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How to Test Hair Health: Tips to Assess Your Hair and How to Revive it

How to Test Hair Health: Tips to Assess Your Hair and How to Revive it

Our hair is not just our crowning glory, it also protects our head from sunburn and provides a little cushioning for the skull. More often than not, we abuse our hair by exposing it frequently to strong chemicals and leaving it dry, breakable and dull. So before you bleach your hair to try that new trendy color, know first if your hair can withstand the treatment. Here’s how to test hair health.

How to Test Hair Health

Before exposing your hair to harmful chemicals, here are some ways on how to test hair health. Assess the following:

Hair Porosity

Hair porosity refers to the ability of your hair to retain and absorb moisture. Damaged hair is highly porous, which means the cuticle or the outermost layer of the hair is raised, exposing the inner part of the hair (cortex).

Check for this by using your index finger and middle finger, and then feel the strands between your fingers. If it feels coarse and rough, you most likely have porous hair.

Healthy hair follicle

The hair follicle is the part of the skin where the root of the hair is attached to.

Take one strand of your hair and wrap it around your hand. Locate its root and pluck it out as close to your scalp as possible.

Check the root of the hair. If there is a bulb-shaped structure, in the end, your hair is healthy. If it looks flat, or the root does not have any form in it, then most likely your hair is damaged.

Damaged follicles can mean the hair is weak. Strands can grow too thin or not at all.

Hair elasticity

Hair elasticity can tell us how strong your hair is.

To check this, take a strand of your hair and stretch it. If it stretches by at least 30% before it breaks, then your hair is healthy. If it breaks at less than 30% or if it breaks almost as soon as you try to stretch it, then most likely our hair is damaged.

What is Damaged Hair?

It’s almost easy to know if your hair is damaged just by looking at it and feeling it. To know if your hair is damaged, here are some factors to take a look at:

  • A rough or coarse texture
  • Lack of moisture
  • Lack of luster
  • Looks dull and dry
  • Takes too long to untangle
  • Hair color fades faster
  • Hair dries too fast

Split Ends

One of the things to look at when assessing hair health is the number of split ends on your hair strand. Trichoptilosis, commonly known as split ends is the splitting of the hair fiber at the end of the strand.

Split ends are a sign that the hair has suffered a form of damage. They are a result of the hair becoming brittle, coarse, and dehydrated.

The best way to get rid of split ends is to trim the hair.

Hair Loss vs Hair Shedding

It is normal for strands of your hair to fall out. The typical person can shed around 50-100 strands a day. Hair loss and hair shedding are different. While the latter is typical, the latter, on the other hand, refers to the inability of the hair to grow.

Hair loss can be caused by a lot of factors such as genetics and drugs but hair loss can also occur because of harsh hair products and too much styling.

Remedies to Damaged Hair

Styling, coloring, and using the wrong hair products can lead to brittle, coarse, and dull hair. Although hair can be damaged, it can still recover and appear lustrous again.

Here are some tips to revive damaged hair:

  • Don’t overwash your hair as you will lose the natural oils keeping your hair healthy.
  • Avoid using heating tools such as hair iron and hair curlers.
  • Lower the heat of your blow dryer. Air drying your hair can help retain more moisture.
  • Eat healthy food such as spinach, sweet potatoes, and salmon.
  • Avoid shampoos and conditioners that are too harsh that it strips the hair of its natural oils.
  • Using natural ingredients such as aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil can nourish your hair.

Key Takeaways

A lot of the things we do to our hair are damaging. Styling and using harsh products can cause our hair to become weak, coarse, and dull.

Before exposing the hair to harsh chemicals, make sure to assess if your hair can withstand the damage. Ways on how to test hair health include checking the porosity and elasticity of the hair. Damaging the hair by styling it too much can also lead to hair loss. However, although hair can be damaged, there are still tips we can follow to revive it.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Hair Elasticity Test in 3 Easy Steps (and why it’s so important you do it), https://botoxcapilar.org/en/hair-elasticity-test/, January 14, 2021

3 Main Reasons Why Your Natural Hair is Lacking Luster, https://www.seriouslynatural.org/2016/05/3-main-reasons-why-your-natural-hair-is.html, January 14, 2021

What Your Split Ends Are Telling You https://www.ogleschool.edu/blog/split-ends-telling/, January 14, 2021

DO YOU HAVE HAIR LOSS OR HAIR SHEDDING? https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/insider/shedding, January 14, 2021

Why Is My Hair Falling Out? https://www.chestercountyhospital.org/news/health-eliving-blog/2019/april/why-is-my-hair-falling-out, January 14, 2021

Trichoptilosis https://www.altmeyers.org/en/dermatology/trichoptilosis-121480, January 14, 2021

7 Ways To Fix Damaged Hair and Get Your Healthy Hair Back https://www.lifehack.org/529899/7-ways-fix-damaged-hair-and-get-your-healthy-hair-back, January 14, 2021

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Medical reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Louis Bienes
Updated Feb 18
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