Do I have damaged hair?
Here’s the difference between dry and damaged hair:
Dry: lacking natural oils that smooth and lubricate the hair. Dryness can be caused by heat styling, changes in temperatures or it can be dry simply because your scalp produces less oil.
Damaged: lacking proteins required to keep hair strong. Protein bonds have been broken, often due to intense hair treatments and styling.
How to test for damaged hair
The hair strand test: take a strand of hair and hold it out at both ends. Slightly pull the hair so that it stretches. Healthy hair should stretch up to one-third of its length. If it snaps quickly, this is a sign of protein damage. If it stretches but returns misshapen, or remains stretched even when no longer pulled, this points to dryness.
Another simple test is to hold an inch-wide section of hair between your fingers and stroke gently down to the tips. If you feel unevenness, and some hairs snap, you may have protein damaged hair.
Still not sure whether your hair is dry, damaged or perfectly healthy? Simple: just book a visit to your local hairdresser. If in doubt, always trust the professionals!
What can cause hair damage?
The most common is the at-home hair straightening tool, not only due to its popularity but because many people do not use the right heat protective treatment before styling. Hair curlers are also major culprits, as is excessive colouring (especially repeated lightening) and permanent hair treatments like in-salon straightening and curling.