Can You Repair Damaged Hair?

Can You Repair Damaged Hair?


Hair, as a strand of keratinized protein, is technically not a living tissue and does not possess the ability to heal or repair itself. Once hair is damaged, such as through chemical treatments, heat styling, or environmental factors, the damage cannot be reversed or "healed" in the same way that living tissues can regenerate.

However, while it is true that hair products cannot repair the hair strand itself, they can help improve the appearance, manageability, and overall health of damaged hair. Many hair care products, such as oils, conditioners, and treatments, work by providing moisture, nourishment, and protection to the hair shaft. These products can help reduce frizz, smooth the cuticle, add shine, and temporarily mask the appearance of damage.

It's important to note that while hair care products can be beneficial, the best approach to maintaining healthy hair is to prevent damage in the first place. This includes minimizing the use of heat styling tools, avoiding harsh chemical treatments, protecting the hair from excessive sun exposure, and maintaining a balanced and nourishing hair care routine.

Well-formulated conditioners, oil treatments, and masks can provide temporary improvements to the texture and appearance of hair, especially when they contain nourishing and protective ingredients. These products can help hydrate the hair, reduce frizz, improve manageability, and enhance shine. Check out our Enrich Hair Mask for a deeply penetrating conditioning treatment our award winning Nourish Conditioner for daily conditioning and our Serum Spray that provides protection from heat styling tools like blow dryers and curling irons.

To maintain the beneficial results of conditioners, oils and treatments, regular and consistent use of these products is necessary. Hair care is an ongoing process, and the benefits of conditioning and nourishing treatments need to be sustained by incorporating them into a regular hair care routine.

In addition to using these products, it's important to adopt healthy hair care practices to minimize damage and maintain the overall health of your hair. This includes avoiding excessive heat styling, protecting the hair from environmental stressors, using gentle hair care products, and following a balanced diet that supports hair health.

While hair care products cannot fundamentally repair or regenerate damaged hair, they can provide ongoing improvements and will help manage and minimize the appearance of damage.

While it is true that the term "dry hair" is often used to describe hair that lacks moisture and appears dull or brittle, it is not technically a hair type. Hair types are generally classified based on characteristics such as texture (straight, wavy, curly, etc.) or thickness (fine, medium, thick). These characteristics are determined by genetics and cannot be changed.

Hair can indeed become dry and damaged due to various factors such as environmental exposure, excessive heat styling, chemical treatments, or improper hair care practices. When the hair loses its natural moisture and essential oils, it can lead to a dry and lackluster appearance.

To address dry and damaged hair, it is important to focus on restoring moisture, nourishment, and overall hair health. This can be achieved through the use of hydrating shampoos and conditioners, deep conditioning treatments, hair masks, and oils that provide moisture and replenish the hair's natural oils. These products can temporarily improve the appearance and manageability of the hair by hydrating and moisturizing the strands.

While these products can provide temporary relief and make the hair appear healthier, it is important to note that they do not fundamentally change the hair's condition or repair any existing damage. To maintain the improved appearance, regular use of these products, along with adopting healthy hair care practices, is necessary.

Most hair is made of three layers –  the inner fiber called the medulla, the middle layer called the cortex, and an outer layer called the cuticle. Extra fine hair textures sometimes do not contain a Medulla.  When the hair appears damaged, the cuticle raises, chips, becomes fragile, easily tangled, and loses the moisture, luster, and shine created when flat, smooth, and healthy. 

Hair can become dry and damaged for many reasons.  Over processed, color-treated hair can lose oil and protein and eventually grow brittle and break if it's not conditioned continually, which can offset or stall more damage. But the damage that has already been created, is ultimately permanent and irreversible.  


Split ends are a common issue in damaged hair, and they occur when the protective outer layer of the hair strand, known as the cuticle, becomes damaged and starts to fray. Once the hair strand splits, there is no way to repair or mend it. The only effective way to remove split ends is to trim them off.

Leaving split ends untreated can indeed lead to further damage, as the split can travel up the hair shaft, causing more breakage and making the hair appear frizzy and unhealthy. Additionally, split ends can tangle with neighboring strands, leading to more knots and further breakage.

Regular trims are essential for maintaining the overall health and appearance of the hair. By removing split ends, you prevent them from progressing up the hair shaft and minimize further damage. Trimming the hair does not affect its growth rate; rather, it helps maintain the overall health and integrity of the strands, allowing them to grow longer without excessive breakage.

It is understandable that some people may be hesitant to cut their hair due to concerns about losing length. It's important, however, to recognize that by holding onto split ends, the hair can appear shorter and less healthy overall. Regular trims can actually help promote healthier hair growth in the long run.

