6 Causes For Hair Breakage And How To Stop It

Have you ever looked down at the floor after washing, combing, or brushing your hair and seen lots of little bits of hair on the floor?

I have. And it was recently. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been dealing with hair breakage. At first, I didn’t think it was that bad. Just a few broken strands around the front and top of my hair. Then I had a trip to my hairstylist and she revealed some serious breakage around the nape of my neck.

6 Causes For Hair Breakage And How To Stop It

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The good thing is it’s not noticeable unless I wear a half ponytail style but it has caused my hair to be shorter in that spot and less thick.

So what’s a gal to do when she’s experiencing hair breakage? There are a few things that help make the breakage less obvious, slow it down and hopefully stop it.

Hair breakage can be caused by various things so once you’ve narrowed down the cause you can select and implement your remedy.

Wearing tight hairstyles

Yep, those protective styles of braids, buns, and ponytails you wear could be causing your hair breakage. If your style is really tight your hair strands are being pulled so tautly they can weaken the strands causing them to break.

Also wearing your buns and ponytails in the same place on your head can weaken the hair in that area making it more prone to breakage.

So loosen up those buns, ponytails, and braids. And switch up the placement of your ponytails and buns. If you wear low buns all the time try wearing a high bun every once in a while Your hair will thank you.

Excessive use of heat

While this isn’t the cause of my current breakage, it was for breakage that I experienced in the past.

Excessive, daily use of heat styling tools like curling irons, blow dryers, and flat irons can cause breakage. This happens when the heat from these stylers penetrates the hair shaft. That heat drys out your hair making it brittle and therefore more prone to breakage.

One of the simplest things you can do to prevent this type of breakage in the future is to stop using your flat iron and curling iron every day. You can also air-dry your hair sometimes instead of blow drying it and use a serious heat protectant like the Silk Elements Megasilk Olive Heat Protection Spray or SheaMoisture Argan Oil Collection Thermo-Protect Milk when you use heating tools.

Improperly using chemicals

Hair color and relaxers can weaken your hair from over-processing and overlapping which causes breakage. So you have a few choices when it comes to chemicals
  • You can stay away from them altogether. 
  • Let a professional do the application instead of doing it yourself
  • With relaxers, you can stretch your relaxers more than the standard six weeks which can help you avoid overlapping (applying relaxer to already relaxed hair)
  • Make sure you’re not over-processing whether it’s hair color or relaxers

Lack of moisture

Dry hair is probably one of the most common reasons for hair breakage. When your hair is dry it’s kinda like a dry piece of spaghetti. No matter how gently you touch or handle your hair it’s gonna break.

To get some moisture back into your hair you can many different things. You can wash your hair with gentle, sulfate-free products like the SheaMoisture Peace Rose Oil Complex Nourish & Silken Shampoo and Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Cleansing CoWash. Both of which are current faves of my mine. Just make sure you aren’t over-washing your hair as this can also strip your hair of needed moisture.

Deep conditioning treatments with a moisturizing deep conditioner like the Proclaim Argan Oil Intense Hydrating Masque and hot oil treatments with natural oils can help bring some hydration back to your hair.

Some other things to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your hair moisturized are
  • Do you have hard water? The minerals in hard water can build up on your hair and keep moisturizing products from penetrating into your strands. Using a shower filter can help with this.
  • Are you using hot water? How water can dry out your hair like no one's business. So no matter what products you use to wash and condition your hair, the hot water can strip it all away. Washing and rinsing your hair in cooler more room temperature water is so much better for your hair.

How You Can Prevent Hair Breakage | A Relaxed Gal

Using damaging hair tools

In addition to heating tools, your comb, brush, and towel can also be key contributors to the hair breakage you’re experiencing. All of these items, especially when used excessively, put stress and strain on your hair strands making them more likely to break.

Here are some things you can do instead
  • Stop combing your hair every day and use your fingers when you need to detangle. For the times when you need to use a comb use a seamless one that is gentler on your hair. 
  • Don’t brush your hair when it’s dripping wet or bone dry. Instead, use it on damp hair and limit the number of times you use your brush.
  • Use a cotton t-shirt to dry your hair instead of a towel. The t-shirt material is smoother and is less likely to snag on your hair.

Weak hair

Hair strands are made of protein and the protein is what gives your hair strength. So when you do things like excessively brush your hair or dry your hair when it’s too wet you can be stripping it of the proteins that keep it strong and less prone to breakage. Using chemicals on your hair like relaxers and hair colors can also strip your hair of protein.

To remedy this you can stop using chemicals, and don’t dry your hair when it’s dripping wet. and brush your hair less often or not at all. You can also supplement this by doing protein treatments. The protein in these treatments attaches or bonds to your hair creating a protective barrier or shell around your strands.

To give your hair some protein you can do a hard protein treatment by using a product like the Aphogee Two Step Protein Treatment. Or you can do light or mild protein treatment in the form of a protein-based deep conditioner.

Now you do need to be careful with protein treatments because they can have the opposite effect. If you use too much protein and don’t balance it out with a moisturizer you can cause protein overload which makes your hair brittle and dry so it’s more susceptible to breakage. You may also find that your hair is protein sensitive which has the same results as protein overload.

Remember there is no overnight cure for hair breakage. It takes time for the breakage to stop and also to grow out. You may also find that depending on the amount of breakage you’ve had you may need to trim or cut your hair. To help make my breakage less noticeable I opted to get a few inches cut off and will most likely get another couple of inches cut off on my next trip to the salon.

What hair breakage remedies have you tried?