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Baby Hair vs. Breakage: How To Tell The Difference

There are plenty of ways you can add personality and character to your natural hairstyles. One of the oldest tricks in the book is to style your baby hairs to perfection. Since these tiny hairs are the foundation of your mane, knowing the difference between healthy shorter hairs and downright breakage will do you justice.
Whether you’re confident with the look and feel of your baby hairs or you’re dealing with breakage, it’s important to know the difference between the two. It’s also essential to pinpoint the cause of broken hair so you can learn how to stop hair breakage for good. With the right hair breakage products and styling methods, you should be able to restore order. Read on to learn how to differentiate between baby hairs and breakage, as well as the best damaged hair products and styling methods to use to keep your hair in tip-top shape.

What Are Baby Hairs?

First things first, in order to differentiate them, you need to know what baby hairs are. As we mentioned, baby hairs are short hairs that sit around your hairline. Just as there are many curly hair types, these little hairs can range from fine to thick in texture. Since these strands are shorter in length compared to the rest of your tresses, they’re typically styled to frame your face—you likely know this technique as “laying your edges.”

Styling baby hairs are a retro pastime that first became a trend in the ‘20s. It involves using a toothbrush along with a hair gel to slick down damp wispy hairs. While over the following decades some Black women donned the style—especially in the ‘60s during the natural hair movement—it became popularized again in the ‘90s. Some of the most popular baby hair styles include wavy patterns, circles, and large swoops adorned with hair gems. You can even keep things simple with classic curves or a few short swoops for a subtle look.

Since styling your baby hairs requires the use of edge-styling products, you’ll need to show your strands some love in the hair-care department. Many edge-styling products on the market are formulated with harsh ingredients that can wreak havoc on your mane. Not cute! Instead, reach for nourishing formulas like the Black Vanilla Edge Control Smoother, which is made with aloe to replenish your wispy strands with moisture. It’s also formulated with honey extract to slick your hair in place with a soft, long-lasting hold.

What Are Signs Of New Growth?

You may know that baby hair is typically a similar short length all around your mane. If you see that you have new wispy hairs along your hairline that are soft and healthy, it’s a clear indicator that your mane is growing. Of course, you’ll need to make sure that you take the right steps to keep your hairline in check by following a consistent wash day routine and practicing healthy hair-care habits. Keep these tips in mind to help promote new growth.

Tip #1: Rely on protective styling.

Making the most out of protective styles is one of the best ways to promote new growth. When cared for properly, these styles reduce the risk of damage and breakage and give you lasting moisture. You can try braided hairstyles, twists, or faux locs to help minimize over-manipulation and keep your style in place for months at a time.

Tip #2: Try a scalp massage.

Scalp massages work wonders to give your mane some extra attention. They help stimulate blood flow to the scalp, which can help lead to new growth. Incorporate this spa-like tip into your regimen by massaging your scalp while shampooing or relaxing at home.

Tip #3: Keep your strands moisturized.

Moisture is the name of the game for your entire mane. Whether your strands are long or short, you want to make sure that they are always hydrated. You can do this by supplementing your wash day and hair-care routine with moisturizing products such as leave-in conditioners, styling butters, and hair oils. This is a crucial tip that can prevent hair breakage, so you can keep your hair strong and healthy to promote new growth. Take the extra time to pamper your mane. Your new growth will thank you.

Tip #4: Stay consistent with your overall hair-care regimen.

You had to have known that this was coming. Using the right natural hair-care products consistently will help keep your baby hairs in proper shape. That means washing your strands frequently with nourishing essentials—weekly or bi-weekly—and moisturizing in between wash sessions with your choice of serums and creams.

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How Do You Know If You Have Broken Hair?

As we mentioned, it can be a little challenging to identify whether you have baby hairs or if you’re dealing with breakage. However, there are a few tell-tale differences between the two. If the short hairs around your hairline have different lengths with split ends and a finer, dry texture, you likely have broken hair. Hair breakage along the hairline is commonly caused by high-tension hairstyles, over-manipulation, and harsh products. It can also be caused by excessive heat usage without proper heat protection.

That said, it also may be common to ask yourself if short hairs are a sign of hair loss. The truth is, it really depends on the condition of your mane. Healthy hairs lay naturally on your hairline to frame your face. So, if you style your hair in an updo and notice a mix of face-framing strands and thin, unruly hairs, you’re likely dealing with the effects of hair breakage or loss.

How Do You Care For Hairline Breakage?

Realizing that you have hairline breakage can cause you to worry, but there’s no need to panic. Once you have a clear understanding of why your hairline is experiencing breakage, you can take the proper steps to get your wispy strands in order. The key is to hone in on the right natural hair care products. While we wish we could wave a magic wand to fix hairline breakage overnight, following the proper hair-care routine is the only way to get your hairline back in shape over time. So, consistency is key. Follow these damaged hair repair tips below.

Tip #1: Wash your strands.

If your hairline is looking a little worse for the wear, incorporate a shampoo specifically developed for damaged hair, such as the Monoi Repairing Shampoo, in your wash day routine. It’s formulated with monoi oil, coconut oil, and coprah oil that gently cleanse hair, leaving it strong and healthy. Pair it with the Monoi Repairing Conditioner to help reduce breakage and prevent future snaps. Let the conditioner sit on your hair for three to five minutes, so it can get in there and work some magic.

Tip #2: Give your mane a deep treatment.

When caring for hairline breakage, deep treatments are one of the best ways to give your tresses an extra boost of moisture and a stronger and softer appearance. Once or twice a week, skip conditioner in favor of a treatment like the Coco Crème Curl Quenching Deep Moisture Mask to supply your tresses with the ultimate level of hydration right after shampooing. Work the mask thoroughly through your damp hair and leave it on for three to five minutes. Rinse well.

Tip #3: Seal in moisture.

The number one thing you need to prevent hairline breakage is long-lasting hydration. Take the extra time to pamper your hair with a hair oil like the Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp & Hair Oil. It’s formulated with olive oil and coconut oil, which both penetrate and nourish hair, as well as grapeseed oil and castor oil to seal in hydration. Just remember, when it comes to hair oil, less is more.

Tip #4: Protect your hair at night.

In addition to using nourishing natural hair products in your routine, protecting your strands at night is one of the best ways to care for your mane. Covering your hair with a satin bonnet or scarf, or sleeping on a silk pillowcase, will help to reduce hair breakage and keep your hair moisturized when you sleep.

Tip #5: Minimize heat usage.

Flat-ironing or blow-drying your hair consistently can do a number on your mane. Put your hot tools on ice and rely on heat-free styling tools like perm rods and flexi-rods as much as you can. You should also use hot tools on a low setting and add a heat protectant to your routine to shield your strands.

Learning how to nourish your hair correctly is the best way to prevent hair breakage. Learn How to Wash Curly Hair (And How Often to Do It).

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