A girl's hair can be her best friend or her worst enemy. Evolutionarily, the hair on your head can help with your thermoregulation, but, let's be honest, that's not why we're interested in keeping our hair healthy.
Your hair is also a major part of your sense of identity and a reflection of who you are.
It's no wonder we want our hair to be shiny, happy, and healthy. But what do you when you look in the mirror and ask, aghast, is my hair damaged?
Never fear. Let's take a look at five signs that your hair is damaged and what you can do about it.
1. Split Ends
Split ends occur when the cuticle, which is the outermost layer of the hair shaft, is damaged. This exposes the cortex and eventually leads to split ends.
There are a lot of different things that can lead to split ends, some of which are common hairstyling techniques. If you notice that you have dry and dead hair with split ends, this might be because of your use of blow dryers, hair straighteners, or curling irons.
Split ends can also be caused by chemical hair products or even extreme weather.
So how can you avoid getting split ends?
You'll want to stop using heat tools on your hair. It's also important that you stay hydrated every day. Don't forget to be generally gentle with your hair when you brush, wash, style, detangle, and touch your hair.
Another important tip is that you should stop towel drying your hair. Instead, use a microfiber towel.
2. Your Hair Is Much Thinner in Spots
If your hair is thick at the roots and gets gradually thinner, this is a sign that your hair has been damaged. Consider switching up the products you are using and opting for more natural rather than chemical products.
3. Constant Frizz
How do I know if my hair is damaged from heat?
Having hair that seems permanently frizzy is a sign of heat damage. This is because too much heat can open up the cuticles of the hair.
Another cause of frizzy hair is dryness. You might just have naturally dry hair or your hair care routine could be drying it out.
Hair that is naturally wavy or curly is more likely to be dry.
4. You Have Bald Spots or Your Hair Is Falling Out
This is a telltale sign that something has gone terribly wrong. Obviously, there are medical conditions and medications that can cause these symptoms. Check with your doctor to be sure that the cause of your hair falling out isn't related to a medical condition first.
If your hair isn't falling out because of either of those circumstances, it means that your hair is damaged due to a certain procedure.
Whether you had braids that were too tight, your hair coloring went wrong, or the stylist used bad relaxer, this is a major issue. If you can figure out what the cause was, you should immediately stop getting that service done to your hair.
5. Your Hair Starts Breaking Off
If your hair breaks easily, this is a sign of hair damage. There are a number of different reasons this can happen, such as over-processed relaxers, wearing ponytails, or permanent dying that went awry.
Other things that can cause hair to break are dryness, too much heat styling, chemical exposure, and towel drying.
Have you been sleeping on a cotton pillowcase? This can also be a cause of your hair breaking. Instead, you should be using a satin pillowcase to help keep your hair and skin healthy.
You should also be aware that overwashing can be a cause of hair breakage.
Lastly, don't forget about staying hydrated and eating a healthy diet. Your diet is what fuels your hair to repair damage and stay shiny and healthy.
Is My Hair Damaged? How Can I Prevent Hair Damage?
Now that you've come to terms with the fact that the answer to "is my hair damaged?" is an accepting "yes," the question remains: what to do about it?
Taking care of your hair is an exercise in gentleness and nurturing. Understanding that your hair is delicate and that it looks best when it's healthy will help you take the necessary steps.
Instead of drying your hair by scrubbing it with a towel, let it dry in a microfiber towel. Rather than brushing your hair when it's wet, use a wide-tooth comb.
If it's absolutely necessary for you to use a curling iron, blow dryer, or straightener, use it on the lowest setting. Otherwise, let it air dry or use a microfiber towel. Try not to use heat tools any more than once a week, if possible.
If coloring, relaxing, or perming is a regular part of your hair routine, try allowing more time in between touchups. This should particularly be done when the air outside is dry. If you're going to do more than one of these services, allow two weeks in between to give your hair a rest.
Remember, overbrushing your hair is not doing your hair any good. You never want to have to pull or tug on your hair. Instead, comb your hair gently and remove tangles with care.
Instead of pulling your hair back in a tight bun or ponytail, try a hairstyle that doesn't pull on your hair. For the ultimate in comfort and hair health to keep your hair out of your face, check out the Turbie band.