Hair Breakage: A Guide To Causes and Treatment

By Sarah J. Helms / Updated on July 31, 2020


Why is my hair breaking? We think this is the question we’ve been all asking ourselves even for once in life. No one love when that happens. There is nothing beautiful about dry and split ends, frizzy hair, and dull looks.

Fortunately, there are many ways to find out what causes breakage and to pick the best products for hair breakage or natural remedies that will make everything better.

Many causes lead to hair breakage: a bad diet, stress, also — some specific hair products that don’t suit your hair type. In most cases, hair breakage is temporary.

What Causes Hair Breakage?

Healthy hairPhoto: Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Bad Diet

When it comes to your skin and hair, their conditions much depend on what you eat. Some vitamins and minerals that we are supposed to intake can significantly prevent hair breakage. Otherwise, if your diet is deficient in these nutrients, your hair can look dull and frizzy. 

Make sure you are eating food that is enriched with proteins, antioxidants, zinc, iron, and folic acid. They will keep your hair healthy, shiny, and help it grows faster. 

Moisture Deficiency 

Inadequate shampoos and conditioners can lead to hair breakage. Without optimal hydration, your hair will be prone to damage, so you must find the products that suit you. 

Hard water is also one of the reasons your hair might be weak. It is known that hard water contains a lot of chlorine and heavy metals, which are harmful to both follicles and scalp. Showercap filter is something you should think about if you are facing with the hard-water problem. 

Stress

Unfortunately, stress is a well-known cause of many problems with skin, hair, and our immune system in general. Extreme stress can cause a condition named telogen effluvium. Your hair roots reach the resting phase before it was meant, so the cycle is discontinued. Your old hair falls out, but no new hair is growing. Managing stress can have a positive effect on your hair. 

Dryness

Dry hair is prone to breakage. It can be caused by dry weather and low humidity or too much heat. Make sure to use a conditioner, even the leave-in-ones. If your hair ends are dry, try shampooing only your roots. 

Exposure to Chemicals

Hair Exposure to ChemicalsPhoto: Cottonbro from Pexels

Hair coloring can drain all the moisture from your hair. If you do it on a regular base – even more. Avoid chemical treatments if you have noticed your hair is dry and dull. 

Over-Washing 

Over-washing is tightly connected with the moisture deficiency. It is pretty simple – the more you wash your hair, the more it is stripped of the natural oils. These oils are essential for the hair and its appearance. 

Try washing your hair three times a week or less. If you do have oily hair and you need more frequent washing, make sure to shampoo only the roots. That is where sebum mostly is, so no need to overdo it with the whole hair length. Cold or lukewarm water is recommended.

Heat Styling

Hear heat stylingPhoto: Baylee Gramling on Unsplash

Heat styling is one of the leading causes of hair breakage. If you want to get the best results from your curling tools or irons, you need high temperatures. When you use these tools too much, you risk damaging your hair.

Pick some days during the week when you will give your hair a break: no irons, no curling wand, or any other tool. You can also pick the ceramic versions of these tools, and use heat-protecting spray, before doing your hairstyle. 

Over-Brushing and Combing

According to the scientists, the idea that you should brush your hair with 100 strokes a day is a myth. They advise us to brush hair only as we are styling it. Make sure your hair is dry and always use wide-tooth combs and natural brush bristles.

Gentle brushing is vital for preventing hair breakage at hairline.

Irregular Hair Trims

Make sure you have your haircuts on the calendar. Every time you avoid trimming hair ends, they simply break off.  

How to Prevent Hair Breakage?

Healthy long hairPhoto: Liubov Ilchuk on Unsplash

After determining the causes of hair breakage, the question we all want to know the answer to is – how do I stop my hair breaking off? It is an annoying process, just like a hangnail, yet it is more than possible to be done.

There are some simple things that you can do daily that helps your hair looks better and healthy. Here is what you should do. 

Don’t Pull Tangles

Never pull on wet tangles with a brush. You can only damage your hair even more that way. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb to work through your hair. If you hit a tangle, don’t pull it on purpose. Put on a conditioner or a detangling spray to help loosen the knots. 

Protect Hair from Heat

You don’t need to give up all styling tools to make your hair look healthy. However, using a heat protector is a must! Before styling your hair with either blow dryer, curling wand, or flat iron, remember – always spray a bit of protectant on your hair. Comb your hair, so the product is spread evenly. 

Limit your styling tools use. Try not to blow-dry your hair every time you wash it and don’t use curl or iron your hair on maximum heat. 

Always Put Conditioner

Some women forget to put on a conditioner after shampooing their hair. However, this is one of the crucial things of hair breakage treatment. Apply a deep conditioner and leave it for a minute or two. Your strands will thank you. 

Go for Different Hairstyle

Ponytails, high buns, protective styles, and usual braids can pull on hair as well as cause tension. This can lead to hair breakage.

BraidPhoto: Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

That’s why it is smart to think about different hairstyles. You can make beach waves using non-heat tools or leave your hair fall naturally. Take a break from tight elastic bands. 

You Need to Have a Routine

Finding your hair routine is very important in preventing breakage. You can use a significant amount of a shampoo if it suits you – don’t follow the guidelines. You can try products that you think will be good for your hair. With some, you will make a mistake, while with others, you will make a routine. Once you find your perfect products, stick to them. 

Avoid Towel Rub

We all reach out for the towel to wrap our hair in after washing it, but according to scientists, that might not be the best idea. Towels can be rough and can easily hurt your cuticle. Wet hair breaks easier, so you should handle it with care. 

Instead of using a towel, go for an old T-shirt. Cotton is a much better option, and it will prevent your hair from tearing. 

