7 Signs That Your Hair Is Unhealthy

Many people are concerned with their hair health, and for good reason. The way you style and wear your hair is a primary presentation of who you are—it’s one of the few ways you present yourself to people through a first impression. You might concern yourself with how your hair looks for social reasons, but what else could your hair be telling you?

With a closer look into your hair anatomy, you can determine whether your hair is healthy or not. There are numerous causes that can cause hair to become unhealthy, and each of them leads to different symptoms you should look out for. If you're interested in hair regrowth options, including laser caps for hair growth, you can find solutions to address these issues and maintain healthy hair

Close up of a balding man in his early 30's touching the top of his forehead with a concerned look

Causes of Unhealthy Hair

Bleaching and Coloring

Bleaching and dying your hair might seem like common things to do—something that is unobtrusive and relatively harmless, but it is actually very unhealthy to do to your hair. Whenever you bleach and dye your hair, you are effectively forcing each of your cuticles to open so they can become porous.

This act of exposing the cuticle allows for the removal of the previous pigment of your hair color, but it also means that your hair is becoming weaker, making it more prone to breakage, drying, and split ends. The harm is that this chemical effect lasts as long as the chemical is interacting with your hair, meaning that it can last up to two months’ time.

Unbalanced Diet

A poor diet can have disastrous effects on your body, mind, and hair. If your hair appears to be lacking shine, looking weak, or appearing thinner, it might be due to your diet. There are many dietary insufficiencies that can lead to damaged hair, but the two most common are insufficiencies in both protein and required nutritional supplements. Diets high in processed foods generally have a higher correlation with health issues, and the same goes for your hair. The issue with highly processed foods is that they are often lacking in natural ingredients, instead favoring chemicals and preservatives that, while tasty, provide little to no nutritional benefits to your body. Due to this lack of nutrition, your hair is likely to become weaker, thinner, and all-around unhealthier. A lack of protein will cause similar occurrences, particularly because your body relies on essential proteins to strengthen qualities such as your hair, fingernails, and muscles.

Certain Hairstyles

While you might styling your hair in a specific way for an event or a date, whether it is a tight ponytail, braids, extensions, or man bun, these types of styles can have long-lasting negative effects on the health of your hair. The excessive tension brought about by such hairstyles can lead to damage taking place at the inner part of the hair anatomy, loading stress directly into the follicle and leading to eventual breakage. In most cases, the effects of these hairstyles will be seen in the areas where most of the tension is loaded—for a ponytail or man bun, this would be along the hairline, from the temples to forehead.

Too Much Hair Care

Shampooing, conditioning, and brushing might be helpful, but too much care can actually be a bad thing. Shampooing and conditioning are effective methods to ensure that excess oil and dirt are removed from your hair while your scalp is moisturized and cleaned; however, performing these haircare acts too often can cause you to wash away natural oils, such as sebum, which are necessary for maintaining the health of your hair anatomy. Sebum protects and nourishes your cuticles, and when it is stripped away it leads to hair becoming dry, brittle, and weaker.

Brushing, on the other hand, causes similar damage as seen in a tight ponytail—by pulling a brush through your hair, you are exerting a great deal of tension that can tear hair out, damaging the scalp for the future. This is especially true when combing hair that is wet, as clumps of hair are far more likely to be damaged and torn under such conditions.

A woman is holding the tip of her hair with a concerned look on her face

What Does Damaged Hair Look Like: 7 Signs Your Hair Is Unhealthy

1. Split Ends

Split ends are one of the most common signs people will notice, or understand, as being a characteristic of damaged hair. Split ends are normally seen by scanning the tips of your hair. The easiest thing to look for is to inspect a single strand of hair. If you find a strand of hair that is split in two, this is a sign of a split end. Hairs around your face are more likely to become damaged, solely because you tend to run your hands through them throughout the day.

2. Dull Appearance

A common sign of damaged hair is hair that looks plain, boring, and dull. Healthy hair should have a natural shine to it—one that appears reflective in light and shows the natural coloring of your hair. The reason for this is that your hair cuticles better reflect light than those that are damaged. If your hair appears lackluster and dull under direct sunlight, even after shampooing and conditioning, your hair might be damaged.

3. Rough to the Touch

Along with checking for split ends, one of the easier ways to check for unhealthy hair is to run your fingers through it. By running your fingers through your hair, you can check for general smoothness and roughness. If at any point your hair feels rough, dry, and brittle and as if random strands are sticking out, this is a sign that your hair is unhealthy and damaged. Under such circumstances, you should consider seeking out treatment for your hair as quickly as possible and not let your damaged hair continue to grow out.

4. Looks Flatter

Healthy hair is both strong and elastic. A single strand of hair can undergo some tension and be able to be pulled and stretched without undergoing any breaking. Unhealthy hair, on the other hand, will snap and break very easily. There are many reasons for this difference, all of which take place at the micro-scale of your hair anatomy, but, most often, it is due to dryness, brittleness, and nutritional deficiency. If your hair does not bounce back to its original shape, upon being pulled, and does not stretch, it is likely a sign that your hair is unhealthy.

