4 Tests to Assess Hair Health
Are you struggling with getting your hair to behave? It could be a result of damaged hair. Over time we can grow accustomed to dealing with how our hair behaves, but it's important to understand what damage looks like so we can make adjustments to our routine as needed. Since damage occurs at a structural level, if left untreated it can lead to problems like difficulty coloring or styling and even breakage and hair loss. Take these 4 simple at home tests to help assess what's going on.
Split ends are a classic sign of hair damage. Individually, they seem like small, insignificant flaws, but they really add up and affect your overall look. Hair will start to look uneven and untidy and styling can become more difficult.
Test: Start by grabbing a small section of hair and examining your ends to see if there are any single strands of hair that have started to separate into 2 forming a V.
Healthy hair should have some elasticity, meaning it should allow for some stretch before it breaks. When hair moisture and protein levels are depleted, it loses this ability which can make hair prone to breakage, a telltale sign of damage.
Test: Pull out a single strand of wet hair and gently pull either end. If the hair snaps without stretching, you are most likely experiencing loss of protein and hydration resulting in less elasticity.
Hair porosity refers to how well your hair absorbs and retains moisture. Ideally you want it to be somewhere in the middle. If porosity is too low it means that your cuticle is closed tight and water, product and even hair color will have a hard time penetrating. On the other hand, if hair is too porous the cuticle is not smooth and hair will start to show signs of frizz and dullness.
Test: Starting with clean hair, comb out a few pieces of hair. Place those strands in a glass of water and see how they behave. Healthy hair will sink slowly as it absorbs the water. If the hair floats, it means porosity is low and if the hair immediately sinks it indicates high porosity.
If you want to learn more about how to care for low, medium, and high porosity hair, we have a whole post on it here!
Dullness: When the cuticle is laying flat, the even surface helps to reflect light, making hair appear shiny and healthy. If the cuticle gets roughed up and damaged it will absorb the light- leaving hair looking lackluster.
Test: This one's pretty simple. Run your fingers through your hair in the sunlight and see how the light reflects. Shine will indicate a healthy, closed cuticle. Lack of shine could mean that the cuticle is raised and absorbing the light.