How to Know if Your Hair is Damaged – 7 Signs & How to Fix

How to Know if Your Hair is Damaged - Signs & How to Fix
Read Time:13 Minute, 12 Second

Split ends, brittle-like texture, and excessive tangling are just a few of the ways that damaged hair can manifest itself. In actuality, these undesirable signs are an unavoidable aspect of our daily rhythms. It doesn’t matter if you color your hair, use hot tools, or tie it up every day—all of these habits are bad for our strands.

Examining the hair strands closely is an easy way to determine if your hair is damaged. Damage to the cuticle layer may be to blame if your hair feels dry all the time.

Seven signs of hair damage are listed below, along with treatments to restore your hair to health.

What is Damaged Hair?

How to Know if Your Hair is Damaged - Signs & How to Fix

The outermost part of a hair strand that shields the hair cortex is called the cuticle. That cuticle layer becomes cracked or stripped in some areas of damaged hair. Under a microscope, you could see a clear distinction between a healthy hair strand and a damaged hair strand. The cuticle layer of hair usually resembles scales strung along a rope. The cuticle of the healthy hair strand appears uniform and consistent, while the cuticle layer, or the “scales,” of the damaged strand looks open and uneven, exposing the cortex to the environmental stressors.

Damage is an issue, because it means the hair cuticle isn’t functioning as it should and isn’t offering the protection the hair shaft needs. Unhealthy, damaged hair is harder to manage, less able to retain moisture, and appears dull, dry, and frizzy. There are some hairstyle or hair dye ways that may damage your hair, let’s check them out below:

Signs Your Hair is Damaged

1. Dry Or Brittle Hair

Cuticle layer damage may be to blame if your hair feels dry all the time. Damage to the cuticle layer of the hair makes it easier for moisture to escape, which results in hair that is brittle or straw-like in texture. Plus, if you try providing your dry hair with moisture, hair can’t retain it as well — creating a cycle of dryness. Your wet hair dries incredibly fast, which is another sign that this is the case.

2. Hair Feels Thick at the Root and Thin at the Ends

As was previously stated, hair damage is caused by a missing or irregular cuticle layer, and as such, tends to occur near the middle or ends of your hair, which are typically the most vulnerable to damage. The hair may feel more brittle and rough when the cuticle layer is damaged or missing. Running your fingers through your hair may reveal this, as can the thin or split appearance of the ends of your hair. (Split ends are frequently an obvious sign of hair damage.)

3. You Notice More Shedding

Are there more hair strands on your brush, pillow, or even in the shower drain? Your hair can snap off and slough off more readily if it is damaged because it is more likely to break.

4. Your Hair is More Tangled Than Usual

When the cuticle layer is disrupted, strands of hair are more likely to get caught on other strands, which can lead to excessive tangles. That said, curly hair and long hair are also prone to tangles, so just because your natural hair is difficult to detangle, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s

damaged. If the tangling seems to come out of nowhere — or isn’t something you typically deal with — damage could be the culprit.

5. Your Hair Appears Dull

Damaged hair can be identified by its dullness. Hair with damaged cuticles will lack the smoothness and shininess that come from a smooth cuticle layer and properly moisturized hair. Dullness can be a sign of damage brought on by pollution, UV rays, product buildup, hard water, and other factors. We advise using a weekly dry scalp treatment if you start to notice that your scalp feels dry or irritated because excessive product buildup can also result in unhealthy scalp irritation.

6. Change in Texture

A change in hair texture is unquestionably something to watch out for, even though it may not be one of the initial signs of damage.

However, it could also be a sign of something more serious, such as hair damage, if you’ve recently switched hair products.

For instance, a protein deficiency has been linked to altered hair texture.

7. Lack of Elasticity

Wet, healthy hair should be able to stretch up to two times before returning to its original shape.

Hair with low elasticity will be harder to style as it won’t hold its shape like it’s supposed to. It may also break off when stretched!

How to Address the Signs of Hair Damage

Don’t worry if any of the aforementioned statements sound familiar. It’s easier than you might imagine to figure out how to repair damaged hair. You can add another hair product to your routine for hair treatment in addition to using the proper kinds of shampoo and conditioner.

How to Test Your Hair for Damage

You can use these quick hair tests to determine whether your hair is damaged and to identify the root cause.

