signs of unhealthy hair
By Tamim Hamid Posted on 01/13/2022

9 Signs of Unhealthy Hair: Common Causes and Tips to Overcome

Having a luscious, vibrant mane is considered a symbol of beauty and vitality. The hair defines your style, personality, and presentation of who you are. Unfortunately, many people struggle with unhealthy hair. Unhealthy hair can manifest in various forms, from dullness and split ends to excessive shedding and breakage.

Understanding the basics of hair health is necessary to address the issues related to unhealthy hair. The health of your hair is influenced by many factors, which include lifestyle, diet, genetics, and how you take care of your hair. But before taking proper care, you need to find the signs of unhealthy hair, like dryness and brittleness. This article will explore the common causes of unhealthy hair and provide practical tips to maintain and restore hair health.

How Do You know If Your Hair is Damaged?

Detecting damaged hair involves assessing various signs and characteristics of your hair. Also, it is the first step toward restoring its health and vitality. While you cannot directly examine the hair follicles, there are visible signs and symptoms to look for:

9 Signs That Tell Your Hair Is Unhealthy

Unhealthy hair can manifest in various ways, indicating underlying issues with your hair and scalp health. Here are some common signs of unhealthy hair:

1. Dryness and Brittleness:

Dryness and brittleness are clear signs of unhealthy hair. When your hair lacks moisture, it becomes dry, making it feel rough and straw-like. Dry hair is vulnerable to breakage, which contributes to brittleness. Brittle hair is weak, making it more prone to damage and further breakage. Both dryness and brittleness can make your hair look dull, lifeless, and difficult to manage.

2. Split Ends:

Split ends are a clear indicator of unhealthy hair. When the tips of your hair become dry and brittle, they separate into two or more strands. Split ends occur due to damage and lack of proper care. Regular trims and moisturizing treatments can help prevent and reduce split ends, keeping your hair healthy and strong.

3. Excessive Hair Shedding:

It’s normal to lose some hair each day. However, excessive shedding could indicate an underlying health issue or improper hair care.

Find out how you can stop hair shedding.

4. Dull Appearance:

If your hair lacks shine and looks lifeless, it may have a dull appearance, a sign of unhealthy hair. Dull appearance can be caused by various factors, such as damage, excessive heat styling, or lack of proper hydration. Using nourishing hair products, minimizing heat exposure, and maintaining a balanced diet can help restore your hair's natural shine and vitality.

5. Excessive Oiliness

Hair that becomes excessively oily quickly after washing may indicate an overproduction of sebum, which various factors, including hormonal imbalances or improper hygiene.

6. Scalp Issues:

Dandruff, itchiness, or flakiness are the symptoms of scalp issues. Factors like dryness, underlying skin conditions, or product buildup, such as over toning, can cause scalp issues and damage the hair.

7. Thin or Thinning Hair:

Hair that is noticeably thin or experiencing excessive hair loss may indicate various issues, such as nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, or genetic factors.

8. Lack of Elasticity:

You can tell your hair is unhealthy if it lacks elasticity and can't stretch without breaking. If it lacks elasticity, it might be weak and more prone to breakage.

9. Color Changes or Fading:

The last sign of damaged hair is prone to color changes or fading. Exposure to harsh chemicals, excessive sunlight, or inadequate hair care can cause hair color to fade or change.

Common Causes of Unhealthy Hair

Unhealthy hair can be attributed to various factors, which include a poor diet, lack of hydration, overuse of hair care products, excessive heat styling, overuse of chemical treatments, neglecting a regular care routine, and chronic stress. Here are some common causes of unhealthy hair:

Impact of Diet on Hair Health

The food we consume plays a crucial role in the health of our hair. A diet that lacks essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals can lead to weak and dull hair. Ensuring a balanced diet with adequate protein, vitamins (especially A, C, D, and E), iron, and omega-3 fatty acids is key to maintaining healthy hair.

Importance of Hydration

Dehydration can make hair brittle and more prone to breakage. Adequate water intake is vital for maintaining hair health and overall body hydration, including the scalp.

The Role of Hair Care Products

Overusing or misusing hair products with harmful chemicals can damage the hair shaft and scalp, contributing to unhealthy hair. Opt for natural or gentle products and be mindful of the ingredients in your hair care regimen.

Excessive Heat Styling

Frequent use of healing tools like straighteners and curling irons can weaken the hair, causing it to become more dry and brittle. Limit the use of these tools and use a heat protectant spray.

Overuse of Chemical Treatments

Chemical treatments, such as perming, coloring, and relaxing, can cause significant damage to the hair structure if done excessively. Space out these treatments and ensure that your hair receives proper care and conditioning afterward.

Lack of Proper Hair Care Routine

One of the primary causes of unhealthy hair is a lack of a proper hair care routine. Neglecting a regular hair care routine, including washing, conditioning, and protecting, can lead to dirt and oil accumulation, making the hair unhealthy. You must develop a consistent hair care routine that suits your hair type and needs.

Stress and Its Effect on Hair

Chronic stress can disrupt the hair growth cycle, leading to excessive shedding and thinning of hair. Manage stress through relaxation techniques, exercise, or seeking professional help. These things can positively impact hair health.

Healthy Hair vs Unhealthy Hair

Understanding the differences between unhealthy and healthy hair is crucial for effective hair care and maintenance. Healthy and unhealthy hair can be easily distinguished based on appearance and condition. Healthy hair possesses a shiny and lustrous appearance, smooth and soft texture, and strength. It has a natural shine and reflects light, making it look vibrant. Healthy hair is also free from dryness, oiliness, dandruff, or irritation. It grows consistently and is not prone to excessive shedding or thinning.

On the other hand, unhealthy hair often appears dull and lacks luster. It may have a rough and brittle texture, making it prone to breakage. Unhealthy hair may have split ends, indicating damage to the hair shaft. It can also be dry and difficult to manage and style. Moreover, unhealthy hair may be excessively oily or have scalp issues like dandruff, itching, or redness. It lacks the elasticity that healthy hair possesses, making it weak and more prone to breakage.

Read More: How to Tell If Your Hair is Thick or Thin

Side-By-Side Comparison of Healthy Vs Unhealthy Hair

Factors Healthy Hair Unhealthy Hair


Healthy hair appears shiny, lustrous, and vibrant

Whereas unhealthy hair appears dull and lifeless
Texture Soft, smooth, and silky Rough, brittle, and dry
Scalp Health Balanced, moisturized, and not itchy Dry, flaky, and itchy
Strength Strong, resilient, and resistant to breakage Weak, prone to breakage and split ends
Hydration Well-moisturized and hydrated Dry, dehydrated, and prone to frizz
Hair Loss Minimal shedding and healthy hair growth Excessive hair loss and slow hair regrowth


How to Treat Unhealthy Hair

Healthy hair involves good hair care practices, a proper balanced diet, and a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips for unhealthy hair treatment and prevention:

Regular Washing and Conditioning

Wash your hair regularly with a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo to remove dirt, excess oil, and product buildup. Also, condition hair after every wash to keep it moisturized and manageable. Regular washing and conditioning can help detoxify your hair and maintain healthy hair.

Avoid Overwashing

Regular washing is important, but you should avoid washing your hair excessively since it can strip the natural oils from your hair and scalp that protect them.

Protect Your Hair from Heat

Limit the use of heated styling tools like straighteners, curling irons, and hair dryers. When you do use them, use a heat protectant spray.

Avoid Tight Hairstyles

Avoid tight ponytails, buns, or braids that can cause tension and breakage.

Balanced Diet

Eat a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, D, E, and B-complex vitamins, as well as minerals like zinc and iron.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water to keep your hair and scalp hydrated.

Protect Your Hair from the Sun

Wear a hat or use hair products with UV protection to shield your hair from sun damage. Sun damage can cause hair loss. Find out more.

Avoid Chemicals and Harsh Ingredients

Minimize the use of harsh chemicals in shampoos and treatments, such as perms, relaxers, and excessive hair coloring.

Stress Management

Manage stress through relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing, as stress can adversely affect hair health.

Regular Exercise

Engage in regular physical activity to improve circulation, which can benefit the health of your scalp and hair.

Read More: 7 Hair Growth Tips for Sexy Hair

How Theradome Can Help You

Theradome laser hair growth helmet can be an option if you are losing hair. Theradome helps stimulate hair growth using LLLT (Low-light Laser Therapy). The hair growth helmet can help you counter several forms of hair loss and improve the quality of your hair.

Take a step towards healthier, fuller hair with Theradome. Discover the potential of low-level laser therapy to revitalize and regrow your hair. Consult a professional and embark on your journey to stronger, more vibrant hair today. Don't wait—start your Theradome experience now and embrace a future of healthier, thicker locks!


Maintaining healthy hair is crucial for both appearance and overall health. But for proper healthy hair, you must learn to identify unhealthy hair. The signs of unhealthy hair include dryness and brittleness, split ends, excessive hair shedding, and a dull appearance. These issues can be caused by various factors, such as poor diet, dehydration, and excessive use of hair care products.

Furthermore, you can treat your unhealthy hair using natural methods: regular washing, protecting from heat, avoiding tight hairstyles, and maintaining a balanced diet. Besides them, you can explore innovative solutions like Theradome's laser hair growth helmet, which can further aid in regrowing hair, leading to healthier and fuller locks.


What does unhealthy hair look like?

Unhealthy hair can appear dry, dull, and brittle. It may have split ends, tangle easily, and lack shine. Additionally, it can have a rough texture and may experience excessive shedding or breakage.

How do you fix unhealthy hair?

To fix unhealthy hair, use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and avoid excessive heat styling. Trim the split ends regularly, protect your hair from environmental damage., Furthermore, maintain a balanced diet for overall hair health.

How can you tell if your hair is damaged?

You can tell if your hair is damaged by looking for signs such as dryness, split ends, and breakage. Damaged hair may feel rough and brittle, tangle easily, and lack shine.

What does healthy hair actually look like?

Healthy hair looks shiny and shiny. It feels smooth to the touch and has a balanced texture. Healthy hair is less prone to breakage and has minimal split ends.

What damages hair the most?

The most damaging factors for hair are excessive heat styling, chemical treatments such as bleaching and perming, and rough hair care practices like rough brushing and tight hairstyles.


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Tamim Hamid

Tamim Hamid

Inventor and CEO of Theradome

Sayyid Tamim Hamid, Ph.D, is the inventor of the world’s first FDA-cleared, wearable phototherapy device to prevent hair loss and thicken and regrow hair. Tamim, a former biomedical engineer at NASA and the inventor of Theradome, brings with him more than 38 years of expertise in product development, laser technology, and biomedical science. Tamim used his laser knowledge, fine-tuned at NASA, and combined it with his driving passion for helping others pursue a lifelong mission in hair loss and restoration. He is now one of the world’s leading experts.