Protect Your Length: How You Can Stop Hair Breakage
Breakage is the enemy of length retention. But "how do you stop breakage?" you ask. You wonder why your hair hasn’t grown an inch after 6 months only to look around and see your little strands of hair surrounding you. Every time you detangle your hair, your comb ends up with an afro of its own.
Well, no more! After today, you’ll know common sources of breakage and how to treat them. Follow these tips and watch as your healthy, long hair grows.
Breakage vs. Shedding
One common mistake is to mix up shedding with breakage. Shedding is when your hair strands fall off your hair. This is completely natural and, in fact, you shed 50-100 strands every day. To tell if your shedding, look at the strands that fall out of your hair. Shedding hairs are full strands that often a little white at the end where they broke off your follicle.
On the other hand, breakage looks like shorter strands or pieces of hair. This is because your hair is snapping at the ends rather than falling out completely like shedding. Breakage is when weak hair breaks off. It usually occurs with dry, damaged hair that is tangled or full of split ends. Unlike shedding, you can minimize breakage to near-zero.
5 Ways To Stop Breakage
Moisture is the key to length. In fact, the point bears repeating. Moisture is the KEY to length.
Dry hair is prone to breaking and snapping. Dryness may be a cause of damage or weather condition, but can still be treated with a proper hair care routine.
It all starts with conditioners and a variety of them. First, use a daily rinse-out conditioner for replenishing your hair while showering. Next, applying a leave-in conditioner throughout the week will allow your hair to retain its luster in between wash days. Be sure to seal in your conditioner with hair oil to make sure all that goodness is locked in.
Reduce The Heat
Over-exposure to heat is another surefire way to dry your hair out. Not only can heat leave your hair brittle and easily breakable, but it can also cause long-term damage to your hair.
Avoid exposing your hair to heat if you can. Stay away from flat irons. Opt to air dry your hair instead of blow-drying. If you use a blow-dry, use a diffuser to lessen the heat intensity.
Don’t Mess With Your Hair
Manipulation can come in many shapes and forms. Combing, wearing hats and scarves, playing with your hair (I know I’m guilty of this one). However, every time you touch your hair, you run the risk of creating a new split end.
To be frank, keep your hands out of your hair. Brush and detangle only when needed. The old wives’ tale of “100 strokes will keep your hair beautiful” is not the case. When you do detangle your hair, use a light conditioner to soften your hair and provide slip. Detangle only on damp hair. Not too wet and not too dry. Last, brush from the ends and work your way up to the roots. This will also you to unknot without too much tension, which can cause breakage.
How you treat your hair when you sleep matters too. Normal, cotton pillowcases are rough on your hair. When you toss and turn at night, the fiction can lead to frizz and breakage. Invest in a satin headscarf or bonnet. If head raps aren’t your thing, then satin or silk pillowcases work just as well along with helping retain moisture in your hair and skin.
Protective styles are one of the best ways of preventing breakage. By tucking in your fragile ends, you nearly ensure your hair will remain healthy and long. Best of all, there are a variety of protective styles you can get based on your hair and style needs.
Change Your Diet
Often overlooked, what you eat plays a major part in your hair health. Water in your body is just as good as water on your hair, so drink at least 2 liters or 8 glasses a day. Alongside water, here are the best nutrients for hair health.
- Protein: Meat, Beans, Eggs, Dairy products, Nuts
- Vitamin-A: Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Pumpkins, Milk, Eggs
- Vitamin-D: Sunlight, Fatty Fish, Mushrooms, Liver
- Iron: Liver, Oysters, Mussels, Spinach, Lentils
- Zinc: Oysters, Crabs, Chickpeas, Cashews
- Biotin: Egg Yolks, Beans, Chickpeas, Bananas, Broccoli
With these 5 tips, you should see a drastic reduction in hair breakage. Now go out and flaunt your long crown!