There are numerous causes of hair breakage. An inner cuticle with overlapping scales that holds your strands together is essential for healthy hair. When these scales break off, your hair might get dry and eventually separate, causing damage. This results in breakage as well as other symptoms such as frizz and dryness.
Discover some of the most common causes of hair breakage and what you can do about it.
1. Dietary Guidelines
When it comes to hair and skin health, the adage “you are what you eat” holds a lot of truth. Certain nutrients aid in the growth of your hair and the prevention of breakage due to injury. Make sure you receive enough zinc, iron, and folic acid in your diet daily. Protein and antioxidants (found in plant foods) can also help to maintain your hair healthy. [Here are the top five hair-growth vitamins.]
There is a plethora of research linking stress to hair loss, but it is also recognized that stress can lead to hair breaking. Telogen effluvium is the form of stress that is most likely to cause hair damage. Because this type of stress causes your follicles to go dormant, hair in the middle of a growth cycle may fall out. You may also notice that old hair is falling out. Stress management may result in better hair.
3. Lack of moisture
Dehydrated hair is one of the antecedents to damage and breakage. Several conditions also induce it, such as dry weather, low humidity, and excessive heat. When washing your hair, make sure to use warm water rather than hot water, as the latter causes additional drying.
If your hair is dry on the ends, try concentrating shampoo on your scalp solely. It’s also a bad idea to skip the conditioner. If you’re short on time, apply a leave-in conditioner before combing wet hair. (As an added benefit, this one from It’s a 10 provides heat protection.) Check out these other dryness-removal tips.
4. Heat harm
High heat is required for the finest results from your hair drier, flat iron, or curling iron. However, if you use these instruments incorrectly or excessively, you risk harming the cuticle due to high heat.
Giving your strands a vacation from all styling tools at least once a week is one strategy to prevent general heat damage. Select ceramic style tools to reduce actual heat damage from heat style products; these heat up more evenly, so you don’t have to keep using them on the same portions of hair repeatedly. It is also critical to protect your hair before applying heat. [To avoid damage, use this heat-protectant spray.]
5. Excessive processing
Perms, relaxers, professional straightening, and coloring can all help your hair appear healthier after just one or two sessions. However, if you do these procedures too frequently, the cuticle might break down and cause hair damage.
[If possible, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends prolonging the duration between sessions to 8–10 weeks. In the meanwhile, use a hair treatment, such as this color-protecting mask, to extend your effects.]
6. Excessive washing
If oily skin, you are more likely to have excess sebum (natural oil) production in your scalp. This can lead to the impulse to wash your hair more frequently than necessary.
While daily washes are good if you have greasy hair, you should not wash it more than once each day. According to the Nemours Foundation, severely dry hair may only require weekly shampooing. Also, shampoo softly at the scalp and apply conditioner smoothly from the ends to the roots. Try [Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo] if you need extra oil reduction during the day.
7. Hair breakage can be because of inadequate towel drying
When you get out of the shower, it’s normal to rub your skin and hair with a towel. However, this rubbing motion harms your wet hair as, at this time, it is most fragile. Instead of rubbing water out of your hair, wrap an absorbent towel around it. You can also [put a towel in your hair] to absorb excess water as a temporary remedy.
8. Hair ties made of elastic can cause hair breakage
Elastic hair ties are essential for keeping your hair out of your face when exercising. And, let’s face it, they’re useful on poor hair days or when you’re in a hurry.
Hair ties are problematic since they tug on your scalp and hair cuticle. You might even notice that some hair falls out when you undo your ponytail. You may address this by letting your hair down now and again or by making your up-do a little looser so it doesn’t strain on your hair as much. Also, make sure you’re wearing [genuine hair ties] rather than rubber bands, which can cause harm to your hair.
9. Improper brushing and combing can lead to hair breakage
You may have heard that brushing your hair 100 times a day is beneficial to your hair, but according to the AAD, this is a misconception. They recommend that you merely brush and comb your hair when styling it. To avoid breakage, make sure you utilized wide-tooth combs. You should also only brush your hair when it is dry and avoid using plastic bristles. Instead, use a brush with [natural bristles].
10. Inadequate hair trimming
It may appear that trimming your hair can harm it. Hair trims, on the other hand, assist keep your hair healthy and free of split ends. Consider a hair cut to be similar to exfoliation for the skin – in both cases; you need to remove some of the old cells to allow new ones to form. When you have split ends, the splits in the cuticle can move up the rest of your hair’s length and cause breaking.
At least once every eight weeks, it would help if you visit your stylist. Even if you’re growing out your hair, cutting damaged ends might help keep it from breaking further.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive.
When your thyroid gland does not create enough hormones, you have hypothyroidism (low thyroid condition). Although the thyroid is modest in size, it performs an important role in keeping your body running. This covers things like your metabolism, heart rate, and even hair development.
People with hypothyroidism may have increased hair breakage and loss, particularly in the shower or after brushing. If you have dry, damaged hair, low energy, unexpected weight gain, and sadness, see your doctor for a thyroid check. [Learn more about how hypothyroidism affects the body.]
12. Eating Disorders
Hair damage is a possible indicator if you or a loved one has an unhealthy relationship with food. This is especially true for eating disorders that result in malnutrition, such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa. In such circumstances, the hair follicles lack the nutrients required to grow new hair, and the process is terminated. You might even observe new hairs breaking off in the middle of the growth cycle.
Eating disorders can have far-reaching implications that necessitate medical attention. Reading firsthand accounts of others who have recovered from eating disorders may inspire you or a loved one to seek therapy.
Healthy Hair Tips To Avoid Future Hair Breakage
Consider the following must-do hair care measures:
- Daily, but gently, wash and condition your hair.
- After swimming, use a swimmer’s shampoo and conditioner set.
- When possible, let your hair air dry. Check out [Redken’s No Blow Dry] products for air-dried hair that still looks stylish.
- Make sure that all weaves and extensions are light and do not tug on the scalp.
- Consider a new hairstyle that demands less time and effort on your part.
- Consume a well-balanced diet to ensure that your hair receives all of the nutrients it needs.
- You should not wear tight hats for fashion; you should only wear them for sun protection.
Hair breakage can be inconvenient. The good news is that most underlying reasons are treatable through lifestyle adjustments. If you’re still experiencing hair breakage after making adjustments to your food and hair routine, it’s important to contact a doctor to rule out any underlying medical issues.