Damaged Hair

Woman who is checking her hair for damage
Signs Your Hair is Damaged
While shopping the other day, I heard two women discussing their hair. One woman was complaining that her hair was difficult to style because it was so flat. I looked at her hair and saw that it was very fine, silky, and sleek, perhaps a little oily. As the conversation continued, I heard the woman say that she had been using a conditioning treatment that promised manageable, silky, shiny hair. She said she had been using it almost every day. The result? She had over-conditioned her hair.
On the other hand, the woman that waited on us was middle aged and had shoulder length hair. Her hair had obviously been permed and colored; it looked very dry and was extremely frizzy. I do not want to be negative about another personís appearance, but her hair was obviously damaged and she had no idea.
This made me wonder, how could these two women not understand that their hair was damaged? Did they never learn what the signs of damaged hair are? Below are the signs your hair may be damaged and a few tips on how to effectively treat them.
Brittle ends and dry to touch
Breaks easily or has no elasticity
Extremely Porous
Texture is rough
When wet, hair becomes matted or spongy
Color will be rapidly absorbed or fade quickly
Rough texture, overly dry, brittle hair are the most visible signs of damaged hair. This is typically because there has been damage to the cuticle layer of the hair. The environment, wind, chemicals, shampoos, blow-drying, and heat treatments can all cause this type of damage. To repair this damage, use a conditioner that is pH balanced and enriched with protein. This will help prevent the cuticle layer and hair shafts from more damage. A moisture rich conditioner should be used every week when hair is damaged. A leave in conditioner should be used daily when styling.
Hair with little elasticity and that breaks easily can be more difficult to diagnose. Normal, healthy hair is able to stretch 150% of its length, not break, and return to normal. The only way to know there is a problem is if you have a lot of split ends and hair that is shorter than before. Your hairbrush can be a great way to detect if your hair has poor elasticity. Are you cleaning your brush a lot because there is so much hair in it? If you can tell that these hairs are coming out at the root and are full length, there may be other issues. However, if these are shorter hairs, you have poor elasticity in your hair. Weekly protein treatments and using a conditioner that is protein rich, is the best treatment for this type of hair damage.
Spongy, matted hair when wet and color absorption or retention are all severe porosity problems. This type of damage will require intensive treatment along with constant care during styling. Many individuals with this type of damage to their hair will find it is easier to cut off their hair and start again. However, this is not an option for everyone, so it is important to take care of your hair before it becomes this damaged.
Once your hair comes out of your scalp, it is no longer alive. Hair is simply dead tissue, similar to the whites of your fingernails. For this reason, it is important to not be duped into believing in products that promise to fix the damage to your hair. The products available on the market can help protect your hair and possibly lesson the damage, but prevention is the best method for healthy hair.
See also: Split ends