Hair Routines & Growth

How To Prevent Natural Hair Breakage, The Best Tips & Tricks

broken hair

Many of us have experienced the frustration of seeing our hair strands break and split, particularly when we’re caught in the cycle of tight ponytails and daily styling.

As someone who’s no stranger to this struggle, I know firsthand the frustration that comes with battling breakage, especially when my go-to ponytail was way too tight during those busy workdays when I needed to run out the door.

But fear not, because I’ve gathered insights on the ins and outs of preventing hair breakage.

Together, we’ll explore the secrets to maintaining healthy, resilient hair strands, incorporating key techniques and products tailored to your needs.

Whether you’re dealing with dryness, brittleness, or excessive shedding, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive into the world of hair care and bid farewell to breakage once and for all.

What Is Natural Hair Breakage?

Firstly, you need to be familiar with what hair breakage is.

Natural hair breakage and hair shedding are sometimes used interchangeably to explain the loss of hair, but they are different.

Shedding is a natural part of your hair cycle. You’re supposed to lose hair daily — anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs a day, that’s the normal, you should expect that, but if you’re noticing rapid thinning or a lack of new hair growth, then there’s cause for concern.

Hair breakage, on the other hand, happens when the actual strand breaks.

Breakage describes what happens when a hair strand snaps under tension that it can’t withstand.

You lose part of the length of that strand, with part of the strand remaining on your scalp.

You can easily distinguish breakage from hair loss or shedding because broken hairs will be shorter than the normal length of your hair.

Most times, you won’t notice full hairs on your brush but instead little pieces of hair, that is not shed hair, that is breakage.

Split ends are a sign of hair breakage that needs to be trimmed to keep the strand from tearing up to the root.

Understanding the distinction between shedding and breakage is important in addressing your hair concerns effectively.

Where and how hair breaks depend on several different factors, more on that below.

What Causes Hair Breakage

Hair breakage can be a frustrating issue, but understanding its causes is the first step towards prevention and healthier hair.

Weak Hair Strands:

Weak hair strands are more prone to breakage, especially when exposed to stress or tension.

Strengthening your hair with protein treatments (like rice water) and nourishing oils like coconut oil, jojoba oil or olive oil can help fortify the hair shaft.

Too Much Tension:

Tight hairstyles, such as braids, ponytails, or extensions, can exert excessive tension on the hair follicles, leading to breakage over time.

Opt for protective styles that distribute tension evenly and avoid pulling your hair too tightly.

Heat Exposure:

Heat styling tools like flat irons and curling irons can damage the hair cuticle, making it more susceptible to breakage.

Always use a heat protectant spray before styling and consider air-drying or using low-heat settings whenever possible.

You Have Dry Hair:

Dry hair lacks moisture, making it brittle and prone to breakage.

Regular deep conditioning treatments and using hydrating hair products can help restore moisture and prevent breakage.

Chemical Treatments:

Chemical treatments such as coloring, bleaching, or perming can weaken the hair shaft and cause breakage.

Ensure proper conditioning and limit the frequency of chemical treatments to maintain hair health.

Too Much Protein:

While protein is essential for hair strength, excessive protein treatments can lead to stiffness and breakage.

Maintain a balance by alternating protein treatments with moisturizing treatments.

Too Much Manipulation of the Hair:

Excessive combing, brushing, or styling can weaken the hair strands and lead to breakage.

Practice low manipulation hairstyles and handle your hair gently to minimize natural hair breakage.

Detangling on Dry Hair:

Detangling dry hair can cause friction and breakage.

Always detangle your hair when it’s damp and use a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush to reduce stress on the strands.

Using the Wrong Comb to Detangle:

brushing curly wet hair

Using a fine-tooth comb or brush on tangled hair can cause breakage.

Opt for a wide-toothed comb or a detangling brush to gently remove knots and tangles without causing damage.

Not Protecting Your Hair in Your Sleep:

Friction from cotton pillowcases can cause breakage, especially for curly or textured hair.

Protect your strands by using a satin or silk pillowcase or wrapping your hair in a satin bonnet or scarf before bed.

You Wet Your Hair Too Often:

Excessive washing and wetting of the hair can strip it of its natural oils, leading to dryness and breakage.

Limit wash days and use a sulfate-free shampoo to maintain the health of your hair.

Related Post: Here’s How Often You Should Be Wetting Your Natural Hair

You Don’t Get Regular Trims:

Skipping regular trims can allow split ends to travel up the hair shaft, causing further breakage.

Schedule regular trims every 8-12 weeks to keep your ends healthy and prevent breakage.

By addressing these factors and incorporating protective styles, nourishing treatments, and proper hair care practices into your routine, you can minimize breakage and promote healthier, stronger hair strands.

