We have all been there, our hair is looking dull, dry, and doesn’t seem to be doing anything that we want it to. But, how do we know if it is damaged or just dry? Or is it just thirsty? I have you covered! Today I am talking about how to identify the difference between dry and damaged hair.
I have been highlighting my hair for years now. And, I also use heat on it daily! Can you say hello damage! I have good news for you! You can color and use heat on your hair. And at the same time have healthy hair. We just need to know how to identify what our hair needs to stay healthy and not become damaged or dry.
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It can be difficult to spot the difference between damaged and dry hair. And they can have a lot of the same characteristics. But they are different and we treat them differently. There are a few tests to see if it is damaged. Damaged hair needs protein replaced and dry hair needs moisture.
7 Key Signs Of Hair Damage
- Tangles easy
- Dull & lacks shine
- Dry & brittle (stays dry even after conditioning)
- Split Ends
- Excessive breakage
- Lack of elasticity
- Fading hair color
5 Key Signs Of Dry Hair
- Hair texture changes in your environment (example: with humidity)
- Improves with hydration and conditioning
- Using styling products and treatments improves dryness
- Hair strands feel rough & coarse
- Dry flaky scalp
Below are two tests that you can use as guides to see if you have hair damage. As far as the porosity tests go, if your hair sinks that indicates high porosity and you may have high damage from chemicals, rough treatment, or the environment.
4 Main Causes of Hair Damage
Hair coloring, high lightening, or chemically straightening.
Regularly using hot tools like a blow dryer or irons.
Damage for vigorously washing, combing, brushing, or drying roughly.
UV rays, chlorine, or pollution.
*I did a blog post on heat and your hair that you can check out here: How Hot is Too Hot When Using Hot Tools.
Levels of Hair Damage
Severe damage –
Does your hair have a very rough texture to it? You can also have noticeable breakage and it can be excessively dry all the time. You will probably fight these issues even after trying to condition your hair. Most people with severe damage have no doubt their hair is damaged.
Moderate damage –
Your hair with have a rough texture, is dry, and has some split ends that are noticeable.
Mild damage –
You may notice mild texture to your hair, a few split ends, and your hair may feel dryer than usual. You may be able to control the dryness for a while conditioning but after a while, you will notice that conditioning doesn’t cut it anymore.
What can you do now that you know your hair is damaged?
So, you have assessed your hair by doing a damage test or made an assessment by comparing your hair with the key signs of damage, now what? Believe it or not, you don’t have to cut your hair off or accept the fact that it is going to look like “this” from now on! There are products out there that can repair the damage and you can start protecting your hair from further damage! Either talk to your hair stylist or check out below what I do for my regular highlights!
Monat came out with a damage repair line of products in the Fall of 2021, and they are amazing! Depending on the severity of the damage to your hair depends on what products and how often you should use them. If you would like to have a complimentary consultation with me, please click here and I will be in touch with you!
I have bleach highlights done on my hair every 6 weeks and I am currently in a maintenance phase with the line of using Monat Repair Bond Support Shampoo for my first shampoo followed by our Renew Shampoo. I also use Damage Repair Bond-Fortifying Hair Leave-in Crème as my “styling product”. My hair has never been so healthy. Products do matter so be sure to be using what will help your hair the most.
What Can You Do If Your Hair Is Just Dry?
So, what if you did the damage test and assessed for damage, and your think your hair is only dry and needs some hydration? There are multiple things that you can do to help get your hair back on track!
I highly recommend doing a weekly hair masque if you aren’t already doing one. Whether your hair is healthy or not this is a must! Using a hair masque will help to balance the hair moisture. You can check out my favorite ones here or send me a message and I would love to help you find which one would work best for you!
The second thing I would recommend is to find a conditioner that targets your specific need. Is your hair prone to frizz? Do you lack volume but desperately need some hydration? Finding the conditioner that works best for your hair need is crucial! It can also depend on the time of year; I will switch my conditioner sometimes throughout the year! If you would like some help finding a great conditioner to fit your specific needs, click here and I would love to help you out!
Alrighty, the third thing that I recommend to you is to protect your hair from the start! The sun and elements can damage your hair so it is important to protect both your hair and scalp from the sun. The sun can damage both. I did a blog post that helps you protect your hair and scalp, you can read that here.
