The incidents of hair breakage, or what is also called HB, has increased worldwide. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people suffer from hair breakage which is up from last year’s reports of 1 in 8.
Though the increased usage of flat irons, curling irons, relaxers, and blow dryers have been the most egregious contributors to this world wide epidemic, other little known factors have come into play:
– A lack of protein in the individual strands of hair can cause hair to be brittle and snap.
-The widespread use of cotton pillowcases have been known to dry hair out and cause hair breakage.
– The friction of your hair rubbing against your clothes has become a major factor in the latest hair breakage endemic.
The HB outbreak has been one of the leading causes of short hair syndrome that effects many African-American women today.
How You Can Protect Yourself from Hair Breakage
Let your hair breathe
Your hair can start to get smothered from all the treatments it endures. So if you color or relax your hair every 6 weeks then start only getting it done every 3 months. If possible, stop coloring and/or relaxing altogether until your hair’s health has been restored. Use a color fade resistant shampoo like L’Oreal Professionnel Serie Expert Vitamino Color Incell Hydro-Resist Color Protecting Shampoo in the meantime to keep your color as vibrant as possible for as long as possible. Learn some techniques for stretching your relaxer to the absolute limit.
Dress Your Hair in Satin and Silk
Using satin pillowcases like Luxury Satin Pillow Case or silk pillowcases like Spasilk 100% Pure Silk Facial Beauty Pillowcase will give your hair a smooth material to slide on at night resulting in less broken hairs in the morning.
Dry it naturally
If you blow dry your hair after every shampoo and condition, try air drying your hair instead. There are many air drying options available to you. Try rollersetting, two strand twists, bantu knots, or braid outs for starters.
Turn Down the Heat
If you flat iron your hair, start doing it less frequently. For instance, if you flat iron everyday, limit yourself to once a week. If you flat iron every week, see if flat ironing every two weeks is feasible. Try to do it as little as possible or not at all until your hair is healthy and strong again. Then you can start over and begin implementing some of the flat ironing techniques outlined here.
Build Up Your Hair’s Strength
When your hair is experiencing breakage, there are usually one of two reasons behind it: not enough protein or not enough moisture. A protein treatment is a quick way to infuse and strengthen each individual strand of your hair.
Aphogee Two-step Treatment Protein and Nexxus Emergencee are heavy treatments that would be best administered by a professional hair stylist, at least the first time. Redken Extreme Anti-Snap is a more moderate protein treatment which can easily be performed at home. Joico K Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor and Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner are lighter treatments that need several weeks of use before results can be seen.
In 2009, the Institute for Hair Breakage and Shedding, conducted a study implementing the above steps. The study showed a 95.987% decrease in the amount of broken hairs seen in the shower after shampooing by one third of those participating.
Wanda Sneadmoore, one such participant, talked about the difference the results made in her hair. “Before, whenever I blow dried or combed my hair, I would have to clean the floor of all the hair that would break off. Now, after the study, my hair is the strongest and healthiest it’s ever been and when I blow dry now, I use the low heat setting to keep it that way. Oh, and my floors are also a lot cleaner now.”
*Disclaimer- This “news” story is obviously fake. There is no Institute for Hair Breakage and Shedding. And there was no study done showing a 95.987% decrease in hair breakage. In fact all of the stats are completely made up. However, the tips given in this article are real and they do work to help fight against hair breakage. If you can implement all or some of these steps in your hair routine, I believe that you will see a dramatic difference in the strength of your hair, barring any medical issues you might have.*
For even more help with your hair regimen, please download my free guide so you can learn how to customize a hair regimen to your own needs.