Last Updated on September 5, 2022 by Verna Meachum
If you’re like most people, you probably take great care of your hair by shampooing and conditioning it regularly, styling it with care and avoiding exposing it to too much heat or UV radiation.
However, many people don’t realize that their hair is damaged until they notice it tangling, splitting, and breaking.
Don’t fret, there are some signs you can look out for if you want to know how to tell if your hair is damaged and in need of some TLC.
Damaged hair is dry, brittle, difficult to style, and possibly full of tangles. The ends may be dry, rough, split, and the hair may lose its shine and luster.
In this article, we will discuss 6 signs that your hair is damaged and how to fix it.
Here are signs on how to tell if your hair is damaged and how to fix them:
1. Your hair is dry and brittle
This is one sign your hair is damaged and happens when the natural moisture level of your hair becomes low, usually due to heat or chemical damage from bleach or dyeing, perms, or chemical perming. Also, hard water, frequently using harsh sulfates, hot water to wash your hair, or styling your hair in tight hairstyles too often.
The natural oil on your scalp, called sebum, is your hair’s natural conditioner. It coats, moisturizes, and protects your hair. Heat and chemicals strip away the natural oil your scalp produces to lubricate your hair, so you’ll need to restore that oil by hydrating and moisturizing your scalp and hair.
On the other hand, if the ends are dry and rough, but the roots feel oily or greasy, this can be a sign that your scalp is overproducing oil as a defense mechanism against chemical or heat damage.
In this case, shampooing and conditioning won’t help much because your hair’s oil problem stems from the scalp, not the hair itself.
2. You have a lot of tangles
If you struggle to detangle your hair, apply some natural oil like coconut oil to soften it, or try the Righteous Roots Oils Pre-Wash Detangler, then carefully work out any tangles with a wide-toothed comb or your fingers being careful not to apply too much force as that may cause breakage.
3. Heat damage
The best way to eliminate or minimize heat damage is by not using it. But if you must or choose to, then consider investing in a high-quality heat protectant. Heat protectants will create a barrier between the heat styling tool and your hair.
Here are some heat protectants to try
Mixed Chicks Straightening Serum – Thermal Protection
Aveda Brilliant Damage Control
Aphogee Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer
CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray
Another possible reason for this problem could be that you are washing your hair too frequently, which strips the scalp of its natural oils.
As a result, the sebaceous glands will overproduce sebum to compensate for this. If the cycle of sebum depletion and overproduction is not stopped, it will generally grow worse with time.
The solution is to wash your hair less frequently. The frequency for each person will be different, depending on a variety of factors such as skin type, hair type, and activity level. It may take a little trial and error and some time to find the frequency that works for you.
4. You see split ends all the time
Split ends are a common problem. The oldest part of your hair is the ends, and they can lose their protective layer, and according to research, once that happens, it can cause the hair to split, exposing the inner cortex.
Some of the most common contributing factors include:
- Over-exposure to the sun
- Harsh chemicals
- Forcefully combing or brushing your hair
- Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase
- Using a cotton towel to dry your hair harshly
- Washing your hair with hot water
There is no cure to fix split ends aside from cutting them off. Prevention is the best cure. The best way to prevent split ends is by using a good quality hair oil, using a microfiber towel, sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase, just to name a few.
5. Your hair has lost its shine and luster
If your hair has lost its natural shine and luster, it’s a sign that you might be washing with the wrong kind of shampoo. To prevent this from happening, always shampoo with a moisturizing shampoo formulated for curly hair. Stay away from harsh sulfates that can strip your hair of its natural oils.
Another possibility is that you’re not using a conditioner after you shampoo. A good quality conditioner or deep conditioner can help to replace the natural oils that were stripped away, leaving your hair feeling softer, smoother, and more manageable.
One other cause could be that your hair is experiencing product build and needs a reset. For this, use a clarifying shampoo, but make sure to follow up with a moisturizing conditioner or deep conditioner.
6. It is difficult to style your hair because it’s so damaged
The next sign that your hair is damaged is when it becomes difficult to style or comb through. This means that you might have increased amounts of breakage in your hair and the cuticle scales are sticking together, making your hair appear like a matted mess.
The best way to combat this problem is to pay attention to moisture. Hair that is lacking natural oil is often rough, dull, and prone to tangles. Properly hydrated hair is less likely to get tangled or knotted. If conditioner alone isn’t enough, consider adding a leave-in conditioner, detangler, or natural oils to your routine.
If all else fails, seek a professional stylist’s help.
The bottom line is, you need to pay attention to your hair. All of the above tips will help to keep your hair healthy and free from damage. Damaged hair can be repaired, but it takes time and effort.
Don’t expect to see results overnight. Each product and solution will have a different result on each individual, so be patient with your hair and invest the time to find what works best for you.
So, if you’re experiencing any of the six signs of damaged hair, don’t hesitate to take some action. The sooner you address the problem, the sooner you can start seeing results. And, who knows? Maybe soon enough you’ll have hair that’s healthy, strong, and full of shine.