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7 Hair Strengthening Tips for Weak Curly Hair

Making your hair stronger requires patience, but the process may be easier than you think.
17 Mar 2023
Even the most deep-conditioned, regularly-trimmed, and protected hair can quickly become susceptible to damage and hair breakage. Much like toning up other areas of our bodies, achieving strong curls and hair strengthening takes work and patience — it requires a commitment to certain styling practices, the use of the right hair care products, and consistency.

If you’re experiencing weaker than usual curls, there are several ways to get back on track to healthy and strong hair. Read on to find out how to strengthen hair and stop damage.

Why is My Curly Hair So Weak?

There are a number of reasons why hair can become weak. If you’re finding that your curls are weak it could be one (or a combination) of the reasons below.

1. Hair Structure

The structure of your hair plays a big role in how it holds up to styling and everyday wear and tear. Hair that is naturally fine may be more prone to damage than thicker strands.

2. Friction

Another culprit of weak hair is the friction caused by sleeping without a protective hair covering like a bonnet or satin scarf. Too much rubbing against rough fabrics can compromise the strength of your hair and disrupt the hair cuticle.

3. Split Ends

If split ends aren’t trimmed at the first snag, they can continue to split up the hair shaft, weakening your curls.

4. Over-Processed Hair

Hair that has recently been over-processed with dye or bleach, or scorched from heat styling, may look and feel weak as well.

5. Hair Porosity

Hair porosity may also impact hair fragility. Both high and low porosity hair struggle with retaining moisture, which can lead to strands that feel dry and weak.

How Can Hair Porosity Affect Hair Strength?

Porosity determines how well hair absorbs and retains moisture. Landing on either end of the porosity spectrum, low or high, can compromise hair strength.

If your hair is classified as high porosity, (meaning the hair shaft stays open and moisture flows in and out easily), over time that moisture can overly stretch your strands, leading to breakage. Because of this, if you have highly porous hair, try to avoid leaving your hair soaking wet for long periods of time.

On the flip side, low porosity hair, which has a hard time absorbing moisture because the hair shaft doesn’t open easily, can lead to dry, brittle strands that are prone to breakage.

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How to Diagnose Weak Curly Hair

Take a look at your strands — if your hair looks or feels limp or thin, you may have weak hair. Excessive breakage can also be a sign of curly hair that’s weak, as it often has split ends that can travel up the hair shaft and break off your strands.

To further test the strength of your hair, take a strand of wet hair and stretch it gently. If your hair bounces back into place easily, your hair is strong. If it stays stretched out or takes a long time to get back into place, it’s likely that your strands are on the weaker side.

You can also take one of your strands and pull at it from both ends. If the hair breaks with little to no effort, your hair is weak and damaged.

What Are the Best Hair Strengthening Products?

Every head of hair is different, and choosing the right hair care for your unique set of spirals may take some trial and error. However, there’s one thing that all curls need to thrive and become stronger — moisture. Apply these steps and products to your hair to retain adequate moisture for healthy hair.

1. Apply a Hair Treatment

Look to deep conditioning hair treatments to help hydrate and fortify weak hair. Try the Coco Creme Curl Quenching Deep Moisture Mask along with a hair steamer to help the nourishing ingredients absorb better. While deep conditioners are usually applied after you shampoo your hair, consider doing this type of treatment as a pre-shampoo before you hit the shower. It will help soften and fortify hair so that once you get to the detangle stage of your wash, you won’t have to do a ton of tugging.

2. Use a Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Shampoos like the Born To Repair Sulfate-Free Nourishing Shampoo will get hair clean without stripping your hair of its natural oils while helping to strengthen your strands with ingredients like shea butter, Amazonian nut oil and babassu oil.

3. Try a Repairing Conditioner

Even if you’re using a deep conditioner or hair mask prior to shampooing, you should still use a traditional strengthening conditioner after. The Born To Repair Nourishing Conditioner With Shea Butter has the same ingredients as the shampoo to help repair damage and prevent future hair breakage.

4. Add a Hair Oil

While using water-based products is still important, you should also enlist the help of hydrating hair oils like the Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp & Hair Oil. It’s made with a seven oil blend that includes castor oil and black cumin seed oil to strengthen weak strands and moisturize the scalp and hair.

7 Tips for How to Strengthen Hair

Keep in mind that strengthening your hair requires patience and consistency, so you’ll need to make a plan and give it time. With these breakage-preventing best practices in play, over time, your hair will become stronger and longer.

1. Reach for a Repairing Shampoo

When it’s time for wash day, always use a repairing shampoo like the Born To Repair Sulfate-Free Nourishing Shampoo to help with hair strengthening.

2. Wash With Lukewarm Water

Keep the temperature of the water you use to wash your hair on the cooler side, as hot water can strip the moisture from your strands. This will help to prevent your hair from becoming too dry.

3. Use a Detangling Cream

If detangling your curls is a battle, enlist the help of a cream like the Hair Milk 4-in-1 Combing Creme, which will both provide you hair with moisture and melt away knots.

4. Dry Your Hair the Right Way

Carefully dry your curls without too much rubbing. Ditch the towel and use a t-shirt or a microfiber towel that’s made specifically for hair.

5. Apply a Leave-In Conditioner

Don’t forget to use leave-in conditioner. Classic conditioners help strengthen hair, but a leave-in version gives hair an extra moisture boost and preps it for styling. Try the Born To Repair Defining Leave-In Cream With Shea Butter to add shine and softness to your strands as the shea butter and Amazonian nut oil fortifies your hair.

6. Don’t Skip Regular Trims

Regular trims are a must. Stylists typically recommend six to eight weeks in between snips. However, depending on the level of damage you may need to repair, consider a visit to your stylist every four weeks until you’re back on track.

7. Try a Protective Style

Practice protective styling as a way to strengthen hair. Braids, twists, and even wigs will keep strands tucked away, particularly if you’ll be exposing them to potentially damaging elements like excessive sun and saltwater.

How Long Does It Take to Strengthen Hair?

Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula for how long it takes to strengthen hair, so you should give yourself at least eight weeks to see any changes. Take note of the amount of hair that you’re shedding when you comb and brush through. This is a solid indicator of how your damage-reversing efforts are going.

Everyone’s hair grows at a different pace, but any noticeable changes in your hair length may also signal that you’re on the right track (though, keep in mind that length retention is not the only marker). Either way, remember that rebuilding the strength of your hair is very much like making your body strong. It takes time, commitment and consistent use of the right strengthening hair products.

Next up: 5 Tips To Grow Your Hair Long

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