There a other methods for stretching hair such as braids, twists, and roller sets.

Chemical Damage

Relaxers, Texturizers, and Hair Dyes will all cause some form of damage to the hair, because of the drastic changes that it does to the hair’s structure.

If you are a transitioner, you will notice that your relaxer may even be breaking off on it’s own. This is most likely due to the differences in the two hair textures that you have on your head, (the curls and bends represent weak points) and your ends are weathered from time while also being weakened from the relaxer.

During your transitioning stage, you will want to practice all of the above:  protective styles, no heat, and moisture. As time goes on you will slowly trim away your relaxed or texturized ends.

Hair dye, especially if you are going to a lighter shade is drying to the hair. Which is why if you decide to permanently color your hair you will have to be strict with your moisturizing and conditioning routine. Otherwise, your hair will become dry and ultimately break.

What to Expect

Remember you have to be consistent with good hair care practices. You cannot use heat daily, constantly manipulate your hair, and then expect for it to grow just because you slapped some moisturizer on your strands.

Give your hair a few months or so of using good hair care in order to see significantly healthier hair and growth. Progress will not happen over night.

41 thoughts on “Remove Natural Hair Damage and Prevent it From Happening in the First Place

  1. Awesome!! Thanks alot. I havent relaxed my hair in almost 5months, its difficult and verrrrry tempting, but the damage over rides that.

  2. Great article. I also wanted to add on something about protective styling. Make sure your protective styles such as braids is not very tight. This can cause breakage and also traction alopecia, which is defined as ”Loss of hair due to from prolonged pulling on the hair, usually associated with certain hairstyles or a habit of twisting the hair.โ€™โ€™ by http://dictionary.reference.com – See more at: http://www.hey-nice-hair.com/stop-hair-breakage.html#sthash.6d4se8Al.dpuf

  3. Though I am 3mos. natural, I was struggling with keeping moisture. I did believe that using butters was a type of moisturizer. I did everything wrong because I was never raised to love and know how to care for my natural hair. I have made my own protein conditioner and gave a new life to my hair. I am so glad to read these articles and I have documented my progress and posted it on YouTube. Look up: Takingitbakmag or BLACKNAPS.ORG INSPIRED 4C HAIR CARE, it’s just a slide I made but I was so proud of bringing my hair back to life. I made this video as a “Thank You” for the knowledge and love you share in your newsletters. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. I greatly appreciate this site and the information. I have been natural for ten years but I find this advice most helpful. I have a problem with reducing or eliminating clumping strands of hair after washing. I have separated them with my fingers and at other times I cut them out. What can I do to eliminate them altogether? Your response would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Divide you hair into four or six parts. After rinsing of shampoo(if you use one) put a conditioner to you hair and let it sit for 5 minutes. untangle with your fingers and then follow up with a wide tooth comb. If your fingers or comb gets cough up in a clump add conditioner to that area and separate with care. Start from your ends going up. You should also take a look at your ends, if they are to damaged trim them off.

      Or before you start washing your hair wet your comb and comb the ends or just wet your fingers and pat your hair, then separate.

      The conditioner should make your hair feel slippery or at least when you rinse it out it mustn’t leave your hair rough..

      Hope this helps ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi
      There are many causes of bald patches like Symptoms of Alopecia, over styling and the ones mentioned in this article. You can try, Warm olive oil (enough for your whole scalp) and one garlic clove crushed. Mix the two and apply on clean scalp. leave it on for 5 to 15 minutes depending on how sensitive your scalp is. rinse with warm water and condition if the smell is to strong for you. Do this twice a week for a month or once a week for a month depending on how sensitive your hair is. Don’t leave the mixture for too long or use garlic on its own because it can burn your skin..
      Or try onion juice or any oil that has garlic oil as the top five on its ingredients list.
      If it doesn’t get better you should see your doctor and follow his/her advice.
      Hope this was helpful ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I am natural. Been natural for 4 years now. I wear my hair straight during the winter months and no heat during the summer months. My question is, during the summer when I wash it, it doesn’t have the kinky curl I’ve had before. It this caused by the heat from blow drying and flat ironing? Would this be considered damaged hair? And if so, is there a way to get the curl pattern back?

    1. I think it depend on how many times you where using the heat and what temperature you used.

      I have read a few articles from bloggers who said they used heat in the past and they got back the curliness with lots of protein treatments. So I would suggest using egg yolks(no egg whites), avocado, and eating more of protein based foods. Since the hair is built on proteins, more protein in the body might help the hair to get back to its form, but if the heat damage is too much I don’t really think there is anything you can really do ๐Ÿ™ . If you choose to use protein you should always follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner.

      And yes, you can consider that as damage.

      Hope this helps ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Love the website. I have a question about the best style to protect my ends. I have 4C hair and I mostly keep them in box braids or Senegalese twists. A couple months ago, a stylist applied too much heat to my hair resulting in severe heat damage. I recently got a lot of it cut off, but there is still some damage. Should I try another type of protective style? Also, how should I moisture my hair when they are in box braids?

