Embark on your journey
If you are a person that struggles to keep your hair in a healthy state, know that you aren’t alone. Many women all around the world have issues with restoring their health or maintaining it. You can use this article as a tool to help advise you and give you ideas to try that may help you on this journey.
Hopefully, the information and ideas highlighted will help you on your journey and eventually give you the health that you have been struggling to get. Good luck and happy reading!
What Causes Hair Breakage?
Hair breakage isn’t something anyone wishes for, but as I said, many women suffer from it. Many factors may cause damage to your hair and hair breakage. Here are some of the leading causes.
Lack of moisture – Not adding enough humidity or using the wrong products to moisturize your hair can easily cause your hair to become brittle and break. Hydration is an essential part of keeping your hair healthy.
Excessive heat styling – Using straight and curling irons are okay to use on your hair in moderation. Continually applying heat to your hair will eventually cause damage and in some cases, the cost can be severe.
Chemical exposure – Sadly, some products that companies make for hair may help create damage. Using hair dyes and shampoos and conditioners with sulfate can cause damage to your hair.
Over washing – Believe it or not, washing your hair often can also cause damage. The more you cleanse your hair, the more it gets stripped of the natural oils it needs to keep your hair moisturized and protected.
Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase – If you do not wear a satin bonnet, every night cotton pillowcases can cause hair breakage. It sounds crazy but trusts me it’s true. The cotton causes friction between your hair and the pillowcase while you sleep which can create split ends and ultimately hair damage.
There are several other ways to damage your hair. If you aren’t sure if a product or a specific routine may cause more harm than good, it is essential that you research it before you put the treatment on that hair.
How Can I Prevent Hair Breakage?
There are many tips and tricks to help you get your hair back to a healthy state.
Keep in mind that maybe just doing one thing won’t restore full health but it is a step in the right direction. Getting hair health back is a process, and it takes time and patience to get your hair where it needs to be.
Here are different things you can try to help you with your hair breakage.
Trimming your hair is key to stopping hair breakage because the only way you can get rid of your broken hair is by cutting it off.
I know what it feels like to want to hold on to your hair but trust me cutting off those dry and damaged ends are the best thing you can do for your hair. Trimming your hair promotes hair growth by getting rid of split damaged ends.
Make sure you give yourself time in between each trim; hair starts to split around 3-4 months after every trim. But if you are trying to get rid of your breakage, you can always do a big chop or trim your hair about every month. Personally, I did a big chop, and it was much easier to start from scratch than to slowly trim my hair because I didn’t want to wait.
But if you don’t feel comfortable cutting off most of your hair, you want to slowly cut off hair breakage by trimming your hair once every 3-4 months.
Quick Tip: I know everyone, myself included, is guilty of cutting their hair themselves but it is much better for you to go to a professional to get your hair trimmed or cut.
For one, a professional at a salon will cut your hair evenly, and their scissors are also sharper which helps to prevent your hair shafts from splitting more than they already are. Cutting your hair at home with paper cutting scissors can cause more damage to your hair.
If you decide not to trim your hair, then it can begin to split up to your roots which can wreak havoc on your hair.
Silk Bonnets and Pillows
If you were not hip cotton pillows are not suitable for your hair.
Cotton pillows and sheets can deplete your hair of its natural moisture and oils because cotton is an absorbent. Changing your pillow or sheets from cotton to silk or satin is a game changer for your hair. And if you’re trying to stop your hair from breaking this will be a significant help because it will keep your strands nice and moisturized which helps to promote healthy hair.
Sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase also has other benefits such as preventing frizz and dry hair. Since these materials are less absorbent, they don’t strip your hair of its natural oils, and your hair slides against the pillowcase and sheets.
If you just can’t let go of your favorite sheets and pillowcase, you can always wear a silk or satin bonnet before bed.
Deep Conditioning Treatments
Deep conditioning is a vital process when you are trying to stop your hair from breaking.
This process aids in preventing damage from heat and styling. Deep conditioning also helps to replenish moisture and proteins. You also help to restore the strength, shine and natural luster of your hair which is vital when you suffer from hair breakage.
Keratin is a protein naturally found in hair, skin, and nails.
When your hair is damaged, your keratin levels decrease. Once damage occurs this is where keratin treatments come in. Keratin and other protein treatments (Check out this article: protein treatment for hair) increase the diameter of the hair shaft.
This treatment works by spreading a liquid form of keratin onto your hair, flat ironing and blow drying it into your hair. The heat is then used to seal in the keratin. These treatments last for about two and a half months and give you healthier strands of hair.
Protein conditioners also help increase elasticity and improve the overall appearance of your hair. You should use a deep protein conditioner at least once a month depending on the condition of your hair.
Using a conditioner will quickly bring your hair back to life by strengthening your strands and giving it that natural bounce.
Moisturizing Deep Conditioning
Protectants (a substance used to keep things moist and hydrates) that attract moisture and absorb into the hair. Conditioner helps promote elasticity in your hair and prevents your hair from feeling brittle and dry.
Hot Oil Treatments
Hot oil treatment is using warm oil in your hair. These treatments help stimulate blood flow and aid with hair growth. They also help to seal the ends of your hair which prevent split ends. Here are list oil and what they do to give you healthy hair.
- Avocado oil
This oil is best to use when your hair is frizzy or dry. All the healthy fats in avocado oil make it an excellent moisturizer for your hair.
- Jojoba oil
This oil is great for sealing in moisture. The serum that our scalp makes matches that of jojoba oil. This oil is great if you have dandruff or itchy scalp.
