Everyone will experience breakage at some point during their journey. Even something as simple as daily manipulation can lead to more breakage than usual. Before we get into this post on how to prevent breakage for natural hair, I want you to keep in mind there’s a difference between breakage and shedding. Sometimes people can get those two confused and feel like they’re losing more hair than they really are.
Shed hair has a white bulb at the end of a strand whereas breakage doesn’t. Your broken hair will be shorter than the length of your strands and you may find short pieces around your area while doing your hair.
Although breakage can’t be 100% avoided, it can be minimized by following healthy hair care practices in your natural hair regimen.
Keep Your Ends Trimmed
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 completely avoid split ends.
A few months ago I had my first Deva Cut and I’ve noticed a huge difference not only with the manageability of my hair but the amount of hair loss I experience on wash day. Click here to see a before and after of my hair! The breakage and shedding I had on wash day used to be to the point where I’d have a handful of hair after doing each step in my regimen. Imagine how much hair I was losing each week
You don’t want to leave damaged hair or split ends untreated because it’ll only lead to more breakage and less length retention. Trust me, your hair WILL grow back and you’ll notice a difference when you trim your hair regularly.
Be Gentle While Detangling
Detangling is one step on wash day I never look forward to. It seems like my curls love to wrap around each other even while I’m detangling! I’m sure we all become frustrated while doing this step, and unfortunately, that will lead to more breakage and damage. It’s important to be patient and detangle your hair gently.
There are a few tips you can follow to make detangling your hair easier and faster. I follow these tips and I have noticed the amount of time it takes to detangle is cut in half.
- Do NOT detangle on dry hair
- Use a conditioner with good slip
- Start at your ends and work your way up
- Detangle your hair in small sections
- Finger detangle first to remove big knots
Related Post: Make Detangling Easy and Get Your Life Back
Use Protein Treatments
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 we have in our hair shaft.
Regardless of what your porosity is, our hair is made up of protein. Once that structure becomes weak, it can have an effect on the overall health of your curls and lead to breakage. Doing monthly protein treatments or using them as needed will ensure your hair remains strong and will promote healthy hair 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. Some of my favorite ones to use are Amla, Cassia, and Hibiscus. Check out the videos below to see a tutorial on how I use my herb treatments:
Keep Your Hair Moisturized
When I started transitioning to natural hair, I saw the word ‘moisture’ everywhere—and for a good reason. Moisture is the most important thing to have during your journey, water will become your natural hair’s best friend! If your curls lack the moisture they need, it can become dry/brittle and lead to breakage.
You can’t moisturize your hair without water so choosing products with that as the first ingredient is the best option. When I was relaxed, I remember my stylists told me to put oil on my hair if it needed moisture, now I understand why I had so many issues with my hair and scalp! If the product doesn’t contain water, you can’t expect it to moisturize your hair.You can't expect products to provide moisture for your hair if it doesn't contain water. Oils and butter do not moisturize natural hair. Click To Tweet
Once you add moisture to your hair, it’s also important to lock it in 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 not only give you a bomb style, but it’ll also help increase your moisture retention. In order to find which technique is best for you, check out this blog post: The LOC Method for Natural Hair, What is it?
Use All Natural Products
The last way to prevent breakage is to pay attention to your ingredients and focus on products that are all-natural. Some hair products contain ingredients that can be damaging to our hair. Constantly using products with those harmful ingredients can end up drying 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.
Check out this post to find a list of brands who create handmade, all-natural products for our hair. I love supporting small brands and using their products has continued to make my hair flourish and remain healthy and strong.
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. It will take time to learn how to properly take care of your natural hair, however, avoiding these mistakes along the way will help you achieve moisture retention and any goals you have for your curls!
How do you handle breakage? Do you follow any of these tips?