You might be thinking that after seeing this topic that you know pretty much when your hair is damaged so there is no need for an extensive analysis but the truth is, quite a few ladies do not know whether their hair is damaged or not. They know it gives them problems now and then and it itches sometimes, and it sheds a lot around the winter season, but have no idea how to tell if the hair is damaged.
This article is meant to shed some light on the issue and to help you with some damage control. We all know what we think healthy hair should look like: thick, shiny, bouncing hair that blows in the wind and has a healthy sheen. But what does damaged hair really look like? Is it somebody with a bad case of alopecia or is it dried and fried hair? The beauty about knowing whether your hair is damaged or not is that you can do something to stop the damage in its tracks before it takes over and gets to a level where it becomes hard or tedious to repair.
How To Check:
The Feel and Compare Test
Pick up a strand of hair and run it through your fingers, and check if it feels rough or smooth at the end. Roughness is a sign of dryness and damage. You can further compare the strands of your hair from the front part or crown of your head, to hairs from the nape of your neck and your hair middle. According to the Ladies Home Journal, if you notice a substantial difference in texture from one strand to another or from roots to ends, your hair may be damaged. Comparing the strands allows you to distinguish the difference between your natural hair texture and damage.
Look in your hairbrush or if you don’t use a brush, look in your comb. Is your hair coming out mostly from the roots or do you see broken off hairs all over the floor or sink. If your hair is breaking off in the middle or on the ends, then it is more than likely damaged at various points on the strand.
Split End Test
If your hair is splitting soon after a trim, then something is very wrong. Healthy hair does not split that easily. The minimum time for healthy hair to split is a month to eight weeks. Some women with healthy hair only require a trim only once per year.
Each hair naturally contains water, how much it can hold and how quickly it can absorb water determines the porosity of hair. Put two or three strands of hair in water, if the water is absorbed quickly and the hair sinks, it is porous. The cuticle layer is damaged causing the hair to lose its natural moisture. Another factor can be a lack of sebum to prevent evaporation of moisture, also causing the hair to dry out.
Wet hair is elastic. Take a strand and gradually pull. Healthy hair can stretch up to one third beyond its natural length and then shrink back to normal. If your hair snaps after stretching a little it needs more moisture. If it stretches more than usual and then breaks it needs more protein. If it feels mushy, limp, and tangled when wet, it definitely needs more protein.
So after this, there is no need to guess whether your hair is damaged or not, even if it is not visibly damaged, you can test and then rectify it.