All Articles Tagged "hair breakage"
Hair breakage can range from mild to horrifyingly severe. Just recently, I was a victim of the very severe kind after I decided to highlight half of my head a very light brown. In the months after, as I witnessed large clumps of hair falling out in the shower, and seeing the short stubs of my hair spread around my hair, I took some major action. But now, these new habits are part of my routine to prevent breakage and keep my hair healthy.
1. Get regular protein treatments Now that I’ve experienced the wonders of protein treatments, I don’t understand why they’re not more popular. I immediately went to the salon after my initial breakage and asked for a protein treatment. A good protein treatment coats your hair in protein and specifically strengthens your hair to prevent any further breakage. Because of its potency, stylists recommend getting them at least six weeks apart.
2. Deep Condition In general, if your hair is moisturized and conditioned well, it will not break. Simple, right? Obviously, your hair would be prone to breakage if it’s dry and brittle. To avoid that, make sure you deep condition your hair regularly. There are a myriad of options in deep conditioning products – just make sure you allow the conditioner to sit on your hair while you sit under a dryer. The heat will help the conditioner penetrate your strands. If you don’t have a dryer, simply wrap up your hair in a plastic cap and get to moving around, doing chores around the house. Hey, any body heat will help!
3. Use a wide toothed comb If you haven’t adopted the wide toothed comb, why haven’t you? These combs are great because they detangle and minimize the stress on your hair. When dealing with your tresses, the idea is to treat it well without putting too much tension or stress on it.
4. Lay low on the heat I know you love to blow dry, flat iron and curl your hair on the regular but just know, the less heat you use, the better. Blow dryers and flat irons are not gentle on your tresses so if you’re in a delicate state, the heat will definitely not help matters. Try to look into low-heat to no-heat styling options.
5. Oil gently. Investing in a great and light hair oil has done wonders for me. Every night I use jojoba oil and comb it through my hair before I wrap it. Of course, the idea here is to avoid dryness and promote soft and moisturized tresses. It doesn’t matter which oil you use as long as it’s something that’s not too heavy and works well with your own hair.
6. Use a satin pillowcase. This is an oldie but goodie. Cotton is much more harsh on our tresses so to avoid that contact, invest in a satin pillowcase or wrap your hair in a satin scarf.
7. Stay away from chemical treatments. If this is not obvious by now, I’d like to reiterate just how harmful relaxers and coloring treatments can be to your hair’s elasticity. If you’ve already sworn off chemical treatments and are in the process of growing out your hair, it’s important to pay special attention to the line between your natural hair and your processed hair. Carol’s Daughter has a kit specifically designed to treat hair that is transitioning from relaxed to natural, which helps reduce the likelihood of breakage. The kit includes an extra gentle cleanser, scalp spray and anti-breakage treatment.
That’s it for me. What are your secrets to keeping your hair healthy?
If you’re a woman, chances are you have a hair horror story. A time in your life when you wanted your hair to look a certain way, do a certain thing and it just didn’t go down like that. Maybe it was something you did to yourself or something someone accidentally or purposely did to you, either way it was a traumatic experience. Check out some of these hair horror stories and feel free to share your own in the comments section.
By Marissa Charles
You know the classic movie scene where a suicidal person stands on the edge of a building and threatens to jump off? I was that poor sod about six weeks ago.
No, I wasn’t threatening to take my life. I was this close to grabbing a pair of scissors and chopping all my hair off.
Fortunately my hairdresser Richard talked me down from the ledge. “Step away from the scissors, Marissa,” he said to me over the phone. That Saturday morning I awoke with my hair in a knotted, mess of tangles. Matted in some parts, my tresses had clumped into four sections with thick roots and stringy relaxed ends forming peaks on the top. It was a natural disaster.
God must have been with me that day because the whole scenario was enough to give a girl a heart attack. Two-and-a-half months earlier I had taken my first step on the road towards natural hair. I’ve been toying with the idea for a while but I didn’t have the guts to do it. I’ve had relaxed hair since I was 11 and didn’t have a clue how to care for it in its natural state.
So I did my research. I went online and trawled through blogs and videos about embracing your curls and kinks. I entered a world with its own special language of acronyms and abbreviations.
I decided my moon face was too full to go for the BC, the “Big Chop.” (I cannot rock a baldhead or a TWA, a “Teeny Weenie Afro.) Transitioning – gradually growing my natural hair out – seemed to be the better option and wearing extensions seemed the logical way to prevent unnecessary breakage.
I hate wearing braids but if I’m going to do something then I’m going to do it right. That’s why I was pleased when I found what I thought was a reputable braiding salon in Los Angeles where I live.
The establishment shall remain nameless but its website was impressive, as were the five-star testimonials on Yelp.com. The gallery of photos on their page looked good and when I went to see the stylist she assured me she could deliver what I asked for – individual braids that wouldn’t pull my roots or break my hair. She promised me they wouldn’t be heavy and I could keep them in for up to three months.
A common misconception regarding black hair is that it doesn’t grow. In reality black hair is extremely fragile and very dry, making it more prone to breakage than any other race. It requires extra care to retain length, but many black women lack the knowledge or just prefer styling their hair to actually caring for it.
Before I delve into the causes of breakage, it is important to address what breakage is. Unlike shedding, breakage doesn’t occur at the root but within the hair strand. It is easy to distinguish shed hair from broken hair because shed hair will have a white bulb attached to it. Excessive breakage indicates weak and damaged hair. Here are the main reasons for hair breakage:
Lack of moisture means dry brittle hair. Daily moisturizing and sealing with an oil will add elasticity to your hair. Your ends are the oldest and weakest part of your hair, so pay close attention to them. If your ends are breaking off at the same rate that your hair is growing, you will see no changes in length.
Be sure to wash with a moisturizing shampoo and deep condition after every wash.
You can also try the baggy method:
- Pull your hair back in a ponytail
- Moisturize and seal the ends
- Wrap the ponytail up in a shower cap and secure it overnight
Too Much Moisture
Yes indeed, there is such a thing. Overly moisturized hair feels mushy and extremely stretchy. To counteract this, you can wash with a clarifying shampoo and do a protein treatment.
If your hair is relaxed or dyed, it will naturally be weaker than virgin hair. This doesn’t mean it won’t grow, but it will break more if it’s not properly cared for. Chemicals strip the hair of protein so make sure you incorporate protein treatments into your hair regimen.
Relax your new growth only. Do not spread your relaxer all the way down to the ends! It will weaken and thin out your previously processed hair even more.
Too Much Protein
Some people have protein sensitive hair. Too much protein will leave your hair feeling stiff, brittle and dry. Always make sure to deep condition and moisturize after protein treatments.
Excessive heat will damage your hair and cause split ends. Opt for styles that don’t require heat and if you must use heat, be sure to use a heat protectant first.