Even if you take the most loving care of your hair, some form of mechanical damage is inevitable. The mere acts of just washing and styling our hair can lead to a minimal amount of breakage, no matter how cautious we are. I’m sure we all know by now that moisture is key to natural hair. Without the necessary moisture, our hair becomes dry and brittle, which leads to breakage. However here are five practices to be weary of if you’re still experiencing excessive breakage.
1. Do not use heat (excessively)
Frequent and high temperature use of heat are going to lead to heat damage. There’s just no getting around it. So make sure that you use heat as little as possible throughout your regime, and if you can’t do away with it completely, use a heat protectant and set the dryer on a low heat setting.
2. Stay away from the chemicals
Chemicals such as relaxers and the like break down the protein bonds of the individual hair strands. It can also cause severe burns to the scalp. In addition, hair dyes are extremely drying to the hair. It’s possible to limit all this damage through regular protein and deep conditioning treatments both before and after the chemical processes, but ultimately some form of damage and breakage is unavoidable.
3. NEVER dry comb / detangle your hair
If you’re always trying to detangle or comb your hair while it’s dry, you best believe you’re going to experience breakage galore. Adding water or a moisturising product such as conditioner – along with an oil for an even smoother experience – will soften the individual hair strands and make them more flexible, enabling you to glide through those tangles.
4. Avoid constant restyling
It’s simple: The more you manipulate the hair, the more susceptible it is to damage and breakage. So it stands to reason if you only style your hair once every few days or weeks, you’re likely to experience less breakage simply because you’re not constantly handling your hair.
5. Don’t be scared of protein
As hair comprises 90% protein, it makes sense that we should replace the protein lost to manipulation and damage. This doesn’t necessarily mean doing an intensive protein treatment. If you’ve consistently been looking after your hair, it can be as simple as regularly adding strengthening ingredients into your routine. Examples include plain yoghurt, avocado, egg and my personal favourite, coconut oil, which is highly effective in reducing protein loss.
These steps have all worked collectively to ensure that my hair stays healthy and strong. Let me know if there are any other ways to prevent damage and breakage to our natural hair that I can add on to this list?
Thanks so much for reading and love your hair,