Help! My hair keeps breaking!

It’s Fro Friday! I thought I would share with you one of the biggest problems natural-haired women are facing in natural hair care: excessive breakage. On a page I admin on Facebook, I found that the same question kept being posted by different people:

“Why won’t my hair stop breaking? How can I fix this????? 😨😨😨😨”

There are so many reasons hair might break excessively: from incompatible products to hormonal issues, vitamin deficiencies, heat or chemical damage or improper handling of the hair, etc. Without knowing exactly what your habits have been so far or seeing how you care for your hair, it’s a little hard to make a judgement on what needs to change.

What makes the most sense is to start from the very foundation- the basics, and keep it simple! So let’s talk about:

Your Hair Regimen

Working out a simple hair regimen, with products specific to your hair type (more on that here), and sticking to it for a few months will help greatly. Your focuses need to be health of the hair strands (strong, elastic/flexible strands) and retaining length (through protective styling).

The first thing you need to do is a trim of your ends to make sure that any damaged bits are removed (otherwise, when the hair grows, it’ll just break again because of the damage).

Next, find mild products of the following categories:

  • Shampoo (No sulphates)
  • Conditioner (no silicones)
  • Hair mask (deep conditioner, also no silicones!)
  • Leave-in conditioner (for styling and daily rehydration. No. Silicones).
  • You will also need a scalp oil to help treat your scalp and stimulate your follicles for good growth. (There’s a great one here, and a great DIY Recipe here)

Your routine could be this, starting from your wash day (maybe at the weekend):

Detangle damp hair gently using oil or a high-slip conditioner. (You’ll need these)

  • Wash your hair, concentrating on removing debris from your scalp and product buildup from your hair.

Deep condition immediately after washing- apply your hair mask (from ends up to roots), cover with a shower cap and either:

Sit under a dryer for 20-25 minutes, or

Tie a towel over your shower cap for about 30-45 minutes while you carry on with life. #lazynatural!

Seal in moisture on wet or damp hair with your hair oil (ends to roots).

Add on a leave in conditioner (which, depending on your hair type, may be a hair milk or a hair cream/butter) and then, style.

Styling

I’d suggest protective styling for the week, ideally on wash day. To maximise your hair growth and retention, you will need to avoid any style that is too tight or breaks your edges- the KEY thing to hair growth and retention is being GENTLE with our very delicate hair.

Weekly, I personally alternate between Cornrows (like we used to do back in school) and single twists or large braids with my own hair, quick, easy cheap, and doesn’t involve heavy extensions. This will protect your hair and keep it neat- and, when you take it down each wash day, you’ll start to see the growth. Keep track of this and take pictures. Feel free to @ me in them if you share on Facebook or instagram, I’d love to see your progress!

Detangling

Another, VERY IMPORTANT KEY to hair growth (and avoiding breakage) is detangling the right way:

We tend to think “our hair is so tough” because it tangles or sometimes feels hard, but combing roughly WILL BREAK YOUR HAIR.

To detangle, spray your hair with water or a diluted conditioner mix (just enough to make it damp, not wet). Take your time and be gentle. This gives the hair two things it needs for safe detangling:

1. A bit of slip- so no snagging strands.

2. Elasticity to withstand pulling and manipulation.

Detangling dry hair WILL BREAK YOUR HAIR.

Hold a small section of hair and begin combing gently from the ends and working your way up to the roots.

If you come across a tangle, use a little olive or coconut oil on your hands and use your fingers to gently separate the tangle.

Being gentle with your hair will make a HUGE difference to how much length you retain.

Sticking to this routine with the right products for your hair will soon give you good results.

At the beginning, it may be hard to keep track of what you did and when, so I’d suggest either using your phone calendar and scheduling everything in so you never forget, or putting it on a desk or wall calendar to make it visible and easy to access (or both!).

Your handling of your hair, your regimen and of course, the products you use all play a huge part in helping your hair look healthy and grow long.

At least, once you get these things right, it would be easier to figure out what other factors could be at play (if the problem persists).

I hope this helps. Share with someone you think needs to see this, and feel free to email or DM me anytime!

See you next Fro Friday,

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