Have you ever wondered what classifies hair as healthy or damaged? I mean, you can probably just look at it and tell the difference between healthy and damaged hair, but do you really know what is going on up close? In this post, I am going to teach you about five attributes of healthy hair…
1. No Split Ends
This picture is pretty terrifying, isn’t it?
That is what damaged hair with split ends looks like under a microscope. But the more terrifying thing about this is that most people probably have split ends.
They come from styling your hair with heat, chemical processes (like color and perms) and even the elements of nature (wind, sun, etc).
Regardless of what hair product companies are trying to sell you, the only real way to get rid of split ends are to cut them off. This is why it is recommended to get your hair cut every 6-8 weeks.
Like most of the human body, your hair craves moisture. When it is lacking moisture, it appears to be dull, lifeless and dry.
Since hair is not alive, moisture helps the cuticle repair itself, but if moisture is not present, the hair will become brittle and break.
Porosity is the ability to absorb water, like a sponge. Hair should be able to absorb a normal amount of water and retain it for as long as it needs to.
This happens because the cuticle is open just enough to let in water molecules and hold them in for the time.
However, the more processed your hair becomes, the more porous it becomes as well. Each time you color or bleach your hair, you are opening up the cuticle.
When your hair becomes so overprocessed that the cuticle cannot close, it will not hold any moisture. It also has a harder time holding color molecules so you will not be able to color over it (like many people think).
The best way to treat porous hair is to use a reconstructor. This will help fill in gaps caused by the open cuticle, allowing water to stay in the hair shaft.
Healthy hair is pretty elastic, meaning it can stretch to 50% of its original length without breaking. It should also bounce back to where it started with no problems.
You can test your hair elasticity by pulling out a piece of hair and trying to stretch it. If it breaks, it was obviously not too healthy. But if it stretches out and then bounces back, you are in good shape.
Similar to porosity, the smoothness of hair depends on the condition of the cuticle.
If the cuticle is open, hair will appear to be frizzy and dull. If the cuticle is closed, the hair will appear to be smooth and shiny. A quick way to help close the cuticle is to rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar or blast your hair with ice-cold water before you get out of the shower.
Are there any other healthy hair attributes you can think of? How healthy is your hair? I’d love to read your feedback in the comments section below…