Lack of nutrients internally can make hair more susceptible to breakage. Hair is formed by the nutrients in the bloodstream. Split ends can also be caused by build-up, chemical color processing, mechanical damage from harsh brushing and heated styling instruments, and sun overexposure

You are correct that the internal health and nutrient status of an individual can play a role in the overall condition of their hair. The nutrients necessary for hair growth and maintenance are supplied through the bloodstream, and a deficiency in certain vitamins, minerals, or proteins can contribute to hair that is more prone to breakage and damage.

In addition to nutrient deficiencies, various external factors can also lead to split ends and hair breakage. Build-up from styling products, chemical processing such as hair color treatments, mechanical damage from aggressive brushing or using heated styling tools, and overexposure to the sun's UV rays can all contribute to the weakening of the hair shaft and the formation of split ends.

It's worth noting that a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, E, biotin, and minerals like iron and zinc, can support overall hair health. Additionally, practicing gentle hair care techniques, minimizing the use of harsh styling tools, and protecting the hair from excessive sun exposure can help prevent damage and reduce the occurrence of split ends.

While external factors and nutrient deficiencies can contribute to hair damage and split ends, it's important to remember that trimming the ends of the hair is still necessary to remove existing split ends and maintain healthy-looking hair. Trimming does not address the internal factors directly, but it helps prevent further splitting and breakage, promoting the overall health and appearance of the hair.

For more information about whether or not your hair may need moisture or conditioning, check out our blog that addresses the head-on. Read this blog: Does Your Hair Need Moisture Or Protein Conditioning? 

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WRITTEN BY Josh Rosebrook


My very best friend started going to another hairdreser when I spent 7 months off, for treatment for an illness 2 1/2 years ago. With isolation Ive not seen her till today. She showed me her short broken hair from chemical damage. I questioned her about what was happening when she had what she thought was just semi permanent colour.It was obvious that she has been having permanent tint through her long hair every visit. Little wonder she has this very sad mess. Now its up to me to fix. I told her that once the hair is out of your head its dead. All I can do is hopefully strengthen it and prevent more breakage. Hairdressers need to realise the damage that can be caused from using chemicals on,the hair. Ultimately as hairdressers we must accept the responsibility.

Sue Fernandez

As a cosmetology instructor, it is so important to me to be able to explain everything you’ve stated here in a way that encourages my future professionals to learn what products actually do and how to use them properly. That way they’ll be able to educate their guests, which builds loyalty.
It disturbs me that stylists will send guests home with high dollar products just for the commission when they could be educating their guests & building that trust, which will keep that guest coming back for years.
Great information! Stated plainly and simply. Thank you!

Jennifer Baumann

Hi Josh…it is SO hard to find good info on hair damage. As in REAL SCIENCE. (Where do you get your info? This is a great article!) I know hair can’t be repaired but where is the science? And why are products even allowed to be sold as “repairs”? Talk about fraud. I got a keratin treatment nearly 5 years ago. It was a disaster. My whole head of hair got fried. I was absolutely devastated. It took me many years to grow it to the length it was at that time (30"). My goal was to make it more manageable. I refused to cut it off…you know how hard that is to do! So here I am in 2020 still growing it out, almost there. 30" is about 6 years of outgrowth time for Caucasian hair. I see mixed reviews about keratin. Some ladies have good experiences and other disasters like mine. I filed an insurance claim with the salon’s carrier…we failed to reach a settlement so I sued them. Not that I wanted it to go that way but…I refuse to be ripped off and made to suffer. I wish more ladies would stand up for themselves by not allowing these crooks off the hook. (The salon is a HUGE chain…and that was my first big mistake! But the price was way more affordable and I guess I got what I paid for.)

Teresa Edelglass

I have experienced the problem of hair damage for a long time. I have tried many oils and shampoos but have not found any of them to be effective. And I will try these tips for sure!


Thank you for your open explanation about hair. I always knew what you say is true but it is so hard to explain it to someone who has been brainwashed by so much media, especially the young and impressionable, who are looking to attract attention and don’t care how they achieve that attention. Those who want long straight hair at any cost because it is “better” than any curly short or hair that “isn’t as good”. Kids need lots of education about advertising and marketing and how it speaks to the public and sets the lies about products and our bodies, sometimes for life. Kids need encouragement about ways they can see themselves in a favorable light for who they are and love that person, not want to look different or be something different from who and what they are. God made us all to be our most beautiful and most perfect selves in his eyes. Those are the eyes we should attempt to look through, not the ones of the big world of competition, external beauty and trying to be like everyone someone thinks is better than everyone else. Who is better, anyone, really?


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