Hair breakage is one of the most undesirable consequences of damaged hair, and it can lead to long-lasting repercussions.
If you’ve ever encountered uncontrollable frizz or observed the beginnings of split ends, chances are you’ve personally experienced hair breakage.
Discover the potential causes of your hair breakage and effective prevention methods.
What Is Hair Breakage?
Hair breakage and shedding may seem the same, but they are different. Hair shedding constitutes a natural phase within your hair’s growth cycle. It’s normal to shed hair daily, typically ranging from 50 to 100 hairs per day, to be precise.
It can manifest as unintended irregular lengths, inconsistent textures, and rough strands. When hair is healthy, the scales on each strand’s cuticle align harmoniously, resulting in the desired smoothness and shine we all aim for.
However, when hair undergoes dryness or damage, these scales can disperse in various directions, resulting in a frizzy and brittle texture, possibly culminating in split ends over time. It commonly arises from both a dry scalp and damaged hair.
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Causes of Hair Breakage
Many factors can contribute to and trigger hair falling off; some of the most common causes are:
- Using cotton pillows
- Lack of moisture
- Hair coloring
- Washing your hair with hard water
- Wrapping your hair in a towel after showering
- Heat styling and blow-drying your hair
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How to Stop Hair Breakage
To prevent hair breakage, you can follow these tips and practices:
- Gentle Handling: Treat your hair gently, especially when it’s wet. Avoid vigorous towel-drying or brushing, as wet hair is more susceptible to breaking off. Instead, use a microfiber towel to pat your hair dry and detangle it with a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush.
- Avoid Heat Styling: Reduce heat-styling tools like straighteners, curling irons, and blow dryers. Excessive heat can weaken hair and lead to breakage. Should you deem it necessary to use heat, ensure the application of a heat protectant spray beforehand.
- Proper Hair Accessories: Be mindful of the hair accessories you use. Avoid tight hair ties and opt for scrunchies or hair elastics without metal parts to minimize stress on your hair.
- Regular Trims: Scheduled trims every 6-8 weeks play a vital role in eradicating split ends and halting their progression up the hair shaft, thereby averting it falling off.
- Balanced Diet: Endeavor to always consume a well-balanced diet abundant in essential vitamins and minerals, focusing on biotin, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients promote healthy hair growth and strength.
- Proper Conditioning: Use a good-quality conditioner to keep your hair hydrated and moisturized. Deep conditioning treatments can also help strengthen your hair.
- Avoid over-washing: Frequent hair washing can deplete its natural oils, leading to dryness and breakage. Strive to wash your hair every 2-3 days or as needed.
- Use a Silk or Satin Pillowcase: Opting for a silk or satin pillowcase for sleep minimizes hair friction, preventing breakage that can occur with cotton pillowcases.
- Protective Hairstyles: Consider wearing protective hairstyles like braids, buns, or twists to minimize manipulation and reduce the risk of breakage.
- Choose the Right Hair Products: Use hair products suitable for your hair type and concerns. Look for shampoos and conditioners that are free from harsh sulfates and chemicals.
- Stay Hydrated: Stay well-hydrated by drinking ample water to ensure your hair and scalp remain moisturized, which can aid in averting dryness and falling off.
- Reduce Stress: Elevated stress levels may contribute to hair breakage. Practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.
- Avoid Tight Hairstyles: Tight hairstyles like cornrows and tight ponytails can stress your hair and scalp, leading to breakage. Opt for looser styles when possible.
Remember that hair breakage can also result from underlying health issues or genetics. If you’re experiencing excessive hair falling off despite following these tips, it’s a good idea to consult a dermatologist or a trichologist for a more personalized assessment and treatment plan.