Remedy for Damaged Over-Processed Hair

by Kimbry Parker ; Updated July 18, 2017

It might be fun to play around with your hair color and look by changing it every couple of months, but all that dyeing, perming and straightening isn't very good for your strands. It makes your hair dry and brittle, and can lead to breakage and even hair loss. Even if you’ve stopped messing with your mane, it doesn’t mean you have to live with dull, damaged hair forever. Get your hair on the right track to repair by taking the proper steps to remedy the damage done by over-processing.

Limit how often your wash your hair. Overwashing dries out your hair and leads to breakage. Instead of washing your hair every day, opt for every other day or even three times a week. On days you don’t wash your hair, if you feel like your hair is grimy, get it wet and condition the hair, but skip the shampoo.

Use warm or cool water when washing your hair. Hot water is drying and can make the damage worse. Choose a shampoo that is specifically formulated for damaged hair. Look for things like “anti-breakage,” “renewal,” or “strengthening on the label.

Brush you hair right. Use a boar-bristled brush and work from the roots to the ends. This will distribute the natural oils throughout the hair. If you hair is prone to tangles or knots, use a detangling spray prior to brushing to avoid breaking your fragile strands.

Limit your use of heated styling tools. Your hair is already damaged from overprocessing, and heat will only make it worse. If you must use your curling iron, blow dryer or straightener, protect your hair first with a heat protectant serum.

Towel dry your hair properly. You might be accustomed to rubbing the towel briskly over your hair to get the water out, but this can cause more damage and breakage. Instead, use a microfiber towel and blot your hair to remove the excess water. Don’t wrap your hair up in the towel either, as this too can cause the hair to break.

Deep condition your hair once a week. You can use a store-bought deep conditioner or make your own. Mix ½ cup plain yogurt, 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into a bowl. Smooth the mixture onto towel-dried hair. Wait 20 minutes before rinsing your hair with lukewarm water.


  • If you must color your hair, do so no more than once a month for single process color and once every two to three months for highlights. Use a deep conditioning treatment after coloring your hair and choose shampoo and conditioner designed for color treated hair. If you’re dyeing your hair at home, look for products that are ammonia-free or low in ammonia.

Photo Credits

  • Desiree McMahon/Demand Media

About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.