Black Hair Breakage, Brushing And Heat Are The Main Causes
We have all heard the saying, "give your hair a hundred strokes a day to make it look great" but that is actually the opposite of what you should do! If you are experiencing hair breakage, excessive combing or brushing can be wholly or partly to blame.
This applies to all types of hair including Afro hair. Black women's hair might have a coarse texture but it is delicate because of its structure.
Black hair is made of the same components as other hair types but the components are arranged differently, making it more fragile than it might appear.
Heat Damaged Black Hair Breakage
In today's culture, using chemical relaxers to straighten the hair is very popular and a style favored by many black women. If your hair is chemically relaxed, this might lead to black hair breakage because the hair's basic structure will have been altered.
Relaxers work by breaking the bonds which strengthen the wavy or curly style, making it weak. The relaxer will remove protein from the hair which weakens the hair shaft and results in breakage. If your hair is relaxed, it is more brittle than non-relaxed hair, so you should avoid heat sources, including hairdryers and curling tongs as much as possible. If you must use them, try not to do so more than once a week or for special occasions only.
Never have your hair chemically relaxed more than once every ten to twelve weeks. No-lye relaxers are thought to be less harsh but they can dry the hair just as much as lye-based hair relaxers so don't assume that using a no-lye relaxer will safeguard against hair breakage.
Any type of relaxer will make the hair more porous and chemically treated hair needs to be regularly treated with intensive moisturizing hair care products to keep it looking good.
As long as you have your hair relaxed at a professional salon and take care of it, there is no reason why you should not have your hair chemically straightened, but causing further damage by excessive blow drying or curling should be avoided. There are also a lot of great products available to nourish your hair and replace lost moisture if it has been chemically treated.
Tips for Treating Afro Black Hair Breakage
If your hair is uneven because of severe breakage, the best thing to do might be to have the broken hair trimmed away, so it looks healthier and the split, broken ends do not travel further up the hair shafts. The one thing you cannot do is to repair the damaged or split ends.
If you have severe breakage, trimming your hair to a shorter length might be your only option at this point. End seal products can temporarily seal the ends of your hair but this is not a permanent solution to the problem of hair breakage or damaged ends.
Unless you want a shorter hairstyle, there are some other things to can try. Always use good quality shampoos and intensive leave-in conditioners rather than cheap products. Cheap shampoos contain harsh detergents which strip your hair of its natural oils, make it more brittle and therefore even more prone to breakage. Shampoos which are pH balanced can help to improve and maintain the condition of your hair.
Comb your hair while you are conditioning it, when the hair is wet and slick. Use a wide tooth comb for this. Don't wash your hair too often. Once a week is fine. You can rinse your hair every day or two if you sweat because the salt can dry out the hair. Many people allow a week between shampoos and have beautiful, glossy hair.
Don't massage the scalp because this does nothing for your hair except cause hair breakage if you are too rough. Blot the water from your hair after washing rather than rubbing it with a towel which can cause hair breakage.
Eating a diet rich in protein or taking protein supplements can also strengthen your hair. Vitamins and minerals feed the hair follicle and encourage strong, healthy hair. A junk food diet does not provide your hair with the necessary nutrients and can result in weak or broken hairs. Find a hairstyle which works with your natural growth pattern and hair type.
The less you have to chemically alter your hair and style it, the better it will look, the healthier it will be, and lessen black hair breakage.
Get your hair trimmed every six to eight weeks, even if you don't think it is necessary. The ends of the hair dry out more than the rest and this can lead to hair breakage.
If you suffer from hair breakage, the best thing to do is not to have your hair chemically treated until it is in better condition. Use good quality shampoos and conditioners and avoid tight hairstyles.
Smooth, healthy afro hair is beautiful hair and going easy on the chemical treatments, over-brushing and tight hairstyles is the way to get the beautiful head of hair you dream of and stop black hair breakage.
Black Hair Breakage