Breakage | How to stop it!
Hair breakage is usually caused by three things:
Curly and kinky hair has a tendency to become dry because our hair shape prevents the sebum (natural oil made by our scalps) getting all the way down to the ends and coating them. This natural coating helps protect against the drying elements of Sun, wind and rain. Not to mention the brushing against our shoulders (once hair is that length)! Dry hair tends to split near the ends and these splits can spread up the shaft. Split ends are weak points at which the hair can just snap off! Once that bit of hair is split, the only remedy is to trim it off (they cannot be glued back together).
To combat this, I suggest starting with a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment. You can just add honey and an oil to your regular conditioner and leave it in for 20mins to an hour. This can be done after shampooing your hair. Alternately, you can co-wash your hair: wash the hair with instant conditioner. This way you get a clean scalp and more moisturized hair in one step!
Hair can become weaker when it is subjected to chemical processes (colour, relaxers, perms) and heat styling. These practices actually break down the bonds in our hair that keep them in their naturally curly/kinky state. Repeated use of heat styling tools (especially on a regular basis) can lead to the bonds being permanently altered and the hair not reverting back to its original state! The problem causes is that the hair, which is made up of a protein called Keratin (nails and skin are also keratinised cells), can be more prone to splitting with very little further insult to the hair. (Think of your silk scarf being stretched and damaged in a dryer!)
To combat this, a protein deep conditioning treatment can be done before or after shampooing the hair. A word of further advice is to do a moisturizing deep condition after protein as this can make the hair feel hard right after rinsing initially. Clues for spotting protein conditioners include the words "reconstructor" "strengthening","mayonnaise" in the title of the product. A cheap alternative is to add one (or two if hair longer than APL) eggs to an instant conditioner and leaving it on under a shower cap for 30 mins without heat. Your hair will thank you!
Poor handling of hair:
This is usually by using the wrong tools for styling the hair, or using bad daily maintenance practices. Examples include:
Now these were off the top of my head!
In order to grow longer hair, we need to take care of the oldest parts of the strands - the ends! Treat it like fine silk. Preserve it and it will thank you and show off your hard work. By the time your hair touched your shoulders, the ends are 1 year old (6 inches). Every 6 inches is roughly another year of growth. If you want to see that length you need to be gentler with the strands.
Simple measures to try:
These are some ways to curb any breakage you may be experiencing. Hope this helps!
I'm Lola - a hair obsessed doctor who stumbled into running long distances and baking all the cupcakes.
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