- Olive oil
This is probably one of the most popular oils used because most people have this laying around the house. Olive oil is excellent for protecting your ends from splitting/breaking.
An excellent oil for shine and luster.
You can always mix oils so you hot oil treatment tackles more than one thing.
The primary role of moisture is to lessen damage to your hair while you are handling it. Moisturizer plays an important role and ensures continual hair growth because less damage means that your hair can continue to grow healthy.
Moisture also makes your hair look much healthier. It makes your hair more shiny in the right way and gives it an extra bounce. Moisturized hair and shrinkage also go hand in hand because moisture makes your hair shrink.
It is also a good idea to moisturize your hair daily to prevent your hair from becoming dry and breaking even more. You can efficiently moisturize your hair with oils and leave in conditioners. Water is also a perfect free moisturizer.
Protective styling is a fun way to add strength to your hair.
Doing a protective style is a good way to keep your hands out of your hair and help it grow and become stronger. The great thing about these styles is that there are so many different creative ways to do your hair. You can have fun with so many different looks while giving your hair time to heal.
Here are some protective styles that you can try:
- Braids and twists
- Cornrows/ Fulani braids
- Crochet styles
- Wigs and weaves
- Natural protective styles (twist outs, braid outs, natural hair twists, cornrows)
Protective style gives your natural hair a break for a few months. It is important to not keep these styles in for more than 2-3 months.
You also want to moisturize your hair while in these protective styles to help promote growth. For example, I use Jamaican black castor oil and apply it to my scalp 3-4 times a week to help keep my scalp from drying out.
Avoid Sulfates and Parabens
Sulfate, parabens, and alcohol strip your hair of its natural moisture and oils.
Sulfate, also listed as SLS or lauryl sulfate are the detergents responsible for the suds when you lather shampoo into your hair. Using products with sulfate is a bad idea when you have dry or damaged hair as well because the weaken the hair shaft even more.
They dry out hair and skin on the scalp which is the absolute worst when you already have broken hair. Sulfates are also known to break down protein which is terrible news for the keratin that makes up your hair. Luckily there are several shampoos and other hair products on the market that are sulfate free.
This statement might come as a surprise, but not all alcohols are harmful to your hair. But the alcohols used in some gels are drying and may cause frizz. These alcohols are not as short chain alcohols which are Alcohol denat, Ethanol, SD alcohol 40, Propanol, Isopropyl, and Propyl. 1
Alcohols that are good for you hair are fatty alcohols. These include Lauryl alcohol, Cetyl alcohol, Myristyl alcohol, Stearyl alcohol, Cetearyl alcohol and Behenyl alcohol.
These alcohols make your hair shafts soft and help your cuticles lie flat on your hair. But too much of the products can combine with the natural sebum found on your scalp and cause your hair to feel greasy and sticky.
This step is one of the first things you should do when trying to bring your hair back to life.
This statement is pretty, but excessive heat is not suitable for your hair! And if you were unaware of this, you might want to put the flat iron and curling iron down.
Heat weakens and breaks the protein known as keratin, which is responsible for the shape of your hair. Heat is a way to change the pattern of your hair temporarily. You can easily avoid heat through heatless methods of curling and stretch your hair.
When you flat iron your hair often it makes it harder for your hair to revert after you wash it and causes your hair to become less bouncy. Heat can even cause permanent damage to your hair.
All heat is bad heat. Heat in moderation is right for your hair because it opens up the cuticles and allows products to penetrate your hair shaft
Natural Products to Prevent Breakage
There are many great store-bought products you can use to help prevent damage, but there are also several items you may have sitting in your home that can help your hair as well.
Coconut oil is a natural hair moisturizer that can help to prevent loss of protein from your hair.
The lauric acid present in coconut oil contains antifungal properties which can protect your hair from fungal infections such as dandruff. You can take the natural coconut oil and apply it to your hair and scalp.
Castor oil contains a property known as ricinoleic acid which helps increase blood circulation to the scalp. This oil helps to strengthen and nourish your hair while preventing breakage. This product you can also apply to your hair and scalp.
Almond essential oil
Almond essential oil can help give your hair back its lost luster and thickness. It contains vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium that provide nourishment to your hair and protect it from further hair breakage and damage.
Argan oil has abundant sources of vitamins A, C, AND E. It also has antioxidant properties which protect your hair from damage.
Green tea contains catechins which have antioxidant properties and stimulate hair growth. It also has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that can protect your scalp from infections and prevent your hair from thinning.
Egg hair mask
Egg whites have a rich source of proteins and help keep your hair soft, healthy and breakage-free used as a hair mask. They contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties just like green tea.
Aloe vera has moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, photoprotective, and antifungal properties which can help keep your scalp dandruff free and prevent hair breakage. Aloe vera can also restore the pH of your hair.
Garlic has a rich source of sulfur which acts as a building block for keratin.
Garlic is excellent for your hair as it is mainly made up of keratin. You want to mince garlic cloves and put it in a container containing olive or coconut oil. Let it sit for a while and apply to your hair.
There are many other natural products you can use that have vitamins that can help promote hair growth and prevent damage. Researching different natural products can help you find what works best for you.
Start your Journey Today!
Why wait? If you know you have hair breakage, it is best to start treating your hair as soon as possible.
It may seem overwhelming at first, and you may not know where to start, but the results are worth it. Patience is key! You will not get your hair goals in just a few days, and it is essential to know that everyone’s hair journey is different.
Someone’s hair may grow faster or heal quicker than yours, and that doesn’t mean they have better hair than you or that there is something wrong with your hair. Trust YOUR process. And good luck on your journey.