Overprocessed Hair Signs & Solutions to Bring it Back to Life

Overprocessed hair signs are a significant search query on the internet today, and understandably so.

No one sets out to switch up their hair profile and end up having the opposite. But chances are what you consider overprocessed hair signs maybe your hair going through the usual aftercare phases – or not.

So, let’s set the record straight and cut to the chase.

What are the Signs of Overprocessed Hair?

The first sign of overprocessed hair is your natural hair texture. Generally, one major thing that overprocessing does to your hair is to make your hair shaft dense and porous. This way, it becomes difficult to maintain and style.

A lady checking her damaged hair under a lens

You might also notice some pieces of hair looking straight (due to permanent straightening) while other straight hair strands will become curly and crumpled.

Some telltale signs of hair damage include dry hair, hair breakage, and fallouts of hair patches (1). You might also notice many split ends forming and giving your hair a rough appearance.

Here’s a list of the common signs of overprocessed hair:

  • Severe hair loss or thinning
  • Hair breakage: This is usually a result of chemical damage, either due to color or chemical treatments (1).
  • Flyaways or frizzy hair: Lack of moisture/depletion of natural moisture results in frizzy/crunchy hair.
  • Presence of split ends: Hair dryness immediately after drying your wet hair or thinning around each strand of hair are signs of split ends.
  • Brittle hair: Causative factors for brittle hair can be hair dryness, UV hair damage, and several other environmental stressors. I recommend moisturizing shampoo for silky, healthy, and brittle-free hair.
  • Short hair patches: This can be due to chemical treatments or excess heat due to excessive use of hot water or heat tools/heat styling tools.

These are the signs of overprocessed hair, but why does it happen?

RELATED: How to Fix Hair Breakage on Top of Head

5 Causes of Overprocessing

We often put our hair health at significant risk from our hair care products and the daily hair care practices we observe.

hair getting flat ironed under title overprocessed hair signs

Overprocessed hair is simply hair that has experienced excessive harsh handling and abusive use of chemical treatments.

The following is a list of the causative factors responsible for hair damage due to overprocessing.

1. Dye

Most times, the products used for coloring hair contain harsh chemicals that can cause hair damage or even hair breakage and loss.

2. Hair Bleach

You risk losing the splendor of having shiny hair as your natural hair color can be threatened by excessive hair bleach application. According to research, hair bleach decomposes melanin, affecting hair color (3).

Washing hair with bleaches excessively can affect the hair fiber on the outermost layer and even beyond the hair’s middle layer.

3. Excessive heat

Heat application from hot water, hot tools, heated tools, and heat styling tools can also affect hair health.

Watch this video to learn about the signs of heat-damaged hair:

4. Other styling processes

They include excessive blow dryers, hair straighteners, harsh brushing, etc. Harsh brushing can also be the causative factor for hair breakage.

5. Environmental factors

They could also be responsible for hair damage, e.g., UV damage, sun-damaged hair, and other environmental damage.

How to Limit Further Damage Caused by Overprocessed Hair

Once hair damage becomes evident on the outer layer of the hair fiber, you need to understand that the underlying layers in the hair structure have undergone several irreversible changes from the hair cuticle to the hair follicles (2).

wet damaged hair under title overprocessed hair signs

But here’s a list of things you can do to reduce the possibility of your overprocessed hair suffering further damage.

  1. Dye your hair less frequently and when washing hair, use only shampoos that are appropriate for dyed hair.
  2. Consider using deep conditioning treatment and ideal hair conditioners such as leave-in conditioners.
  3. If you notice any dryness, use moisturizing shampoos to reduce hair dryness and replenish natural hair moisture.
  4. Heat damage can be reduced by using a heat protectant and hair masks and also by reducing the use of hot tools.
  5. Replace harsh brushing with gentle brushing and also normalize the use of hair ties and hair bonds.
  6. Fresh water and lukewarm water is the ideal option for washing hair. Other forms of water, including beach water, pool water, hot water, and cold water, should be avoided. Beach water could be too salty for your hair and could strip the oil in your hair.
  7. Consider using a microfiber towel rather than a cotton towel, as this will reduce the chances of developing frizzy or crunchy hair.

7 Products to Bring Overprocessed Hair Back to Life

You can apply products to your hair that can miraculously bring your damaged hair back to life. You can get exceptional results from using them.

So let’s run through the list quickly.

1. Total Results Instacure

This gentle shampoo is a protein-rich formulation and is a good option for anyone whose hair has suffered protein loss. It can strengthen dry hair and function as an ideal hair conditioner.

2. Absolut Repair Oil

Absolut Repair Oil functions as a heat protectant, nourishes your delicate hair strands with essential vitamins and replenishes the oil in hair.

3. My Hair My Canvas

If you have frizzy or curly hair, I recommend this Jelly Fix Repair Booster.


This is a multipurpose product that is ideal for damp or dry hair. It helps to detangle tresses while restoring your shiny hair.

5. The Kure Repair Mask

It is appropriate for all hair types and helps to restore hair locks to their initial glory, and supplies essential vitamins to hair.

6. Christophe Robin Pear Oil

This is a concentrated hair mask for restoring softness and making your hair stronger while forming a protective layer over your hair.

7. Botanical Balm

With its warm scent, this buttery balm helps restore smoothness and softness to your delicate hair strands.


Is Overprocessed hair the same as bleached hair?

Overprocessed hair is not the same as bleached hair. However, bleaching can be one of the causes of hair damage due to overprocessing.

How long does it take to find out if my hair is overprocessed?

This depends on the extent of damage and your hair type. You should talk to your stylist as soon as you notice any symptoms you’re not used to with your hair.


At this point, I believe you can identify overprocessing hair signs when you see them.

In all, it would help to desist from any hair routine that can lead to overprocessing. Attempts to restore overprocessed hair may not return it to its previous state.

Keep it moderate, and your hair will thank you for this!

A blonde lady frustrated with her thin damaged hair under title overprocessed hair signs


  • 1. Hair Breakage in Normal and Weathered Hair: Focus on the Black Patient. Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings. 2007;12(2):6-9. doi:10.1038/sj.jidsymp.5650047
  • 2. Rogers GE. Known and Unknown Features of Hair Cuticle Structure: A Brief Review. Cosmetics. 2019;6(2):32. doi:10.3390/cosmetics6020032
  • 3. IMAI T. The influence of hair bleach on the ultrastructure of human hair with special reference to hair damage. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ofaj/88/1/88_1_1/_pdf