Hair is our crowning glory. We all want beautiful hair that is thick, luscious, soft and smooth. Before having said beautiful hair, we need to assess the condition of our locks so that your hair will turn out beautiful.
Here are the signs of healthy, beautiful hair:
Shiny hair is one of the initial indicators that your hair is healthy. This is because of two reasons; the cuticles and the natural oils in the hair.
First, shiny hair is the result of a smooth, flat-lying cuticles. It is the shingle-shaped outer layer of our hair that has the job of protecting a sponge-like shaft beneath. When its “shingles” are sitting tightly overlapped on top of the cuticles, it will reflect light and your hair will look shiny. On the contrary, damaged hair would appear lifeless and dull.
Second, shiny hair means that the natural oils in the scalp are able to reach the hair cuticles that spreads evenly across the hair shaft from the scalp to the ends of the hair. These natural oils will get clogged into your hair if you frequently use hair products. Traces of hairspray, gel, or serum that are not cleaned properly can dull hair and cause it to lose its luster.
- Soft to the Touch
Other than shine, hair that is soft to the touch is also another indicator of healthy hair. The test to this is by running your fingers through your hair. If your hair is properly moisturized, your hair will be smooth and soft when you run your fingers through. If not, this means that your hair is turning brittle from being dry, therefore breaking at the ends.
The next sign of healthy hair are tangles in the hair. Tangles, especially when brushing your hair indicates that the hair is dry with not enough natural oils to moisturize it. On the other hand, the smooth surface of a closed healthy cuticle makes it easier to brush through. The condition of tangling itself is caused by hair that is too dry so that it is not lubricated with natural oils. Eventually hair with rough shafts gets caught in the other hair. The cuticle that is damaged and rubs together needs to be treated with conditioner.
- Elastic, with Minimum Breakage
Have you ever experienced hair that breaks or falls out easily? This is due to hair that is not elastic enough. Hair with elastic qualities can return to its original shape when it is stretched. This results in stronger hair, for it does not break easily when combed. Elastic hair is obtained from a healthy, nutritious diet. Consuming essential macronutrients and micronutrients such as protein, vitamins, iron, and biotin can also nourish hair.
Not only that, but poor elasticity can lead to excess breakage and frizz. To check elasticity, start with wet hair. Take a strand, and stretch it slightly. The strand is supposed to bounce back into place when you let go. If it does, then your hair is in great shape. Strands that break when pulled may be over-processed and are definitely in need of a little TLC. Brushing your hair can also give you a good indication of whether or not your hair is truly healthy.
- Hair Growth
Other than observing how your hair looks and how it feels, growth is also something to watch out for. Most of the time, healthy hair growth is about half an inch per month. However, if it grows at a slower rate than a quarter inch per month then something is wrong internally. This in conjunction with excessive shedding could signify a health issue with possibilities ranging from vitamin deficiency, a thyroid problem, or a poor reaction to a medication. You also need to be cautious if your hair seems like it’s not growing at all for multiple months and talk to a doctor if it really concerns you.
- Repel Water
One unique aspect of healthy hair is that it repels water. The reason why healthy hair does that is because the cuticles are closed. You can test this by placing a handful of hair into a bowl of water. Healthy strands will float while damaged hair with open cuticles allows water in, which will make it sink.
Another indicator of healthy or unhealthy hair is the duration it takes to dry hair. If it takes an unusually long time to dry, that’s an indicator that it’s extremely porous and over-processed.
Humidity can tell us a lot about the condition of your hair. If your hair is extremely damaged and porous, it will lose its ability to stand up to humidity. When there is moisture in the air, these strands will retain that water and respond by frizzing. On the other hand, if your hair is healthy it will take on its natural texture despite being faced with excessive moisture in the air. So if your locks are naturally straight, they will stay that way, and if they are curly, they will remain curly.