Tips on How to Stop Hair Breakage for Stronger, Healthier Locks


If you color your hair or alter its texture with chemicals or hot tools, you’re likely familiar with dry, damaged hair, split ends and breakage. But even if you’re not an avid hair lightener or heat styler, your routine and hair habits can lead to damage and broken strands. Avoiding hair breakage is a must for your hair health, so the way you take care of it should address this. If you’ve got hair damage and split ends, this guide is for you. We’re telling you how to stop hair breakage- plus breaking down the best healthy hair habits, tips and products for strong healthy hair. Read ahead for all the details on preventing and repairing damaged hair.


Understanding Hair Breakage

The first step in preventing hair breakage is understanding the structure of hair, which consists of the hair cuticle, cortex, and medulla. The hair cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair shaft, responsible for protecting the inner layers. Hair breakage is the physical damage that occurs to the hair shaft, leading to the splitting or breaking of hair strands. Hair breakage is different from hair loss. breakage involves the fracture of existing hair strands, while hair loss refers to the shedding of hair from the follicle. If your hair is hard to detangle, loses its shine, feels thin and dry at the ends and sheds easily, you’re probably dealing with hair breakage.

Common Causes of Hair Breakage

The most common causes of hair breakage include chemical treatments like bleaching, perming, and relaxers; harsh chemicals found in some hair products, including sulfates and other acids; and excessive heat styling, like blow drying, curling irons, and flat irons, These factors weaken the hair structure and compromise the integrity of the hair shaft, leading to breakage.  

Hair Type Considerations

Your hair type, density, thickness and the porosity of your hair strands can influence their susceptibility to breakage. What is hair density? It refers to the number of individual hair strands per square inch on your scalp. What is low density hair? It means fewer hair strands per square inch. And what is high density hair? It includes the most strands per square inch. Wondering how to determine hair density? Look at your scalp in the mirror. If you have high density your scalp will barely be noticeable; if you have low density, your scalp will be visible.

Identifying Common Culprits for Breakage

Anything that weakens the hair structure and compromises the integrity of the hair shaft can cause breakage. This includes using hair products with harsh chemicals like sulfates and other acids and certain habits, like heat styling, towel drying, aggressive brushing and tight hairstyles. The impact of environmental factors, like dry air and UV exposure, on hair health can also lead to breakage.

Excessive Heat Styling

The effects of frequently using heat styling tools, such as blow dryers, curling irons, and flat irons, is detrimental to hair health. High temperatures can weaken the hair cuticle, leading to increased vulnerability to breakage. Limit the use of heat styling tools and opt for heat-free styling methods whenever possible to minimize damage.

Harsh Chemicals in Hair Products

The presence of sulfates, parabens, and other harsh chemicals in certain hair care products, including shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. These chemicals can strip the hair of its natural oils and disrupt the balance of the scalp, resulting in dryness and breakage. Scrutinize product labels and opt for sulfate-free and gentle formulas.

Tight Hairstyles and Hair Accessories

Tight hairstyles like ponytails, braids, and buns put constant tension on the hair follicles and can lead to a condition known as traction alopecia. This causes hair breakage and loss along the hairline. Avoid tight hairstyles and opt for looser alternatives to reduce stress on the hair strands. 

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors, such as exposure to dry air, harsh weather conditions, and UV radiation can contribute to hair breakage. These external stressors can deplete the hair of moisture, leading to dryness and increased susceptibility to breakage. Take protective winter hair care measures to mitigate the impact of environmental stressors on hair health. 

Improper Hair Handling

Common habits that contribute to hair breakage include rough towel drying, aggressive brushing or combing, and using hair ties with metal components should be avoided. These practices can cause friction and mechanical damage to the hair cuticle, resulting in breakage and split ends. Adopt gentler hair care practices, such as blotting hair with a soft t-shirt instead of towel drying and using seamless hair ties to minimize damage.

