Beautiful, shinning hair is a valuable asset. Hair can also be a versatile fashion accessory, to be colored, curled, dressed up, or smoothed down – all in a matter of minutes. A daily haircare routine and prompt treatment when problems arise are therefore of vital importance in maintaining the natural beauty of healthy hair.
Surprising ways you might be taxing your tresses, and the easy fixes.
What’s your damage?
Check the Bulb
Pluck out a strand of hair at the root and examine the base. Strong hair has a thick bulb. “If there’s no bulb, the hair follicle isn’t healthy.” The cause? Damage from styling or, potentially, genetically linked hair loss.
Give it a Tug
Wrap a strand of hair around your index finger and thumb (like a piece of string), then use your other hand to tug on it. If it snaps immediately, your hair is lacking moisture: if it stretches “like bubble gum”, it needs protein, which strengthens the hair’s keratin bonds.
Do the “Sink or Float” Test
Drop a strand of hair into a glass of water. A healthy strand will float. If it sinks, the shaft is porous. This can happen to color-treated hair, but it can also occur with a protein deficiency.
To get a fair picture of your hair’s overall health, repeat tests on at least four strands from different parts of your head, suggests Donna Maggi, education manager of Nioxin, a hair-and scalp-care company.