What Causes Damaged Hair?

I have been thinking for so long about dyeing my hair a color I have never done before. I mean, my hair has always been dark brown, except for blonde and red highlights, but that’s about it.

For the last nine months my hair has been so badly damaged and I never knew why. I don’t use any intense chemicals, I don’t straighten it, nor curl it, so what causes damaged hair?

After a few weeks of overthinking back and forth whether I should cut my hair and not dye it, or if I could do both. I decided that maybe I could do both. I’ve been wanting to cut my hair for some months now since it was so long, it gotten to the point where I had constant non-stop headaches.

I decided to look up some pictures online for some inspiration of what I would like my hair to look like, and I came across some stunningly beautiful purple-colored hairstyles. It was then when I decided I wanted that. The models that were portraying that hair color, all of them had either straight or wavy hair. I have curly hair…really curly hair, so I was really debating if I should go with it, or if it was too risky. I didn’t want to end up regretting it. I saved the pictures and went to my appointment at the hair salon.

After about two hours of waiting, it was finally my turn on the life-changing chair. I showed my hairstylist the pictures I found and asked him if he could do that. He said yes, so I was really excited. He cut my hair four fingers up, bleached some of it, and then dyed all of my hair.

purple colored hair

After about half an hour my hair was all washed up, but something I wasn’t expecting happened…my hair wasn’t purple! It turned out pink instead of the color I wanted. And now, you’re probably wondering “how does purple hair dye turn your hair pink?”. Well, I will be talking about what causes damaged hair to have these type of reactions.

What Causes Damaged Hair?

I was so surprised to know that your overall health can have a huge impact on your hair. Why’s that? Let’s take a look on some examples and other things that may also damage your hair.

• Medicines – Yes, you read that right. Some medicines have a certain type of chemical reaction that may damage your hair, either by dyeing it, or even just making your follicles weaken. Some of the medication that may cause these reactions include: chemotherapy, thyroid medication and hormonal treatments. Though, do keep in mind, any toxic chemical that you put in your body can affect your hairs acceptance of dye.

For example, I have diabetes and some other health complications. The medication I take has an impact on how my hair adapts to the chemicals in hair dye. Not to mention, my medications have also made my hair extremely dry.

Dyeing your hair all the time can severely damage and break it. Sure, it’s an amazing feeling when you get something new done to your hair, but please remember to let your hair breathe for a little while as well.

• If you have colored hair, specially a vivid one, you may want to consider not spending so much time under the sun. You see, the sun oxidizes hair color, and what can be some blonde steaks can end up being orange or faded ones.

• Food – This one also had me really surprised. Food not only damages your internal organs but it can also affect or damage your hair

Though, do keep in mind that there are certain foods that contain folic acid, zinc and iron, which actually helps your hair stay healthy and if prevents some damages.

• Mental Health – Not a lot of people know this, but stress, depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health related issues may affect and damage your hair.

In my personal experience, I have a high tendency of being in stressful situations. What does that mean? It means that my follicles start getting weak, so hair that may be in the middle of the transition of the growth cycle may break off. Due to this, your hair may start falling off (that happens to me way more times that I could even count.

what causes damaged hair?

• Blow Drying Dripping Hair – I wasn’t aware of this one either. Normally, we tend to dry our hair with a towel and even if it’s dripping we still blow dry it so it can dry faster.

Brushing your hair while attempting to blow dry it can actually end up breaking your hair. The problem with blow-drying your hair while it’s still dripping wet is that the transmitted heat overdrives your hair to a point where the ends can split and cause your hair to get frizzy or overly dry.

Other causes that may cause damaged hair include: drying it with a towel (you may want to use a T-shirt instead. I have personally started doing this), constantly washing your hair (takes your natural hair oils away) and the lack of moisturizing.

What to do

I know I surely made a mistake by dyeing my hair instead of letting it grow out of its damaged state, regardless of that I’m currently trying my best to keep it in a healthier form. I’m currently using coconut oil and even though I haven’t really seen any effects, I know it’s helping my hair since it doesn’t tangle as much. I still have headaches from how dry my hair is but hopefully, in a couple of months, it’ll become healthier.
what causes damaged hair? blue hair

It all depends on what type of hair you have, and the current routine you have with your hair Health. Though, if your hair is damaged, I urge you to see a professional. They will help you out and find alternatives so you don’t have to worry so much. Don’t wait so long, as I did, I waited two years to get a new haircut and right after that I dyed my hair. Instead of the lavender color I wanted, my hairstylist went ahead and tried adding a little bit of blue, and that color actually stayed. It’s not the healthiest choice to add so many chemicals to my head, but as the saying goes “from mistakes we learn and grow”.

I would absolutely love to hear from you and your own personal experiences. What do you think causes damaged hair? How are you currently treating your hair? Anything you’d recommend that has worked for you?

4 thoughts on “What Causes Damaged Hair?”

  1. Paul says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for the helpful and informative article. Recently I started to focus on my hair because I lost a lot lol and your article means a lot to me.

    After reading your article I realized the causes and I believe it’s because of mental health and food. I worked in a call center (sales) for 6+ years in a night shift. I am also using pure coconut oil and staying away from chemicals is the best way to go with. I got great insights from your article. 

    You not only discussed the causes of hair damage but provided with the solution as well which is amazing.

    1. Stephanie says:

      Thank you for stopping by! Take care. 

  2. Aaron says:

    Hi, Stephanie. My former wife used have lots of hair damage during our marriage. She is Haitian, with kinky curls. The really small curls. She would constantly put some type of acid product that looked more like a white lotion in her hair, before she straightened her hair with a heated hair straightener. She used a lot of coconut butter lotion too for moisturizing her hair. I remember sometimes her hair got so damaged that she would give herself a break and end up getting her hair done with a weave or braids. I always favored the weaves the most. She would literally look different each and every month. I liked that about her. Two things I miss the most about her is her hair and her cooking.

    What I learned from your site is how medicine and food can damage hair. I never knew about that. It’s pretty interesting how something so obvious can be missed like that. It makes sense to me now that those could impact hair. Thank you for such an informative post.

    1. Stephanie says:

      Thank you for stopping by!

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