How do you know if you are experiencing breakage? How do you differentiate between breakage and hair loss? And more importantly, how do you prevent breakage?
Let’s start first by clarifying the difference between hair loss and breakage.
Hair loss is going to look like long, full strands of hair that usually come out in big clumps with bulbs typically still intact. Breakage is usually shorter pieces of hair, never with the bulb attached, as it usually breaks one quarter to half-way up the hair strand. Heavy breakage is avoidable, whereas hair loss is a deeper-rooted issue that should be managed by working with your doctor.
Now that we can identify between the two, lets talk about different causes for breakage.
Varying factors like heat damage, chemical damage, dry and brittle hair, split ends, wearing your hair up excessively without using correct hair ties, nutritional imbalances, excessively pulling of hair, etc. can all be causing excess breakage for you.
Heat & Chemical Damage
When it comes to heat and/or chemical damage, ideally both should be avoided if you feel as though your hair only seems to get worse.
However, to prevent this from the start you will want to be using protective products such as heat protectant, masks, leave in conditioner, etc. to act as a guard on the hair BEFORE using hot tools or going in for color services.
I won’t pretend that damage won’t occur at all after this… In fact, the best way to avoid it all together would be to stay away from heat and chemical services. But I am a woman and I know how it goes! We like to style and color our hair.
So, if and when you do, you just need to invest in the protection necessary to save the integrity of your hair.
Wearing your hair up or in tight tension styles regularly
Clearly, some jobs require you to wear your hair up regularly. If that is you, I would encourage you to purchase hair ties that are easier and softer on the hair.
I would also encourage you to put your hair up in different places.
Switch up the styles so it is not the same spot on your hair that is receiving excess pulling. For example, some days wear your hair in a low bun or ponytail, and others wear it up high!
On top of that, try for different styles to pull your hair back like braids, clips, headbands, etc.
The more variety the better so you can avoid repetitive tension in any one spot.
This is kind of a no brainer and yet we can be so stubborn when it comes to regular hair trims.
Split ends will undoubtedly cause breakage. So if you stay up on regular trims, you can help keep your hair healthy and intact.
As listed above, there are a couple other factors that can apply and you should attempt to identify what might be causing the breakage.
Ask your stylist, or your doctor if you think it may be a deeper rooted issue than simply damage to the hair strands, and make a game plan from there.
Like many other things in life, we can either focus on prevention or we can wait for recovery and most often it is easier to prevent.
That is where I would place my focus!
I have written many blog posts on caring for your hair with several product recommendations. Here are a few you can check out: