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How to know if your hair is damaged: the tell-tale signs

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You’ve touched your hair, and something felt different.

You’re wondering if it’s something in your routine, whether it’s just dryness, or have you overdone it? 

Discover how to know if your hair is damaged! 

We gathered all the tell-tale signs. And we’re talking remedies too, whenever that’s possible. 

Can your tresses be saved, or must you make peace with the big chop off? Find out!

Table of Contents:

  • How to know if your hair is damaged: look for these signs!
  • You notice hair thinning and hair loss
  • You’re fighting split ends more and more
  • Your hair is not elastic anymore, and it easily breaks
  • Its texture is dry and dull, lacking shine
  • You notice frequent frizz and more flyaways
  • There are short patches of hair you can’t explain
  • Your tresses tangle and knot more often
  • Your hair feels weak, lifeless, limp
  • Your curls became stringy
  • Your color fades away
  • How can you be sure: try these tests to see if your hair is damaged
  • The main causes of hair damage
  • How can you treat damaged hair?
  • Lifestyle improvements that contribute to hair health
  • Haircare products to add to your routine to diminish damage

How to know if your hair is damaged: look for these signs!

Hair damage can affect us all, one some point or another in our lives. Everyday habits, improper hair care products, chemical treatments take their toll. 

Is the situation out of control? 

Can you revive your hair? 

Look for these signs to know where you stand.

damaged hair

You notice hair thinning and hair loss

Is your mane shedding more and more? 

That’s a huge sign of damage! 

Hair loss doesn’t happen in the initial phases of hair damage. See a specialist! 

It’s hard to bounce back from this!

You’re fighting split ends more and more

Hair tips feel dry, roughed, straw-like. They even crunch if you listen to them rubbing against each other. If you notice that and even frizziness traveling up the hair shaft, it’s time to take action. 

Trim, baby, trim!

Your hair is not elastic anymore, and it easily breaks

If you notice a lack of elasticity in your hair shafts, if they don’t bounce back but are fragile and they break off, your tresses are vulnerable. 

broken hair

Its texture is dry and dull, lacking shine

If you notice a lack of luster in your tresses, it’s time to look for more evidence. 

A lack of shine and a dry texture can signal damage. Dry hair that has lost its natural, coating oils will look dull. Tackle the issue so that you prevent uncontrollable frizz and breakage. 

Does it go away after a couple of deep conditioning treatments?

You notice frequent frizz and more flyaways

Damaged, dry hair doesn’t cooperate easily. Due to frizz and flyaways, damaged hair can be difficult to manage. 

If this happens to you more often, make sure to moisturize.

There are short patches of hair you can’t explain

Has your hair gone through dramatic changes? 

It may tend to become gummy and break so easily that in some patches, it could get shorter. This is a major sign of damage. It can also happen due to tugging and pulling during styling. 

The solution: see the level of damage and what can be saved.  

Your tresses tangle and knot more often

This is a sign of damage we encounter often. When hair is dry, the outer layer, aka the cuticle, is raised rather than flat, smooth. 

tangled hair

That’s why it tends to tangle and knot with other strands. Besides extra moisture, reducing friction could also help. 

Your hair feels weak, lifeless, limp

    Your hair can become weighed down by product buildup or after a chemical treatment. Have you let your hair down and thought your mane feels like dropping dead? That’s a sign of damage. Be it moisture overload or chemical burn, you need to investigate.  

    Your curls became stringy

    If your curls are limp, thin, and have stopped forming, your hair might have had enough. 

    Check your medication, diet, health conditions, and hair products!

    Your color fades away

    If you notice your hair color fades away faster and your tresses become less vibrant sooner than they are supposed to, this can be a sign of damage.

    How can you be sure: try these tests to see if your hair is damaged

    Test your hair elasticity: when your hair is wet, hold a strand between your fingers. Gently pull at it. Does it stretch and return to normal? Or does it break? 

    Test your hair texture: grab the same strand of hair and notice how it feels to the touch. Bumpy, rough, edgy? Then your hair could be parched!

    Test for split ends: take the same strand of hair and wrap it around your finger. Do they feel frayed, rough to the touch? Can you see split ends, or does the surface feel soft?

    The main causes of hair damage

    • Coloring and chemical bleaching damage your hair, penetrating the cuticle and removing the pigment.
    • Permanent styling techniques and chemical treatments cause damage. Hair becomes frail. You may notice redness, itching, inflammation of the scalp. You may even fight scalp infections. 
    • Overuse of heated styling tools and excess heat, in general, are bad for your hair. Hot styling tools affect the hair’s proteins and the strands stiff and dry. 
    • Overstressing and over manipulation of your hair lead to damage. The more you style it, shampoo it, touch it, you strip its natural oils. You put too much pressure on your strands, and you strain your scalp as well, damaging follicles. 
    • A lack of moisture caused by lifestyle factors or using the wrong products destroys your tresses. Washing too much, using the wrong products, overexposure to heat (yes, even hot water or saunas!) can leave hair fragile and prone to breakage. 
    • On the other side, too much moisture can overload the hair strand. It stretches and contracts, and that can make it weak. 
    • UV ray exposure affects your hair health. It can damage the follicles and can deplete the hair of protein. 

