Your hair has a language all its own, and it’s your job to learn how to speak it. Here, we’ve taken the liberty of translating some common cries for hair-help, and offered up some tips for how to respond.

What to look for:

Dry and/or split ends
What it means:
You’re in need of a trim. To prevent this in the future, get seasonal trims, condition your hair regularly, and avoid rough hair care practices that could cause breakage (heat styling, improper brushing, vigorous towel-drying, etc.).

Short and/or scraggly strands poking out all over the hair
What it means:
Lighten up on your hair care methods. The way you’re doing things now is causing a lot of breakage. Make sure you’re brushing with the correct brush, in the correct way, and avoid overuse of heating tools. To address the problem, visit your stylist and request a blend, keep your hair hydrated, and style your hair so that it lays in a uniform way (preferably with the ends sloping inward towards your neck).

Oily scalp
What it means:
Take a shower, invest in some dry shampoo, and/or lay off the conditioning products around the roots of your hair. If your hair is naturally oily and you wear extensions, try a regimen of 2 hair-washings per week, using dry shampoo in-between.

Flaky scalp
What it means:
Make sure your shampoo regimen is up to par. Too little shampoo can cause dirt buildup on the scalp, which can clog pores and exacerbate dandruff. Too much shampoo (or too strong shampoo) can dry the scalp out too much. You may have to experiment slightly to arrive at the right balance for your hair type. Also, read this.

Lack of body or volume
What it means:
Make sure your conditioning regimen is up to par. When your hair is lacking moisture, it’ll do one of two things: frizz out in search of environmental moisture (curly hair types), or fall flat in the most drab way possible (straight and fine hair types). Address the problem by adding a good conditioner to your haircare routine—and maybe a hair mask for good measure!

Flat roots
What it means:
Your hair is too heavy, whether it’s because there’s too much oil, too much product, or too much bulk at the ends of your hair. In the first case, a shower should do the trick. In the second, a little moderation is your best bet. In the third, a visit to your stylist may be in order. Ask for a layering job, and maybe a texturizing spray for some extra umph!

What has your hair been trying to tell you lately? Let us know in the comments below!