I learned from this experience if the breakage isn't too severe, don't freak out. Don't get scared and proclaim that all is lost. While it's not guaranteed that you can stop all the breakage, there are a few ways you can try and avoid it.
1. Do protein treatmentsThere are the serious protein treatments. Not just a protein-based rinse out or deep conditioner, but the hard protein treatments where your hair feels stiff and hard after the protein dries on your hair. And your hair feels heavy and stronger when the protein is rinsed out.
I've only done about three or four protein treatments since I started my relaxed hair journey in 2014, but they are awesome.During my recent run-in with breakage I didn't do a protein treatment as soon as I should have. So the breakage was probably worse than it would have been if I'd done the treatment sooner. Going forward I plan to do a hard protein treatment about every six weeks. That equates to one right after my touch up and one in-between touch ups unless my hair feels like it doesn't need it.
2. Stay moisturizedJust like protein, moisture is key. If your hair doesn't have enough moisture it will dry out and basically snap that much easier. Some things I do to keep my hair moisturized are
- Deep condition
- Use moisturizing shampoos and co-washes
- Regularly use a moisturizer/leave-in
3. Use a seamless combWhile combing can help keep out tangles, which can cause breakage, the act of combing can also cause breakage if the right tool isn't used. I've been using wide tooth combs for a while. They were combs from the drugstore that did help protect my hair from breakage, but not all. The reason was there were seams in the teeth of the comb where my hair would catch. Once I started using the Hercules Seamless Comb, I didn't have that issue anymore.
4. Be careful with the chemicalsThis may seem odd coming from someone with relaxed hair, but I'm not saying stay away from the chemicals all together. Just be careful with them. And not just relaxers, but hair color as well. For relaxers avoid overlapping which is applying relaxer to already relaxed hair. For both hair color and relaxers avoid over-processing. Overlapping and over-processing both weaken hair strands even further resulting in breakage.
5. Wear looser stylesHaving really smooth and tight updos may look good, but they aren't always good for your hair. Sometimes updos can weaken the hair making it more susceptible to breakage and thinning. To avoid this give your hair a break. It doesn't hurt to occasionally wear your hair out, or to loosen up your braids(s), bun or ponytail.
How do you avoid hair breakage?