Growing and maintaining healthy hair may be a cakewalk for some but the key to preventing breakage may feel like a mystery to others. There are a variety of factors that may cause hair to become weak and brittle. For example, when hair suffers damage, whether due to heat or chemicals such as hair coloring, perms or tints, it can weaken and lead to unwanted dryness and breakage. Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism can also compromise the hair structure. Also, hair practice styling methods that involve excessive combing, and rough brushing can damage hair.
Additional methods in which we may unconsciously damage hair and affect cuticles includes:
- Hot blow-dryers
- Hot curlers
- Flat irons
- Sun damage
- Too much moisture
- Too much protein
From breakage that initiates at the root of hair that splits at the ends, fragile hair can be a virtual nightmare.
So, what can you do to combat breakage?
Identify the Cause of the Damage
Examine your hair care practices and styling regimens to determine the cause of hair breakage and make adjustments as needed. For example, tight hairstyles such as ponytails, braids, and twists can lead to damage. If tension on your hair is resulting in the breakage, look for new and unique ways to style your hair that might help you to reduce the risk of damage.
I love goddess braids/halo which can be done with your hair or add braiding extension hair. The braids are not tight around the hairline or nape and look chic, and sophisticated
Also, assess the manner in which you manipulate your hair. Do you use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair? Are you using a soft brush on your hair and only brushing when it is dry? Are you sleeping in a satin bonnet or scarf to reduce the risk of hair damage? There are multiple ways to determine if you are doing your due diligence to prevent breakage.
Use Heat with Caution
If you are one, who enjoys the use of her flat and curling irons to straighten your natural hair or style your hair, be sure to proceed with caution. Although irons are now made of ceramic and tourmaline materials and use infrared technology that decreases the risk of burned hair while improving the distribution of heat, the risk of breakage is still present for those who frequently apply heat to their hair.
Be cautious in the heat settings that you use with flat irons and curling irons and ensure that you only use these irons on hair that is dry and not wet. Purchase a good thermal protectant like the Chi Iron Guard. A heat protectant for hair can be a great asset in protecting hair when using heat.
Oil and Condition Your Hair Consistently
Take measures to seal your hair with moisture. Sealing your hair with moisture will require you to deep-condition your hair and apply oils that not only support your efforts to seal moisture but aid in the battle of repairing damaged, dry hair, like coconut oil.
Trim Your Ends
Being told to trim your ends is an old bit of advice that you have probably heard since childhood, but it rings true through and through. Keep your ends trimmed to assist the fight to avoid problems that can result from unkempt, split ends. Split ends may contribute to excessive damage and breakage. You should be getting a trim every 6-8 weeks to maintain optimal health. Depending on your area you should be able to get a trim for about $15.
Get Acquainted with Your Hair Type
One of the best ways to support your efforts to prevent damage is to get in touch with your hair type. Understand and know your hair. For example, the three main things you need to pay attention to and understand about your natural hair is
- your porosity level
- when your hair needs moisture
- when your hair needs protein
Curlier hair types are at a greater risk for become dry and brittle due to its structure whereas straighter hair tends to have more moisture. Look for hair care products that best support your hair type and reduce the danger of breakage.
Limit chemical treatments that disrupt sebum, the oil that is secreted by our scalp and can leave hair that appears dull. I personally only color my hair once a year to reduce the breakage from constant high lift/bleach color.
These are just a few things that you can do to prevent breakage.