Experiencing Hair Breakage? Your Products Could Be The Culprit

When you have a tendency to bleach your hair every other month, get frequent protective styles that pull on your scalp or can't seem to escape a slicked-back bun, you're probably well acquainted with the concept of hair breakage. Whether you have breakage at your crown area due to constant high ponies or a few bald patches at the hairline from brushing your hair back too often, then you know that how you handle your hair will result in more fallen strands than the typical hair shedding.

Even constant heat styling can cause hair to break. When too much heat is applied to your hair, it changes the structure of the strands, resulting in dry, damaged hair that breaks easily. However, if you try to avoid heat on your hair, do low-manipulation styles, and have never bleached or dyed your tresses, experiencing breakage is probably the last thing you would expect from relatively healthy hair.

Yet, outside of the techniques you practice and how gentle you may be, hair health still stems from the products you use. It's not just chemicals in bleach, dye, or relaxer that may cause your hair to break – certain ingredients in your trusted hair care items may be causing breakage.

These ingredients in your hair products may lead to breakage

Before we get into the things that cause breakage, it's important to understand that hair sheds about 50 to 100 strands a day; those strands the length of your hair with a white bulb at the end aren't damaged hair. They've simply given way to the hair growth cycle. Additionally, hair breakage may look awfully similar to flyaways. While breakage lays flat with the rest of your hair, flyaways always find a way to defy gravity.

Aside from heat damage and tension, ingredients such as silicones may eventually lead to hair breakage. It's not an immediate mechanism; over time, non-water soluble silicones can build up in the hair, drying and thinning it out, which can ultimately lead to breakage. After some time, only a clarifying shampoo, which can be extremely stripping, will be able to get the silicones out of your hair.

While sulfates often serve a purpose in cleansing products, they shouldn't be overused. In clarifying shampoos, they can help to get rid of a mix of dirt, sweat, and product that have built up after a while. However, there's no need to use a shampoo with sulfates every wash day, especially if you have fine or brittle hair. A powerful cleansing ingredient, they can strip the hair of moisture, leaving you with straw-like strands. Opt for a sulfate-free, moisturizing shampoo when you need a gentle cleanse.

How to prevent hair breakage

Ensuring that your hair is always moisturized is a major key to preventing breakage. Hair that is constantly dry can turn brittle, a precursor to it snapping and breaking off easily. Rather than piling on more products, try to wash it when you notice that it starts to get dry. The same thing should be applied to natural hair. There's a misconception that natural hair grows better when it's dirty, but in reality, washing it every seven to ten days keeps it healthy and moisturized.

Water is what moisturizes your hair; sealing it in with an anti-humectant, such as a botanical gel free of sulfates and silicones, should lock in moisture until your next wash day. If you have kinky, type-four hair, chances are that it's fine in texture. Using lightweight products in conjunction with a lot of water will prevent your curls from being heavy and weighed down. For straighter hair, a hydrating shampoo every few days will help with moisture levels in your strands. Even on the days you don't wash your hair, use a conditioner every now and then to keep the length of your hair hydrated.

Aside from keeping your hair moisturized, get regular trims to avoid split ends; they can travel up the hair cuticle, causing more damage. A healthy scalp is the beginning of healthy hair. Using scalp scrubs to stimulate the follicles can help you achieve more growth. Head massages throughout the week, wherever you're experiencing breakage, will also speed up growth.