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Do you have color-treated hair? How about split ends? Are you always heat styling your hair? Or are you a total ponytail fanatic? If you answered yes to any of these questions, there’s a good chance that your hair damage level isn’t ideal. If that’s left you wondering how to stop hair breakage and how you can style fine, damaged hair, you aren’t alone. Thanks to damaging hairstyles, heat styling, and hair coloring, many of us have damaged hair. And if you’re in the same boat, the last thing you want is for your hairstyle to hurt your hair even further. That’s why we’ve rounded up 20 of the best hairstyles for damaged hair. And not only that, we’re also sharing a few of our favorite styles that can help keep damage away in the first place. Healthier, happier (less damaged) strands, here you come!
If you’re a ponytail girl, you’re well aware that your favorite hairstyle can get a little basic after a while. That doesn’t mean you can’t still rock a pulled back look! Just perk up your go-to low pony (low ponytails put less stress on your hair) with this magical Unicorn braid.
What you’ll need:
L’Oréal Paris EverCreme Deep Nourish Shampoo
L’Oréal Paris EverCreme Deep Nourish Conditioner
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse
Mini clear elastic
Rat tail comb
L’Oréal Paris EverSleek Frizz Finish Oil-In-Serum
Get the look:
Hop in the shower and lather your locks with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
Instead of reaching for a blow-dryer, grab a hair mousse. Apply an egg-sized amount to wet hair, then let it air dry.
Use a rat tail comb to separate a middle section of hair from your hairline down to the nape of your neck. With this section of hair, weave under instead of over to create a Dutch braid. Secure the end of your braid at the nape of your neck with a mini clear elastic.
Take your remaining hair and brush it back into a low ponytail with your Dutch braid.
With your ponytail in place, all that’s left to do is add some shine—after all, unicorns are known for being eye-catching! To finish your hairstyle, apply a hair serum.
Want to style your mane into an intricate updo? This boho-chic hairstyle is sure to turn heads—and it’ll protect your damaged strands at the same time!
L’Oréal Paris Elnett Precious Oil Satin Hairspray
For a step-by-step tutorial, read our article, How to Create a Beautiful Crown Braid.
It’s no secret that we’re suckers for braids. But with a million new braiding techniques and styles on the hair scene, it can be tough to decide which look to rock. When in doubt, go with a classic. You can never go wrong with a single fishtail braid. And for all of you asking for ideas on how to style fine, damaged hair—this one’s for you.
L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Dry Shampoo
L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray
If you’re looking to create a stunning, blog-worthy braid, the key is to use dry shampoo first. Spritz it onto roots and lightly throughout the rest of your hair, then brush or finger comb it through.
Take a fine-tooth comb and drag it down the side of your head to create a crisp side part that separates your hair into two thick sections brushed over one shoulder.
In typical fishtail fashion, you’ll take a small section of hair from the outer section and cross it over to join the other side. Then, take a small section of hair from the outermost edge of that side and cross it over to the other. Repeat this process all the way down to the ends of your hair. Secure your braid with a mini clear elastic.
Gently tug apart your braid starting at the ends and work your way toward the top. Feel free to pull out a few face-framing tendrils for extra effortless appeal. Once your braid looks just right, seal everything in place with a generous spritz of hair spray.
Love braids? Love buns? Why not combine the two? This braid-meets-bun hairstyle is super easy to recreate and it’s the perfect look to showcase on your Instagram feed.
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Fine Control Hairspray
Head over to our step-by-step tutorial, Braid Meets Bun: How to Get a Brun Hairstyle.
If we had to name our most frequently recommended hairstyle, it would have to be beachy waves. It’s a tried-and-true style whether you have damaged hair or not—and it even works well on fine, damaged hair. But what if you want to spice things up? Introduce a few braids into the mix and you’re all set.
L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo
L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair and Defend Conditioner
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray
Before you begin styling your look, shampoo and condition your hair.
