12 Apr Hair Breakage: What Causes It & How to Stop It
Damaged, brittle and breaking hair is something that we all deal with at some point in our lives. Hair breakage is generally caused by bad hair care habits, and not treating our hair as well as we could.
Your hair strands are typically protected by a structure of overlapping keratin scales; this is called the ‘cuticle’. When poor hair care habits damage these scales, the strand can become dry and then break off.
There are many factors that can contribute to hair breakage, and luckily most of these can be easily corrected by making some small changes to your hair care routine. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons your hair may be breaking, and what you can do to stop it.
Over-using heated styling tools
How often are you blow-drying, straightening and/or curling your hair? If you’re using these tools daily, the high temperatures will be draining your hair of critical moisture, which is the foundation for healthy hair.
Studies have shown that at a temperature of 47𝇈C, longitudinal cracks appear in the hair; at 95𝇈C, multiple cracks, holes and hazy cuticle edges appear. Considering your heating styling tools can reach temperatures of up to 200𝇈C, you can only imagine the stress you’re putting your hair through!
Try to cut back back on using heated styling tools to once or twice a week, and always be sure to use a heat protectant product before applying any direct heat to your hair.
Over-processing with chemicals
Chemical treatments at the hair salon, such as bleaching, colouring and permanently straightening, all contribute to breaking down the hair cuticle, resulting in damage and breakage.
To help decrease hair breakage, try to increase the amount of time between chemical treatments. Ideally, you should wait 8-10 weekends in between these treatments.
The next time you go to the salon to get your hair coloured, consider adding an Olaplex treatment to your colour service. Olaplex works from inside the hair strands to repair and strengthen damaged locked where the structure has broken down.
Unlike regular conditioning and deep treatments, Olaplex helps to repair and maintain hair that has already been damaged from chemical processing and heat tools.
Avoiding your hairdresser
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, it’s important to get regular trims from your hairdresser. Hair trims will actually help your hair to grow longer, as well as help to maintain your hair health.
If your hair is left untrimmed, any split ends you may have can more up the hair shaft and eventually break off. Be sure to schedule a hair trim with your stylist once every 6-8 weeks to keep your hair strong and healthy.
Soaking up too much sun
We’ve all been through that experience of sitting in the sun for too long and getting badly burnt. The sun’s UV rays not only damages our skin, it can damage the hair cuticle as well, causing breakage.
If you regularly spend your time in the sun, especially between 11am and 4pm, make sure your hair is protected. You can do this either by wearing a wide-brimmed sun hat, or investing in a hair sunscreen/sun protectant spray.
Using the wrong hair products
Are you using cheap supermarket hair care products that you picked up on your weekly grocery shop? Believe it or not, your harsh shampoos and lackluster conditioners could be contributing towards hair breakage.
There’s a reason behind why salon products cost a lot more than supermarket products – salon ranges simply contain better ingredients and more concentrated products that actually last longer. If you’re using your salon products correctly, it’s not as expensive as you may think.
Talk to your stylist about what sort of shampoo, conditioner and styling products you should be using. Over time, you’ll quickly see the difference in your hair health when you invest in quality hair care products!