How to Moisturize Damaged Hair

Jodie Michalak
Restore health and shine!

Do you need to know how to moisturize damaged hair? If your hair is victim to chemical treatments or heated styling, chances are it lacks luster, shine and bounce. Damaged hair is lifeless and dull. While permanent repair of damaged tresses takes time and pampering, proper moisturizing will help restore hair's vibrancy and sheen.

About Damaged Hair

Every hair strand has several layers. The outermost layer is known as the cuticle. The cuticle is made up of several strands of scales, acting as a protective barrier to the inner core. When hair is healthy and free of chemicals, dye, and heat damage, the cuticle lies flat. Healthy hair is soft, silky and full of shine. Once the hair has been chemically treated or damaged with excess heat styling, the cuticle layer begins to lift up in segments, exposing the inner core and creating a ragged, flyaway appearance of strands. Because the cuticle is no longer lying flat, hair lacks natural shine and suppleness.

Whether your hair has been damaged by continual use of heated styling tools or chemical processing, you'll need to know how to moisturize damaged hair in order to protect the inner core and repair the outer cuticle and prevent further damage.

How to Moisturize Damaged Hair

There are several ways to moisturize hair. The most common remedy is a daily conditioner. Daily conditioners should be used after every shampoo to replenish some of the lost moisture after cleansing. While conditioning will help detangle and increase the cuticle's shine, inner core repair isn't common with a typical conditioner. The following steps are necessary to get moisture down into the hair shaft, where the real damage lies.

  • Deep Conditioner Treatments: Deep conditioning treatments can be applied at home or in the salon. The number of recommended treatments vary based on the extent of damage, but a good rule of thumb is one deep treatment per week. A treatment conditioner should be applied directly after cleansing. Once applied, comb through the hair and put on a shower cap to lock in the heat from the scalp. Allow the deep conditioner to penetrate for at least 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and repeat as needed.
  • Protein: Protein is necessary to rebuild the hair and strengthen the cuticle. Protein additives are common in spray form and are generally applied prior to heat styling. Protein treatments should be applied after every shampoo. Over time, the added protein will help to beef up the cuticle and repair split ends , making it more resilient to abuse.
  • Oil: Oil is another common remedy for those seeking how to moisture damaged hair. Olive oil is a pantry staple that can be applied directly to dry hair and massaged into the ends and the scalp. For best results, cap the scalp with a shower cap and allow the oil to coat the hair as long as desired, preferably overnight. While oil treatments will not repair the inner core like a protein supplement, they will help to increase the shine and add a downy softness to the hair.

Avoid Further Damage

If you want to avoid further hair damage, you'll need to protect the hair while styling and make cautious decisions prior to chemical processing. A professional hair stylist should be your confidante when considering extensive chemical treatments. Chances are, if your hair is over-processed, you'll need to take a break and give your hair a chance to return to its normal state. Many people with bleach-blonde hair find that maintenance is too damaging and return to a darker color while hoping to restore the hair's integrity. Remember, no matter the color or the texture of your hair, if it's not healthy and shiny, it'll never look its best.In addition to exercising caution in regards to chemical services, make sure to apply a heat protect ant spray prior to blow drying the hair or using styling tools such as straightening irons or hot rollers. With just these few simple steps, you can begin to moisturize and repair the hair shaft. Although results may not be immediate, if you take the time and diligently repeat conditioning and hair care protective measures, inner and outer core damage will be minimized.


Knowing how to moisturize damaged hair can help you repair damage to your hair's structure and restore bounce, beauty, and shine to your locks. With proper conditioning and preventative care, your hair can always be stunning.

How to Moisturize Damaged Hair