Hair breakage is a common problem that many of us have faced at some point. Watching your once healthy hair become thin and damaged can be frustrating, even devastating. But what causes hair breakage and how can it be prevented and treated? In this blog post, we take a deep dive into the most common causes of hair breakage and provide expert tips and tricks to repair and prevent further damage. From styling mistakes to environmental factors, we cover all the basics to help you get your hair back looking its best. So if you're ready to say goodbye to split ends and hello to strong, healthy hair, read on!
What is Hair Breakage?
Hair breaks when the hair shaft becomes weak and brittle, causing split ends, hair loss and general damage. It is usually caused by factors such as styling damage, heat damage, chemical damage and environmental factors and can be prevented and treated with proper hair care and maintenance. Hair breakage is different from hair loss, which is a natural part of the hair growth cycle and occurs when hair falls out at the end of its life. Hair breakage is also different from hair loss, which is a reduction in the amount of hair on the scalp, and can be caused by a variety of medical conditions or hormonal changes
Types of hair breakage
Depending on the location of the damage on the hair shaft, several types of hair breakage can occur. Root breakage is damage that occurs near the scalp, usually due to tight styling or chemical treatments that weaken the hair and make it more likely to break. Hair shaft breakage is damage that occurs along the entire length of the hair shaft, usually from heat styling, chemical treatments or harsh hair care products. Another type of hair breakage, called split ends, occurs when the hair cuticle is damaged and splits into two or more strands. Split ends are usually most visible at the ends of the hair and can be prevented with regular trims and treatments.
What causes hair breakage?
Is your hair chemically treated, perhaps colored with bleach or relaxers? Are you building too much heat? These are all important questions to ask in your quest to find out why your hair is breaking.
The main reason for hair breakage is hair styling. Styles that require excessive combing, pull your hair too tightly or heat styling can lead to hair breakage. Also, flare ups from inflamed roots can weaken the shaft. I'm also including damage from colouring your hair in this too. Bleach or hair relaxers can break down the bonds of the hair, making it more prone to fatigue and breakage. Also, sleeping on wet hair or rough fabrics that create friction also contributes to breakage.
Hair at the edge of the hairline is also vulnerable. Hairstyles that require your hair to be tied in tight ponytails or braids and ingredients in drying products such as alcohol can make the edges of your hair more prone to breakage if not properly cared for.
It's worth noting that, some hair types like curlier and coarser textures are more predisposed to breakage. The more coiled the strand, the harder it is for your scalps' natural oils to travel far down the shaft making the hair more prone to dryness and more susceptible to breakage. Ageing and grey hair can also break off more easily. Ageing hair, especially grey and white hair, tends to be coarser and resists moisture absorption. It has also lost elasticity, so breakage is more common.
Medical Conditions Can Also Cause Breakage
Sometimes breakage can be brought on by an underlying health issue. Thyroid disorders and genetic conditions can contribute to hair damage and breakage, as can nutrition deficiencies and stress. In any of these situations, it is best to speak to a professional to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Tips To Prevent Hair Breakage
Keep your hair hydrated and moisturised, yes the two are different! Dry, brittle hair is prone to breakage even under minimal stress. Take time to pamper your hair!
Detangle and wash your hair in sections. When wash day comes around, try putting your hair into jumbo braids or twists and then shampooing in smaller sections to cut down on tangles, which can also lead to breakage. Minimise heat.
Blow-drying and flat ironing hair regularly can take its toll. Try to rely on heat-free tools like Flexi-rods or hair rollers whenever possible. If you absolutely must use heat, be sure to apply a heat protectant and then use tools in a low-heat setting. Avoid excessive combing.
A healthy diet and lifestyle are important for preventing hair breakage and promoting overall hair health. Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, and a diet that is low in protein or certain nutrients can lead to weak and brittle hair that is more prone to breakage. Therefore, it is important to consume a balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of protein, iron, and other nutrients that are essential for healthy hair. In addition to diet, other factors such as stress and a lack of sleep can also contribute to hair breakage and should be addressed as part of a healthy lifestyle. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management, can help to prevent hair breakage and promote healthy, strong hair.
Treatments for Hair Breakage
If your hair still needs more help, consider these four hair breakage treatments.
- Deep treatment Deep treatment is a great way to pump moisture and hydration back into hair struggling from breakage. Using a hair mask or deep conditioning treatment can help add back the elasticity hair needs to stop it from snapping at the first sign of dryness.
- Hydrate and seal hair with oils Hair needs water, so regularly washing or refreshing is essential. Serums or products that contain butters or oils can help to seal in moisture into hair keeping your hair shafts soft and supple. Sealants do the work of smoothing hair cuticles and this process is very important because it helps to lock in moisture into the hair.
- Pre-poo hair before washing A pre-poo is an oil treatment routine for washing natural hair to make the hair more manageable during wash day. Usually, when you shampoo your hair, the shampoo strips natural oils from your hair and a pre-poo can help to minimise this.
- Trim hair regularly. Don’t wait for tons of breakage to get your hair cut. Split ends make it easy for moisture to escape your hair, so you need to trim your natural hair regularly to get rid of split and brittle ends, and single-strand knots. Over time this would help your natural hair grow and retain moisture.
In conclusion, hair breakage is an issue that can be caused by a range of issues like styling, heat and chemical damage, diet and environmental factors. By taking the time to understand the different types and which ones affect you and your particular hair type you can keep your hair looking its best and avoid the frustration of thin, damaged hair.
If you found this article helpful, please share it with some who could benefit from it and let me know your best hair care tips for achieving and maintaining strong, healthy hair in the comments below.
Q: What is hair breakage?
A: Hair breakage is when the hair shaft becomes weak and brittle, leading to split ends, thinning hair, and overall damage.
Q: What causes hair breakage?
A: There are many factors that can contribute to hair breakage like styling, heat and chemical damage, diet, genetic and environmental factors.
Q: How can I prevent hair breakage?
A: To prevent hair breakage, try to avoid tight hairstyles and heat styling as much as possible. Use heat protector when heat styling and be gentle when combing and brushing your hair. Avoid chemical treatments, such as bleach and relaxers, and use natural and gentle hair care products.
Q: How can I treat hair breakage?
A: To treat hair breakage, try deep conditioning, protein treatments, and regular trims. You can also try using homemade remedies, such as hair masks and oils, to nourish and strengthen the hair.
Q: How long does it take to repair hair breakage?
A: The amount of time it takes to repair hair breakage will depend on the severity of the damage and the treatment methods used. It may take several weeks or months to see significant improvement, but consistent care and treatment can help to repair and strengthen damaged hair.
Disclaimer: The information in our articles comes from a wide variety of sources including health publications, certified professionals and online resources. We like to learn about things hair and share interesting tips but this is not medical advice. We believe everyone is unique and different so we recommend that you see a specialist for any diagnosis or treatment of any concerns linked to the information above