There are many common and seemingly harmless things that we do to style our hair that can cause damage without us being fully aware of the risks. Hair can become damaged from several different sources, such as heat damage from heated styling tools, UV damage from unprotected sun exposure, damage from frequently using harsh cleansers, especially those that contain sulfates, and from frequently bleaching or dying hair with harsh chemicals.
Using improper tools for your hair type can also result in damage. For example, if you use a hair brush that is rough and not well-suited for your hair type, it can unnecessarily pull on the hair and lead to more breakage. Looking for signs of hair damage can be a simple way for us to manage our hair health and become aware of how to fix its potential issues, while preventing further damage from occurring. Below we’ve developed a list of signs to look out for that may suggest that your hair is damaged and in need of immediate action.
- If your hair breaks easily, this is a sign it is weak and brittle, which is a classic indicator that you’ll need to change your hair care habits. Healthy, undamaged hair is strong and able to withstand brushing and combing with minimal to no breakage. You may notice breakage at the crown of the head, as well as at the ends where strands of hair are irregular and uneven.
- Your hair is frizzy. Frizzy hair has lost its moisture and is likely a sign that damage has occurred, or at the very least, is more likely to occur in the future. Healthy hair is well balanced and hydrated. Hair frizzes when breakage occurs and the shorter strands come apart from the rest of your hair’s curl or wave pattern.
- If your hair is dry, this can often be a sign of damage. When you over wash your hair or use harsh shampoo that contains sulfates that strip the hair of its moisture, this can lead to damage. By removing your hair’s natural ability to hydrate itself, hair is less resilient to potential future damage from heat, chemicals and UV rays.
- If your hair has lost its shine, this can be a sign of it being damaged. When hair loses its shine, this means it has become dry and lost, or at least diminished the supply of protective natural oils in the hair that give it this pleasant sheen. Finding ways to let your hair regain its shine by giving it enough moisture through conditioning and using gentle cleansers that don’t strip the hair can help you to achieve this.
- If your hair now requires extra moisture this can be a sign that it has become damaged. When hair requires more moisture than it used to, this can be a sign that it has become dried out. When hair is dried out, it is often due to a destructive process having been implemented, such as using harsh cleansers that strip the hair, using heated styling tools that dry out the strands or using harsh chemical products to bleach or dye your hair.
If your hair is dull and brittle, this is likely due to damage weakening and drying out the strands. When you do not take adequate measures to protect your hair from damage, this can add up over time resulting in your hair becoming dry and weakened. When you protect your hair from heat, UV light, and harsh chemicals, this can reduce the risk of it becoming damaged as a result of these environmental factors.
Avoiding or even just reducing your hair’s exposure to harsh chemicals found in bleach, hair dye and harsh cleansers such as sulfates can reduce its risk of becoming weakened and dried out. Now that you know the signs to look out for that indicate damage, know that there are methods to prevent future damage so you can make better decisions for your hair care in the future. Keranique offers a variety of products that can help to repair and reverse hair damage. Our Damage Control Shampoo and Conditioner Set is great for replenishing hair that has been damaged. Our Lift & Repair Treatment Spray is another great product we offer that can help protect hair from damage caused by the heat of styling tools.
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This article is not intended to treat any disease or offer a substitution for professional medical advice.