10 important tips to deal with hair breakage & shedding
Help prevent hair breakage and shedding with these simple but effective steps
Our hair can be both a blessing and well… sometimes a very tiring responsibility. If you do not take the time to care it enough, then it starts to feel like an overwhelming burden - however it doesn’t have to feel or be that way with a good hair care routine.
One of the issues faced by many women of color, when dealing with our amazing and flexible hair is breakage and shedding. It is very frightening and downright scary to see all of that hair fall.
When this happens, not only do you have to deal with the underlying health issues as to why this is happening, but also the embarrassment that can accompany that for some women, depending on the severity.
Many women will then opt to wear a wig at this point and that’s fine, but if you want to keep your natural hair healthy and beautiful, listen up!
First things first, let’s get into the differences between breakage and shedding. If you’re losing long strands of hair from the tip you’re shedding, this is completely natural, usually we shed a little over 100 strands or less daily. Breakage on the other hand, is when the hair breaks and small pieces of your hair falls off. When you find it in your comb for instance, usually it’s breakage.
Both problems in excess can be annoying and can compromise the health of your hair, so let’s look at a few tips to take care and help prevent these issues.
How to help prevent excessive hair shedding:
1: Have a good scalp routine
Give your scalp a nice massage everyday! Excessive shedding is usually a scalp issue, the hair follicles may be dead and causing hair loss. Massaging your scalp helps with blood flow and keeps the cells nourished which helps to prevent early death. Using castor oil or other suitable products while gently massaging the scalp will help to boost beneficial effects.
2: Loosen your hair up
Don’t tie your hair too tight at any point, having it “laid to the gods” will not serve you in the long run. Try to leave it as loose as you possibly can. Sleek ponytails and buns are lovely, but if you wear it all the time it may compromise your hair.
When you’re pulling your hair too often, you’re also stressing the hair strands. As a result, your hair will get tired and fall out.
Love buns? Try messy and loose instead of perfectly tight. You’ll love the style and your hair will thank you...
3: Hair, skin & nail vitamins
You also need to ensure you are treating your hair from the inside out, you can easily get vitamin gummies that are magical for both your hair and nails overall health. All you need to do is, do some research to find the right ones and take one every day. But make sure to stick to it, it takes about two months to notice the differences because it’s a process that starts from the inside, from your own organism. They even come in delicious flavors like raspberry.
Now of course, you can get by without supplements through righteous eating… but for some it may be a bit challenging to stick to a diet for several reasons. Temptations are everywhere… but if you take care and combine a good diet (no need to be radical though) along with the vitamins, results will be amazing.
How to help prevent excessive hair breakage:
4: Satin, satin, satin...
Sleep with your satin bonnets! They’re affordable, easy to get and do a wonderful job at protecting your hair during the night.
They are loose, comfy and big so you can even wear your rollers for a curly look while you sleep without compromising your hair. Satin shower caps are also great. If you can get satin scarfs and pillow cases too, even better!
Satin is important because it’s soft and smooth, while other fabrics (like cotton) are rough on your hair and the friction causes breakage over time.
Satin bonnets also help to keep the moisture in your hair, which is paramount especially in the summertime.
5: Vitamin E
It’s the same principle as vitamins. Well, it’s a vitamin too! But this one is specific for breakage, it’s the hair growth vitamin, healing and repairing cocktail. Anything with vitamin E is good, but instead of or while you’re gulping it up you should also spread it on your hair. Shampoos and conditioners are awesome, but you should use something with vitamin E in between washes, too.
6: Protective styles
Braids are a good protective style, but the take down might be stressful. If not done properly, your beautiful hair will suffer a great deal.
Take your time and don’t ever take your braids out in a hurry. Be gentle! Unbraid carefully instead of wildly raking your hair with your fingers or a comb. Set some time aside to do it and don’t pull your hair out in the process.
A wide tooth comb can help to detangle, as well as coconut oil or another type of oil to help you take out the hair without damaging it, while nourishing it in the process. There are many detangling products that can help a lot, too!
When you stretch your washes, the hair might get a bit rough and tangled, so you’ll need to comb through your hair. Do it from bottom to top, little by little. You can comb your hair dry, there is no problem at all.
Just remember to be gentle and go little by little. Don’t rake! Yes, you’ve read that reference prior, but that’s because it is very important.
Leave-in conditioners are also great for detangling and it helps keep your hair feeling soft.
8: Ponytail holders
Don’t just use any holder to tie your hair! Use seamless ties. The seams can snatch your hair and pull on it when you’re taking it out causing breakage. You can get these seamless ties almost anywhere, they are simple and cheap. They’re almost like a pantyhose material and able to hold a tight ponytail without pulling the edges and adding stress to your hair.
9: Cut out heat
Try to use the least amount of heat possible. If you take proper care, once a month after a wash you can give it a blow-dry and a flat iron. But that’s all. Maybe an occasional curl, but if you do it too often it will totally impair the health of your hair.
Using heat every week is too much, try to cut back and you’ll notice a big difference. The golden rule is… leave it alone, take care and keep a routine. Just don’t manipulate it excessively.
If once a month is too little for you, try to cut it back as much as you can manage.
10: Moisturize, moisturize and moisturize!
The hotter it is, the more moisturize your hair will need. Don’t let your hair get too dry and brittle. Use a good product, and make sure to drink lots and lots of water!
Try to incorporate all of those steps in your hair care routine to see great results. Soon you’ll be amazed at the health and beauty of your hair.
If you have any tips we didn’t cover here, please leave a comment. We’d love to hear some of your suggestions.