    How can you treat damaged hair?

    Can damaged hair repair itself? 

    No! 

    Only with proper care can your tresses come back to life. But, if the damage is prolonged and intense, your stylist may recommend a haircut. 

    Lifestyle improvements that contribute to hair health

    Can you fix all damaged hair? 

    No! 

    If you notice signs of serious trauma to your hair and scalp, see a specialist. 

    If you noticed some signs of damage but think you can TLC your hair back into health, try the following!

    Reduce heat tools usage! Exposing damaged hair to heat will not give it time to heal. In time you can damage the follicles too.

    Always go to trimming appointments! Split ends may start small, but they can lead your tresses to damage all the way. Don’t let them! 

    Pause hair coloring, especially bleaching! While you may find it difficult, your hair needs months to restore its balance.

    Give your tresses a break! Let go of anything that damages it. Choose natural, gentle products for maintenance.

    Go for a chop if the damage is extensive! It may hurt now, but your hair will thank you later.

    Identify your hair type! Also, identify the needs for your hair type to provide the best help. Your hair’s porosity matters in choosing the right shampoo.

    Use lukewarm water! Lukewarm water is key if your hair is dry or damaged. Hot water dries out the hair more and strips it of its oils. It also removes sebum from the scalp, weakening the shaft and the follicle. That makes hair prone to breakage and more like to fall. 

    Haircare products to add to your routine to diminish damage

    Hair damage can be repaired sometimes. One step at a time, you’ll notice improvements. Small, consistent actions, day-by-day adjustments, and you’ll see major changes. 

    Here is what you can do in terms of the products you put on your hair and scalp. 

    Don’t skip on deep conditioning treatments

    Hair breakage happens too often due to a lack of deep conditioning. Such treatments restore the hair’s health, providing nourishment and rejuvenation. 

    Deep conditioners make the hair more manageable, softer, stronger and contribute to its reparation. 

    Replenish the cuticles with keratin

      Constant moisturizing of your tresses can swell them and deflate them over and over again. The balance of moisture is out of whack. 

      That stretches them since the cuticles have soaked too much water. They can become too weak and limp due to this habit. 

      The solution: adding protein treatments! 

      A balance of protein will make your locks strong again. Look for keratin treatments. They strengthen the shaft and keep it healthy. 

      Add moisture from argan oil, the hair healer

        It’s also called “liquid gold” due to its beneficial properties. It’s filled with vitamins that nurture the hair from within. 

        argan oil shampoo, argan oil conditioner, moroccan argan oil, wow hair care, buywow

        Vitamins A & E and nourishing fatty acids leave the tresses healthier, stronger, with extra body and bounce.

        Argan oil repairs the holes in the cuticle and coats the hair with a layer of protection. It tames the frizz, helps treat split ends, and provides many antioxidants that contribute to healing damage. 

        Invest in hair growth treatments

          Hair growth solutions increase blood flow to the follicles. They also purify and remove toxins, debris, dirt, excess oil, product, and dead skin cells buildup. 

          Some of them contain ingredients that combat DHT, the androgenic hormone that triggers hair loss. 

          Such treatments are welcome when dealing with damaged hair. 

          Don’t forget about leave-ins!

            Leave-in conditioners are an intricate part of keeping your hair strong and healthy. When dealing with damage, leave-ins provide a protective coating to the strand and deeply nourish. 

            Look for gentle, lightweight, natural leave-in conditioners. They don’t weigh down the hair, nor do they create buildup that may affect the follicles. 

            Cleansing is important: invest in a natural, gentle shampoo

              Harsh shampoos disrupt the scalp’s pH balance and remove its natural oils. They are also aggressive towards the cuticle, drying out the shaft, and making it more vulnerable to frizz, tangling, breakage, and fall. 

              Massage your scalp with hair oils once a week

              Moisturizing, natural oils have deep conditioning and healing effects. Using them in scalp massages stimulates circulation, boosts the hair regeneration process, and improves hair thickness. 

              While your hair doesn’t talk, if you speak its language, it can tell you what it needs. 

              Is it parched? 

              Is it overfed? 

              Does it feel abandoned? 

              Does it feel assaulted? 

              You want your tresses to flow with extra volume. But don’t ask what you need from your hair, rather what your hair needs from you!

              Iulia Claudia Dumitru

              I feel happy when I get to tell meaningful stories. About people. About the world. About life. About what people need to feel good. Healthy food, a balanced lifestyle, a grateful approach to relationships with others and ourselves. That is how I keep myself grounded and purposeful. That is how I aim to contribute: striving to make ourselves the best we can. Creating life in the little things. Living every day with the joy, wonder, and curiosity of a child. Trying to #seeKbeauty. Inside and out.

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