One of the most common beauty concerns women have is hair damage. Many people don’t realize that using hot tools on a regular basis can lead to major damage, which is irreversible. If you’re not careful, you can wind up with split ends, fried hair, and other unsightly problems.
But how can you tell if your hair is heat damaged? There are a few key signs to look out for. Keep reading to learn more!
The Signs of Heat Damage in Hair
1. Dryness and dullness
One of the most common signs of heat damage is dryness and dullness. When heat damage occurs, your hair’s cuticles do not lay flat. This causes the cuticles to be raised, which makes your hair highly porous. As a result, moisture escapes easily (1), causing excessive dryness. This can leave your hair feeling dry, brittle, and lifeless.
2. Split ends
When your hair is damaged, the cuticle lifts, and the inner structure of the hair is exposed. (2) This makes your hair more susceptible to breakage, which can lead to split ends. Split ends happen when the hair shaft splits into two or more parts. This usually happens at the ends, but it can also happen along the length of the hair.
Heat-damaged hair is highly porous, which means that the cuticle is wide open and susceptible to damage. (3) As a result, it is often very fragile and weak, and more likely to break during brushing, styling, and even everyday activities like washing your hair.
To test for breakage, take a small section of your hair and gently pull on it. If it feels stretchy and elastic, that’s a good sign. But if it doesn’t stretch or if it breaks easily, that’s a sign of heat damage.
4. Frizz and flyaways
About 79% of your hair is made up of proteins (3), and these proteins help to maintain the water level of your hair. When put under high temperatures, your hair can lose moisture quickly, causing the cuticles to crack and the proteins in your hair to change structure. This makes hair dry, brittle, and more prone to frizz.
Have you ever noticed that your hair colour seems to fade faster in the summer? There’s a scientific reason for that. When your hair is exposed to sunlight, the pigments that give it its colour begin to oxidize. This process happens more quickly at higher temperatures, which is why heat damage can lead to rapid colour fade. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors all summer to protect your hair colour. Just be sure to take extra care of your locks by using products that contain sunscreen and keeping them well hydrated.
6. Lack of shine
When the cuticle layer is smooth and flat it reflects light like a mirror, resulting in shiny, healthy-looking hair. However, when the cuticle layer is rough and porous, it absorbs light rather than reflecting it. This gives damaged hair matt, lifeless appearance. If your hair is lacking shine, it’s a good sign that it’s been damaged by heat.
7. roughed texture
Have you ever noticed that after a day in the sun, your hair feels drier and more straw-like than usual? Or that after using a curling iron or blow dryer, your hair feels brittle and stiff? These are all signs of heat damage. When heat is applied to the hair, it lifts the outer layer of the cuticle, which can leave strands rough in texture. To test for heat damage, pluck a hair from your head and examine it closely. If you see multiple thicknesses along the one shaft, it’s a sign that the cuticle has been damaged.
8. Tangles and matting
When the cuticle is raised and open, it’s much more likely to get snagged on other strands of hair, resulting in knots and tangles. Damaged hair is also more likely to matt and clump together, especially when it’s wet. To test for this, try running your fingers through your hair after washing it. If it feels tangled and difficult to comb through, that’s a sign of heat damage.
9.Lack of elasticity
Elasticity is what makes hair styling possible. If your hair is heat damaged, you may also notice that it’s become more difficult to style. This is because damaged hair is often unmanageable and doesn’t hold styles well due to its dryness and lack of elasticity.
To test this, simply take a strand of wet hair and give it a little stretch. If it stretches a bit and then snaps back into place, that’s normal. But if it stretches more than usual and then breaks, that’s a sign that your hair is heat damaged.
The Bottom Line
If you suspect that your hair might be heat damaged, the best thing to do is give it a break from hot styling tools. Allow your hair to air dry whenever possible, and use a leave-in conditioner to help restore moisture. If your hair is severely damaged, you may need to get a trim to get rid of any split ends. With some TLC, you can get your hair looking healthy and gorgeous again.
Heat damage can be difficult to fix, but by paying attention to the signs, you can take steps to prevent further damage.
Be sure to use heat-protectant products when styling, and avoid using hot tools too often. By following these tips, you can keep your hair.