Skip to Content

How to Tell if Your Hair is Damaged: Key Signs & What to Do About (2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

How to Tell if Your Hair is Damaged: Key Signs & What to Do AboutAre you concerned about the health of your hair? Do you feel like it’s been looking a little lackluster lately? If so, you might be wondering how to tell if your hair is damaged.

Fortunately, there are some key signs that can help you identify whether or not your hair is damaged. Keep reading to learn more about what to look for and what you can do to treat damaged hair.

What Causes Hair Damage?

There are many factors that can contribute to damaged hair, including over-processing with harsh chemicals, heat styling with hot tools, and overexposure to the sun.

When the outer layer of the hair (the cuticle) is damaged, it can lead to split ends, frizz, and overall dullness. In severe cases, damage can even penetrate the inner protein core of the hair, making it vulnerable to breakage.

1. Heat

One of the most common causes of hair damage is heat. Whether you’re using hot tools such as curling irons, flat irons, and blow dryers to style your hair or spending time in the sun, too much heat can damage your hair and lead to breakage.

If you notice that your hair is looking brittle or dry, or if you notice more split ends than usual, it may be a sign that your hair is damaged.

2. Styling Damage

Styling damage is another common cause of damaged hair. If you use heated styling tools on a daily basis, or if you often wear your hair in tight styles such as ponytails or buns, you may be damaging your hair. Over time, this styling damage can lead to breakage, split ends, and other signs of damage.

3. Chemical Bleaching And Coloring

Chemical bleaching and coloring can also damage your hair. If you frequently color or bleach your hair, you may be stripping it of its natural oils and causing it to become dry and brittle.

If you notice that your hair is losing its shine or that it’s beginning to look lifeless, it may be a sign of damage.

4. Lack Of Moisture

Lack of moisture is another common cause of damaged hair. If your hair is constantly exposed to the elements without being properly hydrated, it can become dry, brittle, and more susceptible to breakage.

If you live in a dry climate or if you don’t drink enough water, your hair may be at risk for damage.

5. Environmental Damage

Environmental damage can also cause your hair to become damaged. If you spend a lot of time outdoors or work in an environment exposed to harsh chemicals, your hair may be damaged by the sun, wind, or pollution.

If you notice that your hair is looking dull or lifeless, or if it’s beginning to fall out more than usual, it may be a sign of environmental damage.

How to Tell if Your Hair is Damaged

How to Tell if Your Hair is DamagedIf you’re concerned about the health of your hair, you might be wondering how to tell if your hair is damaged. Unfortunately, damaged hair can show up in a variety of ways, and it’s not always easy to tell if your locks are in need of some extra TLC.

However, there are some key signs to look out for that can help you identify whether your hair is damaged or in need of some repair.

If you’re seeing any of the following signs of hair damage, it’s time to take action to improve the health of your locks:

1. Split Ends

One of the clearest signs of damaged hair is split ends. When the protective outer layer of your hair is damaged, the inner protein core becomes exposed and susceptible to further damage.

2. Dryness

Another common sign of damaged hair is dryness. Damaged hair often looks and feels dry, brittle, and lifeless. If your hair is frequently tangling or breaking, it’s likely because it’s lacking moisture.

3. Hair Loss or Thinning

While some hair loss is normal (we shed an average of 100 strands per day), excessive hair loss or thinning can be a sign of damage. If your hair is thinning or falling out in clumps, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying health conditions.

4. Breakage

Breakage is another common sign of damaged hair. If your hair is frequently snapping or breaking, it’s a clear sign that it’s not as healthy as it should be.

5. Frizz and Flyaways

How to Tell if Your Hair is Damaged: Frizz and FlyawaysDamaged hair is often more prone to frizz and flyaways. This is because the cuticle, the outermost layer of your hair, is damaged and no longer able to lay flat. As a result, individual strands of hair are more likely to stick up and out, resulting in frizz and flyaways.

6. Curls Stop Forming

If you’re noticing that your once-curly hair is now straight or wavy, it could be a sign of damage. When your hair is damaged, the protein bonds that give it structure are weakened, resulting in a loss of curl.

7. Patches of Short Hair

One of the most dramatic signs of hair damage is patches of short hair. This can happen when the hair is severely damaged and breaks off at the root. If you see patches of short hair on your head, it’s important to see a doctor or dermatologist to rule out any underlying health conditions.

How To Treat Damaged Hair

How To Treat Damaged HairYour hair is your crowning glory, so you want to do everything you can to keep it looking its best. Unfortunately, damage is inevitable. Whether it’s from heat styling, chemical treatments, or just everyday wear and tear, at some point, your hair is going to show signs of damage.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to treat damaged hair and get it looking healthy and lustrous again. Here are some of the best ways to treat damaged hair:

Use a deep conditioner

Deep conditioners are essential for repairing damaged hair. They infuse your hair with moisture and nutrients, which can help to repair damaged cuticles and strands.

Use a hair mask

Hair masks are another great way to treat damaged hair. They’re usually more intensive than deep conditioners, so they’re perfect for really damaged hair.

Avoid heat styling

Heat styling is one of the worst things you can do for damaged hair. If you can, avoid it altogether. If you must heat style, be sure to use a heat protectant and use the lowest setting possible.

Get regular trims

Split ends are one of the main causes of damage, so getting regular trims is essential for keeping your hair healthy.

Use the Right Hair Care Products

Using the wrong hair care products can actually make the damage worse. Be sure to use products that are specifically formulated for damaged hair.

Following these tips, you can help repair damaged hair and make it look healthy and lustrous again.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can damaged hair be repaired?

Yes, damaged hair can be repaired with the right products and hair care routine. If you have split ends, you can use trimming scissors to cut them off. To reduce frizz, use a leave-in conditioner or hair mask. For heat damage, use heat protectants before using heated styling tools. If your hair is dull or lifeless, try using a deep conditioning treatment.

What Does Healthy Hair Feel Like?

Healthy hair should be soft and silky to the touch. It should be free of tangles and knots and should have a healthy shine. If your hair is feeling dry, brittle, or lifeless, it’s a sign that it’s damaged and in need of some extra love and care.

Can I use coconut oil on damaged hair?

Yes, you can use coconut oil on damaged hair. Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that can help to hydrate and nourish your hair. It can also help to protect your hair from further damage.

Will damaged hair have healthy growth?

Damaged hair can still have healthy growth. However, it’s important to take care of your hair to prevent further damage. This includes using gentle hair care products, avoiding heat styling, and using protective hairstyles.

What does very damaged hair look like?

Very damaged hair can look dry, brittle, and lifeless. It can be difficult to style, and may break easily. If your hair is showing signs of severe damage, it’s important to seek professional help.

What are some treatments for damaged hair?

Treatments for damaged hair include using protein treatments, deep conditioning, and microfiber towels. You can also combat split ends by getting regular trims and using hair care products that contain natural oils.

How can you prevent damage to your hair?

You can prevent damage to your hair by using heat protectants when styling, avoiding excessive heat exposure, and using gentle hair care products. You should also avoid using harsh chemicals and tie your hair back when doing activities that could cause damage.


If you’re noticing any of the key signs of damaged hair, it’s time to take action! There are a few things you can do to repair damaged hair, including using protein treatments, deep conditioning, and avoiding heated tools.

By following these tips, you can get your hair back to looking and feeling its best in no time.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.