5. Overly Dry

Dry hair is not a direct sign of damaged hair—if you’ve spent your day out on the beach, lounging in the sun, it’s likely that your hair will be dry by the end of it. But overly dry hair is a bad sign. Conditioning is a good way to check to see if the characteristic of your hair anatomy is dryness or if it is just a symptom of something else. If conditioning seems to do nothing for your hair, and it still appears dry and lacking shine, your hair is likely in an unhealthy state.

6. Unnecessarily Tangled

Take a brush to your hair, or simply run your fingers through it. Did you hit a few snags along the way? This might be a sign of unhealthy hair. Your cuticles should often lie flat so that hairs can sit and slide against one another; when your hair is damaged, the cuticles will end up becoming raised, leading to hair feeling drier and for hair to become more easily entangled. A few snags here and there shouldn’t be cause for concern if noticed every once in a while, but having usually entangled knots is a bad sign.

7. Noticeable Hair Loss and Thinning

If you’ve been noticing more hair accumulating in your shower or drain or getting pulled out whenever you brush your hair, it might be a sign that your hair is entering an unhealthy stage. Hair shedding is normal, but excessive amounts of hair shedding should be taken seriously. If not treated in time, this could lead to eventual hair loss, when your hair thins and bald spots begin to crop up.

Can I Reverse My Damaged Hair?

In some cases, reversing damaged hair is possible. Through medications, therapies and treatments, you can start to undo thinning hair - especially if you use Capillus caps. Capillus caps use low-level laser technology (LLLT) to help stimulate hair growth in just 6 minutes a day. Browse our laser hair growth caps and see which treatment option is best for you

Caring for Unhealthy Hair

Trim Brittle & Damaged Ends

If you’ve noticed brittle, frayed, and split ends, it might be time for a haircut. It might sound like a simple fix, but it honestly works. Trimming your damaged ends is a surefire way to remove unhealthy layers, allowing your hair to effectively continue growing with a healthy strand to start with. While some people might think a full haircut is necessary, this is not the case. A slight trim is often enough to allow your hair to keep growing into its healthiest state.

Avoid Coloring Your Hair

Chemicals are bad for your hair. Simple enough: If you’re thinking of treating your hair, stay away from bleach and chemical additives and, instead, reach for products made with natural ingredients.

Stop Using Hot Styling Devices

Just as certain high-tension hairstyles can lead to long-term hair damage (and should be avoided), the usage of hot styling devices—curling irons, blow dryers—can also lead to serious hair damage. Applied heat is one of the worst things you can do to your hair, as it is an easy way to damage, dry, and fray hair cuticles, and it is a more permanent way of damaging already unhealthy cuticles. Your best option is to either towel dry your hair or let it dry naturally. If you do decide to use a blow dryer, you should use it on the lowest setting, as too high of a heat will immediately dry and damage your hair.

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Hair Regrowth Treatment

If you are experiencing serious shedding, thinning, or overall hair loss, it might be time for you to consider undertaking hair regrowth treatment. At Capillus, our products are designed to help restore and revitalize your hair from the very basic characteristics of the hair anatomy. By utilizing technology that prioritizes therapy focused on treating the follicles of the scalp, our products are designed to enhance the health of your hair, right down to the capillaries of each follicle. Our products are separated into two separate categories: our laser caps and our clinical hair care products.

Our laser caps are constructed to use low-level laser therapy (LLLT) treatment, a safe and effective method of inducing regrowth from the very base of the hair anatomy. By utilizing LLLT, hair follicles are being induced by an increase in blood flow, which, in turn, is intended to force hair back into a stage of regrowth. These caps, which can be easily worn on the go, need to be worn for just six minutes a day, making treatment simple and cohesive.

The line of our clinical hair care products is best used in conjunction with our laser caps, helping to activate and revitalize hair follicles while cleaning hair of possible toxins and debris that might slow the process of hair regrowth. When added to your treatment regimen, alongside your daily laser cap ritual, your hair receives a bounty of useful products all intended to reactivate hair growth. By focusing on treating hair anatomy, our products work to effectively improve the condition and health of your hair.

Noticing unhealthy hair is the first step in the process. Once you have identified that your hair anatomy is damaged and requires treatment, your next step then comes down to identifying what the primary cause of this hair damage was. If you cannot identify it on your own, it might be time to speak with a dermatologist.

Once you and a medical professional have determined the cause of your unhealthy hair, it then comes time to treat it. If you’re noticing severe thinning and shedding, it might be best to consider relying on the Capillus treatment method. Designed to induce regrowth from the base of your hair anatomy, the health of your hair will be the primary focus of treatment, leaving you with fuller, healthier hair.

If you have any questions about our products or how they can help heal your unhealthy hair, consider reaching out to us. We’d love to have one of our hair regrowth experts speak directly with you.

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