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!
very informative and useful post Angie. I wonder if you know anything about chemotherapy regrowth please? How to treat what seems to be fragile hair and obviously I want to hang on to it as much as possible because I’ve been bald for months.
Thank you so much! I haven’t studied much about chemotherapy regrowth but from what I have gathered from the process of chemotherapy, a lot of what causes hair loss is the killing of good cells. I’ve been doing a lot of studying and reading up on what really helps replenish your cells because of some health conditions I’ve personally dealt with and by far the most common response is your diet. Having a diet high in micronutrients primarily made of vegetables and fruit is invaluable and is one of the best natural ways of getting your body back on track. I’m not a doctor so this is just my own opinion but I think that’d be a great place to start.
That’s a really great topic that I’d be interested in diving more into. Stay tuned and thanks for the comment!
I think trimming your ends is one of the most important things you can do! I’ve always heard (and seen myself) That the hair doesn’t really grow the same once they’re split! Great article for sure!
Thanks so much! Yes, trimming ends is absolutely essential to hair growth. Thanks for commenting. 🙂
Great tips! I did not know that protein treatments could weaken your hair. I use a lot of heat on my hair I have to admit….but I do try to moisturize and keep my hair healthy. I have been lucky so far because i do use my straightening iron quite a bit! But then again, I have very good conditioner but should probably use more treatments
Yup it’s all about having a proper balance! Treatments probably would be a great idea for you if you use heat on your hair often. Thanks for commenting! 🙂
My mother always tells me that taking fish oil is the best thing you can do for your hair. According to her it gives your hair a natural shine and prevents split ends. I don’t particularly like fish oil…ugh… and I don’t know if rubbing it into your hair is a viable alternative – and even if it was – you wouldn’t smell great.
Yea its so surprising how much of an impact food has on our hair. I’ve heard something similar about fish oil. I never tried it for the same reason that you’ve just explained…I’m sure it would smell horrible. Haha 🙂 Thanks for the comment!
I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I’m no longer sure whether or not this submit is written by means of him as no one else realize such
special about my difficulty. You are amazing! Thank you!