How to stop hair breakage (in African-American hair)
African-Americans have the most fragile and delicate hair. It’s not surprising therefore for their hair to break, particularly after all the chemical treatment and other hot tools they use on their hair. If you too have run into this problem, it’s obvious you may be asking yourself how to stop hair breakage and how to prevent hair breakage.
But to reach a solution on that you first need to know what causes hair breakage. Let’s explore this topic and then work out causes, solutions and prevention strategies to control hair breakage.
How to stop hair breakage
If you want to know how to stop hair breakage, don’t worry. There are many ways to stop it, such as:
Find the right product
Look for safe products for your hair. Begin by looking for products made specifically for African hair. Try as many types of shampoos and conditioners as you can.
Don’t choose products with alcohol, sulfates or glycol which dry your hair of its natural oils.
Look for leave-in conditioners and moisturizing shampoos and conditioners.
Once you start using any of these products, you will need to wait for a few weeks to see any change.
Work out how often you should wash your hair
See how often you need to wash your hair. Though you might need to wash your hair when dirty, you may be removing all necessary oils that make your hair fragile. If your hair has turned fragile, wash it once in two weeks.
Before you wash or style your hair, moisturize it. Use olive oil, coconut oil or jojoba oil into your hair to restore its former quality and retain moisture. After 30 minutes of oiling your hair, wash it. You can give yourself this hot oil treatment even after you use hot tools like flat irons or blow dryers.
To apply your conditioner easily, set it up by filling a spray bottle with conditioner, water and natural oil. Shake it well and spritz it onto your hair before you shampoo or if your hair is very dry. Else, apply a leave-in deep conditioner in the evening and wash and style it the next morning.
Oil the ends of your hair as they go through a lot of tangling and tugging.
Use gentle shampoo and rub it onto your scalp gently as this will help unblock your pores and clean the hair with just the bare amount of lather running down your hair.
You can also use conditioner instead of shampoo. This will not only clean your hair but also prevent it from losing moisture and essential oils.
Don’t wash it as often as every other day, particularly if you begin to see some dry hair.
With so many options before you, how to stop breakage needn’t give you sleepless nights anymore.
What causes hair breakage?
Black African-American hair is naturally curly and has a tight and kinky curling pattern. It is also very fragile. Due to this, the oil that the scalp produces has great difficulty in reaching the end of the hair shaft and moisturize it. When it dries it also breaks. Apart from this, if you use hot straighteners, blow dryers or curling irons, hair breakage is imminent.
What causes hair breakage? Here are some hair breakage causes you might have experienced:
Using direct heat
The overuse of heat and hot tools like hair dryers and flat irons causes hair breakage.
When fragile hair rubs against hats, collars and clothing or is towel dried by vigorous rubbing, it breaks at the ends.
Often when women retouch their hair with a relaxer, it is overlapped and applied to hair that was relaxed earlier, thereby causing breakage.
Alcohol in styling products
Hair breakage causes include several styling products contain alcohol which dries hair and causes split ends.
Passing a fine tooth comb through the hair tears it. It’s better to use a wide toothed comb that moves smoothly through curly hair and prevents any breakage.
Brushing wet hair
By brushing wet hair, breakage is assured.
Hair breakage can result from wrongly using moisturizer or a protein conditioner. For hair to be healthy, a correct balance of both have to be used.
Glue can for hair extensions
Hair extensions which require glue caane damaging as the application and removal method is traumatic for the hair.
Tight plaits and complicated hair styles
Tightly plaited hair tears the hair and splits it. Micro-fine braiding also breaks the hair if not looked after correctly. If you choose to go with dreadlocks or twists, your hair could well be damaged at the site of the twist. Where damage to the hair is still not that great, you might consider chopping off the hair and allowing your hair to grow naturally.
Sleeping on cotton pillowcases
Sleeping on a cotton pillow case robs hair for its essential moisture.