Once you’ve towel-dried your hair—remember to pat, not rub—spritz your hair with a wave spray. Be sure to flip your head over and spritz the underside of your mane, too so that your hairstyle looks as voluminous as possible.
Wait for your hair to dry a bit and then twist a few sections of damp hair into small coils. Hold your coils in place with bobby pins to help your look gain body and dimension while it dries.
Once your hair feels dry, take out the bobby pins and uncoil your pin curls for a head full of relaxed curls. Since this hairstyle is all about being laidback and beachy, flip your head a few times and run your fingers through it to help create a disheveled, lived-in look.
Sure, you could stop once your waves are in place, but why not take it a step further? To really up the ante, take a few small sections from the underside of your hair and create an array of mini classic and fishtail braids. Paired with textured waves, you’ll look flawlessly boho chic.
The right hair accessories can give your damaged locks a break while being totally on-trend. One accessory we’re totally vibing with? Head wraps! Not only are they en vogue, but they can also easily be paired with just about any hairstyle!
Styling products of your choice
Want some style ideas? Here’s How to Wear a Head Wrap or Hair Scarf.
From red carpet beauty to street style, fuss-free, sleek strands are dominating the hair game. Want to get in on this celeb-approved ‘do? We’ve got you covered.
L’Oréal Paris EverSleek Keratin Caring Shampoo
L’Oréal Paris EverSleek Keratin Caring Conditioner
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Frizz Vanisher Cream
Boar bristle brush
Since any hairstyle is sure to only be as good as its foundation, start with clean hair.
After you’ve hopped out of the shower, allow your hair to air dry a bit before massaging a half dollar-sized amount of hair cream from roots to tips.
Once your hair is completely dry, use a rat tail comb to part your hair at the crown of your head, then tease your roots for added volume. Tease gently to avoid doing any more damage to your tresses. After you’ve pumped up your hair to the desired height, use a boar bristle brush to comb the top section of hair back over the hair you just teased.
With your boar bristle brush in hand, smooth the sides of your hair as close to your scalp as possible and use a couple of bobby pins that match your hair color to hold each side in place. Keeping the sides slicked down will allow the top of your hair to look even more volumized which is—in our opinion—always a good thing!
Since this hairstyle is relatively low key, you’ll definitely want to do everything you can to help it stay in place all day long. Hello, hair spray.
Sweep your strands into a ballerina bun for an instantly put-together look. This is the perfect ‘do for work, class, or running errands!
L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Hair Putty
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Extreme Style Gel
L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Strong Hold
Check out our article, How to Create a Super Slick Ballerina Bun, for everything you need to know.
Looking for a heat-free style that looks a little less laidback? Give this super-simple chignon a try!
Using a boar bristle brush, smooth your hair back into a low ponytail. You can do this with a side part or in one fell swoop—both will look gorg. Secure with an elastic.
Using your ponytail as the base of your messy bun, wrap your hair around itself and secure with bobby pins.
For added allure, coat your loosely pulled back look with a shine spray.
This timeless hairstyle will not only protect your damaged hair, but it’ll also make for a totally chic and classy beauty look.
For a step-by-step tutorial, head over to our article, How to Create a Classic French Twist.
Think pigtails should be left in your childhood? Think again! Pigtails are making a huge comeback—and they’re a great way to style damaged hair. Pull-through pigtails are a seriously chic way to pull off this throwback hairstyle.
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BLOW DRY IT Thermal Smoother Cream
Clear mini elastics
Ready to style your hair like you did back in the day? Here’s How to Rock Pull-Through Pigtails.
We’re sure you’ve seen space buns making a name for themselves in the beauty world as of late (especially with festival season in full swing), but they aren’t the most damaged hair-friendly. Instead, opt for their gentler counterpart: low twisted buns!
Use a rat tail comb to part your mane down the middle, creating two equally-sized sections. Loosely tie one section off with a hair elastic to keep it out of the way while creating your first twisted bun.
Taking the section of hair that’s hanging free, begin to twist it from roots to ends. Keep twisting until the twist begins to twist into itself, forming a bun on one side of the lower back of your head. Secure with an elastic.