1. Hair Elasticity Test

  • Make sure your hair is wet
  • Hold a strand of hair between your fingers and gently stretch the hair
  • If the hair stretches then returns to normal length then hair is considered to have good elasticity
  • If the hair breaks off or doesn’t return to normal then it has poor elasticity, which can be an indication of weak and damaged hair

2. Hair Texture Test

  • Get a strand of hair between your fingers
  • Observe if the hair feels bumpy, rough, of it has raised edges
  • If you notice any of these changes in texture then this could be a sign of dryness, which could be a warning sign that the hair is in need of moisture

3. Split Ends Test

  • Get a few strands of hair and wrap them around your finger
  • Inspect the hair strands and observe if they are split, frayed, or rough to the touch
  • If there’s only a few split ends but the hair generally feels soft and moisturized, then your hair is healthy
  • If there are more than a few split ends and it’s accompanied by dryness, then your hair either needs a trim or a moisturizing treatment

Causes of Hair Being Damaged

How to Know if Your Hair is Damaged - Signs & How to Fix

Now you know how you can tell if your hair is damaged, it’s time to consider the main causes of hair damage and the key symptoms to be aware of:

Chemical Bleaching and Coloring

Due to their ability to weaken hair, hair coloring, and bleaching agents are the most likely candidates for hair damage.

These chemicals such as toner penetrate the hair shaft and dissolve natural hair color, which in turn, makes the hair lose the essential moisture that it needs to remain healthy.

Of course, the occasional coloring treatment might not do too much harm if the moisture is restored, but it isn’t generally advised.

Possible Symptoms:

  • Breakage
  • Split Ends
  • Extreme dryness
  • Frizz


The natural proteins in the hair are known to be harmed by heated tools and to become dried out.

These heated appliances over time may result in hair that looks frazzled.

When this occurs, it is very difficult to undo. In actuality, overusing heat frequently causes permeantly dry, extremely stiff hair.

You won’t be completely protected against heat damage even if you use heat protectants, especially if you use these tools frequently.

Possible Symptoms:

  • Dry hair
  • Split Ends
  • Dull-looking hair
  • Frizz
  • Lack of shine

Lack of Moisture

You can usually tell your hair is damaged if it is lacking moisture.

Numerous factors, including excessive heat, frequent hair washing, and the use of unsuitable hair products, can contribute to a lack of moisture in the hair.

With curly hair, it’s very important to get the balance of moisture just right. If the hair loses too much moisture then it will become fragile and start to break off.

Possible Symptoms:

  • Dry hair
  • Brittle strands
  • Frizz
  • Lack of elasticity

Over Manipulation

Over-working the hair is what we mean when we talk about hair manipulation.

You are removing the natural oils from the hair and applying too much pressure to the hair and scalp the more you touch, style, and wash it.

Possible Symptoms:

  • Breakage
  • Build-up
  • Hair thinning or hair loss

Permanent Styling

Before choosing a permanent styling option, there are many things to think about.

For instance, the chemicals used in Brazilian blow-drys and perms may cause your hair to become weaker and more brittle over time.

Redness, itching, or infections may also result from this stress on the hair and scalp.

Possible Symptoms:

  • Brittle strands
  • Irritated or flaky scalp
  • Hair thinning or hair loss
  • Breakage
  • Split ends

UV Rays

It is well known that exposure to UV light can weaken hair protein and harm hair follicles.

The issue is that the more you are exposed to these rays without protection, the more it can continue to damage skin cells long after the initial exposure.

Possible Symptoms:

  • Changes in hair texture
  • Itchy, red scalp
  • Dry hair
  • Hair discoloration
  • Frizz

Moisture Overload

Hair damage over time can undoubtedly result from an imbalance between moisture and protein.

For those with hair with a high level of porosity, moisture overload may occur, which may weaken the hair.

Possible Symptoms:

  • Weakened hair
  • Limp curls
  • Greasy hair
  • Breakage

Treat Hair With a Mask

Are hair masks your thing? With a restorative hair treatment, such as a hair mask for damaged hair, you can significantly (and quickly) improve dryness, hair breakage, and damage. Once or twice a week, use the Restore Repair Mask in place of your conditioner to deeply nourish and reverse hair damage.

With just one application, this potent treatment can boost healthy hair’s moisture levels, reduce breakage by up to 70%, and even help prevent further harm. Additionally, it imparts long-lasting smoothness, shine, and softness, making damage indicators less obvious even after just one application.

