What Does Damaged Hair Look Like? 5 Signs To Watch Out For

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Wella. Minor edits have been done by Tousled Online Magazine editors.

Hair before and after putting fusion shampoo

If you’re asking, ‘what does damaged hair look like?’, we haven’t got just one answer for you. There are a multitude of signs that hair strands are stressed out, from excess shedding due to breakage, to dullness and brassiness. Here, we break down what to look for, and the steps you can take to get healthy hair and prevent future damage. Watch out for these 5 key signs…



The first sign of hair damage is usually that dry and brittle feeling. It’s lacking in shine, it’s permanently parched, and it’s more difficult to style as a result. Hair strands can dry out for a whole raft of reasons, whether it’s because of heat damage, bleach damage, or just simple genetics. And, once hair becomes brittle it can lead to further problems – think breakage, split ends, flyaways and dullness. The good news is, there are plenty of ways you can rehydrate your dry hair, from vitamin-packed shampoos and conditioning treatments, to smoothing and renewing salon treatments.


Products for dry and brittle hair


1. Reach for nourishing shampoos

Is your shampoo nourishing enough? Look out for vitamin-rich formulas that gently purify, so you’re not stripping out the essential oils your hair needs to stay healthy. Try INVIGO Nutri-Enrich Deep Nourishing Shampoo for all hair types, and ColorMotion+ Color Protection Shampoo if you’re looking to prevent shade fade too. If your natural hair is curly, you may want to alternate with a co-washing routine. 

Wella Professionals Invigo Nutri-Enrich Deep Nourishing Shampoo
Wella Professionals Invigo Nutri-Enrich Deep Nourishing Shampoo 250ml (₱785)
Wella Professionals Color Motion Shampoo
Wella Professionals Color Motion Shampoo 250ml (₱1,250)


2. Squeeze out excess water from wet hair before masking

If your hair is too wet before you apply a mask, you may dilute all that nourishing goodness. Think about how a sponge works; if it’s soaking wet, it can’t soak up any more moisture. Your hair works in much the same way. That’s why it’s important to squeeze out excess water and gently towel-dry strands ahead of smoothing masks through mid-lengths and ends. Try it with the INVIGO Nutri-Enrich Deep Nourishing Mask, then leave it on for five to 10 minutes so the vitamins can be fully absorbed.

Wella Professionals Invigo Nutri-Enrich Deep Nourishing Mask
Wella Professionals Invigo Nutri-Enrich Deep Nourishing Mask 150ml (₱890)


3. Style hair with smoothing balms

When it comes to styling your hair, be sure to add enriching creams, lotions and balms to your hair care routine. Not only will they make your locks more manageable, but they’ll bestow strands with added moisture in between washes. INVIGO Nutri-Enrich Wonder Balm is the dream for smoothing frizz and flyaways if you’re going for a glossy blow-dry. 

Wella Professionals Invigo Nutri-Enrich Wonder Balm
Wella Professionals Invigo Nutri-Enrich Wonder Balm 150ml (₱1,050)



Are your strands snapping off? Have you noticed excess split ends? Is hair shedding more than you think it should? While having a few split ends is normal when you’re due a trim, a high volume of snapping usually means hair has hit its breaking point. This can happen when heat damage or bleach damage are at play; while hot tools and lightening products are completely safe for your strands, proper care should be taken to ensure the integrity of hair is protected. And while you can’t reverse breakage when it happens, you can protect sensitized strands from further stress with the right products and techniques.

Products for broken hair and split ends


1. Use strengthening shampoos and conditioners

Work on building up your hair’s resilience with strengthening shampoos and conditioners. The Fusion collection gives you up to 95% protection from breakage, thanks to a fusion of silk amino acids that work to recover the hair fiber. Wash with the Intense Repair Shampoo and Conditioner, then apply the Intense Repair Mask weekly to make strands more resistant to wear and tear.

Wella Professionals Fusion Intense Repair Shampoo
Wella Professionals Fusion Intense Repair Shampoo 250ml (₱990)
Wella Professionals Fusion Intense Repair Conditioner
Wella Professionals Fusion Intense Repair Conditioner 200ml (₱1,375)
Wella Professionals Fusion Intense Repair Mask
Wella Professionals Fusion Intense Repair Mask 150ml (₱1,220)


2. Get regular trims for split ends

The ultimate ‘cure’ for split ends is a cut. While you can’t permanently seal them (although the Oil Reflections Luminous Smoothening Oil will temporarily smooth them down), you can keep them at bay with regular trims. While you’re improving hair’s strength with the Fusion ritual, keep ends tidy with salon appointments every four to six weeks, even if you’re only ‘dusting’ off the very tips to maintain length.

Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Luminous Smoothening Oil
Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Luminous Smoothening Oil 100ml (₱1,260)



Tangles happen. A few knots are completely normal – especially if you’ve just washed your hair – but you shouldn’t be having to spend more than five minutes teasing them out. If they’re becoming a problem, this could be a sign that strands need a turbo boost of nourishment. Dry, thin and frizzy hair gets in knots more easily, so this is a symptom of damage. As such, not only should you follow the tips above for dry hair, but you should also take extra care when eking out tangles to ensure you don’t cause further breakage. ‘Gently, gently’ is the perfect approach to detangling knots and achieving smooth hair.

Products for knotty tangled hair


1. Tease out the knots before washing

Don’t get knotty hair wet – it will only be more tangled after you’ve washed it. Before you get in the shower, work through section by section with a brush to ensure every last knot has been smoothed out.

2. Start combing from the bottom

When detangling, don’t drag your brush or comb from root to tip. Start at the bottom of the hair and gently, patiently tease out knots, then move a little higher up the hair shaft before working through the next section. Continue this process until you’ve smoothed out every last tangle. This way, you won’t be tugging hard on delicate strands, reducing your risk of extra shedding and breakage.

3. Use a leave-in detangling spray

Don’t be without a detangling spray. Elements Conditioning Leave-In Spray makes it quicker to battle knots by smoothing and nourishing damaged hair, so it has more ‘slip’. After washing, mist it all through towel-dried mid-lengths and ends, allow it to settle for 30 seconds or more, then begin teasing out tangles. Your comb or brush will move through strands easier.

Wella Professionals Elements Conditioning Leave-In Spray
Wella Professionals Elements Conditioning Leave-In Spray 150ml (₱990)



Hair can start to look dull when it’s lacking in moisture and vital nutrients, so if it’s lost its luster, there may be damage at play. And, while brassy hair can simply happen as a result of color pigments fading, it may also be a sign that your locks have been exposed to too much sun or heat. Dull hair can usually be fixed with in-salon glazing and glossing services, but it’s important you upgrade your care routine to prevent dullness at home too.

Products for dull brass hair



1. Inject shine with oil-rich hair care products

Oil-rich hair care products bestow a glow like no other, while rehydrating dry locks for short-term shine and a long-term health boost. Look to Oil Reflections for a light yet lustrous blend of oils that supercharge hair’s radiance. The Luminous Reveal Shampoo and Luminous Smoothening Oil are musts for dull hair days.

Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Luminous Reveal Shampoo
Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Luminous Reveal Shampoo 250ml (₱990)


3. Finish each look with a shine spray

Don’t underestimate the power of a shine spray. When you’ve finished perfecting your style, a ‘topcoat’ will deliver a touch of gloss without weighing strands down. Spritz through mid-lengths and ends to instantly brighten and beautify.


If you notice that every conditioning mask or hair oil you use makes little difference, you might be dealing with what’s known as ‘highly porous hair’. Strands become more porous when damage causes tears and gaps in the hair cuticle, which allow moisture to get in and – more importantly – straight back out with ease. As a result, a lot of the nourishing ingredients in your masks escape through the gaps, meaning your hair can’t reap the full rewards of your moisturizing routine. So, watch out for how your damaged hair responds to hydrating products. If you’re not getting the results you expected, a few extra tricks may be needed to lock nourishment in and prevent any future damage.

Products for porous hair


1. Wash with color-protecting shampoos

It’s not just moisture that can escape through tears in the cuticle; if your client has colored hair, they might find some of the pigment gets out too. This makes color care products more important than ever. Introduce them to the ColorMotion+ Color Protection Shampoo and Moisturizing Color Reflection Conditioner to lock their shade down.

Wella Professionals Color Motion Conditioner
Wella Professionals Color Motion Conditioner 200ml (₱1,485)


2. Reach for oil- and cream-based masks

Richer oil- and cream-based hair masks have enough substance to help seal the cuticle, so locks will be better able to hold in moisture. That’s why Fusion Intense Repair Mask is ideal for highly porous hair. Massage it through the mid-lengths and ends of clean, towel-dried hair, leave it on for 10 minutes, and enjoy a smoother, silkier mane.

3. Lock in moisture with leave-in conditioners

While rinse-out masks are still a must for porous strands, leave-in conditioners are the secret to longer-lasting nourishment through parched hair. That’s why your hair wash routine should end with a spritz of Elements Conditioning Leave-In Spray. It’s not just for damp hair; you can also reapply it to dry mid-lengths and ends in between washes. It delivers an instant hydration shot through even the driest locks.

Now, by knowing the signs of damaged hair, you can upgrade your at-home hair care routine to ensure you’re giving locks exactly what they need, when they need it most. Get ready to start your journey to achieving healthy hair!

Need a more in-depth and expert advice? Message us for a free personalized consultation!

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