 Implementing Preventative Measures Against Breakage

A tailored hair care routine, including the right products for your hair type is the first step to stopping and preventing hair damage. Adding biotin supplements and natural oils like coconut oil and olive oil to your routine can also help. And don’t underestimate conditioning treatments, like deep conditioning and leave-in conditioners, for strengthening hair and preventing breakage. Use protective styling and tools like silk pillowcases and wide-tooth combs to prevent damaged hair. And always use heat protectants and opt for lower heat settings on styling tools to minimize heat damage.

Tailored Hair Care Routine

Develop a personalized hair care routine based on your hair type, texture, and specific needs. Start with a gentle sulfate-free shampoo followed by a nourishing conditioner to cleanse and hydrate the hair without stripping it of natural oils.

Incorporating Biotin and Natural Oils

Taking biotin supplements helps promote hair growth and strengthen the hair shaft. And incorporating a hair mask with natural oils like coconut oil and olive oil into your hair care routine provides deep hydration and nourishment to your scalp and hair strands.


Utilizing Conditioning Treatments

Incorporate regular deep conditioning treatments and leave-in conditioners into your routine to restore moisture and fortify the hair against breakage. Due a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week, focusing on the mid-lengths to ends of the hair where damage is most prevalent.

Practicing Protective Styling

Use protective styling as a way to minimize manipulation and reduce stress on your hair strands. Use silk pillowcases to minimize friction and breakage while sleeping, and opt for loose hairstyles like braids or buns to protect your hair during the day. Avoid tight hair accessories or hairstyles that can cause tension and breakage along the hairline. 

Minimizing Heat Damage

Always use heat protectant sprays or serums before heat styling to create a barrier between your hair and hot styling tools. Use lower heat settings and limit the frequency of heat styling to prevent damage and breakage. Choose air-drying whenever possible or use a diffuser attachment on a blow dryer to minimize heat exposure. 

Regular Trims and Professional Guidance

Getting regular trims removes split ends and prevents them from traveling up the hair shaft, leading to further breakage. Ask your stylist for personalized advice on preventing hair breakage and maintaining your hair health. Schedule regular professional treatments, such as keratin treatments or hair masks, to strengthen and nourish your hair from within.


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Seeking Professional Guidance for Excessive Breakage

Because of the risks associated with chemical treatments, like bleaching and perming, it’s important to seek professional guidance if you’re dealing with excessive breakage. A hair stylist can help you with regular haircuts to maintain healthy hair and prevent split ends; while a dermatologist can give personalized advice on preventing hair breakage. More on this below.

Consulting with a Dermatologist or Hairstylist

Sometimes, professional guidance from a dermatologist or licensed hairstylist is needed for personalized advice on preventing hair breakage. Dermatologists can diagnose underlying scalp conditions that may contribute to hair breakage, such as scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis. And hairstylists in assessing the condition of the hair and recommending appropriate treatments and styling techniques to minimize breakage.

Addressing Chemical Treatments

Chemical treatments like bleaching, perming, and relaxers lead to hair damage and breakage. Consult with a professional hairstylist before undergoing chemical treatments to assess the suitability for your hair type and minimize the risk of damage. Schedule regular maintenance appointments with a hairstylist to monitor the condition of the hair and address any signs of breakage or damage.

Professional Haircuts and Treatments

Regular haircuts are important to maintain healthy hair and prevent split ends, which can lead to further breakage if left untreated. Professional treatments such as keratin or protein treatments strengthen the hair and reduce breakage. Schedule appointments with your stylist tailored to your hair type and concerns.

Don’t Ignore Hair Breakage

Regardless of your hair type it’s important to incorporate preventive measures into your hair care routine to prevent and address hair breakage. Remember to use only the highest quality products for damaged hair and breakage. Experiment with our healthy hair habits to find what works best for your hair type and lifestyle, and if you have tips for avoiding breakage, share them in the comments! Still have questions about how to stop hair breakage? Talk to a hair stylist in your area for personalized advice.



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by Morgan Hanson, featured contributor

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