image of women with wavy hair

Published 26th September 2022

What Causes Damaged Hair?

If your wavy hair is suffering from split ends and breakages or is feeling limp, frizzy and lifeless, it’s likely that you’ve got damaged hair. There are lots of causes of damaged hair that you may not have thought about in your day-to-day lifestyle.

Read on to discover some causes of damaged hair and some solutions to bring your waves back to life too.

chemical bleaching

If you chemically bleach or dye your hair, you’re at risk of damaging your hair’s natural structure. This can be even more high-risk if you choose to dye your hair at home rather than heading to your hairdresser. 

DIY bleaching often leads to people leaving hair dye on for too long, or not using the correct treatments afterwards. As a result, over-processing of bleach can cause dryness and breakages. 

If you’ve not patch tested before using a product, the pH levels may also sometimes react badly, causing a dry, itchy scalp.

We recommend seeking professional advice when using chemical bleaching to help keep your hair hydrated and healthy during the process.

image of woman with wavy hair

build up of hair products

Us wavy haired girls love to use hair products like mousses, shampoos and oils. The problem is, we often forget to treat our hair to a cleanse from time to time.

A build up of hair products forms a layer around our hair follicles. It means that natural hair oils and water can't reach the hair follicles, making your hair prone to drying out.

Over-using many hair products which stick to your follicles also leaves your hair feeling weighed down. This makes it difficult to style or tame.

We always recommend using a clarifying shampoo every now and again to refresh your hair and wash away any excess products that may be weighing your hair roots down and blocking any moisture from getting in.

Be careful though - you need to make sure you're not washing your hair too often too. Every time you wash your hair, excess oil is removed from the strands and scalp. If you wash too much, the natural oils produced will be stripped, leaving your hair follicles exposed and at risk of becoming dry and brittle.

heat styling tools

It’s no secret that we advise against using heat products at Merwave. Hair is delicate and exposure to high heat can change the shape of your hair's keratin strands, which eventually leads to weaker bonds within your hair strands that and a loss of elasticity.

This loss of elasticity will, in turn, lead to split ends and breakages. Applying heat through blow drying, straightening or curling - particularly if it's a tool where you can't control its temperature - is not on our 'to do' list when looking for high quality hair.

We advise using a microfibre hair wrap or cotton t-shirt to let your hair dry more naturally. If you’re in a hurry though, diffusing your hair upside down on a low heat is the best option to prevent damaged hair.

Check out our article on pixie diffusing here.

image of woman with wavy hair

the weather

The weather is known to affect our plans, our mood, our wardrobe options - and now our hair! Spending lots of time in the sun without using hair oils or moisturising often can cause your hair to dry out, causing breakages and split ends.

UVA and UBV rays produced by the sun can be harmful by damaging your hair cuticles, which can prevent moisture from reaching your hair shaft.

Similarly, cold weather can also damage your hair by drying it out. Cold air holds less moisture and is at risk of drying out your hair cuticles as well as your scalp, causing flaky skin and brittle strands.

There’s no need to hibernate away from the elements though - keeping your hair moisturised will help tame these weather issues.

You can find out more about how the weather affects your hair in our article here.


Brushing your hair too often can put strain on your scalp. It can also cause friction and damage the hair cuticles, leading to split ends and breakages.

Brushing wavy hair when dry leads to a loss of definition in your wave pattern, altering its texture. Which is why we strongly recommend only brushing your hair during the conditioning stage using a Tangle Teaser. The conditioner will lubricate it, which will allow your brush to glide through your hair easily. Your hair should be oozing in moisture and feel like seaweed.

Benefit to this is that your hair is less likely going to snap or break.

my hair's damaged - what should i do?

The most common issue with damaged hair is that it feels dry, brittle and frizzy. A simple solution to many causes is to add moisture to your hair. 

Start by using a clarifying shampoo to let your hair routine start afresh. Then, use a deep conditioning hair mask to re-hydrate your hair.

If you know you’re going to be out in the elements, apply some hair oil to add moisture and keep a bottle of leave-in conditioner with you. 

If you’ve been chemically bleaching your hair and are lost at where to start repairing the damage, we recommend seeking professional salon advice who’ll help you revive your coloured waves!



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