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Is Your Hair Damaged? Or Just Dry?

I've always wondered what the difference between dry hair and damaged hair is. And how in the world you could tell the difference? Apparently, most trained stylists can take one look at your hair and tell the difference, but to the untrained eye, it might be a little harder.



Dry vs Damaged

Dry hair will be really dull, where as damaged hair will have no pigment, no shine, and can feel cotton candy like. Dry hair often has split ends, can feel very coarse, and appear very lifeless. Kimberly from Lisa Rene Salon in Naperville, IL says, “When I’m working with a client, it’s so much easier to help them with dry hair. Compared to damaged hair, dry hair is almost instantly cure-able while damaged hair usually requires a cut and growing back fresh hair.”



To test your hair at home there are a few options:

Flexibility –If you pull a hair out, wrap it around your fingers (like floss), how far can you stretch it before it breaks. The more ‘give’ you hair has, the more moisture it has.

Length of Shed Hair – Look to see where your hair is shedding. Is it shedding from the root or is breaking off half way down the shaft? If it’s breaking off, that could mean it’s dry.

Texture- Feel your hair, does it feel like straw? That probably means it’s damaged. If it feels coarse then it’s probably dry hair you’re dealing with.


Repairing with Moisture


Start off with a great moisturizing shampoo like Rusk Sensories Moist Hydrating Shampoo.  Next Kimberly recommends lightly towel drying your hair and applying a deep conditioning treatment or masque like AG Hair Fast Food. Kimberly says “Start where your hair is the driest which is usually at the ends and then work it through the rest of your hair.” After 15-20 minutes rinse it out with cool water to close the cuticle and seal it all in. Follow it up with Rusk Sensories Moist Conditioner and again work through the ends first, don’t forget to rinse well.


Preventing Dry Hair:

- Do a deep conditioning treatment or masque once a week, especially around season changes.

- Try to cut back on heated styling. Aim to let your hair go au natural for at least one day a week.

- If you do blow-dry and curl or straighten daily, be sure to use a thermal protector.

Sometimes no matter what you do, your hair could end up dry due to the environment that you live it, air pollution, or seasonal changes. Just be sure to look for the signs and take care of your hair when it is dry.

What do you do to give your hair a little extra TLC?

MORE: lifeless hair, hair flexibility, dull hair, dry hair, damaged hair