We have all experienced breakage at one point or another, but there are definitely ways to avoid it and to minimize it as much as possible. “Breakage usually occurs from overly processed hair and from excessive coloring, and heat. I believe as long as you do everything in moderation, you and your hair will be just fine,” says Drybar Founder, Alli Webb.
“The ultimate tip to avoiding breakage is to simply learn to accept your hair in its natural state. Changing your hair by constantly dyeing, curling, or straightening leads to damage,” says Carlos Flores, creator of NYC Curls by Carlos Flores.
If you do have some breakage and are trying to repair your hair, here are some things you can and should be able to do to get your hair back in shape:
1. Invest in a nourishing, reparative mask for your hair and apply 1-2 times per week.
2. Only wash your hair two times a week and stretch your blowout out as long as you can. “The natural oils from your scalp are fantastic for your hair,” says Webb.
3. Be mindful that hair breakage can be avoided by strategic washing motions and drying techniques. Instead of directly applying shampoo, Kendall Ong, owner of Phoenix’s Mane Attraction Salon, encourages his clients to create a lather in their hands before gently massaging into scalp. “This helps create less knots, which could lead to breakage, out of the shower. Before you brush wet hair, pat it dry with a towel instead of rubbing it dry. Patting it will absorb the moisture without damaging the hair,” says Ong.
“Be sure to never comb hair when wet to avoid adding tension to your strands and causing breakage,” adds Pantene Celebrity Stylist Kim Kimble.
4. Although it sounds like common sense, those with fine hair need to be more gentle with their hair compared to those who have thicker hair. “Specifically with the following: Pulling hair back and/or up, styling with heat and teasing hair,” says stylist/salon owner, Gino Giumarello of New Jersey’s In the Village.
“In order to prevent heat damage and breakage, I recommend letting hair air dry until it’s almost completely dry before using a blow dryer to finish a look,” says Kimble.
5. “Use a heat protectant, like Drybar’s Hot Toddy Heat Protectant and Frizz Fighter in wet hair before your blowout to help protect your hair from the heat,” says Webb. The restorative formula helps condition and repair hair and naturally enhances shine.
6. It’s fun to experiment but your hair is not a buffet. Try to keep chemical services limited to one at a time. Multiple chemical services (like coloring, relaxing and permanent waving) is more likely to cause stress on the hair shaft says Giumarello. When having hair highlighted, make sure your stylist is protecting your previously lightened hair with conditioner.
7. When hair is hungry, feed it. Try a reparative treatment oil that will nourish your hair. Once the damage has been done, you should avoid quick fix repairing products that contain silicones. “Silicones coat your hair with a plastic like film that will temporarily make it feel better when it is really suffocating your hair from getting moisture and ultimately making it more brittle,” says Flores.