How to Tell if Your Hair Is Damaged

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Hair — everybody has it. It grows from follicles within your skin and consists of a root and shaft made-up of tiny cells. While the part of your hair that remains hidden in the follicle is living, the hair that you wash, comb, curl and straighten is actually dead. Since your hair is not made of living cells, it cannot fix itself when damaged. In fact, the only thing that you can do for damaged hair is condition it and eventually cut it off if the damage is extensive. If you are unsure if you’re dealing with damaged hair, look for a few visual clues.

Step 1

Shampoo your hair as you normally would. If your hair becomes matted and spongy when wet, this is a sign of damage. Spongy and matted wet hair is a sign of damage to the shaft.

Step 2

Allow your hair to air dry after washing. If your hair appears dry and fuzzy after it dries naturally, this denotes damage.

Step 3

Touch your hair. Damaged hair feels brittle and rough, unlike healthy hair that feels glassy and smooth.

Step 4

Run a wide-toothed comb through your hair. Damaged hair will break off during combing. A stray strand of hair detached from the scalp is normal. A sink full of broken pieces of hair is a different story.

Step 5

Note what happens when you color your hair. If your color fades quickly, it could be a sign that you have damaged hair. The metallic dyes in hair color will linger longer on a healthy head of hair.

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