The mestiza muse

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Hello There!

I'm Verna,
Your Curly-Haired Friend.

Curly hair is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. It could be super-defined one day and a frizzy concoction the next day – and it's never exactly the same from one head to another. Our mission is to equip you with the necessary tools for restoring and maintaining healthy locks and celebrating the hair you were born with! 

We only work with and promote products from companies that we trust and feel are good for our consumers to use. We are reader-supported. If you decide to make a purchase through one of our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.

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Curl care

With extensive experience in the beauty industry, I specialize in writing for curly hair care brands, websites, and magazines.

Not only do I have curly hair, but my children, friends, family members, and even friends who are professional curly hairstylists, each with their unique curly textures.

 You get the point :) 

I also partner with a friend who holds a Ph.D. in chemistry and works as an R&D Chemist, ensuring our content is scientifically accurate and help us navigate through the misinformation around curly hair care. 

Hi,I'm Verna

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Last Updated on June 27, 2023 by Verna Meachum

You probably care for your hair by doing the basic minimum, like washing with good products, the occasional mask or oil, and maybe protecting it from UV radiation. Yet, many people still find their hair damaged. What are the signs of damaged hair, and how do you overcome it?

Signs of damaged hair include dryness and brittleness, tangles, split ends, excessive hair fall, lack of shine and luster, difficulty styling, and breaking and frizziness. The right tools, products, and necessary protection steps can reduce damage and restore your hair’s health.

If your hair has damage, don’t fret, there are signs you can look out for to tell if your hair is damaged and in need of some TLC. Let’s discuss them below:

7 Signs of Damaged Hair and Tips to Overcome It

Before we start, remember that not all hair is the same, and what works for one may not work for another. Always find a hair care routine and products that suit your needs to have the healthiest hair possible!

1.    Your Hair is Dry and Brittle

Dry and brittle hair happens when the natural moisture level of your hair becomes low, usually due to heat or chemical damage from bleach or dyeing, perms, or chemical perming. Hard water, excessive use of sulfates, washing with hot water, or tight hairstyles can also cause damage.

The scalp produces sebum, an oil that acts as your hair’s natural conditioner. It lubricates, coats, moisturizes, and protects your hair. Heat and chemicals strip away the natural oil, and you need to restore it by hydrating and moisturizing your scalp and hair to reduce dry, brittle hair.

Vector image of hair structure.

If your ends are dry and rough, but the roots feel oily or greasy, that can indicate that your scalp is overproducing oil as a defense mechanism against chemical or heat damage. To solve this, use a heat protectant, and apply a deep conditioning mask or oil from root to tip regularly.

2.    You Struggle with Knots and Tangles

Hair naturally tangles, but excessive hair tangling is often a result of dry and brittle hair. Using hydrating and moisturizing products to help with nourishment and smoothness. Regularly applying oils/masks and using products like serums and leave-in conditioners will help reduce tangles.

If you struggle to detangle your hair, apply a natural oil like coconut oil to soften it, or try a quality detangler like Righteous Roots Oils Pre-Wash Detangler. Work out the knots with a wide-toothed comb or your fingers starting from the ends. Avoid too much force, as that may cause breakage.

3.    You Notice Split Ends

Split ends are a common problem. The ends are the oldest part of your hair. They tend to lose their protective layer, and according to research, once that happens, it causes the hair to split, exposing the inner cortex.

Some of the most common contributing factors include:

  • Over-processing
  • Over-exposure to the sun
  • Harsh chemicals
  • Forcefully combing or brushing your hair
  • Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase
  • Drying your hair with a cotton towel
  • Washing your hair with hot water
  • Heat damage from UV radiation or styling tools

There is no cure to fix split ends aside from getting a trim and preventing them. The best way to avoid split ends is to use good-quality hair oil to lubricate your hair. A microfiber towel, sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase, and applying heat protectant is also helpful.