Sleep on Silk

Unlike cotton, silk doesn’t retain moisture and cause fractions between hair strands. You can opt for a silk scarf to sleep in or pick a silk pillowcase that your hair will adore. 

Hair Breakage Treatment

Doing a hair treatment for breakage and split ends is something we should all practice from time to time. Those with hair breakage should do it more, to make their hair healthy again. 

How to Fix Hair Breakage

There are several options when it comes to stopping your hair from breaking up easily. You can use both various hair breakage treatment products as well as natural remedies. 

Also, vitamins, oils, and herbs make a huge difference as well.  

Vitamins

Vitamin C, D3, and biotin work excellent on healing split ends and hair breakage. Vitamin C urges collagen production, while D3 helps the production of keratin that makes up your hair. Biotin is one of the essential things for hair growth, so its insufficiency can cause severe hair fall. 

Curly hairPhoto: Paul Siewert on Unsplash

Make sure to include these vitamins into your daily diet. They are found in eggs, cheese, citrus fruits, and green leafy veggies. 

Oils

Argan, coconut, castor, sweet almond oil, and many others can help your hair come back to excellent condition. They are all considered as natural remedies for hair breakage treatment. You can use them in pure form or combine them with other ingredients to make DIY masks for your hair. 

DIY Anti Breakage Hair Treatment

Are you in for helping your hair at home? Turning your regular night into a spa night is a great idea. 

Long hairPhoto: Darya Ogurtsova on Unsplash

If you were wondering how to stop your hair breakage naturally – we have the answer. Making your masks and treatments is easy. You probably have all or most of the ingredients right there in your kitchen or bathroom. It can give you great pleasure, enjoying all the great smells from essential oils and herbs, while at the same time, your hair will thank you. 

These are some of the hair treatments that you can DIY. Don’t forget to enjoy it. 

Avocado, Olive Oil, Honey, and Egg Mask

Great For: Damaged hair

This mask is packed with omega-3  fatty acids and antioxidants. They provide strength, while antioxidants help your hair get rid of free radicals. Your scalp will be moisturized, and your hair will look like silk. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • half an avocado
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Instructions: Apply to the wet hair. Do it with your fingertips, starting from the bottom to the roots. You can wrap your hair in a bun and put on a shower cap. If you opt for the cap, blow dry it for about 10 minutes to activate the ingredients. Let it sit for another 20 minutes or more, and wash your hair. 

Apple Cider Vinegar, Egg, and Honey Mask

Great For: Dull and damaged hair

This is an excellent treatment that provides your hair with deep hydration, while cider gives shine. It is great for all of you with split ends and dull hair. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

Instructions: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. If you think this is not enough for you, double the recipe, depending on your hair length. You can let it sit for 30 to 40 minutes and then rinse it off. 

Mayonnaise, Egg, Coconut and Castor Oil Mask

Great For: Damaged natural hair

Are you looking for a way to save your curls? This is one of the best hair breakage treatment for natural hair. It will transform your damaged hair into a silky and beautiful one. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise
  • 3 teaspoons of coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons of castor oil
  • 1 egg

Instructions: Mix the ingredients in a big bowl. Wash your hair with the shampoo before applying this mask. If your hair is thick, section it and apply the mask in parts. You can then wrap it and put on a shower cap. Let it stay on your hair for about 45 minutes.


Bonus tip from Kayley Melissa on how to get rid of split ends:

A tip on getting rid of split ends

Questions & Answers

Does brushing hair causes split ends?

Brushing your hair can’t hurt it. However, over brushing and combing can do severe damage. Make sure not to brush wet hair. You should use wide-tooth combs that will gently untangle your hair, without damaging or breakage. 

Is hair breakage normal?

While shedding is a normal part of your hair growth cycle, hair breakage is not. Hair breakage is caused by many factors – heat, stress, diet, over-brushing, tight hairstyles. So, whenever you notice your hair is breaking, try to soothe it down with DIY masks, with treatments, or reduce using heating tools. 

What Causes Split Ends?

Split ends occur when hair strand splits – from a single one, it becomes multiple. They usually appear at the very tips of the hair, and they a sign that your hair is damaged. 

Angry girlPhoto: Ethan Haddox on Unsplash

Many things can cause that — from environmental factors to chemical treatment and irregular haircuts.

Physical damage is also usual. Excessive combing is something that is completely forbidden. Hair coloring, bleaching, and other chemical treatments can only accelerate your ends to split. If you use heat-producing tools, you can expect your ends to break as well. Heat removes the water from hair, causing it to become brittle. 

Can coconut oil repair split ends?

Among other oils (argan, avocado, sunflower, olive, and jojoba oil), coconut oil has proven to be very effective when it comes to split ends and their repair. This oil prevents and treats protein loss in hair, leaving your hair shiny and protected with extra nutrients. 

Which oil is best for split ends?

According to the people with split ends, coconut oil has proven to be the best one for the hair breakage treatment.

You can also try fish oil that has repairing features. Avocado oil, in combination with olive oil, can also help your hair gain back proteins and make it shiny. Essential oils like lavender, rosemary, peppermint, and tea tree oil have proven to be super effective in the treatment of split ends. 

What is the best shampoo for split ends?

When picking shampoo for split ends, make sure it is enriched with oils, amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. Also, find those that are free of harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrance, parabens, silicones, sulfates, and mineral oils. 

Should I Cut My Split Ends Individually?

You can cut your split ends no matter when and how often. It is important to remember that you shouldn’t pull apart split ends. This can lead to breaking off and thin ends. Instead, cut those ends off. Don’t try it alone if you don’t have tools. See professionals for the best results.


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