Hair breakage is a common problem that can be frustrating and unsightly. Almost anyone of any age or hair type can experience this problem. In this article, we will discuss 11 common causes of hair breakage and how to treat them.
The use of too many styling products and heat styling can cause hair breakage. This is because excessive heat and chemicals can strip the hair of its natural oils*, making it dry and brittle. Use hair products designed specifically for your hair type and of course limit heat styling tools to prevent this from happening.
2. Brushing Wet Hair
Brushing wet hair can cause it to break easily. This is because wet hair is more fragile and susceptible to damage. To avoid this, try to brush your hair before washing it or use a wide-toothed comb on wet hair.
Alternatively, after a wash, you can wait until your hair is slightly damp before detangling with styling products to increase slip.
3. Using the Wrong Brush
Using the wrong type of brush can also cause hair breakage. Brushes with bristles that are too stiff or spaced too closely together can snag and pull on the hair, leading to breakage.
To avoid this, choose a brush that is gentle on the hair and has widely spaced bristles. You can find out more about the best brushes for natural hair here.
4. Tight Hairstyles
Hairstyles that are too tight, such as tight ponytails or tight braids, can cause hair breakage. They cause root breakage because they put too much pressure on the hair follicles. This of course leads to traction alopecia.
To prevent this, avoid tight hairstyles and opt for looser styles that put less strain on the hair follicles and shaft.
5. Lack Of Protein
Insufficient protein in the diet can cause hair breakage since hair is made up of protein. To prevent this, make sure to include protein-rich foods in your diet, such as lean meats, eggs, and nuts.
Protein conditioners are also advisable if you style your hair often or you have high porosity hair. Those with low porosity hair should avoid using protein-heavy hair products.
During aging, our hair naturally becomes drier and more brittle, causing it to break more easily. Aging is a natural part of the human condition so all we can do is mitigate damage as much a possible.
Grey hairs are particularly prone to being coarse and brittle so pamper your hair more often if you have lots of greys. Use a moisturizing hair care routine and avoid heat styling as much as possible.
Overprocessing hair with chemicals, such as bleaching, permanent straightening or coloring, can lead to hair breakage. This is because the chemicals can strip the hair of its natural oils and protein, making it dry and brittle.
Try to limit chemical treatments if you can or at the very least use deep conditioning* treatments to restore moisture to the hair immediately after their use.
8. Hair Products With Alcohol
Hair products that contain alcohol can also cause hair breakage. Due to alcohol’s drying effects, hair becomes dry and brittle causing breakage.
To avoid this, choose hair products that are alcohol-free and contain moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera, glycerine* or natural oils*.
9. Lack of Moisture
Dry hair is more prone to breakage, so it is important to keep the hair moisturized. Use the LOC or LCO method to add moisture to your hair every day, or at least every other day to keep your hair supple.
Use a deep conditioning* treatment at least once a week and avoid using super hot water when washing your hair. Cool water allows your hair to retain more moisture once dry.
10. Hormonal Changes
Hair breakage can also be caused by hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause. This is because the hormones can affect the hair’s growth cycle, leading to dryness and breakage.
To prevent this, try to manage stress and use a moisturizing hair care routine. For pregnancy, there’s not a great deal that you can do to mitigate the hair loss associated with the postpartum period but fear not as your hair absolutely will grow back given enough time and a great hair care routine.
11. Illness Or Medications
Certain illnesses and medications can also cause hair breakage. For example, chemotherapy and radiation treatments can lead to hair loss, while certain medications can cause dryness and breakage.
Talk to your doctor about possible side effects before taking medication so that you are at least aware of the issues that may arise.
In conclusion, hair breakage can be caused by a number of different and opposing factors. Yet by being aware of where you may be going wrong, you can catch mistakes before hair breakage becomes worse and leads to a setback in your hair goals.
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