Also, little things matter like being nice to your hair. Use a microfiber towel on your wet hair instead of a regular towel. It will cut down on breakage and friction.
A wide-tooth comb or a wet brush to gently comb through your wet hair. Always start from the bottom and work your way up to help cut down on breakage.
I also recommend using a silk pillowcase, if possible, these are a great way to cut down on friction and breakage and will help to make your hair shinier!
Did you find this post helpful? Do you think you might have damaged or dry hair? I used to think that if my hair was damaged that there wasn’t anything that I could do about it, and I just had to wait and grow it out! Boy was I wrong! There are options out there and I hope this helped! If you have any questions, please reach out to me!
Dave Hinson says
I recently came across your article titled “How Do I Know If My Hair Is Damaged or Just Dry?” and wanted to express my appreciation for addressing this common concern among many individuals. The information you provide is helpful in understanding the difference between dry hair and damaged hair.
Your article does an excellent job of explaining the distinction between dryness and damage, as well as the potential causes and signs of each. By discussing factors such as excessive heat styling, chemical treatments, environmental factors, and improper hair care practices, you provide readers with valuable insights into the various factors that can contribute to hair issues.
I particularly appreciate the tips and advice you offer to help individuals assess the condition of their hair. From performing a strand test to examining the texture, elasticity, and appearance of the hair, these practical suggestions enable readers to make informed assessments and take appropriate action.
The inclusion of suggestions for treating dry hair and repairing damaged hair is also valuable. By recommending deep conditioning treatments, reducing heat styling, incorporating moisture-rich products, and seeking professional assistance, you provide readers with actionable steps to improve the health and appearance of their hair.
Furthermore, the visuals and illustrations in your article enhance the understanding of the topic. The before-and-after images and the comparison of healthy hair versus damaged hair help readers visually identify the characteristics of each condition.
In conclusion, your article serves as a valuable resource for individuals seeking to determine if their hair is dry or damaged. By providing clear explanations, practical tips, and visual aids, you empower readers to assess their hair’s condition and make informed decisions regarding hair care.
Thank you for addressing this common hair concern and for offering helpful guidance to your readers. I look forward to reading more informative articles from Hello South Blog in the future.
Dave Weilder says
Dear Hello South Blog,
I wanted to express my appreciation for your informative article titled “How Do I Know If My Hair Is Damaged or Just Dry?” Your article addresses a common concern among individuals who are looking to understand the condition of their hair and take appropriate steps for care and repair.
Your explanation of the differences between damaged hair and dry hair is enlightening. Understanding the distinctions between the two allows individuals to assess the condition of their hair accurately and make informed decisions about the treatments and products they should incorporate into their hair care routine.
I found your emphasis on the various signs and symptoms of damaged and dry hair to be particularly valuable. Your detailed description of indicators such as split ends, breakage, frizz, lack of elasticity, and rough texture helps readers identify the specific issues they may be experiencing and determine the appropriate course of action.
The inclusion of potential causes of hair damage and dryness, such as excessive heat styling, chemical treatments, environmental factors, and improper hair care practices, is noteworthy. By highlighting these factors, you raise awareness about the potential contributors to hair damage and dryness and empower readers to make necessary changes to their hair care routines.
Your recommendations for repairing damaged hair and moisturizing dry hair are practical and useful. Suggesting techniques such as regular trimming, reducing heat styling, incorporating deep conditioning treatments, and using hydrating hair products demonstrates a comprehensive approach to addressing hair concerns.
I appreciate your emphasis on the importance of consulting with a professional hairstylist or trichologist for a thorough assessment and personalized recommendations. Recognizing that every individual’s hair is unique and may require specific treatments ensures that readers seek expert guidance to address their hair concerns effectively.
Furthermore, your article encourages readers to adopt healthy hair care habits, such as gentle handling, protecting hair from environmental factors, and maintaining a balanced diet. These habits contribute to overall hair health and can prevent future damage or dryness.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise through this article. Your guidance on distinguishing between damaged hair and dry hair and providing practical tips for care and repair is invaluable. I will certainly keep your recommendations in mind and share this resource with others who may benefit from your insights.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I am glad that you found it helpful!