6 Signs That Your Hair Is Damaged
So you’re fully natural now; you’ve stopped using harsh chemicals on your hair, ditched the relaxer and have invested in a range of great natural hair products which you have been using regularly. But how can you tell if your hair is healthy or whether it is still quite damaged?
Switching hair products and ditching harsh chemicals does not automatically equal healthy hair, there are a few more things to consider. But please do not dispair because in this post I am going to walk you through 6 signs that your hair may be damaged and let you know what you can do about it to have healthy hair.
**Disclaimer: I am not a hair care professional. All my posts are based on personal experience, preference and things I have learnt from reading and researching. If you have serious concerns about your hair please consult a qualified professional**
- Your Ends May Look Frayed, Shabby and Weak
The ends of your hair are a good indication to the health of your hair. They are the oldest part of your hair having been away from your scalp the longest and are therefore the part of your hair that needs the most love and attention. If there are issues with your hair you can usually look to the ends to give you a clue.
You may notice that your ends look frayed and thin and don’t seem to match the rest of your hair strand. If you take a close look at your ends you may also notice split ends which can often be caused by heat damage or friction. If split ends are left unattended they can travel up the rest of the hair shaft and cause more damage. You many also notice a lot of single strand knots on your hair strands. Each of these signs are indicators that you need to take action to improve the health of your hair.
What to do
A trim is in order as this is the only way to get rid of split ends, single strand knots and thin ends. During your hair care journey it is inevitable that the odd split end or knot will appear from time to time so opt for regular trims to manage the amount you get and to keep your hair healthy.
- Detangling Takes Much Longer Than Usual
Detangling your hair is an important part of your natural hair journey. When you detangled your hair you minimise tangles that can lead to knots, damage and breakage. If you begin to find that your detangling process is taking a lot longer than normal even if you are using large amounts of leave in conditioner or a leave in detangler this could indicate that your hair is damaged. More tangles could mean that you have more split ends and that the cuticles of your hair are damaged causing your hair to become more tangled.
What To Do
Again like solution number 1 you can trim you hair to get rid of some of the damage and split ends. You can also give your hair a protein treatment to try and repair some of the damaged gaps in your hair shaft.
- Your Curls Looks Lifeless
Healthy curls should have a bounce or a spring to them and should experience a good amount of shrinkage when they get wet. If you are noticing that your curls are looking lifeless, not retaining their curl and not shrinking well once they have been wet, this could be an indication that they are damaged or in serious need of a treatment. If your curls are more flat than curly this could indicate that your hair is in need of moisture.
What To Do
Take simple actions such as a protein treatment or hair spritz which can have a great effect on your curls; however again if your notice no change after doing a treatment or adding moisture it may be time for a trim or to seek advice from a hair care professional.
- Your Hair Strands Feel Bumpy
Are you suffering from multiple single strand knots? When you take a strand of your hair and run your fingers down it, do you find that it is feeling bumpy? This could be damage cause by normal wear and tear and the lack of using conditioners to help fill in some of those gaps. If you are finding multiple single strand knots you will need to take action immediately as they do not simply go away.
What To Do
It’s time to reassess your detangling method and have a look at how many times you are wearing your hair in a shrunken state as this can encourage tangles and knots especially if your have tight coils. When detangling make sure that you use a products with plenty of slip and start detangling from the ends of your hair working your way gently to the roots with your fingers and then a wide tooth comb. It is not possible to undo the single strand knots so you will have to cut them off to get ride of them. Regular detangling and trims should help to greatly minimise the amount of single strand knots you experience.
- Your Hair Feels Dry, Lamp And Brittle
Moisture is an essential part of our natural hair routine. Our curls and coils need water to thrive and flourish. A lack of moisture can leave your hair bare and vulnerable to be stripped by the elements and anything else that your hair may come into contact with. If you think of your hair being similar to a plant we all know what happens to plants if they are starved of water. They are unable to grow, wilt, become dry and die which is similar to the state our hair can be left in without adequate moisture. If you are experiencing excessive dryness then you need to reassess your routine and make efforts to up your moisture as a priority.
What To Do
It is important to ensure that you are regularly deep conditioning your hair as this can help your hair to get back on the track to healthiness. Invest in a spray bottle (if you don’t already have one) and give your hair a regular spritz of moisture while also utilising the LCO/LOC (liquid, oil and cream) method to add and lock in moisture to your tresses.
- You Are Experiencing Lots Of Breakage
Way before I began my natural hair journey I would comb my hair and hear a snapping sound regularly. I used to ignore it but unbeknown to me my hair was experiencing regular breakage which I could actually hear but did not recognise. Now a little breakage here and there is normal as our hair strands do naturally get worn down as they get older; we also have to take into account the amount of manipulation we put our hair through. However if you take a look at your hair and can see that there are a lot of uneven areas, if you feel like you hair is just not growing beyond a certain point and if like me you can hear regular snaps when combing or bushing your hair it it time to reassess your routine.
What To Do
Reassess and adjust your routine. Add a hot oil treatment before you shampoo your hair, finger detangle and finger comb your hair before using a wide tooth comb. Use the LOC/LCO method to add and retain moisture and utilise protective styling as much as you can, not forgetting to regularly condition and deep condition your hair. Finally be gentle with your hair, treat it with care and you should definitely experience less breakage.
Can I Repair My Damaged Hair?
You may be able to repair damaged hair but that does depend on the severity of the damage. In most cases you may well have to cut the damage sections of your hair off and moving forward ensure that your hair care routine is robust and that you are doing your best to minimise damage.
So there you have it, 6 signs to look out for that could indicate damage and what you need to do to take action and restore the health of your hair. I would love to hear any tips you have for minimising and repairing damage to your hair so please feel free to comment below.
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