Fact: hair breakage is common and experienced by more people than not in their lifetime. A quick search of “how to stop hair breakage” on Google serves up over 6M results, if you need proof. And that damage can range from barely noticeable but raggedy ends that look and feel better with some extra TLC, to all-out “we're spiraling” strands that may require a serious hair cut or a stylist consultation.
But luckily for us, breakage can be temporary and is totally reversible. So, we’ve rounded up the biggest reasons why hair breakage happens and how you can fix it for good. Healthy hair is the ultimate flex, after all!
What is hair breakage anyway?
Hair breakage is an actual breaking of your hair shaft—resulting in that portion of your hair being shorter and misaligned with the rest of your strands. Split ends are not the same as breakage, but if you fail to get a trim and keep them at bay, that damage can travel up your hair’s shaft.
Breakage doesn’t mean that your hair isn’t growing, but that the damage is happening at the same rate or even faster than the growth in that area—normally occurring at the hairline, crown of your head, back of your head, or the nape of your neck.
Is your hair breaking? Here’s how you can tell.
Jagged, much shorter ends: Do you notice a group of strands that appear shorter and are misaligned with the rest of your hair, even though you haven’t been in for a cut lately? That’s most likely breakage and you’ll want to get to your stylist for a trim, cut, or consultation on how to repair it.
Tangled hair: The cuticles of damaged hair are rough and result in lots of knots and tangles—whether you’re in the shampoo stage in-shower or on day three of styling, post-wash.
Excessive dryness: Is your hair still dry and brittle, even after using the most nourishing products during and post-shower? This is a sign that your hair’s cuticles are damaged and cannot retain moisture.
Why You May Experience Hair Breakage
Doing the most is good in a lot of ways, but not when it comes to your hair. So coloring, straightening, daily heat styling, and straining it with tight hairstyles are all culprits if your strands are less than stellar. Especially if you’re not adding more love to it than you’re taking with protective glosses, using the lowest possible heat, heat protectants, lots of conditioning and masking, and using daily leave-in conditioners and moisturizers.
How to Stop Hair Breakage
Give your hair a break! Plain and simple. That means replacing your next highlight session for a deep conditioning treatment and trim and canceling all plans to use heat styling tools for the next month or so, if you can swing it. That also means upping the care with masking, daily leave-ins, and staying away from tight styles like ponytails.
We created the Super Strength collection to specifically bring damaged hair back to life. And we have the receipts—an instrumental hair tress study revealed that using the line’s shampoo & conditioner together decreases breakage by 50%. The masque also doubles as a balm that can be used on dry hair for added moisture and repair.
Cut styling by half: This might be particularly painful if you love a good blowout, but it makes a huge difference over time. So, wear your natural texture as often as you can—you can protect it overnight with French braids and twists that will look great come morning. And if you must blow dry, generously apply heat-protecting products like the Brilliant Gloss Multi-Tasker and keep the heat as low as possible to get the job done.
Eating your way to healthy hair: What you put in your body feeds your hair, so deficiencies in certain nutrients can lead to brittle, dry, and dull strands. Add growth-boosting biotin into your diet with fish and eggs and ensure your daily diet also includes iron, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin D, and zinc.
To sum things up...
Don't get down on your hair if you're experiencing breakage, just take an action. A hair cut that starts your strands anew is a great first step, but so is investing in clean, hard-working products and giving your hair extra TLC every single day. Before you know it, you'll be back to healthy, thriving hair.