How To Diagnose Your Hair Damage + Why Your Conditioner Isn't Working

There are so many reasons that hair can be damaged: an unhealthy diet, the overuse of heated styling tools, improper brushing, chemical processing, over-exposure to the sun, the wrong hair accessories, and the list goes on.

We all want to try to repair our damaged hair, but most people don't realize that the type of conditioner we use should be based on the type of hair damage we have. There's no one treatment that suits every type of hair damage. For example, a protein treatment on dry, brittle hair can make matters even worse, leading to stiff, rough hair that breaks faster.

Understanding what type of damaged hair you have is key when deciding a treatment.

There are two types of damaged hair that can be temporarily helped with a conditioning treatment.

1. Hair that is dry, brittle, or rough needs softening, hydration, and moisturizing through fatty acid rich oils, aloe and nut butters.

2. Hair that is ultra fine, or chemically damaged to the point of having a mushy, cotton candy-like feel, needs protein.

How your hair will react to being stretched will help determine if you need a protein or moisture treatment. Find out what kind of hair damage you have with this elasticity test:

Take an inch of your hair and stretch it.

If it doesn’t stretch or breaks, it is brittle and damaged, your hair needs a moisture treatment.

If the hair stretches far and does not return and/or breaks, feels mushy, gummy or cotton candy-like, your hair needs a protein treatment.

If your hair stretches a bit, but then returns to its normal state, your protein and moisture are balanced.

Related reads:

Why You Should Put Down That Conditioner! (And Use Coconut Oil Instead)

3 Natural Solutions for Beautiful, Healthy Looking Hair

Why Your Shampoo & Conditioner Will Eventually Stop Working

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