How To Tell The Difference Between Shedding And Natural Hair Breakage:

broken hair after washing

Shed hairs will typically be the full length of your hair, whereas broken hairs will appear shorter and may exhibit split ends.

By paying attention to these distinctions and addressing the underlying causes, such as weak hair strands or excessive tension, you can effectively manage shedding and minimize natural hair breakage for healthier, stronger hair overall.

How To Stop Breakage In Natural Hair

Moisturize Your Hair Properly:

Hydrate your strands with natural oils like coconut oil or olive oil to prevent dryness and breakage, especially for curly or textured hair types.

Get Regular Trims (As Needed Not on a Schedule):

Trim split ends to prevent them from traveling up the hair shaft, promoting healthier, stronger hair strands and minimizing breakage.

Enough Protein to Have Strong Hair Strands:

Incorporate protein-rich foods like eggs, fish, and nuts into your diet to strengthen hair strands and reduce breakage.

Also, do protein treatments when your hair feels brittle and could use some strength.

Detangle on Wet Hair:

Gently detangle wet hair using a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush to minimize breakage and avoid stressing the strands.

Avoid Tension Hairstyles:

Opt for low-tension hairstyles to reduce stress on the hair follicles and prevent breakage, especially for delicate or fragile hair.

Keep Your Scalp Clean:

Maintain a clean scalp to promote healthy hair growth and prevent breakage caused by product buildup or scalp irritation.

Avoid Heat on Your Hair:

Minimize heat styling and use a heat protectant spray when necessary to shield your hair from damage and reduce breakage.

Pre-Shampoo Treatment:

Apply a pre-shampoo treatment, such as coconut oil or aloe vera gel, to nourish and protect your hair before cleansing, preventing moisture loss and breakage.

Deep Condition Your Hair:

Regularly deep condition your hair to replenish moisture, strengthen strands, and improve elasticity, reducing breakage and promoting overall hair health.

Wear Protective Hairstyles:

Choose protective hairstyles like braids or twists to minimize manipulation and shield your hair from environmental stressors, reducing breakage.

Don’t Skip Wash Days:

Maintain a consistent wash routine to remove dirt, oil, and product buildup, keeping your scalp and hair clean and healthy to prevent breakage.

Be Gentle and Patient with Your Hair:

Handle your hair with care, avoid rough handling or aggressive styling techniques, and be patient with your hair’s natural growth process to minimize breakage.

Don’t Towel Dry, Use a T-shirt:

Pat your hair dry with a soft cotton T-shirt instead of rubbing with a towel to reduce friction and prevent breakage, especially for delicate or textured hair.

Avoid Toxic Ingredients:

Choose hair care products free of harsh chemicals like sulfates and parabens to protect your hair from damage and minimize breakage.

Seal in Moisture:

Lock in moisture with a leave-in conditioner or natural oil to prevent dryness and breakage, especially for dry or brittle hair types.

Use the Right Detangling Tools:

Invest in quality detangling tools like a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush to gently remove knots and tangles without causing breakage.

Protect Your Hair While You Sleep:

Wrap your hair in a satin or silk scarf or use a satin pillowcase to reduce friction and prevent breakage while you sleep.

Have a Balanced Diet:

Maintain a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein to support healthy hair growth and reduce breakage from nutrient deficiencies.

FAQ About How To Stop Breakage In Natural Hair

How do you fix natural hair breakage? Repair damaged strands with protein treatments and deep conditioning. While this won’t fix damaged hair, over time it will reduce the appearance and give you heakthier hair.

How can I stop my hair from breaking permanently? Maintain a consistent hair care routine and minimize damaging practices.

How can I fix my hair breakage fast? Use nourishing oils and avoid heat styling to promote faster recovery.

What is the best treatment for hair breakage? Deep conditioning treatments and protein masks are effective for repairing breakage.

Why does my natural hair break so much? Factors like dryness, manipulation, and heat damage can contribute to breakage.

Can hair breakage grow back? Yes, with proper care and treatment, hair that broke off can grow back.

How to make hair stronger? Strengthen your hair with protein treatments and a balanced diet rich in nutrients.

What does hair breakage look like? Hair breakage appears as short, uneven strands and split ends.

What is causing my hair breakage? Possible causes include heat styling, chemical treatments, and rough handling.

How long does it take to fix hair breakage? It varies depending on the extent of damage, but improvements can be seen within weeks to months with consistent care.

Which oil is best for hair breakage? Coconut oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil are excellent for nourishing and repairing damaged hair.

How can I protect my hair while sleeping? Use a satin or silk pillowcase or scarf to reduce friction and prevent breakage.

Can hair breakage be repaired? Yes, with proper care and treatment, hair breakage can be repaired over time.

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