Heat protectants create a barrier between the styling tool and your hair. Here are some heat protectants to try:

4.    Your Hair Fall is Excessive

Hair fall can occur due to several factors:

  • Breakage and brittleness
  • Unhealthy lifestyle (stress, poor diet, etc.)
  • Harsh products and treatments
  • Wet combing
  • Rubbing with a towel
  • Heat damage

Hair also naturally sheds to make space for new, healthy growth. But it could be damaged if your hair falls so much that you start noticing it. Hair that falls excessively means that the follicles are weak.

Deep conditioning, increasing blood flow through gentle massages, using silk or satin pillowcases, following a healthier lifestyle, avoiding heating tools, and rinsing with cool water before getting out of the shower to seal the hair follicles can help reduce excessive hair shedding.

5.    Your Hair Lacks Shine And Luster

If your hair lacks natural shine and luster, it’s a sign that you might be washing with the wrong kind of shampoo. A moisturizing shampoo formulated for curly hair is most helpful. Avoid strong sulfates that can strip your hair of its natural oils.

You may also notice reduced luster if you do not use a conditioner after shampooing. A good quality conditioner or deep conditioning treatment can help replace the natural oils and hydrate your hair, leaving your hair feeling softer, smoother, and more manageable.

Another reason could be that your hair is experiencing product build up and needs a reset. Use a clarifying shampoo, but follow up with a moisturizing or deep conditioner.

6.    Styling Your Hair is Challenging

When your hair becomes difficult to style or comb through, it can also be a sign of damage. This means that you might have increased amounts of breakage in your hair, and the cuticle scales are sticking together, making your hair appear like a matted mess.

The best way to combat this problem is to pay attention to moisture. Well-hydrated hair is less likely to have styling problems. If conditioner alone isn’t enough, consider adding a leave-in conditioner, detangler, mousse, gel, or natural oils to your routine. If all else fails, seek a professional stylist’s help.

7.    Your Hair Has Breakage and Frizzing

If you notice your hair breaking a lot, it could be that your hair is dry and your strands are weak. It could also result from heat damage, harsh products like dyes, bleaches, and other chemical treatments. Frizzing is a natural result of broken hair and humidity.

Using a leave-in-conditioner can reduce frizzing and keep your hair moisturized. Deep conditioning treatments with gentle massages and feeding your hair with quality nourishing products like masks, oils, and hair serums, will protect and reduce breaking by strengthening your hair and follicles.


Always remember to pay attention to your hair and look out for any signs that show damage. The discussed tips will help to reduce and prevent further damage. And remember, be patient, find what works for your hair, and don’t expect results overnight. Your healthy hair is within reach!

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I had to listen to what my hair curls are finally ready to take in some moisture again!!!


- renee, Stylist Liaison

- renee, Stylist Liaison

“I truly couldn't have gotten through this without her knowledge, advice and support...after suffering from Hygral Fatigue and getting tons of advice @themestizamuse.”

“@themestizamuse: for ESSENTIAL information you will NEED TO KNOW in order to see results.”

See how easy the topics are to find on her page (a few posts screenshot)? There is no topic Verna hasn't covered.

- dominique P, wavy hair enthusiast


- dominique P, wavy hair enthusiast

“I have learned a whole heap of knowledge from @themestizamuse.”

Inspiring hair tutor, grateful for what she offers the Curly Community in authenticity, passion, and knowledge.

- zoe F, Producer & Host of The Curl Squad


- zoe F, Producer & Host of The Curl Squad

“I was so excited to embrace my curls and take better care of them. As I started to dive in, I immediately became overwhelmed with the information.”

I read books and tried doing things because "that's what I'm supposed to do," but it didn't always work and I didn't understand why. I'm so grateful for Verna and her blog. Her info. actually helped me understand more of the science of why some methods helped and what products or ingredients to use and why. Anyone that compliments my hair and wants to start a curly journey, I tell them to start here. My hair is so much healthier and I'm so happy with it.

- stephanie, Curly hair enthusiast


- stephanie, Curly hair enthusiast

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