Did you know that 35 million men and 21 million women are losing their hair in the United States? If you style your hair regularly, you might not think about your hair’s health. Even if you do, it’s not always obvious how to know if your hair is damaged.
That said, you have to learn the telltale signs. Otherwise, you might be too late and end up with permanent hair loss.
Don’t panic: it’s not over yet.
With this guide, you’ll learn the early warning signs of damaged hair. That way, you’ll know when to give some TLC and preserve the health of your hair. Read on and find out more:
This is the most common sign you’ll notice. In most cases, you’ll see split ends whenever you scan your hair tips. If you aren’t sure how to do this, an easy method is to look at a single strand of your hair.
If the strand you’re holding has a split, you’re looking at a split end problem. In general, the hairs around your face will likely get more damaged. It’s because most people tend to run their hands through them as the day progresses.
If you had a recent haircut, know that split ends will normally appear around 6-8 weeks after. But if you have damaged hair, the splits will develop sooner. It’s especially true when you have frizzy hair, since it’s the most prone to this problem.
If your hair sustained noticeable damage, it will look boring, plain, and dull.
Healthy hair must have this natural shine, reflective in light while showing your hair’s natural colors. The reason is that your hair cuticles will better reflect light when they’re healthy and undamaged.
So, if your hair looks lackluster even when under direct sunlight, you’re sure to have damaged hair. It’s also more noticeable when it looks dull even after you use shampoo and conditioner.
When checking for split ends, you’re also likely to find your hair’s health when you run your fingers through it.
By doing this, you’ll have a general idea of how smooth or rough it feels. If your hair feels brittle, dry, or rough, it’s a definite sign of unhealthy and damaged hair.
This is also a cause of concern. When you feel like your hair has random strands sticking out of it, consider getting treatment. That way, you’ll avoid shedding over 100 strands each day, which is the acceptable average amount.
Healthy hair will both look strong and elastic. It means even a single hair strand can go through some level of tension before it breaks. It means you can pull or stretch it without worrying about breakage.
If you have unhealthy hair, you can count on it to snap and break without much effort. A lot of things can cause this difference, often taking place at your hair anatomy’s micro-scale. But it’s often a sign of brittleness, dryness, and lack of nutrition.
If your hair won’t bounce back to its original form after getting pulled, it’s a sign of unhealthy hair. It’s also the case when your hair doesn’t stretch.
When your hair is dry, know that it doesn’t automatically mean you have damaged hair. For example, if you spend the entire day swimming and frolicking on the beach, your hair will end up dry by the time you go home. It only becomes a bad sign when your hair is overly dry for no reason.
A good way to check whether your hair is too dry is to use conditioners. If it’s normal dryness, this product will revitalize your hair and make it moisturized again. Otherwise, if your hair remains dry and lacking in luster, your hair is likely to be unhealthy.
To determine this, use a brush and run it through your hair. Did you hit a few snags while doing it? If so, you might be looking at unhealthy, damaged hair.
In normal circumstances, your cuticles must lie flat to ensure your hairs sit and slide against each other. When your hair sustains damage, the cuticles often become raised. This leads your hair to become drier and tangled.
If you hit a few snags sometimes, don’t worry yet until it becomes a common occurrence. Start by trying out these hair supplement options to increase its nutrients and restore its healthy look.
Noticeable Hair Loss and Thinning
When showering, you might notice hair strands accumulating on the drain. While you brush your hair, you’ll also see hair strands getting pulled out.
If you notice these, it’s a warning sign that your hair is getting into an unhealthy state. Shedding your hair is normal, as stated above. But when it’s excessive, you must take it more seriously.
If you neglect it, your hair loss becomes noticeable. At worst, bald spots will start popping up, which can negatively impact your confidence.
Unresponsive to Hair Treatment
Damaged hair will not respond regardless of your styling efforts. For example, your hair will get unruly within an hour of ironing and serum application. For damaged hair, blow-drying it will make it look frizzy and messy instead of your intended style.
Damaged hair is hard to style. The worst thing you can do is to use styling gels or sprays since it damages your hair even more. To stop this menace, do your best to stay away from these products and wait for your hair to heal from the inside.
Bumpy Hair Strands
This is more prevalent among people with curly hair. If you have this hair type, take a strand and feel whether it’s bumpy all the way down. This means you have single-strand knots happening all over it.
Take note, when these knots appear, you have limited options to get rid of them. But you have the power to stop more of them from appearing.
Also, the bumpiness of your hair might be because of hair strand gaps due to damage.
A healthy, curly hair strand allows you to pull it slightly before snapping back into a curl. Otherwise, if the hair strand breaks instead, you might need a protein treatment.
When the same thing happens while your hair is wet, it’s most likely because it lacks moisture.
Getting dandruff isn’t an automatic sign of hair damage. At worst, this is a sign of impending baldness, especially among men. But at the minimum, it means something bad is happening with your hair and scalp.
Dandruff typically makes your scalp change, altering its hydration and scalp oil production. This should be a cause for concern, especially when you’re in your early 30’s. Get a professional to check your hair’s state to ascertain whether you’re suffering from damaged hair.
Another common sign your hair sustained damage is when your head’s sensitivity changes. This applies when you’re exposed to certain elements.
To test this, pay attention to how your head feels whenever you’re out in either hot or cold weather. If you used to feel hot during the summer and it doesn’t apply anymore, you might suffer from hair damage.
Getting easily sunburnt when going out into the sun is also an indicator of extreme hair problems. In this case, you’re likely losing a significant hair amount.
Eyelash and Eyebrow Loss
Your hair problems aren’t exclusive to the hair on your hair.
If you notice your facial hair like eyelashes and eyebrows falling off, this might signal a serious hair problem. You could be suffering from a condition known as alopecia.
This condition is more common than you think. About 6.8 million people in the United States develop alopecia at some point in their lives. The onset of this condition often happens during childhood, although it can affect people of all ages.
What Can You Do to Fix Unhealthy Hair?
A good place to start is to trim your split ends. Getting a haircut seems too easy of a solution, but it works. When you trim your damaged ends, you’re removing unhealthy layers and enabling your hair to grow with healthy strands instead.
Also, you need not get a full haircut to improve the health of your hair. In most cases, a slight trim often allows you to continue growing your hair while maintaining health.
While you’re at it, avoid coloring your hair while it recovers. Chemicals will only aggravate your hair’s condition. It means staying away from chemical additives like bleach and using ones with natural ingredients.
How to Know If Your Hair Is Damaged: Next Steps
Learning how to know if your hair is damaged is the first step in taking better care of it.
Use these warning signs to know whether you need more hair care. That way, you’ll get the right treatment before it’s too late.
Did this guide help you become more aware of your hair’s health? If so, read our other posts and learn other tips and tricks related to hair care today.