The Mestiza Muse

Be Beautiful. Be Natural. Be You.

Be Beautiful. Be Natural. Be You.

7 Signs Your Hair is Damaged and Needs TLC

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Image of a curly girl looking through a magnifying glass.

We partner with and endorse products from trusted companies that benefit our readers. Here’s our process.

As a reader-supported platform, we may earn affiliate commissions for purchases made through links, including those advertising

Please read our disclosure for more info.

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.

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!


I’m just a girl who transformed her severely damaged hair into healthy hair. I adore the simplicity of a simple hair care routine, the richness of diverse textures, and the joy of sharing my journey from the comfort of my space.

My mission? To empower others with the tools to restore, and maintain healthy hair, and celebrate the hair they were born with!

My Favourite Things

Great hair goes beyond using shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. Shop my favorite must-haves.

After years of requests, I’m finally sharing my go-to skincare products.

Give your space a quick refresh with these ultimate home decor ideas.

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure and make sure to pack these essential items to take with you on your journey.

Curl Care


Is High Porosity Hair Genetic?

Are you curious about whether the characteristic of high porosity hair is inherited? It’s a valid question, especially considering the link between high porosity and damaged hair. How could a

Read More »



10 Best Products for 2C Hair

2C, with its distinct s-shaped curls, represents the most defined pattern within the spectrum of wavy hair textures. This natural texture, lying at the intersection of straight hair and more

Read More »



One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted.
Do it now.

- Paulo coelho