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How to Tell If Your Hair Is Damaged: 5 Signs to Look For

4 mins

Radhika Bhatia

Not sure if your hair is damaged or just dry? The answer can make all the difference for your hair care routine! Here is how to tell if your hair is damaged!

Do you know what damaged hair looks like, how it feels, and how it behaves? We often become so accustomed to our hair type that we overlook the indicators of actual damage. Bald patches, clumps of hair going out, and thinning margins are all very identifiable. But what about the less visible indicators that your hair is seriously ailing?

Everything from heat styling and chemical straightening to permanent hair color can lead to damaged hair. Pulling your hair into a ponytail too frequently might also be damaging. Before you throw your hands up in the air and give up, remember that this damage can be avoided. All you need to do is know what to look out for.

Here are 5 signs that your hair might be damaged:

Split Ends

Split ends are the damaged ends of your hair shaft that have typically split into two or three, and often are easily mistaken for frizz. Because the ends are the oldest section of your hair and tend to become more porous with time, they can also become very dry and prone to damage; that’s why many hair care specialists recommend applying hair oils regularly to hair ends. Your ends are probably damaged if your hair seems lush and voluminous at the roots, but considerably thinner at the ends. To avoid more problems, get your hair trimmed and focus on moisturizing your hair thoroughly starting from the roots and down to the ends. 

Low Elasticity 

One of the most difficult aspects of elasticity loss is that it can be difficult to detect. Hair that is healthy has a high level of elasticity, which is what gives it body, bounce, and texture. Elasticity is what allows you to style your hair and is an indication of good hair health.

Hair should be elastic, especially when it’s wet. So try stretching a strand of hair when it's damp to see if it's lost its elasticity. It's possible that your hair needs more moisture if the hair breaks with little to no strain. Your hair has normal elasticity if it expands a little and then returns to its original state. It needs protein if it stretches more than usual and then breaks, or if it feels limp and mushy between your fingers. In order for our hair to be healthy, it must contain the right amount of moisture and protein.

High Porosity

Damaged hair is more porous than healthy hair, which means that it will absorb (and also lose) more moisture, but also more product and chemicals. Hair can become extremely porous as a result of chemical treatments like coloring, chemical straighteners, and heat treatments. If you color your hair, you may have noticed that damaged hair absorbs dye more quickly than healthy hair. On the other hand, every time you shampoo, the color may fade more quickly from the extremely porous parts of your hair.

The easiest method to avoid getting high porosity hair is to limit your exposure to chemicals and heat-styling products. Because damaged hair is more fragile when wet, styling or managing it when it's dry is also preferable, as is damp detangling. Also, it is recommended to use a hair oil regularly to help seal in moisture in your damaged hair. 

Dry and Brittle Hair

Hair that is healthy is smooth and elastic, not dry and brittle. Pick up a few strands of hair and pass them between your fingers from root to tip. It's a symptom of dryness, and possibly damage, if it feels coarse. This test should be done the day after you've washed your hair, because coarseness can also indicate product buildup. Weather, hormone changes, and even medications can cause dryness, but more often than not, it's simply too much heat, chemical treatments, using heat-based styling tools or not properly hydrating and conditioning your damaged hair.

Tangled Hair

Dry hair with roughened cuticles and ragged split ends is likely to get tangled and produce knots; this may be a sign that you're dealing with damaged hair. Also, if your hair is brittle, it will most likely snap when you try to undo the knots. 

Best hair products for damaged hair

If you’ve determined that your hair is damaged, it’s time for the next step: finding the right hair care products to help your deal with the signs of damage. The most important thing to do is to look for products that are free from sulfates, parabens and other harsh chemicals that can further cause damage to your hair. Instead, look for hair products that are enriched with nourishing and moisturizing natural ingredients – oils, natural extracts, vitamins and minerals. Here are a few recommendations: 

Morrocan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set

Morrocan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set

This pack was created to help exceptionally dry hair regain its smoothness, silkiness, and minimize hair loss due to breakage. It draws on the power of Moroccan Argan oil, saw palmetto and nettle leaf extracts, which help to restore hair strength and reduce dryness. The shampoo is also rich in vitamin B5, which helps to strengthen hair follicles and promote healthy hair growth. Both the shampoo and the conditioner are free of sulfates, parabens, silicones, and salt. 

Red Onion Shampoo and Conditioner Set

Red Onion Shampoo and Conditioner Set

WOW Red Onion Shampoo aids with hair growth, hair loss, scalp buildup, split ends and dull, brittle hair. It is packed with natural nourishing ingredients such as red onion seed oil extract, black seed oil, sweet almond oil, and pro-vitamin B5, which help strengthen the hair shaft and clear blocked roots. 

The conditioner contains a blend of natural compounds that help to improve the texture and gloss of your hair. It also aids in healing and protecting damaged hair. Use this conditioner to add moisture to your damaged hair and improve its texture!

WOW Skin Science 10 in 1 Hair Revitalizer 

WOW Skin Science 10 in 1 Hair Revitalizer

WOW Skin Science 10-in-1 Miracle Hair Revitalizer is a premium hair revitalizer solution containing bioactives such as safflower, amla, horse chestnut, rosemary and tea tree essential oil, as well as vitamins A, B5, B7, E, and F. Mineral oil, parabens, PEG, polysorbate, and synthetic perfumes are all absent from this non-sticky, non-greasy formula that provides ten hair advantages: frizz control from root to tip, stronger roots, fewer split ends, enhanced lipid barrier, significantly improved texture, dandruff management, breakage protection, hair fall control, increased shine, and intensive hydration.

You can also check out the WOW range of hair masks, conditioners and hair oils that can nourish your hair back to health. 

No one knows your hair better than you do. If it used to be soft and full but is now dull, thinning, knotted, and won't hold a style, it may be damaged. So look into whether you're engaging in any harmful habits and try investing in some wonderful hair products that are suited for your hair type and which can help transform your tresses. Your hair will thank you.

Explore the WOW website for more natural hair care products. From our all natural sulfate, silicone and paraben-free hair care collection we recommend Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Red Onion Black Seed Oil Shampoo. And if you would like to learn more about apple cider vinegar's benefits or onion oil's benefits check out our ultimate guide on how to use them on your hair.

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Radhika Bhatia

I'm a content writer, copywriter, and blogger with a background in marketing, planning, and eCommerce. I specialize in beauty writing, including skincare, cosmetics, wellness, aesthetics, and health. Classically trained and idea-savvy, I love living in the present.

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