Causes of Damaged Hair in Men

Causes of Damaged Hair in Men: What's True & What's Not

Written by: Piers Le Moignan



Time to read 9 min

Damaged hair is an issue that many of us are faced with, but do you know what’s really causing it?


As any person does nowadays, you've probably headed straight to the internet to find the answer. But there's a lot of misinformation out there as to what is damaging for your hair and what isn't.


Admittedly, it's not always down to the things you're doing (or not doing). And sometimes, you might not even realise that what you are doing isn't actually all that good for your hair.


So, to help you separate the good from the bad and the true from the untrue, we've created a guide to what really causes damaged men's hair and what you can do to solve it. Let's get stuck in.

What Does Damaged Hair Look Like for Men?

Firstly, though, how can you tell if your hair is damaged? Here are the most common and obvious signs:

  • Frizziness – When our hair becomes damaged, it can't easily retain any moisture, so the cuticles get rougher and cause frizz.

  • Dryness – Similar to above, damaged hair has difficulty retaining moisture, so it can look and feel dry.

  • Lack of shine – Healthy hair is full of natural oils which give it its shine, and damaged hair can't keep hold of these.

  • Split ends – These are a sure sign that the hair has been damaged.

  • Less volume – If your hair is looking flatter than usual, it can be a good (or perhaps not so good) indicator of damage.

Brittle – If you notice your hair is falling out or snapping off more easily, then it's likely damaged. Damaged hair isn't as strong as healthy hair, so it's more breakable and brittle.

What Causes Damaged Hair for Men?

Common Causes of Men’s Damaged Hair

The Solution

Repeated heat styling with high temperatures

Reduce heat styling

Use a lower temperature

Always apply a heat protectant beforehand

Roughly towel drying your hair

Use a microfibre towel rather than cotton or polyester

Gently dry your hair

Leave your hair to air dry more often

Using poor quality products

Switch from supermarket shampoos & conditioners to advanced formulas

Avoid products with parabens & silicones

Pollutants & environmental factors, like UV

Use an environmental protector

Wear caps when out in harsh sun for long periods of time

Use a thoroughly cleansing shampoo and conditioner

Truth: Heat Styling Damages Your Hair

We're starting off with perhaps one of the biggest debates in hair care: heat styling. To keep things blunt, yes, heat styling does damage your hair.


Using high temperatures when styling your hair, either through blow drying, curling, or straightening, strips your hair's natural moisture and leaves your hair cuticles exposed. With the cuticles open, they're much more prone to damage and breakage, like split ends or snapped strands.


Heat styling is also a major contributor to dullness and frizz, so if you're wondering why your hair is lacking in volume, it could be due to damage from heat styling. The more you style your hair with heat and the higher the temperature, the more you're leaving your hair open to damage.

The Solution: Reduce How Often You Use Heat Styling Tools & Use a Protectant

The obvious way to stop your hair from becoming heat-damaged is by reducing how often you use your heat-styling tools. That way, you're removing the problem from the equation altogether.


But if removing your heat styling tools from your routine is out of the question, using a protectant is the next best thing. Heat protectants can come in many forms, including sprays and serums, working to create a barrier between your hair and the heat. Before going in with your tools, apply the product and distribute it evenly through your hair.


Reducing the temperature is another simple way to decrease the risk of heat damage. We always recommend using heat of 180 degrees and below on your hair, as anything above this greatly increases the risk of damage.

Myth: Cutting Your Hair Will Stop It from Becoming Damaged

Regular trims will not prevent your hair from becoming damaged. It's plain and simple. Whilst you can certainly chop off the split ends and dead ends, you're not identifying the cause of the damage, so it'll just keep coming back until you take the necessary steps to prevent it.


That's not to say you shouldn't be getting regular haircuts every six to eight weeks – it's a great way to keep your style in check and help maintain hair health. 


But, in terms of preventing damage, the most important thing to do is to take care of your hair and use products that will nourish it.

Truth: Towel Drying Your Hair Can Cause Breakage

Yes, aggressively scruffing your hair dry after a shower will cause it to break. Wet hair is even more prone to damage than dry hair because it's at its weakest when it's saturated. 


So when you use a cotton or polyester towel to dry your hair, you're actually damaging the cuticle layer and creating split ends, further leading to frizz.

The Solution: Use a Microfibre Towel to Gently Dry Your Hair

A microfibre towel is much gentler on your hair than a cotton towel because it absorbs more water and helps to reduce breakage.


Instead of roughing up your hair to get it dry, use a gentle “scrunching” motion with the towel to get the job done. 


You should aim to dry the excess moisture from your hair and stop it from dripping – after this, leave it to air dry or use a blowdryer (remember to use a heat protectant if you do).

Truth: Poor Quality Products Can Damage Your Hair

Our hair only really looks or feels as good as the care we give it, and that includes the products you're using day in and day out.


We've all heard or read about the nasty parabens and silicones in many hair care products, but what's the real damage?


