How Do You Know When Your Hair Is Damaged?

Few things in life can boost your self-confidence like a really good hair day. When all your strands fall into submission and behave exactly as they are supposed to, everything about your day – from your morning commute to chatting with the cute guy behind you in line for coffee to answering a rude email from your boss – just seems easier and more fun.

Only one thing stands between you and every day being a good hair day – damage to your tender tresses. Whether caused by too much styling, the environment or other factors, damaged hair is the root cause of every bad hair day you have. 

Fortunately, hair damage is relatively easy to identify and prevent. You just need to know what to look for.

Split Ends

The number one indicator of damaged hair is split ends. When your hair is exposed to extreme heat or harsh conditions, the delicate tips of your hair break apart and begin to split up the hair shaft. 

When your hair tends to tangle a lot at the ends as you comb it, it is a good indicator that you have split ends. If you are in doubt, you can simply grab a section of dry hair and look closely at the ends. If you notice any y-shaped or ragged tips, this is a clear sign that you have split ends. 

If left unchecked, split ends can travel up the shaft of hair, causing extreme damage. To avoid this, get regular trims to eliminate split ends before they start.

Dulled Shine

Nothing says “healthy hair” like shiny strands. Unfortunately, hair styling products, heat exposure and extreme environments (sun or cold) can take away your hair’s shine. When you look in the mirror if you see lackluster locks staring back at you, it is a good indicator that your hair is damaged.

To replenish your hair’s natural shine, try a clarifying treatment to rid your hair of excess product buildup and don’t forget to regularly condition your hair to keep harsh environmental factors at bay and restore shine.

Extreme Breakage

If your shower drain is quickly clogged or your bathroom floor is covered with an excessive amount of loose hairs, these are good indicators of weakened, damaged hair. While it is natural to lose a few strands of hair each day, if you find large amounts clumped in your brush or falling out when you comb or style your hair it is a sign of damage.

To avoid excessive hair loss, be sure to regularly condition your hair and minimize harsh styling procedures.

Brittle and Coarse Strands

If you can feel roughness in your hair or notice a lot of broken strands, it is a clear sign that your hair is lacking moisture and becoming damaged. To alleviate these symptoms, be sure to condition your hair daily and employ a deep conditioning treatment as often as necessary – at least weekly.

Color Fade

As your hair becomes more damaged, it also becomes excessively porous. This is especially noticeable if you color your hair. When your hair is overly porous, it absorbs too much color at first and then releases that new color too quickly in the days that follow.  If you find that you are losing your new color too quickly, it is a sure sign that your hair is damaged. 


Another sign of damage is when your previously easy-to-style hair suddenly has a harder time holding its style or becomes excessively static or flyaway. Damaged hair doesn’t hold a style as well as healthy hair, and dry hair tends to break into shorter pieces that are harder to manage in general.

Leave a Reply