Is My Hair Dry, Damaged, or Over-proteinized, and What Are the Causes?

AgingHairFeedHave you ever noticed that dry, damaged, and over-proteinized hair can often look the same? ’Cause we have. Whether your hair is dry, damaged, or over-proteinized, trying to tell the difference on your own can be tough. Don’t stress, beauty, once you recognize how to diagnose your hair concern, it becomes so much easier to treat the actual cause.

How to tell if your hair is dry: 

Split ends, a frizzy or dull look, and a brittle feeling are indicators that your hair is craving some moisture. There are many reasons that your hair could be lacking hydration. Let’s talk about some of the causes of dry hair. 

Living in a dry climate

Dry hair is a result of a lack of hydration given to or retained in the hair. This results in a frizzy or dull look. Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil is a total game-changer; It’s light, yet extremely hydrating. It is also a UV and thermal protectant, and even reduces your blow-dry time by helping the hair dry faster. This product can be used all year long to hydrate and protect your strands. 

Washing your hair too often

The job of a shampoo is to strip impurities from the scalp and hair. Along with stripping impurities, shampoo also washes away nutrient-rich oils that the scalp produces. Of course, we don’t want oils to build upon our scalp–even nutrient-rich oils, however, we don't want to strip away too often either. How often to wash your hair will depend on a few factors–mostly the texture of your hair and your lifestyle.

There is not a universal answer to the question of how often you should wash your hair. Generally speaking, for very fine to fine hair, washing every other day is recommended. For medium textured hair, washing two to three times a week is best. For coarse, thirsty hair, washing once to twice a week is recommended. If the idea of going longer between each wash feels intimidating, we recommend Bumble and Bumble’s Pret-A-Powder Dry Shampoo.This light powder absorbs excess oil without stripping the hair and scalp or leaving a white residue. 

Using a shampoo that strips the hair of hydration

If you can tell your tresses are feeling thirsty, it could be time to switch up your shampoo and conditioner. Volumizing shampoos and conditioners are great for a special occasion when you might be rocking some curls or an updo, however, for those with dry hair a volumizing shampoo and conditioner should be used in rotation along with a combo that adds some hydration. An industry favorite is Bumble and Bumble’s Quenching Shampoo and Conditioner. Similar to washing your hair too often, using a volumizing or clarifying shampoo too often–or without replenishing your strands with a deep conditioner–can remove all the sebum from your scalp and hair, including the sebum that is beneficial. 

Waiting too long to book that haircut

We get it, shelling out the cash for a haircut or imagining losing that length that you’ve worked hard for isn’t always appealing. Once your ends are split or feeling extremely dry, it’s time to bite the bullet. There are so many amazing products that can help hydrate and heal dry hair, but at a certain point, a haircut is inevitable for a fresh start. We recommend a haircut at least every 8 weeks. 

How to tell if your hair is damaged: 

If you’re anything like the average beauty junkie, surely your hair has been exposed to some serious damage. Chemical treatments, heat styling, wind, and UV rays can cause damage to your hair. Are you noticing broken-off hair strands in your sink as you brush? Have split ends worked their way from your ends up onto your strands? Does your hair feel brittle, or is it so porous it retains water? This is your hair telling you that it is so thirsty, it will even hold onto water, which provides no nutrients. These are the signs that your hair is past the point of dryness and is actually damaged. Read on to understand some of the causes of damaged hair. 

Styling without a heat protectant

Using a styling tool without first applying a thermal protectant is one of the most common causes of damaged hair. Some professional styling tools can get as hot as 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Needless to say, this level of heat can cause severe damage. No need to swear off your styling tools though. There are so many heat protectants to choose from these days, and usually, a good heat protectant will offer other benefits. Whether you prefer a protectant that will give you a good hold, or a smoothing protectant that will eliminate frizz, there’s no need to damage your strands by directly exposing them to heat. 

Chemically treating your hair without proper knowledge 

If you are thinking about, or have already lightened your hair, chances are you’ll need to stock up on some treatments to cancel out the damage that has been done. Let’s face it: the truth is lightening the hair will cause some amount of damage. It’s just the way it is. By no means does this mean you should never lighten your hair again though. Many fine-haired individuals will even vouch for the volumizing benefits of a roughed-up cuticle caused by bleach. Don’t be afraid of lightening your hair, just keep in mind a few essential tips to follow before taking the leap.

  • See a professional - Seeing a professional will save you from stress and from having to get a color correction down the line. We know it can be tempting to lighten your hair on your own. Lightening your own hair can be done, but it’s a lot harder than it can seem. A licensed cosmetologist will know what your hair can handle and also how to get your hair the tone you desire.
  • Reign in your expectations - Understand that if you have dark hair, it will likely take more than one salon visit to lift your strands to the level that you have in mind. Whether you’re seeing a professional or venturing to lighten your strands yourself, understand that respecting the integrity of your hair is top priority. Just Google hair bleach horror stories if you need a reminder 😉 
  • Wait until it’s in your budget - Plan on stocking up on Bumble and Bumble Mending Shampoo and Conditioner, which combine a blend of nourishing and restoring ingredients to treat hair damage from treatments like hair lightening, perms, and chemical straighteners. You’ll also want to invest in a Restorative Mask to keep those strands healthy long after you’ve visited your hair professional. 

How to tell if your hair is over-proteinized:

If your hair is feeling dry and brittle, or you’ve been experiencing breakage despite using protein-or keratin-rich treatments, your hair might be over-proteinized. What this means is that too much protein has been deposited into your hair, which can throw off the moisture balance. 

Too much of a good thing

As always, too much of a good thing will never get you what you want. The products we’ve talked about to treat damaged hair could leave to over-proteinized hair. Keratin and protein for hair can be extremely beneficial, but not when overused. Just as we talked about rotating volumizing products, it is important not to use too much of a product meant to treat damaged hair. A protein-rich hair mask should usually be limited to once a week, so keep an eye on those ingredients to know if you could overuse a product.


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Posted by Sasha Booker

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