Remove the elastic from your other section of hair, and repeat step two. Be sure your buns are in line with each other for an even, symmetrical look. All done!
More buns, more fun! Buns are such a great hairstyle for damaged hair because they protect your locks without putting too much strain on them. Another variation we love is a sleek, slicked-back bun.
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Clean Style Gel
Begin this hairstyle by brushing your hair toward the back of your head, making sure there are no knots or tangles in sight.
Apply some hair gel to your mane, slicking it backward for a shiny, sleek look.
Take the length of your hair and twist it into a low bun. Secure with an elastic and you’re good to go!
Who said your hair has to be styled to perfection? Perfectly imperfect is where it’s at, if you ask us. This is another great hairstyle for fine damaged hair as it’ll create some necessary volume without taking a toll on your locks.
What you’ll need:
Take a dime-sized amount of pomade and rub it between your fingers. Work the product throughout dry hair, gently scrunching to create texture and definition. Add more pomade as you need and make the look as messy as you’d like!
Sometimes it’s best to leave your damaged strands down. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t add some style and flare to your look! Reach for a trendy accessory, like a barrette, to amp up your look.
Barrette(s) of your choosing
Need some specific style inspiration? Find six different ways to rock this trend in our article on How to Wear a Barrette.
If you want to keep your damaged hair under wraps, rocking a hat can be an amazing option. No one will know your tresses are looking anything less than their best and your hair will be protected from the elements.
You don’t need a full tutorial to toss on a hat, but you may want to read up on How to Help Prevent Hat Hair.
Another updo, anyone? Your sock can actually come in handy when it comes to creating the perfect bun.
To learn how to make your own sock bun and create a flawless updo with it, here’s How to Create a Sock Bun.
Let your hair hang mostly free—whatever texture you have—and add a simple twist for a stylish touch.
Use a rat tail comb to part your hair down the middle.
Take a one-inch section of hair from one side of your part (pick whichever side you like best) and twist it back.
Pull the twist toward the back of your head and pin it into place behind your ear, using your bobby pins to form a criss-cross shape that will offer extra security. Hide the pins with your hair and you’re good to go.
There’s more than one way to spice up a ponytail while still taking care of your damaged hair. We love a ribbon ponytail for a girly, youthful beauty look.
Brush your hair toward the back of your head, taking care to smooth out any bumps or knots. Gather your length into a low ponytail and secure with a clear elastic.
Take your ribbon and place it below the base of your ponytail. Tie a bow, wrapping the ribbon around your clear elastic. Easy and so pretty!
Keep your hair out of your face with half-up twists!
Create a middle part, brushing your hair to get rid of any knots or tangles.
Take a one-inch section of hair from the front of the left side of your mane. Twist the section halfway down, then pin it into place above your ear with bobby pins. Repeat on the right side of your mane. How cute!
Now that you know how to style damaged hair, you may be wondering if there are hairstyles to prevent damage in the first place. We’ll let you in on a secret: there are! Using the right hair accessories is a stylish and efficient way to keep your strands free of damage. Here are three hair accessories to use for styles to prevent hair damage.
Scrunchies are making a major comeback as part of the ‘90s revival, but they aren’t just trendy. They’re also super gentle on your strands and won’t cause damage. Win, win! Use one to style your hair for an on-trend look sans breakage, taking inspo from our article, Embrace the '90s Resurgence by Trying These 4 Scrunchie Styles.
Another gentle hair accessory that’ll help protect your strands from damage? Banana clips! There are multiple ways to put one to use—from ponytails to buns. Here are 3 Hairstyles That Use a Banana Clip.
One of the easiest ways to style your hair (and prevent damage) is with a headband. You can rock straight, wavy, or curly hair and wear your hair down, in an updo, or pulled into a ponytail! The options are endless. Opt for a soft, cloth headband rather than one that will grip onto your strands. Bonus: Your hair will be kept out of your face and oily roots will be easily disguised!
Next: The 30 Best Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair