Hair breakage is usually caused by the overuse of harsh commercial styling products, according to dermatologist Dr. Amy McMichael. Limiting your use of these chemicals is one way to avoid hair breakage and the hair loss that may occur from constant hair breakage. You can use other methods to help people avoid hair breakage and maintain healthy, strong hair from adolescence through late adulthood. Follow the right regimen regularly and consistently, and you can keep your hair shiny and strong.
Use a light leave-in conditioner every day. Leave-in conditioners close and smooth your hair follicles, leaving hair less susceptible to breakages caused by pollutants and wind and sun damage.
Limit relaxers, perms and hair dyes to once every eight to 10 weeks.
Use shampoo, conditioners and styling products that are specifically made for color- or chemically-treated hair if you straighten, relax or color your hair. These products generally contain additional moisturizing ingredients to protect your hair from splitting and breaking.
Trim your hair every six to eight weeks to deter split end growth, which may eventually lead to hair breakage.
Leave your hair loose as often as possible. Pulling your hair back strains your hair and, over time, causes it to break. Use cloth bands whenever you do pull your hair into a ponytail, as they do not stretch and stress your hair as much as elastic or rubber bands.
Sleep on a satin pillowcase or wear a satin hair cap to protect your hair from breaking as you toss and turn during the night.
Use heat-protecting hair products every day to protect your hair from curling irons and flat irons, which dry out your hair and leave it more vulnerable to hair breakage.
Take supplements daily to ensure that your hair remains healthy. According to Dr. George Obikoya, the best hair supplements to take are flaxseed oil, B-vitamin complex, vitamin B-6, beta-carotene, zinc, sulfur, vitamin C with bioflavonoids and magnesium. Ask your general practitioner how much of each supplement you should take daily, based on your own individual needs.
Incorporate a hot oil treatment into your weekly hair regimen to defend your hair against breakage. Heat 6 tbsp. of olive oil in a microwave or on the stove until it is warmed through. Test a small amount of the oil on your wrist to make sure that it is cool to the touch. Apply the oil to your scalp and hair and wrap a towel or plastic wrap around your head. Leave the oil on for 30 minutes and then shampoo and condition your hair as usual.
Tips and Warnings
- Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist if you use all of these methods regularly and still experience hair breakage.
About this Author
Lynette Hingle is a freelance alternative health writer in Louisiana. Her work has been published in newspapers and various online outlets including eHow, Trails Travel and Associated Content. Hingle holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication and journalism from Southeastern Louisiana University.