Everyone will experience breakage at some point during their journey. Even something as simple as daily manipulation can lead to it. Before we talk about how to prevent breakage for natural hair, keep in mind that it’s different from shedding.
Shed hair has a white bulb at the end of a strand whereas breakage doesn’t. Broken hair will be shorter than the length of your strands.
Although breakage can’t be 100% avoided, it can be minimized by following these healthy hair care practices.
Prevent Natural Hair Breakage
Get Regular Trims
Keeping your hair trimmed is important. If you have split ends, you can’t expect them to reverse and become healthy again.
There are no magical products or shortcuts you can take to avoid split ends. If you leave split ends untreated, they can travel up the hair shaft and cause more damage.
How often you decide to trim your hair is up to you! There’s no specific schedule to follow, however, you want to look out for the following signs:
- Rough, dry ends
- More tangles + knots
- Excessive breakage + shedding
- Less definition
- See-through ends
I go to a stylist for a professional trim and I always notice a huge difference in the manageability of my hair afterward. You can check out a before and after of my first Deva Cut here.
Trust me, your hair will grow back and you’ll notice a reduced amount of breakage and shedding on wash day when you get a fresh trim!
Related Post: Can You Really Repair Split Ends?
When you’re detangling, you want to be gentle and take your time. If you become frustrated and try to rush through this step, it can lead to more breakage and damage.
Here are a few tips to make detangling easier:
- Pre-poo before wash day
- Use products with slip
- Start at your ends and work your way up
- Detangle in small sections
- Finger detangle first to remove big knots
Deep conditioning is an important step to have in your regimen whether you’re using one for moisture or protein. If you have high porosity hair as I do, then you know using protein treatments strengthens our hair and temporarily fills in the gaps in our hair shaft.
Our hair is made up of protein and once that structure becomes weak, it can hurt the health of your hair and lead to breakage. Doing protein treatments will keep your hair strong and promote growth.
If I don’t use a protein treatment, I love using Ayurvedic herbs in my routine. There are a variety of herbs that can help strengthen and condition your hair such as Amla, Cassia, and Hibiscus.
Related Post: 10 of the Best Deep Conditioners for High Porosity Hair
Keep Your Hair Moisturized
Moisture is the most important thing on your journey. If your curls lack the moisture they need, they can become dry or brittle and lead to breakage.
You can’t moisturize your hair without water, therefore, choosing products with that as the first ingredient is the best option. Once you add moisture, you want to seal it with an oil or butter-based product. A good technique to follow is the LOC or LCO method.
Layering your products in this order will help increase your moisture retention. To find which technique is best for you, check out this post: A Quick Breakdown of the LOC Method for Natural Hair.
Use Natural Products
The last way to prevent breakage is to pay attention to your ingredients and focus on using natural products. Some products contain ingredients that can be damaging to our hair. Using those harmful ingredients can dry out your hair and lead to less elasticity and more breakage.
Elasticity is the ‘bounce back’ you have when your curls are stretched and then released. If your elasticity is low, this can make your strands more prone to breakage — any tension you put on your hair would cause it to snap easily.
Once I started to pay attention to the type of products I use, I noticed a difference in the overall health of my hair!
Following these tips will ensure the amount of breakage you have is minimized. It’s all about staying consistent with your regimen and knowing what your hair likes and dislikes.