How to Know if Your Hair is Damaged - Signs & How to Fix

Although you’ll notice results right away, keep using this mask on a weekly basis as part of your routine to guard against further harm and enhance the health of your hair. You’re able to obtain the desired hairstyle, color, and texture thanks to this.

Understand Your Hair Porosity

Knowing your hair’s porosity makes determining whether it is damaged much simpler.

Choosing the appropriate hair products for your particular hair type and understanding whether your hair is low or high porosity can help you avoid moisture overload or moisture loss.

Because not all products are created equally, you might need to completely forgo shampoo in order to maintain the pH balance and health of your hair. (Also Read: Windlady Hair Coloring Shampoo Review 2023 – Is It Safe to Use)

Common hair problems that result in hair damage can be avoided by doing this.

Stop Using Heat Appliances

Damaged hair needs to repair itself by being carefully treated with the right products, but this will not make any difference if the hair is continually being exposed to heat.

You should refrain from using heat sources for at least a month to two months if you have heat damage so that the weakened and damaged hair follicles have time to heal.

Then you should think about using heated tools sparingly.

While this may be a dramatic change, it’s a decision that can keep your hair healthier and prevent hair damage in the future.

Deep Condition Once a Week

For your hair to get back to a healthier state, it’s crucial that you deep condition it frequently.

Vitamins and nutrients that are crucial for your hair’s self-healing are found in protein treatments and hair masks.

These treatments may gradually make hair feel softer, more manageable, and stronger with continued use.

Keep in mind that it may take several months before you notice a significant change.

Trim Your Ends

By examining your ends, you can always tell if your hair is damaged.

Regular hair trimming is necessary to keep the hair in good condition.

Split ends can cause the hair to become lifeless, frizzy, and dry, which can cause more breakage.

A trim can improve the condition of hair with minor to moderate damage, but severely damaged hair will require more than a trim to get it back in shape.

It will be crucial to trim the hair going forward every few weeks or whenever split ends start to appear.

While you work to restore it, it is advised that you refrain from bleaching or coloring your hair for a few months.

The best thing that can be done for damaged hair is this big change, even though it might seem drastic.

It might be worthwhile to stop using color treatments altogether once your hair is in better shape.

Give Your Hair a Break

Damaged hair is a sign of overuse. Wear low-maintenance hairstyles and use gentle, natural products to give your hair a break.

Put an immediate stop to the use of heat, chemicals, and regular shampoo products.


Your styling abilities might not be to blame if your hair simply doesn’t behave the way you want. Damage caused by heat, chemicals, or environmental factors often causes hair to look dry and listless, no matter how much you pamper it.

Changing your hair care regimen will protect new growth for full, luscious locks and be the best thing you can do if you notice hair damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

The questions people most frequently have about damaged hair are listed below.

Can You Repair Damaged Hair?

Hair damage due to heat, chemicals, or environmental factors is permanent in most cases. Hair does not contain any living tissue, making it unlike most of our bodies in that it cannot heal or regenerate over time. You won’t notice a long-term improvement in the appearance of damaged hair no matter how many products you use. However, because our hair grows continuously, new, untried roots won’t exhibit the same damage as the tips. Giving damaged hair time to grow and protect the new roots is the best way to treat it.

What Does Damaged Hair Look Like?

By looking at the hair, one can fairly easily identify damage. Damaged hair will be brittle, frizzy, and unruly in contrast to healthy hair’s sleek and smooth appearance. Extreme cases may result in hair that looks like it has been fried or straw. You can also identify hair damage by touch. Hair will feel stiff and unyielding, not silky. Heavily damaged hair may even feel a little bit crunchy when you handle it. Excessive heat and chemicals often lead to a rough hair texture.

Will Damaged Hair Have Healthy Growth?

No matter how severely damaged your hair may be, in most cases, you can expect it to grow back to reveal healthy, luscious locks. The only circumstance in which you might anticipate experiencing permanent hair loss is if the scalp or hair follicles are damaged.

Can I Use Coconut Oil on Damaged Hair?

Coconut oil offers a healthy, all-natural way to treat and protect damaged hair. While adding some extra shine to drab locks, it can condition and smooth to minimize frizz and flyaways. Even in damaged hair, coconut oil aids in halting further protein loss. Remember that while coconut oil can treat damaged hair, it is not a long-term fix. Brittle or broken hair strands cannot be repaired by coconut oil. However, it will support wholesome new growth around your roots and aid in preventing further damage.

Check Our Hair Products Reviews!

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *