How do I know if my hair is healthy? Start by asking yourself a few simple questions: Is your hair looking duller than usual? Does your hair feel rough, dry, brittle? How your hair looks in the mirror or feels when you touch it is an obvious way to assess how healthy your hair is. 

dr joe cincotta
But if you want to dig deeper and give your hair a more serious “wellness check”, these four easy at-home tests from Dr. Joe Cincotta (our Color Wow chief chemist and award-winning product formulator) can give you good insights into what hair health problems you may be experiencing. Plus, we’ve got advice about what actions you can take to help reverse unhealthy hair issues before they get worse. 

Serious hair problems (like major hair loss, scalp infections, breaking off in chunks) require in-person professional attention from your personal physicians and/or stylists. 

How do I know if my hair is healthy?

Test #1. Comparison of a healthy follicle with a bulb end and an unhealthy follicle with a skinny appearance.1. GET DOWN TO THE ROOT OF HAIR HEALTH - THE HAIR FOLLICLE TEST

Pluck out a few strands of hair with your fingers, pulling very close to your scalp so that the hair root is removed. Look at the hair under a magnifying lens… is the “bulb” end rounded like an onion? Or skinny, skimpy and broken-off in appearance?

According to Dr. Joe “The bulb end of hair is where keratin proteins are formed, and where hair “anchors” into the follicle. To keep the hair strong and help prevent shedding and loss, you want to make sure the follicle doesn’t get clogged with build-up from products that can “suffocate” the hair".

Our recommendation:

Make sure your scalp and hair follicles get truly clean when you shampoo! Color Wow’s Color Security Shampoo (for all hair types) is uniquely formulated without ingredients (found in most shampoos) that stick to the hair and scalp (like conditioning agents, silicones, oils, thickening agents, etc.)

When you wash your hair with Color Wow Shampoo, no residues are left on the hair or, more importantly, on the scalp, so hair follicles don’t get clogged and hair can thrive optimally. Shampoo is the only product that gets massaged into the scalp so it’s critical that every ingredient easily rinses off.

Test #1. If the hair floats, it is good. If the hair stays around the middle, it is OK. If the hair sinks, it is bad.2. "SINK OR SWIM" - THE HAIR POROSITY TEST 

Put a few strands in water and watch what happens. Dr Joe explains, “Floaters are healthy, with natural moisture and buoyancy. Sinkers are dry, porous – full of cracks, flaws and gaps in the hair structure that allow the strands to absorb water quickly, which makes them sink. The more buoyant your hair, the less porous and healthier it is.” 

Our recommendation:

Use conditioners that “fill the gaps” in dry, dehydrated hair with vital moisture, making sure to apply the conditioner only to strands… NOT on the scalp! Color Security Conditioners plug porosity so hair strands are “whole” and don’t have “gaps and voids” that absorb water. Our conditioners also seal hair’s surface, which helps hold onto internal moisture.

Test #3. Comparison of healthy hair that is strong and not broken and damaged hear that is weak and breaks easily.3. OH, SNAP! - THE RESILIENCE AND HAIR ELASTICITY TEST 

Pull out a strand of hair when it’s dry. (Don’t do this test when hair is wet, as wet hair is weaker). Pull hair at both ends to increase tension slightly, then stop pulling to decrease tension. If the hair doesn’t snap or break easily when you pull it tight and if it regains its shape, it has some healthy elasticity and strength.

According to Dr. Joe “Healthy hair is like a rubber band because it has springy coils of keratin in the cortex. You can stretch it, and it will recoil. Unhealthy hair won’t spring back easily, and hair that’s damaged will break.”

Our recommendation:

Money Masque Deep Hydrating Treatment puts the spring and flexibility back into stressed, dehydrated, brittle hair that’s been stretched to its limits. It’s unique delivery system goes deep within every strand to nourish and lubricate with powerful actives (Blue Sea Kale, Sea Kelp/Algae Blend) that give hair renewed spring, swish and super-healthy, luxe texture.

Test #4. Comparison of normal hair that is smooth and damaged hair that is rough.4. ROUGH GOING - THE HAIR CUTICLE TEXTURE TEST 4

Hold a strand between your fingers from the tip end, then use the other hand to slide along the strand. Does it feel rough? A look with magnifying glass will let you compare this “roughed up” strand to another one – is the cuticle pushed out and open? If the cuticle lifts easily, the hair is dry, leaching out moisture and headed to unhealthy damage.

“Naturally healthy hair has an intact outer lipid layer that is reinforced with hair’s natural oils, and this keeps the cuticle “glued down”, and smooth. This tightly-closed hair cuticle is key to healthy looking strands: it gives the hair a silky feel, plus a flat, reflective surface so hair looks very glossy. AND… a tight cuticle is what keeps humidity out, so hair doesn’t swell easily in humidity and get rough and frizzy." 

Our recommendation:

Dream Coat Anti-Frizz Treatment, a totally new heat-activated technology that compresses and closes the cuticle layer down super-tight. (So tight, it virtually makes hair water-proof… definitely humidity-proof, and amazingly frizz-proof for days!) Without any greasiness or heavy topcoat, Dream Coat smooths the cuticle so hair is instantly silky, glossy, supple… the picture of health.



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