Parabens and silicones can cause scalp irritation, build-up, and dryness – essentially breaking down the protective layer that occurs naturally in your hair. 


If you're using shampoo and conditioner that contains parabens or silicones, your hair can be more prone to damage.

The Solution: Use High-Quality Shampoo & Conditioner for Men

It's quite clear that the solution to this is switching out your current shampoo and conditioner with ones formulated with quality ingredients. Look for a shampoo and conditioner duo that works for your hair type and contains natural ingredients to nourish your hair, helping to restore its natural shine, strength, and health.


Our Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner are a powerful duo that helps promote healthy hair growth using our specially developed formulas. 


We've packed these products full of clinically proven ingredients like Caffeine, Vitamin B3, Wheat Protein, and Aloe Leaf, all of which work together to help fight male pattern hair loss, blocking the production of the responsible enzymes and increasing blood flow to your scalp, while hydrating and restoring your hair's health. 


In other words, they're incredibly effective, and you'll be sure to notice the difference when you make the switch.

Truth: Pollutants & External Factors Can Cause Hair Damage

Like we said earlier, not everything that can damage your hair is completely under your control. We live in a world full of pollutants and toxins, and they take their toll on our bodies – our hair included.


If you live in a city or location where significantly more pollutants are present, your hair is likely to be at greater risk of this damage. 

Our hair also falls prey to sun damage – the sun can dry out and cause brittleness, leaving it more prone to breakage.


While this is mostly out of our control, we can help to reduce the effects.

The Solution: Use Hair Pollution & UV Protectants

Just as there are heat-protectant products for styling, there are also products designed to protect our hair from external factors such as air pollution and UV rays. 


These products help to form a barrier on the surface of your hair, shielding it from the bad stuff and helping to keep your hair looking healthy.


They'll also likely contain hydrating and restoring ingredients to help repair any existing damage and leave your hair feeling nourished.

Myth: Damaged Hair Health Can't Be Restored

The key distinction to make here is damaged hair itself cannot be repaired – if it's damaged, you can't 'knit' back together the strands. 


But what you can do is restore the health of your hair.

How to Fix Men's Damaged Hair

By using products to nourish, hydrate and protect your hair from external factors, you can restore its health and give it a healthy shine. You'll also be able to see fewer split ends and less frizz.


It won't happen overnight, though. You'll need to develop a bit of a hair care routine and stick to it so your hair can reap the full benefits of the products you're using.

A hair routine doesn't need to be complex and involve a hundred different products – in fact, a basic routine using essential products is just as effective, if not more so.


Our range of men’s haircare products includes the only products you need to maintain your locks: our Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner, Hybrid Hair styling compound, and Marine Mist sea salt spray.

Conclusion: Restore Your Hair's Health With Salt Grooming

Not all is lost when it comes to restoring the health of your locks. With some much-needed attention and a bit of care, you can turn your hair around. 


Of course, using the right products will aid in the process, too. Our range of men's hair care has proven to be an effective and efficient solution for those looking for a basic routine with maximum results. 


Explore our products, and be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more haircare tips.


What Are the Signs of Unhealthy Hair in Men?

Unhealthy hair usually shows itself in the form of frizzy, dry, and brittle strands. Flat hair lacking in volume is also another common sign.

Does Your Diet Affect the Health of Your Hair?

Yes, what you eat has just as significant an effect on your hair's health as the way you treat it. Foods that are high in sugar and unhealthy fats can lead to dryness, breakage, and more. Eating a balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals will help keep your hair healthy and strong.

Why Does My Hair Feel Like Straw?

If your hair feels straw-like, it's a definite sign of dry, damaged hair. Your natural hair is lacking in moisture and needs to be rehydrated using quality products. Our Thickening Conditioner contains ingredients that are clinically proven to hydrate your hair, including Wheat Protein and Aloe Leaf.

How Can I Get My Hair Back to Being Healthy?

There's no quick hair fix for restoring damaged hair; it'll take some time using products specifically designed for healthy hair. Switch your regular shampoo and conditioner with a duo that repairs and nourishes your hair, like our Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner. Intense hair masks can also help rehydrate your strands. Minimise your use of heat styling, too, remembering to always use a protectant if you do.

Piers Le Moignan

Piers Le Moignan is the founder and CEO of Salt Grooming, an award-winning British luxury men’s haircare and styling brand. 

Founded in 2018, Piers has quickly grown the company into a global brand that has distributed to 43 countries and counting.

Headquartered in London, Piers leads an agile workforce of 10 employees and consultants, including the company’s formulation team which features some of the UK’s leading cosmetic scientists. Piers is responsible for overseeing logistics, supply chain, and performance marketing, and is the driving force behind Salt’s product innovation and brand/creative direction. 

Previous to foundership, Piers spent a decade at some of London’s leading creative agencies, developing global brands and communications for the likes of Adidas, Jaguar Land Rover, British Airways, and more.

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