Noticed a lot more stands of hair in the comb when styling? Or maybe it seems like you’re shedding? While finding a few hairs in the comb or sink don’t necessarily mean there’s a need to panic, if you notice more than usual this is typically a telltale sign that you’re dealing with breakage.
There are many causes for breakage, but a hair salon will point out that, in many instances, we’re the ones causing the breakage. The way we style, treat, or maintain our hair between salon visits can ultimately do more harm than good if we’re not careful. Below, are a few of the most common causes of hair breakage and what you can do to rectify the matter:
1. Too Much Tension
Cute ponytails and updos are perfect for the summertime, running weekend errands, and even for a night out on the town. Ponytails, in particular, are some of the easiest styles to do and so women tend to pull their hair up and go. The only issue with this is that too much tension can cause your hair to overstretch. When this happens, the hair weakens causing it to break off near the ponytail.
What to do: It is important to let your hair and scalp have a break from time to time. Vary your styling so that you’re not always putting tension on it. When you do throw your hair in a ponytail, get it braided, or put it in an up do try to make sure that you’re not pulling it too tight.
2. Styling Wet Hair
It might be convenient to hop out of the shower and style your hair, but it’s the absolute worst thing you can do. Your hair is in its most fragile state when it is wet. As you’re manipulating your hair into various styles, it can cause mechanical breakage.
What to do: It is best to leave the styling for dry hair only. If you don’t want to apply heat to your hair, allow it to air dry and then style as you wish. If you absolute must style the hair while wet, be sure to use a wide tooth comb and place it in a quick style that does not require a lot of manipulating or tension.
3. Low Protein
Yes, what you eat can greatly contribute to the health of your hair. Since hair is comprised of a protein known as keratin, it is important that we consume it on a periodic basis. If you’re consuming a diet that is low in protein, your hair will become weaker, thinner, and ultimately break off.
What to do: Whether you’re a meat eater, vegetarian, or vegan, there are plenty of food sources of protein in them. You’ll want to start incorporating protein into your diet. Eating beans, nuts, chicken, and fish are a great place to start.
4. Low Zinc, Iron, or Vitamin B-12
If you’re deficient in any of these nutrients, it is likely the result of your increased hair breakage and even hair loss.
What to do: You want to take a multivitamin that consists of these nutrients. If you’re seriously deficient or haven’t been tested in a while, it is best to have a blood test done by the doctor so that you know exactly which supplements you should be taking.
5. Harsh Shampoos
Not all shampoos are created equally. Some are known to cause more harm than good as it strips the hair of all the vital nutrients it needs to stay healthy. There are shampoos that contain sulfate such as SLS and ALS, which can be harsh and cause the hair to weaken.
What to do: Consider the types of shampoos and hair products you purchase. Review the ingredients to ensure that you’re not investing in something that will ultimately damage your hair. When you’re not sure, the best option would be to choose a shampoo that is natural or has gentler sulfate so that it does not cause damage.
6. Too Much Sun Exposure
The sun is nice to sit in but when you’re hair is completed exposed it can start to show effects. Too much exposure to the sun can lead to weakness and breakage.
What to do: Aside from wearing hats and staying out of the sun for long periods of time you can also consider trimming the ends and deep conditioning with protein to get your hair back in tip top shape.
7. Using the Wrong Comb
When combing your hair, it is important that you use a comb that won’t do damage. Thin tooth combs or combs that have seams can easily tug on the hair causing mechanical breakage.
What to do: It is best to stick with wider toothed seamless combs to be on the safe side.
Your hair was made to be shown off. If you’ve started to notice a lot of damage, it’s probably best that you see a hairstylist for an efficient solution. If you’re guilty of any of the above causes of breakage, follow the solutions provided so that you can improve the health of your hair.
Hair care photo by LyndaSanchez