Hair breakage treatment
Hair breakage treatment begins by treating your hair right. This is best done by using the right products that will stop hair breakage and getting rid of habits that stimulate breakage. A few of these products are Aphogee 2 step Protein treatment, AG Cosmetics Split End Spa and Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Split End Sealer. By using these products regularly, your hair will be well conditioned and will not split.
Here are some dos and don’ts of hair breakage treatment:
Moisturize and condition your hair
By moisturizing your hair, it remains supple and strong. So, it’s good to use a leave-in conditioner and seal it with Shea butter. Check how well your hair retains moisture and then work out the frequency of applying moisturizer. Deep conditioning the hair also helps to strengthen the hair and keep it moisturized.
Use gentle shampoos
Your hair dries and breaks when you use harsh shampoos, so look for a shampoo that’s gentle on your hair and doesn’t take away from its moisture content.
Be gentle on your hair
Be gentle when brushing and combing your hair. Don’t make tight braids or put any other kind of stress and strain on your hair or it will snap at the ends.
Wrap your hair in a scarf at night
Cotton pillowcases and dry air at night can pull in moisture from your hair. To avoid this, wrap your hair in a scarf before going to bed.
Cut off split ends and knots
The strength of each hair is minimized when you have split ends and knots. So, cut them off with scissors.
Avoid using hot tools directly
By using hot tools like crimpers, hot rollers, flat irons and curling tongs, essential moisture is removed from the hair shaft and replaces it with bubbles that weaken it.
Don’t color your hair
If you must color your hair, have it done professionally and top it up with regular deep conditioning treatments. Henna is a good option that won’t weaken your hair.
Hair breakage repair
No matter what kind of damage you have the following tips will bring about hair breakage repair and keep it strong and healthy.
By using moisturizing shampoos and conditioners and a good protein treatment, you can cause hair breakage repair. Other methods of hair breakage repair include deep conditioning your hair by adding heat to it, using leave-in conditioners and sealing your hair ends with Shea butter.
You can prevent hair breakage by getting regular protein treatments. These treatments are good for the hair because they coat the hair with protein and strengthen it to prevent any further chances of breakage. Due to the great impact it can have on damaged hair, stylists recommend that you have a treatment done every six weeks.
Yet another potent reason for broken or damaged hair is a chemical treatment. These treatments including coloring and the use of relaxers play havoc with the elasticity of your hair. If you’re transitioning from chemically treated hair to naturally growing hair, pay some attention to the fine line between your naturally growing hair and your overprocessed hair. There are several good products that can help treat such hair and also reduce the chances of hair breakage.
Another way by which your hair can be restored to normal is to choose comfortable hair styles instead of tight braids and styles that put strain on the hair strands. Look out for a good stylist who can offer valuable suggestions and styles that will take your comfort and hair strength into consideration. Once you find a stylist, visit him or her every two months for a trim.
Do you wear a wig? If yes, take it off at night because constant wearing may end up in irritating your hairline. Changing a few habits can help your hair ends to re-grow into strong strands.
Detangle your hair after a wash by using your fingers, not a comb as it is known to break knotted hair. Do dry wet hair, don’t use a towel but absorbent hair towel that’s gentle on your hair.
Instead of using heat styling methods to dry your hair, let it dry naturally. This will reduce the chances of breakage. Whatever style you may choose for yourself, there should be some time that you give your hair to unwind and rest so that it picks up in strength and health. So, avoid breakage methods tht include singing your hair, coloring it or going in for texturizing treatments.
Don’t use rubber bands either that will put strain on your hair strands and cause it to split.
Home remedies for hair breakage
African-American hair can be very fragile and delicate and therefore very liable to damage, breakage and frizz. It also has its own unique requirements to keep healthy. In case you’ve damaged your hair by excessive chemical straightening or using curling irons or flat irons and want use some home remedies for hair breakage, use any of the below-mentioned home remedies to help restore your beautifully soft and fragile hair.
