Hair breakage refers to the physical breaking or splitting of individual hair strands. It is a common issue that can affect the overall health and appearance of the hair.
Hair breakage differs from hair loss, where the hair falls out from the root. In case of breakage, the hair strand breaks along its length often leaving uneven or jagged ends.
Factors Leading To Hair Breakage
Several factors can lead to hair breakage which could further lead to problems.
Its common symptoms include-
- Split Ends- The tips of hair strands split into two or more segments.
- Short, Uneven Hair- Breakage can result in varying lengths of hair giving an uneven appearance.
- Rough Texture- The hair may start feeling rough and dry due to loss of moisture and damage to the outer and cuticle layers.
- Excessive Shedding- While some shedding is common, an excessive amount of broken hairs in brushes, combs, or on clothing may indicate a problem.
- Brittle Hair- Hair that is prone to breakage may feel brittle or fragile to the touch.
Causes Of Hair Breakage
- Over styling with heat tools- Excessive styling using heat products like flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers can strip the hair of its natural oil, leading to damage and breakage.
- Chemical Damage- Harsh chemicals in hair products, such as sulfates and certain alcohols can weaken the hair structure and lead to breakage. Chemical treatments like perms, relaxers, and frequent coloring can contribute to damage.
- Poor Hair- Care products- Rough handling of wet hair, vigorous towel drying, and using a brush on wet hair can cause breakage as wet hair is more elastic and can easily break apart.
- Environmental Factors- Exposure to environmental factors such as sunlight, wind, and pollution can weaken the hair and reduce the strength of hair follicles.
- Nutritional Deficiencies- Lack of essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals can result in weak and brittle hair.
- Lack of Moisture- Dry and dehydrated hair is more susceptible to damage.
- Tight Hairstyles- Wearing tight hairstyles like ponytails, braids, or buns can cause stress on the hair shaft.
- Hormonal Changes- Changes in hormonal levels such as during pregnancy and menopause can impact the health of the hair.
- Medications and Health Conditions- Certain medications and health medications can affect hair health. For instance, some autoimmune diseases can lead to the weakening of hair tips. If a person is on chemotherapy then can be facing hair breakage.
- Genetics- Genetic factors can influence the natural texture and strength of the hair.
How To Stop Hair Breakage?
Preventing and stopping hair breakage involves a combination of healthy care practices and lifestyle changes including-
- Gentle Hair Care- Use a sulfate-free, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Wash your hair in lukewarm water to prevent breakage. Pat your hair dry with a microfiber towel instead of rubbing vigorously.
- Moisturize Regularly- Use a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week to restore moisture and improve hair elasticity. Apply leave-in conditioner to keep it hydrated throughout the day.
- Protective Hairstyles- Avoid tight hairstyles that pull on the hair, such as ponytails or braids. Consider buns or twists that minimize manipulation of the hair.
- Limit Heat Styling- Use a heat protectant spray before using heat-styling tools. Limit the use of flat irons, curling irons and blow dryers.
- Regular Trims- Get regular trims every 6-8 weeks to remove split ends and prevent from them traveling up the hair shaft.
- Nutrient-Rich Diet- Ensure an adequate intake of protein, and also include biotin, Omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamin E.
- Hydration- Drink plenty of water to hydrate your body and hair. Use moisturizing hair products to prevent dryness.
- Protect From Environmental Damage- Wear hats and scarves to protect the hair from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Shield your hair from harsh winds which can cause tangles and breakage.
- Health Checkup- If you suspect an underlying health issue, consult with a healthcare professional.
Hair breakage is a serious problem faced by many. The factors listed above can be one of the main reasons why your hair breaks off at its ends but not the only one. In many instances, stress could also expedite hair breakage exponentially. In such cases, it is important to lead a healthy and peaceful life along with mindful habits.