It’s important to stay aware of your overall hair health. Before you consider new treatments, dyes or an all-together new ‘do, take stock of your hair’s current state and evaluate how your hair-care routine is affecting it. By being wise to the signs of damage you can make easy changes that will pay off in healthy, luscious locks.
Brittle hair is a common sign of damage. Weakened hair can break and give you split ends. And harsh chemical treatments are a common cause of brittle hair. But brushing your hair roughly, using an inappropriate comb (for example, a fine toothed comb on really curly hair) or teasing hair can also lead to breakage. Braids and hair extensions can cause damage too. Sometimes, brittle hair can indicate medical issues like an eating disorder or hypothyroidism, so do check in with a doctor if you have brittle hair and the common causes for it don’t apply to you.
Sun Bleached Hair
You may already know that your skin needs protection from the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, but did you know overexposure to the sun can damage your hair too? The UV rays of the sun fray the outer layer of the hair, known as the cuticle, which protects the inner layers. Exposure to the sun can also break down melanin, a pigment that gives hair its color, which in turns dries out hair and causes it to lose strength and become brittle.
Do your curl crushes brag about going a year between trims or a proper hair cut? They maintain healthy hair all year around. If you notice that your ends begin to split almost immediately after a trim, your hair could be fragile and break off easily. The minimum amount of time before an average person will notice their hair splitting is one to two months after a trim.
Hair damage can remove the protective layer of fat that coats the cuticle and gives your hair a glossy sheen. And chemical treatments are a common culprit when it comes to stripping your hair of natural moisturizers, leaving you with dull, dried out hair.
Have you ever run your finger over a strand of hair? Does it feel a bit bumpy or smooth? If there is an obvious difference in smoothness on a single strand of hair from root to ends, chances are you have gaps in your hair strand which is a significant sign of breakage. While protein treatments help to temporarily fill in the gaps, sometimes the problem can be fixed internally with proper nutrition and effective hair vitamins.
The scales of the cuticle (the outer layer of hair) overlap tightly on healthy hair and protect the inner layers from environmental factors. But when hair is damaged, the scales can separate and this can dry out your hair.