Hot oil treatments
If your hair is damaged, the best treatment is to use hot oil on your scalp as it adds moisture and keeps it wet. Stylist Yetunde Jude’s homemade hot oil treatment recipe asks that you combine sage, olive, jojoba oil and grapeseed and apply it on your scalp after you’ve washed your hair. Leave the mix on for about 20 minutes before rinsing. Use this treatment twice a month as it adds the necessary moisture and elasticity to your hair.
Homemade hair mayonnaise
This deep conditioner is one of the highly recommended home remedies for hair breakage. It works to add life and bounce to your hair and heals any frizz and breakage to your ethnic hair. It gives your hair the necessary moisturizing and It can be applied to all types of ethnic hair for extra moisturizing and sustenance.
Mayonnaise works when you use real mayo, not the one you use in salads. To make your own homemade mayonnaise, combine an egg, vegetable or olive oil and a few drops of essential oil in a blender until it turns thick. To know how to prevent hair breakage, mix in mayonnaise into your hair and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Wash your hair using a gentle shampoo and rinse it thoroughly. Let it dry naturally.
This homemade recipe works because the two basic ingredients, oil and eggs, are rich in Vitamin E, which is good for broken and chemically treated hair.
Leave-in conditioner: Once you finish washing and conditioning your hair, it’s time to use leave-in conditioners that work to add oil and moisturize your hair. By using a leave-in conditioner, you can learn how to prevent hair breakage by combing through your knotty hair. Leave-in conditioners are commercially available, but if you want a good homemade recipe, you can use aloe vera juice.
All you need do is to squeeze out the juice from the aloe vera plant and apply the juice directly to your washed hair. Alternatively, leave it in your hair overnight to heal and condition your hair.
Not just olive oil
If you want to deep condition your chemically treated hair, you can use olive oil which is good as a moisturizer. But if you want to make a good homemade deep conditioner, combine mayonnaise, olive oil and honey and rub it into your hair. You can also try yogurt and avocado, which are also good for the hair.
Hot oil treatment
Choose from coconut oil, jojoba oil or any other and warm it before applying it on your hair and scalp. Leave it for 30 minutes before washing off in warm water.
Massage your scalp regularly to stimulate blood circulation and natural oils production by the scalp.
Drink plenty of water
Drink eight glasses of water to treat your ethnic hair. Can anything be easier than this?
Avocado and banana hair mask
Avocados are rich in fat which makes them perfect for a deep penetrating hair mask. To make this mask, combine a banana with an egg, half an avocado, two tablespoons honey and three tablespoons buttermilk. Put it on your scalp and hair and leave on for about 20 minutes. Then, wash off carefully with a gentle shampoo.
Vinegar is acidic, which makes the scales of your hair follicles smooth and strong while also getting rid of the residue in your hair. To make this rinse, add four tablespoons vinegar to 0.9 liter of water. Once you finish shampooing and conditioning your hair, pour this liquid into your hair but don’t rinse your hair.
How to prevent hair breakage
If you want to know how to prevent hair breakage, follow these few steps:
Shampoo and condition your hair every couple of days, using only organic products.
Don’t use flat irons or curling irons or any kind of heat on your hair.
Wrap your hair at night with a scarf.
Oil your scalp and have your hair ends trimmed regularly.
Deep condition your hair with a protein-based conditioner, either with a cap for an hour or a hair dryer for about 30 minutes.
Go in for a hot oil treatment every other week.
Moisturize your hair as and when needed with olive oil, Shea butter or coconut oil.
Wrap your hair in a silk scarf at night just before getting into bed.
Have hair massages regularly, meditate and lead a stress-free life.
Use a natural bristle brush or a paddle brush for your hair.
Don’t wear caps or hats that have no lining. If they don’t, protect your hair by covering it with a scarf.
Don’t use rubber bands on your hair, instead go in for silky or satin scrunches that are gentle on your hair and don’t cause breakage.
With so many options before you, you can’t continue to have problems of hair breakage for long. Be diligent about the options you choose, perform them with care and responsibility and you will soon have a head full of strong and healthy hair.