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Sunday, December 22, 2013

5 Ways To Tell If Your Hair Is Damaged

One of the most frequently asked questions I get from clients is how can they tell if their hair is damaged.  Most of the time it is pretty obvious if your hair is damaged or not.  To be honest, most of the clients that are extremely concerned with the health of their hair do NOT have damaged hair.  Even before I became a professional hairstylist, I learned a lot of things about my hair the hard way.  Now, as a professional, I can easily spot damaged hair, on my own head as well as on someone else.
 I've had heat damage, color damage, damage from neglect. You name it, I've probably experienced it first hand. Just another reason why I'm thankful for having thick hair!  Today I'm going to give you a few tips so that you will be able to know for sure if your hair is damaged or not.

  • Your hair falls out/ you have bald spots- This is as obvious as it can get.  If you have severe damage to your hair, the worst possible outcome is hair loss.  If your hair suddenly starts coming out after getting a particular service done, it's safe to say you have damage.  This does not include hair loss due to medications being taken or medical procedures being done.  This is strictly pertaining to hair loss as a direct result of a service done to your hair (i.e bad relaxer, color gone wrong, braids too tight, etc) 
  • Hair starts breaking off in certain areas- This can occur for many reasons including wearing excessive ponytails, over-processing relaxers, and the most popular, permanent color gone wrong.  When you notice your hair breaking after doing any of these things, you have received damage. Notice in the picture below how the hair is broken off right where the color is?  That is a clear sign of damaged hair.
  • Your hair is significantly thinner in spots- I've had clients where their hair was thick from the root of the hair to about the middle of the hair shaft, then got noticeably thinner.  The first client that I had like that really puzzled me because I was just so curious as to why the hair would do that.  I still do not know the cause of this.  My client didn't know what the previous stylist was using on her hair, but if I had to guess I would say usage of a certain type of product did this.  I know a shampoo or conditioner couldn't have caused it so I'm assuming it may have been improper usage of a relaxer.  Anyway, once she started coming to me the hair thickened up all the way down to the ends, but this is another type of damage.
  • Split ends- Split ends is a very mild form of damaged hair and can by easily fixed by simply cutting them.  If you don't cut your split ends off, the hair will continue to split up the hair shaft resulting in having to cut more of the hair later.  There is no product on the market that will repair split ends.  Products that claim they can only give the illusion of mending the split ends together but once the hair gets wet again, you can clearly see that they are still splitting. 
    un-trimmed ends

    trim without being styled

    trim results after style
    Notice the difference in just getting a basic trim!  Just having your hair trimmed makes your hair look 100% healthier.  This is why I don't consider simply needing a trim as having damage because it can be cured in about 10-15 minutes.
  • Your hair seems permanently frizzy- This mostly happens the hair has been heat damaged and is often followed by excessive shedding.  Having too much heat on the hair can open the cuticle layer on the hair and to the naked eye, this appears as frizz.  Once the hair is nursed back to health, the cuticle of the hair will then close back up making the hair appear smooth again.
If you notice any of the above changes to your hair it is safe to say that you have some form of damage to your hair.  But the good news is that most damage can be reversed and your hair can be healthy again!

What are some things that you have noticed about your hair that caused you to think it was damaged?

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