There are many ways in which you can inflict damage on your hair, from styling it with heat to chemical processing, but the effects of your mistakes take time to really show themselves.
Once you get used to seeing the signs your hair is damaged early on, you can do something about quickly to prevent further problems. Find out how to test your hair and see just how it’s doing before spending money on expensive treatments that promise to fix the problem.
1. You’re Noticing Split Ends After a Haircut
Split ends are a clear sign of damaged hair, but what you should be looking out for is the time it takes for them to appear after a trim. Once you get it cut, your hair should be free of split ends for at least a month, and up to two for many women. Even if you’re trying to grow it out, it’s important that you pay attention to split ends and get a trim every few months.
2. It's Getting Dry and Frizzy
When the weather wreaks more havoc on your hair than ever before, and you start noticing that your hair is increasingly frizzy, that’s one of the most obvious signs your hair is damaged. Dry hair is always more prone to getting frizzy, so if you’re sticking to the same hair care regimen but your hair is reacting differently, there might be a problem.
3. It Breaks Off in the Middle
Whether you prefer a brush or a comb, check what’s left behind once you’re done brushing or combing it. If you see stray hairs that are the regular length, you’re good. However, if you see plenty of shorter hair, that broke off in the middle or towards the ends, then your hair is definitely damaged and needs a little attention to bounce back.
See also: 10 Things That Ruin Your Hair
4. You’re Seeing Changes in Texture
A rough texture is one of the most obvious signs your hair is damaged. If you’re checking your ends right before a trim, no need to panic yet, you might just be dealing with split ends. Compare the texture of your hair from root to tip and in different areas (the crown, the back of the neck). That’s how you can easily determine if there are big inconsistencies in your hair’s texture.
5. You’re Dealing with Decreased Volume
Noticing changes in volume is also important in order to determine if your hair is damaged. When you’re experiencing less volume, paired with wispy ends, your tresses need a little attention. Using hairspray daily for extra volume can also be damaging, so instead of packing on the products, fix the damage first and see if your hair bounces back.
6. It’s Too Porous
When your hair doesn’t have enough moisture, it gets porous, absorbing any moisture in the environment quickly, and that’s one of the signs signs your hair is damaged. In order to test it out, place a couple of strands in water. If your hair absorb a lot water and sinks very quickly, then it’s too porous and need your attention.
See also: How to Style Hair Without Heat
7. Styling Gets More Difficult
Unruly hair can be a big problem, but you should only worry when you notice that it’s getting more and more unmanageable. If styling it gets more and more difficult and your hair doesn’t hold the shape you’re going for, it might be damaged.
8. Losing Elasticity
Hair is elastic, especially when wet. Pull on a wet strand and test it out for the signs your hair is damaged. Healthy hair should be able to stretch and get back to its original length. If it stretches very easily then breaks, or if it’s limp, it’s not getting the right protein. If it simply snaps very quickly during stretching, the problem is the lack of moisture.
9. It’s Getting Harder to Untangle
Using conditioner regularly should keep your hair easy to untangle, but when you’re noticing a change in that, start worrying. When the time it takes you to untangle your hair is growing, you could blame your brush or comb, but some hair damage might also be part of the problem.
10. The Growth Process Slowed Down
When you feel your hair has a growing problem, or it’s growing at different speeds in different areas of your scalp, you’re staring at one of the signs your hair is damaged. Start with a deep moisturizing mask and consult a professional in order to reverse or stop the damage.