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Revive Your Locks: How to Fix Over Processed Hair

21 May 2024
Revive Your Locks: How to Fix Over Processed Hair

Anyone familiar with heat styling, bleaching or treating their hair with relaxers or perms, knows that chemical damage is an unfortunate, but unavoidable side effect. And anyone who has been doing these things long enough, has likely dealt with over processed hair. Over processing happens as a result of the excessive use of chemicals and/or heat. It causes the hair shaft to become dry, brittle, frizzy and porous. Over processed hair is hard to style and maintain. It can't retain moisture, shine or elasticity and ultimately leads to split ends and breakage. If you're in the throes of over processing, you need a targeted hair care routine to repair and rejuvenate those locks and we're here to help. Just ahead, we'll break down how to fix over processed hair, including the best product picks and tips for your damaged hair.

Understanding Overprocessed Hair

So what is over processed hair? It's a condition where the hair has been subjected to excessive chemical treatments, heat styling, or other damaging practices. overprocessing can lead to various issues such as dryness, breakage, split ends and a lack of elasticity. It's important to recognize the signs of over processed hair to effectively address and prevent further damage. The characteristics of over processed hair include its brittle texture, diminished shine and tendency to tangle easily. Over processing affects the hair's structure by weakening the bonds that hold the hair together, making it more prone to damage. Over processed hair may appear dull and lifeless due to the loss of moisture and essential nutrients.

Effects on Hair Structure

The hair structure includes the cuticle, cortex and medulla layers. Over processing can damage the hair cuticle, which serves as a protective layer for the inner layers of the hair shaft. Damage to the hair cuticle can result in moisture loss, protein depletion and increased susceptibility to external aggressors such as heat and environmental factors.

Factors Contributing to Over Processed Hair

Various factors contribute to over processed hair, such as frequent use of heat styling tools like blow dryers, curling irons and flat irons.Chemical treatments like relaxers, perms, bleaching and hair coloring also cause damage to the hair's structure. Understanding your hair type and its tolerance to different styling and chemical treatments can help prevent over processing, breakage and further damage.

Common Signs of Over Processed Hair

So what does over processed hair look like? Different hair types may exhibit different signs of over processing. But the most visible indicators of over processing, include split ends, frizzy texture and breakage. More on each of these signs of chemically damaged hair below!

Split Ends

Split ends as the splitting or fraying of the hair shaft, often caused by damage to the hair cuticle. Split ends are a common sign of over processed hair, resulting from the loss of moisture and essential nutrients. Untreated split ends can lead to further damage and breakage if not addressed promptly.


Frizz is the uncontrollable and unruly appearance of hair, characterized by flyaways and a rough texture. Over processed hair is more prone to frizz due to its weakened structure and lack of moisture. Frizz can be exacerbated by external factors such as humidity and friction from brushing or styling.


Breakage is the snapping or splitting of hair strands, often occurring along the length of the hair. Over processed hair is more susceptible to breakage due to its weakened condition and compromised structure. Breakage may occur during styling, brushing, or even normal daily activities, leading to noticeable thinning hair and loss of volume.


Dryness is a lack of moisture and hydration in the hair, resulting in a rough, dull and brittle texture. Over processed hair tends to be dry due to the depletion of natural oils and proteins essential for maintaining moisture balance. It is so important to address dryness to prevent further damage and improve the overall health and appearance of the hair.

Lack of Elasticity

Elasticity is the ability of hair to stretch and return to its original shape without breaking. Over processed hair often lacks elasticity, making it more prone to breakage and damage. Healthy hair has good elasticity, while over processed hair may feel stiff, brittle, or prone to snapping when stretched.

Essential Tips for Repairing Over Processed Hair

So now that you know the causes behind your over processed hair and how to tell if that's what's going on with your strands, you're likely wondering how to repair your over-processed hair. The bad news is over processed hair can't be completely fixed. Damage to your hair shaft can't be healed, since hair is technically dead cells. But there are steps you can take to significantly improve your hair health and appearance and make it easier to maintain while you wait for new hair to grow in. Incorporate these hair hacks into your hair care routine to gradually strengthen your strands for healthier, more resilient hair.

Gentle Hair Care Practices

Adopt gentler hair care practices, like minimizing heat styling and opting for air drying whenever possible. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle wet hair and avoid harsh brushing that can cause breakage. Use protective hairstyles like braids or loose buns to minimize further damage.

Regular Trims

Regular trims are the only way to completely remove split ends and prevent further breakage. If you're trying to grow out your over processed hair, it's important to keep a regular standing appointment with your hairstylist. They will help you to determine the frequency of trims based on your hair condition and goals.

Deep Conditioning Treatments

You should always incorporate routine deep conditioning treatments into your hair care routine to replenish moisture and improve elasticity, but especially if you're dealing with over processed hair. Use products specifically formulated for repairing damaged hair, such as protein treatments or conditioning masks.

Minimize Chemical Exposure

Further chemical processing, such as bleaching or relaxing, is a big NO until your over processed hair has fully recovered. And remember heat damage is just as bad for your hair as chemical damage so avoid it! If you absolutely must use heat on your strands use protective measures like sulfate-free products and heat protectant sprays before heat styling to reduce dryness.

Nourish from the Inside Out

Of course the most important thing you can do for your hair is maintain a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and protein for overall hair health. Incorporate hydrating foods like fruits, vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids to promote healthier hair growth. And drink lots of water every day.

Best Products for Overprocessed Hair

There are lots of hair care products tailored to repairing over processed hair, with ingredients like coconut oil and keratin, known for their nourishing and reparative properties. These are our favorite products for deep conditioning masks, leave-in treatments and heat protectants for dealing with over processed hair.

Deep Conditioning Masks

Choose deep conditioning masks specifically formulated for overprocessed hair, like Davines Nounou Hair Mask for its nourishing and reparative properties, which help replenish moisture, repair damage and improve hair elasticity.

Leave-In Treatments

Look for leave-in treatments designed to provide ongoing hydration and protection for overprocessed hair, like Davines Oi All In One Milk for its lightweight and non-greasy formula which can be applied to towel-dried hair to detangle, moisturize and protect against heat styling and environmental damage.

Heat Protectant Sprays

Choose heat protectant sprays formulated specifically for overprocessed hair, like Davines Melu Hair Shield to minimize damage from heat styling tools like blow dryers, curling irons and flat irons.

Sulfate-Free Shampoos and Conditioners

Use only sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners tailored to the needs of over processed hair, like Davines Minu Shampoo and Conditioner, which are gentler on the hair and scalp, helping to prevent further dryness and irritation.

Protein Treatments

And finally, incorporate protein treatments designed to strengthen and repair over processed hair, like Davines Nourishing Keratin Sealer to fortify the hair's structure, filling in gaps and cracks caused by damage and improving overall resilience.

Weigh Up The Options For Your Over Processed Hair

If you're dealing with over processed hair, incorporating our hair hacks and product picks into your hair care routine will help you get stronger strands. But remember that the only way to rectify severe heat or chemical damage is to frequently trim off dead ends. This allows for healthier hair to grow down without being affected by lingering damage. Regular trims reduce split ends from fraying and breaking off, helping you avoid more dramatic damage. Still have questions about how to fix over processed hair? Talk to a hair stylist in your area for personalized advice. Remember to use only the highest quality products for damaged hair and share any tips you have for dealing with over processed hair in the comments. We'd love to hear them!

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