After a particularly extreme stalking session specifically in some of the natural hair groups, I noticed a theme! There were at least 10 women expressing concern over breakage and some of them had recently big chopped. From a common sense perspective if you just cut your hair you probably already removed most of the dry split ends so it’s a little baffling why your hair would still break.
Girl, I get it!
The truth is there is so much more to breakage than meets the eye and in this post, I want to break it all down and give you some direction on how to reverse breakage before it becomes full on hair loss. Before I do that, let me be clear, I am not a scientist nor am I a stylist, I just love studying hair.
The best place to start is knowing the difference between breakage and shedding. Shedding is the natural process of losing whole strands of hair daily or during the hair’s natural life cycle. You can identify shed hair because you will notice a white bulb at the end of the strand and the strands are typically longer in length.
Normally each hair follicle will undergo a growth stage that will last around two to eight years and then there will be two months of rest with no hair growth and then the strand falls out naturally. Once the strand falls, a new one will begin to grow in its place. A healthy person will lose close to 100 hair strands per day according to science.
Breakage is hair loss but its typically caused by thinning areas along the hair shaft causing pieces of the strand to fall off. If you have ever manipulated your hair a bit in the bathroom and noticed small hair’s everywhere chances are your hair is breaking.
The thing to remember about your hair strand is that it is primarily made up of protein and when some of the protein breaks down it causes thinning and then the hair will break off when it can no longer hold on to itself. Eliminating protein loss and strengthening your hair is how you stop breakage!
I have found that the quality of my hair strand improves when my diet changes and I incorporate a ton of water, a ton of water-rich foods, green foods and lean protein.
We have to remember that the hair that leaves the scalp is 100% dependent on what is happening under your scalp. The scalp receives oxygen, energy, and nutrients from our lifestyle and these things help your follicles to stay healthy and produce a “high-quality” hair strand.
For example, eating or juicing foods rich in chlorophyll (wheatgrass) will dramatically improve how healthy our hair is overall and reduce breakage over time.
Water is also important because many of us focus on moisturizing our hair with spray bottles and products but we often forget how much moisture we can give our hair just from drinking water. When hair is dry and brittle from the environment it is subjected to, it breaks!
(I dare you to put yourself on a water challenge and watch how much easier it is for your hair to retain moisture over a period of time.)
Working out is also important because as you move you increase your blood flow around your entire body including your scalp. Cardio, in particular, will increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your scalp receives leading to healthy hair follicles and by extension healthier hair.
If you are already healthy and you are still experiencing breakage make sure to set an appointment with your doctor to see if you might have signs of anemia or low vitamin D or just to ensure that everything is working well internally for you.
You need a protein treatment
Now that we have the eating healthy and exercise part down, you may want to help fix some of the broken areas of your hair strand using protein.
Personally, protein is my hair’s lifeline! My hair is 4A and very very fine but dense! I have to keep protein on deck because my hair will break without additional help from my protein treatments.
If you want to take a peek at my oldie but goodie protein recipe then click here. If you want to give yourself a major protein treatment try the Aphogee two step protein treatment. It is IMPERATIVE that you follow the directions on the box when you do this protein treatment for the first time because things can get confusing and you can break your hair in the process if you are not careful.
After you do the protein treatment follow up with a rich moisture based deep condition and moisturize your hair throughout the week as normal.
The protein will help to patch up areas of the strand that are breaking and that are on their way to deterioration. Aphogee contains hydrolyzed protein that penetrates the strand improve it from the inside out.
Do a major protein treatment at least twice a year and do small doses of protein using various products and recipes throughout the year to keep your hair strong.
Try the inversion method after a workout
Earlier in this post, I mentioned that what happens below the scalp is directly related to what comes out of the scalp so focusing on scalp health is imperative to overall hair improvement. I also mentioned that increased blood flow to the scalp will improve your hair follicle and the hair that comes from them.
The inversion method is simply holding your head upside down or, inverted and doing a scalp massage will in the position. Inverting your head after a workout increases blood flow to the scalp and massaging your scalp helps to stimulate the follicles as this is happening.
Do not do this for long periods of time but do it often enough to keep the blood flowing to the scalp on the days that you work out.
I decided to mention trimming last because this post is mostly about those of us who do trim but still experience breakage.
Trimming helps to get rid of broken and split hair that can travel up the strand and cause further damage. With that said it is hard not to consider it as part of getting rid of your breakage problem before settling into a regular healthy routine.
Trim your split ends to ensure that they do not cause further damage and trim your hair on a regimen that works for you to that will help you retain most of the length you gain year after year.
Finally, if your hair is breaking, do not use chemical dyes, relaxers, excessive heat or high tension styles that will put stress on the strand. You have to get into the mindset of feeding your strand with healthy nutrients and care as well as the energy of healing so that things can get better for you.
If I missed anything and if there is something you did that stopped breakage in its tracks please share below!