The heat is one of the essential hair styling tools that almost all women and most men use for styling their hair. Curling, straightening, drying, and dyeing all involve some type of heating. While we are striving to make our hair appear beautiful and striking, we often don’t realize the damage we are causing.
More often than not, the heat is our hair’s worst enemy. The damage it causes in just a few days can take months to repair. The heat dries out the hair and makes it look damaged and lifeless. The more heat you use to style your locks, the more damage you cause.
If you’ve been using the wands, irons, and hair dryers for months and your hair seems to look just as good as before, don’t disregard the first warning signs. Eventually, the hair will react to the constant heat application and start cause you problems.
Symptoms of Hair Damage
Most of the time, it’s possible to avoid using heat for styling. Obviously, it’s one of the easiest ways to change the way your hair looks but it’s far from being the safest. If you have a chance to avoid heat, do it. Here are 10 obvious and not-so-obvious heat damaged hair symptoms.
1. Excessive Hair Shedding
It’s important to remember that hair shedding is a natural process. An average person loses about 50 – 100 hairs on a daily basis. However, if you feel as if you are shedding more than usual, you might be suffering from heat-induced hair problems.
The easiest way to check if you are shedding more hair than before is to look at the hairs left in the bathtub drain after taking a shower. The clump of hair shouldn’t be more than an inch in diameter. Of course, if you have really long hair, the numbers change.
2. Split Ends
Everyone gets split ends every once in a while. It’s a natural process of hair growth. An average person has to get the split ends trimmed every 10 – 12 weeks. Some people don’t experience them for as long as 6 months.
If you see the split ends appearing too fast, it might be due to heat damage. The hot and dry air causes the hair to split and produce split ends, which make your locks look thin and lifeless. The ends of your hair don’t get enough nourishment from the sebum glands, which causes them to become damaged.
3. No More Curls
If you have curly hair and use heat on a regular basis, you can face an unfortunate reverse effect. The curls become larger and might disappear altogether. However, the way it happens is far from what you want to achieve when you dream of straight locks. You get lifeless and hanging semi curly pieces of hair.
If you see this symptom, don’t try to use a curling iron to get the locks straight. All you’ll do is just make the problem worse.
4. Porous Hair
Porous hair can become a big problem for girls who like dyeing. When the hair is too porous, it doesn’t hold on to the color so you need frequent touch ups. In order to check if your hair is becoming too porous, you have to put a strand into the water. If the strand sinks immediately instead of floating for some time, your hair is excessively porous.
Constant heating can change the hair texture and make your locks prone to breakage. Meanwhile, it keeps them from looking great when dyed.
5. No Shine or Lustre
After you wash your hair, it should become shinier than when it’s dirty. If this doesn’t happen, your hair is damaged. The loss of luster is one of the first signed of heat damaged hair. Many women turn to using more heat to repair the problem and only worsen the condition. If the luster is gone, it’s hard to get back. So heating should be eliminated immediately.
6. Feeling of Dryness
The feeling of dryness is one of the first symptoms of heat damaged hair. Besides looking dry and dull, the hair feels dry. No matter how many conditioners and leave-in products you use to give the hair some moisture, it stays dry. This means you are overusing the heat.
You can see the first sign of dryness at the washing stage. When you wash your locks, the hair feels tangled and overly thick (like a piece of old rag) until you use the conditioner. This usually happens when the hair is recently dyed. If the reason is dyeing then the dryness will go away after using the conditioner. If it doesn’t, the reason is heat.
7. No More Elasticity
Healthy hair is elastic. When you pull on one hair, it can stretch a little until it breaks. In fact, you need to make a pretty big effort to break a hair. When the locks are damaged by heat, they lose elasticity. If you try pulling on your hair and it breaks immediately, it suffers from the lack of moisture and nutrients, which you took away by heating.
8. Too Tangled
If you are having trouble keeping your hair neat even though you are brushing it on a regular basis, it can be the sign of overheating. Healthy and elastic hair doesn’t get tangled up without a reason (like strong wind or restless sleep). If you have to deal with knots on a regular basis, your hair may be damaged.
9. Hard to Manage
If the 5 minutes you used to spend on styling your hair in the morning are turning into a tedious half an hour, your locks are most likely damaged by the heat. Damaged hair is hard to style. It keeps becoming frizzy and the strands tend to look messy. If you are ending up wearing a ponytail just because holding the hair in place is impossible, consider new styling methods that don’t include heat.
10. The Wrong Hair Color
Damaged porous hair absorbs too much color. So if you are using the same dye you’ve always used but seeing a completely different result, your hair is damaged.
These heat damaged hair symptoms come one by one or in bulk. If you realize that you have head-damaged locks, stop using all the heat producing styling tools and start nourishing your hair.