How long does it take for over-processed hair to get back to normal?

desperate woman with over processed hair

  • Over-processed hair never returns to normal because, usually, the damage is so extreme that it’s impossible to recover the hair’s health.
  • Therefore, you must remove ALL the damaged parts of your hair by getting a layered cut with movement, such as a long bob or a bob cut, and apply a professional repair treatment to the rest of the hair.
  • After removing all the damaged parts, it’ll take six months to a year for your hair to return to normal.


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At first glance, I know it doesn’t seem like a very encouraging picture. When hair is over-processed, it doesn’t get back to normal for a year or two. 


Unfortunately, the layers of the hair, from the cuticles to the core, are completely ruined.


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I’ll explain it this way.

  •  When the hair cuticles are over-processed,  you can have your hairdresser trim the ends and apply a treatment like Olaplex to restore them. This treatment rebuilds the internal bonds of the hair. So, your over-processed hair may be back to normal in two or three months because only the outermost layer of the hair was damaged. This happens when you use heat tools frequently, for example.
  •  However, when the innermost layer of the hair, the core, is over-processed,  it never returns to normal. The core is so weakened that it doesn’t produce nutrients. Then, all your hair weakens and breaks. This could be your case if you bleached your hair several times without waiting between each session due to lack of experience.


over-processed hair falls out in clumps

I’ll tell you about one of my clients. Catalina came to my salon looking for a new haircut. As soon as I looked at her hair, I noticed that it was dry. But several strands got caught in the brush when I started to untangle it.

At that moment, Catalina told me that she had bleached her hair from a dark brown 3 to an extra light platinum blonde 10 and applied a straightening and a keratin treatment with heat This had all happened in less than three months.

As a professional hairdresser, I shivered. How could a person in less than three months subject their hair to more than three chemical processes?


She had no knowledge or experience with chemical processes. Of course, it shows a lack of responsibility as well.

We have to call a spade a spade. You must take the consequences if you apply three, four, or five chemical processes to your hair.

Let’s look at this with an example.


Over-processed hair that doesn’t return to normal

pixie cut for over processed hair

In Catalina’s case, the consequences were extremely brittle and over-processed hair. Her hair was irreversibly over-processed. There is no turning back. It’s dead hair.

The only thing I could do for Catalina was to remove ALL the damaged parts of her hair, which was around 30 centimeters, and get a Pixie cut. I also applied a non-heat repair treatment.

From then on, Catalina’s over-processed hair was back to normal after eight months. But she had to pay a very high price because she gave up thirty centimeters of her mane.

To sum up…


You must cut off all damaged parts to bring your over-processed hair back to normal

olaplex for over processed hair

  From then on, it’ll take six months to a year for your over-processed hair to return to normal. 


Your over-processed hair, especially lengths, and ends, is dead hair. That’s why it’s essential to remove it with a cut.

After the cut, I recommend you apply professional repair treatments such as Olaplex or Wellaplex in a salon.


Once you leave the salon, after removing all the most damaged parts of your over-processed hair and applying the professional repair treatment, you must take care of your hair to recover it as quickly as possible.

Some tips:

  •  Apply natural oil masks and leave them on overnight.  You can use rosemary oil once a week to stimulate hair growth and jojoba oil up to twice a week. They’ll seal the cuticles and retain moisture. My advice is to alternate both masks weekly. You can also use coconut or argan oil.
  •  You can moisturize your hair every day with a leave-in spray conditioner  which is lighter and absorbs quickly.
  • Include shampoo and conditioner with keratin in your hair beauty routine. Wash your hair a maximum of three times a week.
  • For at least three months, avoid bleaching, permanent dyes, or any heat styling. 
  •  Visit the salon regularly  to keep the cut and your hair healthier.



Over-processed hair doesn’t return to normal. Unfortunately, you can only remove all the damaged parts with a cut and apply a professional repair treatment.

From then on, your over-processed hair takes six months to a year to return to normal.

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