1. Healthy hair: This is healthy hair. In a perfect world our hair under the microscope would look like this all the time. The cuticle (the outer layer) lays smooth with all of its “scales” lined up and flat, one on top of the other. Flat cuticles = smooth surface. Smooth surface = light reflection. Light reflection = more SHINE! But…it’s not a perfect world…
  2. Slightly raised cuticles: This is what the average person’s hair looks like if they use a blow dryer. The other cause of slightly raised cuticle can be towel drying. When towel drying it’s important to be gentle, not rough. Work your way down the hair or gently scrunch it if you’re going for waves.
  3. Extremely raised cuticle: Main causes of this damage are bleaching, over-processing with color, over-styling with heat, using too many alcohol based products in conjunction with heat styling, shampooing and not conditioning, etc. When your cuticle looks like this, your hair will appear dull, and lifeless because it can’t reflect shine when the surface is broken up. If you don’t change your routine, you’ll be looking at breakage very soon.
  4. This hair WILL eventually break off: This is most likely caused by harsh detangling. Never rush through a knot. Take your time and comb it out slowly. We also recommend getting knots out with a brush instead of a comb. Sometimes the single row of teeth on a comb can actually tighten the knot. We always work knots out slowly with a brush. Another major cause of this is yanking out a ponytail holder. Stop yourself and work the tangle around the ponytail holder out slowly. Sadly, once this has happened in the middle of a piece of hair, it’s definitely coming off. Collect a bunch of these and you’ve got yourself a nice case of the fly-aways!
  5. This is a split end: This is the enemy!! Just knowing what split ends look like will help you understand how they get stuck on each other. They’re like claws that can grab onto one another causing tangles. Tangled ends cause even further damage. It’s important to get them off regularly.
  6. This is knotted hair: If not properly and carefully brushed out, a knot will lead to “Example D.” If you gently brush it out, you can avoid that.
  7. Shattered hair shaft: This can be caused by a bad application or rough removal of extensions. Another cause could be a bad perm (solution, the way it’s wrapped and how it’s processed). Not sure too many of you are getting perms, but if you are, please be sure to visit someone who specializes in that. Not just someone who will say yes because they want to make the money from the service. If you have extensions, make sure the person doing them is gentle, takes their time and isn’t too aggressive with your delicate hair!