No matter how adept you are at styling, you won’t have a good hair day if your locks are in bad shape. While everyone has a guilty hair pleasure, there are ways to prevent your fav styling techniques from reaping full havoc on your strands. Read on to learn how to recognize damaged hair and what you can do to keep it at bay.
Signs Your Hair is Damaged
Unsure whether or not your tresses are the victim of damage? If you’re experiencing any of the following, you can put any uncertainty aside- these symptoms are classic signifiers of damage:
If your locks are breaking off during regular activities such as styling and brushing, you’re definitely suffering from damage. Hair that’s in good condition should be able to withstand light touching.
Loss of Lustre
Dull hair is not only a style no-no but also a sign your locks are in bad health. Moisture and natural oils are part of what makes hair shiny, so if yours is looking lifeless, then you likely have dry (read: damaged!) locks.
Frequent Split Ends
The emergence of split ends typically occurs somewhere between 6-8 weeks of a recent haircut, telling you it’s time to get a trim and chop off those dead ends. If you see split ends come about before this time period, it means your hair has weakened and become fragile.
Healthy hair strands will have consistent texture throughout and feel smooth to the touch. An uneven surface or lumps in random spots are signs that protein is missing in parts of your strands.
Common Causes of Hair Damage
Achieving a stellar ‘do can sometimes take less-than-healthy measures to get there. These habits may have you looking fabulous, but they won’t do your hair health any favors, so proceed with caution and follow our smart guidelines for reducing damage!
Hair Dye and Bleach
Changing colors to match your mood may be fun, but can lead to an unhealthy mane. Hair coloring requires your hair cuticle be lifted in order to deposit the color, and this process is made even more damaging by harmful chemicals in the dye itself. Lightening strands with bleach is particularly destructive, which often results in significant dryness.
How to minimize damage from dye and bleach:
- If you’re making a major color change, split up your sessions rather than trying to transform your locks in a single appointment.
- Make extra moisturizing efforts to offset dryness caused by dye and bleach. Leave-in conditioners and deep conditioning hair masks are a great way to replenish moisture at-home. If your locks are extra thirsty, you can book a deep conditioning treatment with your hairstylist to help rectify the situation.
- Avoid overprocessing by spacing out your dye sessions. While nobody likes overgrown roots, you don’t need a touch-up every week. Aim to get color treatments done no sooner than every 8-10 weeks.
Whether you’re creating luscious curls with a wand, making your strands silky smooth with a straightener, or simply doing a good old-fashioned blowout, repeated heat styling of any kind will have a negative impact on your hair health. The heat itself may result in burnt tresses while adjusting the structure to change your hair’s shape makes hair fibers weaker, so heat styling is a double whammy destruction generator.
How to minimize damage from heat styling:
- Apply a good protectant spray prior to heat styling.
- Create distance between the heat and your hair by holding your blow dryer half an inch to six inches away from strands when drying.
- Use the lowest setting of heat possible on all your styling tools. This way you still achieve the styling effects of heat without a full blast of its strain on hair.
- Try not to use hot tools more than once a week, if possible. The less often your hair endures heat, the better.
Chemical treatments such as perms or relaxers not only use hair-harming methods but also take hours to apply, prolonging your strands’ exposure to distressing conditions. Changing the texture or shape of your hair permanently requires the use of both heat and harsh chemicals, which are bad for hair health individually, but even worse when combined in a single process.
How to minimize damage from chemical treatments:
- Start the process with healthy hair. Take the time to get your hair in its best condition before receiving a chemical treatment for better results.
- Don’t do it if your hair is dyed. Chemicals from hair dye + chemicals from permanent treatments = major damage! Combining these two processes is a surefire way to make your hair a wreck. Not only that, but chemical treatments can alter the color of dyed hair. Save your locks by choosing only one or the other.
Remember: healthy hair is beautiful hair! If you’re having to put your locks through hell to get the style you want, it isn’t worth it. When using processes that lead to hair damage, be sure to do so with smart, safe practices.
The Salon of Classic AutoSmith provides stellar styles while maintaining the integrity of your hair. Reach out today to get your hair in check!