Whether your hair is long, short or somewhere in between, I'm sure you're concerned about the health of your hair. Regardless if you get regular trims or haven't seen the inside of a salon in years, healthy hair is a major key to looking polished and put-together. I've had pretty long hair most of my life, and I've dealt with my fair share of problems like split ends, bad dye jobs and a serious addiction to the flatiron in high school. Luckily, I now know the one quick way to test if my hair is healthy, so I'm up to date on when I need to hit up the salon for a trim or lay off the heat tools.
So what should you be doing to gauge your hair's health? Check your hair porosity, or how absorbent it is. It sounds more complicated than it actually is. Basically, when hair is healthy, it'll react to water differently than if it's not. Hair stylist Elizabeth Maloy broke it down for InStyle.
“Pull a section of hair smooth and very taut between your fingers,” she says. “Add a drop of water onto the surface of the section, counting how long it takes to disappear. If the water is absorbed by the hair in less than ten seconds, the cuticle is compromised and strands are too damaged to be dyed properly.”
I only color my hair once in a blue moon, so when I initially saw this trick, I figured it wouldn't apply to my hair. But after trying it out, I'm convinced. I've done this to my hair before, and the water absorbed very quickly. However, after laying off the heat tools over the holidays and getting a trim, my hair absorbed water much more slowly.
If your hair isn't long enough for this test, you can also pluck a strand of hair, place it in a bowl of water and see if it sinks or floats. This article breaks down the process and why this experiment works.
So, what should you be doing if the test indicates your hair is damaged? First of all, lay off the heat tools for a few weeks. I promise your hair will thank you. Next...
Set Up A Regular Deep Conditioning Routine
Deep conditioning is key to keeping your hair healthy. I recommend you follow my schedule, which is a face mask and deep conditioner every week while I'm watching The Bachelor.
Avoid Washing Your Hair Every Day
Dry shampoos will keep your hair looking clean and prevent damage from blowdrying. This cult classic is my new fave because it actually makes my hair feel clean instead of powdery.
Remember, if your hair is beyond repair, get yourself to a stylist stat. A professional will be the best person to tell you what your hair needs to get healthy, whether that's a trim or a break from bleach. And now, you can test hair health at home.
Want more beauty tips? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!
Images: Lauren Rushing/Flickr; Isla Murray/Bustle;Courtesy of Brands