Hair breakage happens more often than you might think. Your hair goes through a lot of abuse and neglect over time, so reducing the damage is fundamental. With the high demands of everyday life, good hair care can sometimes get put on the back burner. The less effort you put into taking care of your hair however, the more prone your hair is to snapping off.
There are two major reasons hair snaps, pops, cracks, splits, crunches, whacks, rips, or tears:
Hair is stretched beyond it capacity! (snap, whack)
Hair has become dry and brittle from excessive heat or from lack or moisture. (crack, pop)
Elastin gives hair its 'bounce back' capacity. If you’ve ever brushed wet hair (which you should have learned not to do by now), you’ve seen hair stretch. If stretched too far, you’ve also heard the familiar noise that hair makes when it’s breaking in two. Snap. Makes my bones hurt! Brushing your hair too much or too hard, can also cause regular breakage.
Hair Breakage Contributors
Hair chemical abuse
Overuse of hot appliances
Improper hair care.
Your hair can break off when certain points in your hair are weakened. Sometimes you can see the points because they appear white, almost dandruff like. Your hair can also look thin or weakened along the hair strand, which is most commonly attributed to improper brushing techniques, the overuse of hot appliances, or the overuse of harsh chemical treatments. If hair splits in two, it’s called split ends.
Hair breaking off is often a sign that there is weakness along the hair shaft. Since all hair is made of keratin, protein-packed treatments work well in some cases. However, too much protein can cause your hair to become weak too so use them cautiously.
This is an image of hair breakage. The scales you see along the hair strand are called the cuticles, which protect the inside structure of your hair. Once the cuticle has been compromised, hair fractures.
To keep hair from breaking, use these common sense tips.
Prevention of Hair Breakage
Be careful with heat! Heated appliances can easily compromise hair structure. Keep iron settings on medium low to medium at the most. Hot settings can easily destroy the hair cuticle, which is designed to protect hair!
Be sure not to keep hot irons on your hair in ONE place for too long either. If you see smoke, its time to move the iron for sure! Its much better for your hair to be ironed twice quickly, than be ironed once slowly, especially if you have weak hair.
When you’re blow drying, move the dryer around frequently and never leave it in one section for more than a few seconds, especially if you’re using higher settings. Always give hair a cooling shot afterward to help close the hair cuticle again. Heat opens the cuticle. Coolness closes it.
Use a gentle bristle soft brush on dry hair and use a BIG comb on WET hair. When hair is wet, its especially vulnerable to stretching and then snapping off. So be super meticulous when your hair is wet!
Conditioners work great at providing moisture to your hair and protecting hair after you shampoo. Leave them on your hair for a few minutes while you shower. Work from hair ends to mid hair shaft but don’t get too close to the scalp. Your scalp already has its own supply of oils.
Since most cases of hair breakage are attributed to dry hair, you'll need deep moisturizing treatments to help amend the hair shaft. Shea butter help supply lots of extra moisture to your hair if used regularly.
Tip: Don't over-rinse conditioners; leave some of it on your hair! This helps add a protective coating to your hair, makes it much easier to comb out, and helps your hair retain more moisture.
Chemicals are harsh, period. They are meant to be used intermittently. In between chemical services, you've got to replenish, replenish, replenish, or you will ZAP your hair. If you color your hair, don’t do a root to tip color each time. Over-lapping can cause weakened points along the hair.
Perms (curly or straight) and hair color removers are some of the worst offenders if they’re overused. Be patient between the chemical services you get and be sure your hair is healthy enough, before using them again.
You body requires certain nutrients to help maintain healthy hair. You can buy vitamins that are especially made for your hair or take specified individual vitamins. You can find a laundry list here.
In order to create healthy cells, your body uses nutrients as food for your hair. Wouldn't you like your hair to look this good?
Treatments that Reduce Hair Breakage
Boil a pot of water in your home daily if the air is dry. Vaporized water as steam, helps restore moisture where moisture is lost.
Emergency treatments like Nexxus Emergencee and 911 Emergency, are some of the best treatments that may be able to stop hair breakage in its tracks. These type of products are a true wonder if your hair needs it. (But it's still best not to need them in the first place!)
Heavy conditioners can amend some cases of hair breakage. Hair masques pack more punch than ordinary conditioners! Use them regularly!
Added moisture is what dry ends need the most. Moisturizing conditioners or stay on your hair conditioners can provide the extra moisturizers and nutrients.
Morrocan oil, sunflower oil, and almond oil are great remedies for treating dry hair, which snaps and breaks easily.
Regular shampoos and conditioners are sometimes chocked full of drying ingredients. Avoid their use.
Eliminate dead ends by keeping your ends trimmed. Snipping those stragglers regularly will make it look fuller and thicker, lush and healthy.
Egg Remedies to Reduce Hair Breakage
Use the yolk from an egg to supply a healthy dose of biotin (for growth) with the white of the egg to supply keratin (for strength). Whisk together with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add 1/2 tsp. of salt to taste. (Just kidding to see if you were paying attention:o) You can add other ingredients like honey or avocado if you like but plain egg and oil works fine. The more you add though, the messier it gets.
Apply the mixture to your hair ends FIRST and mid hair shaft and cover with a cap or towel. Keep the mixture on your hair for 15 minutes or longer, then rinse, shampoo and condition as usual. Do this several times a month and you should start seeing visible results.
Another way to use an egg is this: Get out the blender. Break an egg but separate the yolk from the white. Whip the white until it forms soft peaks. Use a fork and mix the yolk with a tablespoon of water and stir till its got a creamy consistency. It will look like melted butter at this point. Then fold both parts of the egg (yolk and white) together. Apply this mixture to your hair and cover in a cap. (It will be messy so have plenty of towels on hand.) Leave in your hair for 30 minutes, then rinse and condition.
How does your hair feel now? Way to go pretty lady! That wasn't so tough, was it? Can you keep up the good work without me?
Additionally, you can use mayonnaise to condition since mayo consists of mainly eggs.
It most probably took a while for your hair to get in a mess, and it’s going to take some time to heal your hair. If there is no good reason why your hair is dry and brittle, have your thyroid checked for hypothyroidism, which can more often than not, cause hair breakage.