In my last post I gave you some of the reasons you may be experiencing a breakage nightmare. I’m sure after reading the previous post, you were able to garner some insight on things you should stop doing that will stop your hair from breaking. However, there are 5 key tips that I want to share with you that will not only stop hair breakage but will also help your hair grow back faster.
1. Heat Free Hairstyles
As I explained previously, heat is a BIG cause of natural hair damage. So a great way to combat this issue to is stick to styles (at least 90% of the time) that allow you to avoid heat. Braids, twists, twist-outs, Bantu knot-outs,
wash-n-go, roller sets, and the list goes on for styles that you can achieve without risking heat damage. Nonetheless, I can hear some of you right now saying,”but Angie, I want my hair straight!” I totally get that but at the end of the day, you have to decide what’s more important to you — healthy hair or straight styles. It’s okay to use heat on your hair every once in a while (always use with heat protectant) — like with most things in life, moderation is key. However, when that flat iron starts getting some action 2-3 times a week…be prepared for your hair not react too kindly…just saying.
On the other hand, if you really feel like you simply can’t do without straight hair, then looking into purchasing weave/wig may be the best option for you. At least that way if you are always using heat, you aren’t using it on your own hair.
2. Trim Those Ends!
This point really can’t be reiterated enough because many naturals are resistant to doing this. I know natural hair growth is a big goal for many naturals, but first and foremost, trimming your ends will not stop you from growing your hair. In fact, trimming your ends will HELP your hair grow to its fullest and healthiest potential, even FASTER than if you didn’t. My recommendation is to trim about 1/4-1/2 inch of hair off the ends every 3 months. If you know you have some breakage on your ends, its best to make your piece with them and snip them off.
3. Protein Treatments
Let me preface this point by saying if you are protein sensitive, meaning if you adding protein makes it brittle or dry then this tip isn’t for you. However for many naturals, a lack of protein can be the cause of their breakage woes. Protein treatments is essential for many naturals. The majority of our hair is made up of keratin protein. When our hair gets beat up by every day life (sun exposure, combing, styling, the forbidden heat damage, etc.), protein treatments prevent your strands from throwing in the towel. Protein treatments, containing hydrolyzed proteins, bond to the hair strands, filling in the gaps caused by wear and tear and place a protective coating around the follicle to prevent further damage. Is that nice or what?
However, the biggest kicker with proteins is that you must maintain a proper balance. Too much protein can actually lead to hair breakage…ironically. So my suggestion is to do a protein treatment once a month if you have not chemically manipulated your hair and twice a month if you have (i.e. color treatment). However, if you find a regimen that works better for you personally, go for it! Also you must make sure you maintain a proper moisture to protein balance. Which leads to my next point…
4. Moisture Protein Balance
I’m sure you understand by now that if you don’t moisturize your hair it will be dry and snap like a twig. However, moisturizing is even more important when you’ve added protein treatments to your regimen. Protein gives the hair strength and structure but moisture gives the hair flexibility and elasticity. Therefore, if there is proper balance then your hair will be at its optimal. Nonetheless, let one of those factors tip the scale and you can be looking at more breakage. If you are doing a protein treatments it is important to make sure you moisturize frequently or else your hair can quickly become very brittle. An easy way to know if your hair is breaking because of a moisture deficiency is if your hair breaks with a “snap”.
On the other hand, make sure you aren’t over moisturizing either. If your hair feels like it is too stretched and is limp when breaking then that is a key sign that you are going too heavy on the moisturizer. Again, balance is key!
5. Treat the Outside through the Inside
Has your diet been imbalanced? We frequently forget the fact that our outside is often a reflection of what is going on inside. We live in a world full of stresses and time pressure and we often neglect to give our bodies the “tlc” it needs to stay healthy. If you have noticed hair breakage, a great factor to evaluate first is how healthy you are. Are you eating a well balanced diet that is majority vegetables and fruit? Do you exercise? Or have you been stressed, working all the time and binging on fast food.
Your body needs a lot of micro-nutrients (fruits and vegetables) and some macro-nutrients (protein, complex carbohydrates) to function properly. Given all of the important organs in need of those nutrients, your hair is one of the last to receive them. Therefore, if you are cheating your body of those nutrients your hair may NEVER be receiving them. See how big of a deal that can be?
Also, keeping your stress levels in check is another key component to having healthy hair. Severe stress can cause a number of complications that can result in hair breakage or loss, including conditions like Telogen Effluvium, a condition where stress sends a number of your hair follicles into a resting period, stopping the hair from growing or receiving proper nutrients. Nobody wants these kinds of problems. The better you treat your body inside, the healthier you will be on the outside…and that includes our hair.
Got any tips for stopping and preventing hair breakage?
Leave a comment below!