  7. I have multi-textured hair. How can I maintain this hair without manipulating it? The front part and crown of my hair is straight and will not hold a twist while the back of my hair will. This is my challenge. Also I find that if I don’t twist my hair daily it will be a matted mess. I tried the pineapple method and my hair type does not like this.

    1. Hi Theressa

      -Have a balanced diet, the body firsts serves the vital organs. The hair and nails are the least vital organs, so if you eat enough of good foods, there will be a sufficient amount going to the hair. Just don’t over do it, some nutrients can cause damage when consumed in excess.
      -Drink enough water for the body and hair, it will help to moisturize your hair from the inside,
      -Balance the protein and moisture levels on your hair, too much off both can cause more harm than good.
      -Trim off any damaged ends, this includes thin ends, split ends, extremely dried ends that don’t recover after frequent protein and deep cond. treatments, over heated ends.
      -keep your scalp clean and lubricated,
      -Keep it simple and be patient, don’t over do with products and regimens, find what works and stick to it. Too much protective styles can also damage the hair especially if not well cared for.

      ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I agree. Patience in nourishing your hair and consistency in what you do are the keys to prevent hair damage. Thanks you for a very informative and helpful article. Have a great day!

  9. I enjoy your website, It’s very informative BUT it seems very centered around the 4a-c types of hair texture and I’m interested in my 3c category of hair & find little to no information.

  10. Currently transitioning for five months but my hair is in box braids. How do I wash my hair while I have braids on?

    1. You wash your hair the way you normally would. Focus most of your efforts in cleansing your scalp. Some people dilute their cleansing products with water, so that it can better penetrate through the braids.

  11. Nutress Hair Protein Treatment helped me when I had hair damage. I used the protein treatment once a month and my hair seemed as if it was getting stronger and healthier. You ladies should try their products if you want to maintain healthy hair.

  12. Please please please please, take hairfinity off this list. My hair was thick – full and growing nicely. My stylist suggested this product for faster growth and I tried it. My hair thin out so bad, and I could not figure out why. I saw a youtube video about this product, and I found out it was the culprit. This product is NO GOOD. It causes very bad hair thinning and breakage, what is it it? I don’t know.

  13. Good morning,
    My hair stylist used omaplex on my hair and I do not have treated hair and then administered a perm. This product made my hair dry and then the breakage started. Why did this product react this way?

  14. hey good day its been one year now since I am natural had locks did a big chip and can not find any product that work for me my hair is so hard and dry out .have a lot of write flax in my hair cant get rued of them so please help me I need some product that work

  15. Last question for the evening. How is brushing your hair not good for hair growth? I was always taught that brushing was great for stimulation, however I’ve read on another site that brushing can damage your hair.

    1. Black hair thrives when there is minimal manipulation. Brushes can rip and tear at the hair so definitely you do not want to brush your hair all the time only as needed. If you want to provide stimulation massage your scalp.

  16. I went natural because I wanted to give my hair a break from relaxers. I’ve had a relaxer for over 30 years. My hair was beginning to get thin. My daughter talked me into going natural. I was so excited about it at first my hair was really growing long. But now my hair breaks like crazy. I’ve tried so many protein treatments, moisturizers and black tea rinses. NOTHING WORKS. I only take 1 medication for reflux. I think my stress level is not bad. I’ve tried hair vitamins but they give me a headache. I can’t believe that wearing my natural hair would be so freaking complicated. I hate my 4c hair. My hair comes out by the hands full. It’s so thin now. Thinner than it was when I had a relaxer. I hate my hair now! I don’t know what to do now! I want to cry! It’s so sad.

  17. Hello!! I recently dyed my hair in the top and my texture has totally changed. I’ve been natural for 3 yrs now, and I want to cry. Should I just cut it off and start over? I’ve tried protein treatments, I’m having to twist it up and utilize flexi-rods every night, am I causing more damage?

    Please Help

  18. How bad it is to straighten your hair while transitioning? My relaxed ends are breaking but once I get a trim I find that even when I use heat (once every 10 days) it is not THAT bad… How can I make them fit my natural growth so it doesnt look weird?

  19. Hi!
    I had braids in for about 2 months in school. When my mum came to pick me up, she forgot my natural hair products but I couldn’t wait one more day without washing my hair, so I went straight to the salon to have it washed. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a natural hair salon so they just used a shampoo and conditioner for people with relaxed hair on my hair. Afterwards, only shea butter was put in my hair and it was braided. (i.e about 5 chunky three strand braids)
    Right now, my hair is very oily but it feels super dry and hard although it isn’t breaking (or at least I can’t tell) and it doesn’t usually feel like this. What should I do??? I need urgent help! (This washing fiasco happened three days ago)
    p.s. my hair type is 4c and is medium to long-ish
    Thank you!

  20. Hello, I was asking if a person washes her hair 1nce each week will it reduce the rate of her hair growth???

  21. I usually have my hair braided or blow dried, but since the beginning of this year I decided to leave it in it’s natural curly state. The problem is that it has been breaking more than usual since I started leaving it in it’s natural state. I always wash, deep condition and treat my hair after every two weeks and I oil it everyday. I’ve even tried the black tea treatment with no success. What could be causing this and how can I rectify it?

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