5 Reasons Why YOUR Relaxed Hair Is Breaking! And How To Fix It | Healthy Hair Care

Friday, May 19, 2023

5 Reasons Why YOUR Relaxed Hair Is Breaking! And How To Fix It | Healthy Hair Care | www.hairliciousinc.com

"My hair is constantly breaking! How can I fix this?"

This is probably one of the MOST frequently asked questions I receive on a weekly basis. To be honest, it's such a tricky question to answer because everyone's hair is unique and there's a ton of variables to consider, but it's a valid question that deserves an explanation or two.

First things first, breakage is inevitable. It will happen, and that's okay. <— Read that again if you need to!

There is no such person, race or hair type that is exempt from this. Hair breakage is your hair's way of letting you know that something is off and for you to address your hair's needs accordingly. With healthy balanced hair, you'll notice a decrease in the amount of breakage you receive and an increase in length retention.

So, when it comes to relaxed hair breakage, I've learned that there are several key factors that you should avoid being guilty of, if you want to grow your relaxed hair long and healthy.

5 Reasons Why YOUR Relaxed Hair Is Breaking! And How To Fix It: 

1. Moisture Deficiency

This is hair that is super dry, rough, and brittle! Your hair is snapping and popping off into tiny piece everywhere you turn with little to no manipulation. Why? Well, dry moisture deprived hair lacks elasticity. This is a result of your hair not receiving adequate moisture levels for your hair type. Elasticity is an indicator of your hair's health. If you can't stretch a strand and have it return to its previous length and shape, then we have a problem. Hydration and moisture should be the cornerstone of your hair regimen until your hair is restored and balanced. The question is how can you fix moisture deficient hair? Simple. Up your moisture levels. 

Here are some ways to do that:

  • moisturizing your ends with a water-based protein-free moisturizer and sealing with an oil - nightly
  • misting your hair periodically throughout the day or right before you moisturize and seal
  • deep conditioning weekly with a protein-free moisture based deep conditioner
  • throwing in a mid-week co-wash
  • baggying your ends after you moisturize and seal for several minutes (to an hour) to lock in moisture

Having a low moisture regimen is a recipe for dryness and breakage. Be sure to read your product ingredient labels in search for moisture-based ingredients. Overusing protein-based products (products containing hydrolyzed silk, keratin, collagen, etc.), without balancing it with moisture, will contribute to dry, ridged hair that is prone to breakage. Always analyze your hair!

Check out my video on MOISTURE vs. PROTEIN | The Benefits & Differences, Reading Product Ingredients + MORE

2. Protein Deficiency

Protein deficient hair is overly stretchy, limp, and weak! This is a result of excess moisture in the hair causing the hair structure to be overly elastic. Without adequate structure in the hair, the hair can be prone to breakage. I know protein gets a bad rep in the haircare world, but it's so necessary for balanced healthy hair. Protein binds to the cuticles and penetrates deep within the cortex to heal the hair from the inside out. A lack of protein in the hair can compromise the hair structure, increase weak strands, cause thinning, and promote breakage. So how can you fix protein deficient hair? Easy. Give your hair a dose of protein every so often when you notice the symptoms above.

Here are some ways to incorporate protein into your regimen:

  • use a protein-based leave-in conditioner on wash days and then layer it with a moisturizing leave-in for the perfect balance.
  • use a light protein conditioner/reconstructor biweekly or monthly, depending on your hair's needs. Always follow up with a moisture based deep conditioner for balance
  • include protein-based foods in your diet i.e. eggs, meat, nuts, protein shakes etc. Protein is essential for hair growth and it's always best to nourish your hair from the inside out!

3. High Manipulation

If you are guilty of changing your hairstyle daily, or combing and touching your hair often then listen up - you need to stop! No, seriously. Over manipulating your hair and constantly adding stress to your strands will lead to breakage. Pulling, tugging, tension, and friction is a recipe for disaster. Over manipulating your hair will put you further and further away from your hair goals.  Less is better, trust me. Keep styling to a minimum and you'll notice minimal breakage over time!

Here are a few ways to limit daily/weekly manipulation:

  • put the comb down and finger comb - first!
  • use a wide tooth comb instead of a finer tooth comb
  • keep your fingers out of your hair
  • thoroughly detangle on wash days, not daily
  • keep your styles simple and tension free
  • slow down and detangle, take your time

4. Lack of Protection

Understand that safe and effective preservation of your hair/ends, leads to healthier longer hair. We all know that the ends are the oldest part of the hair. They are porous, fragile and require more care to see length. With that being said, it's vital that we protect our ends from the elements, i.e. clothing, environment etc., as much as possible. Going to bed without proper protection, i.e. satin scarf, bonnet or satin pillow case - is a problem. Wearing your hair down and having it rub against harsh clothing - is a problem. Using heat appliances without heat protection - is a problem. Not giving your ends a break from daily wear and tear - is a problem.

Here are a couple ways to protect your hair for healthier hair:

  • wear a satin bonnet/scarf/pillowcase to bed
  • wear smooth fabrics when wearing your hair down
  • use a heat protectant every time you use direct heat
  • throw your hair into a tension free protective style - frequently

5. Not Removing Product Build Up

Believe it or not, product build up can inhibit your hair cuticles from accepting additional products possibly leaving your hair dry, dull, and rough.  Blocked cuticles and dryness will lead to breakage. Product buildup and residue can leave the hair feeling weighed down. The cuticles are unable to breathe, the hair becomes unmanageable, and it begins to suffer. If you notice that your hair is lacking shine, tangled/matted, constantly breaking, difficult to comb, constantly dry or rough - you need to clarify your hair asap. Clarifying your hair with a sulfate shampoo will rid your hair of product, residue, dirt, and buildup allowing your cuticles to breathe and accept product. Removing buildup monthly will give your hair a clean slate allowing your hair to hold on to moisture, feel softer, smoother and much more manageable.


6. Neglecting Your Trims

Failing to trim when it's needed is setting yourself up for future disappointment. Neglecting your trims for the sake of temporary ‘length’ isn't worth it in the long run. Why? Well, missing your trims can cause your split ends to get worse. Unkempt ends can lead to further splits causing tangles, breakage and eventually thinning. Maintaining a trim schedule that rids your ends of thinning, splits, single strand knots etc. is crucial in preventing breakage. I highly suggest doing light dustings every month (taking off 1/4" of an inch) and trim with every relaxer or every 12-14 weeks (taking off 1/2-1" inch). 

Don't avoid your trims, choose health over length - always!

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