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how to stop hair breakage

How To Stop Hair Breakage

Follow these tips on how to stop hair breakage from root to tip.
14 Sep 2023

What Is Hair Breakage?
What Causes Hair Breakage?
How to Tell If You Have Broken Hair
How Do You Fix Hair Breakage?
How to Prevent Hair Breakage
What Hair Care Products Prevent Hair Breakage?

It doesn’t matter if it’s a few strands or a hefty chunk, any amount of hair breakage or damaged hair can be stressful – especially if your hair is a vital part of your look. If left untreated, per the Cleveland Clinic, damaged hair will only get worse and can cause harm to your hair follicles (the pore that surrounds the root and strand of the hair) leading to reduced hair growth and hair loss.

Naturally, the topic of potential hair loss can be anxiety-inducing, but there’s a way to stop hair breakage through your styling habits and the products you use. If you’re starting to notice constant flyaways, split ends or seriously dry hair no matter how much hair oil you use, your hair may be damaged. Here are some helpful tips and treatment options to teach you how to stop hair breakage and make your hair strong once more.

What Is Hair Breakage?

First things first, you need to be familiar with what hair breakage is. Hair breakage and hair shedding are sometimes used interchangeably to explain the impact of damaged hair, but they are different. Shedding is a natural part of your hair cycle. You’re supposed to lose hair daily — anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs a day, to be exact. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), that’s the norm, but if you’re noticing rapid thinning or a lack of new hair growth, then there’s cause for concern.

Hair breakage, on the other hand, happens when the actual strand shreds. Most times, you won’t notice full hairs on the ground but instead little pieces of hair. Always confirm with your dermatologist to evaluate if that hair breakage is causing shedding or permanent hair loss. Think about split ends; it’s hair that is so damaged that it begins to break and shred at the bottom of the strand. Split ends are a sign of hair breakage that needs to be trimmed to keep the strand from tearing up to the root. Where and how hair breaks depend on several different factors, more on that below.

What Causes Hair Breakage?

One of the main causes, if not the main cause, of breakage is how you style your hair. Things like heat styling, aggressive brushing or combing hair, sleeping on wet hair or rough fabrics that create friction and constantly pulling your strands into too-tight styles can all cause hair breakage. Too much tension on the hair shaft (the actual strand), according to the AAD, can cause inflammation at the root and weaken strands to the point that they eventually break off.

Hairs around the hairline (baby hair aka edges) are also more fragile than hairs on other areas of the scalp, making your edges more vulnerable to breaking off if not properly cared for. There are a few things that can put this particular area at risk. Habits like too much tugging while styling, traction from pulling hair back into overly tight hairstyles and using products with drying ingredients like alcohols and sulfates can also weaken hair around the edge of your face. When slicking hair, use a moisturizing edge gel like the Black Vanilla Edge Control Smoother that is best applied on dry hair so strands stay sleek when styling and hydrated with the aloe, rosemary, and castor oil formulation.

How to Tell If You Have Broken Hair

It’s fairly easy to tell if your hair is broken or shedding. Hair that has simply shed is coming straight from the follicle, so it’s going to be a full strand. Broken hairs, on the other hand, are usually fragments and little pieces of hair that you can spot in your sink or floor when you brush or comb through them.

You can also easily spot split ends and breaks that are in progress, as the individual hairs will be split and have a tree-like appearance with brittle hairs sticking out in various directions at the end of the strand. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) describes split ends as hair with a damaged and removed cuticle. This damage allows for the hair to crack and form split ends. Broken hair is also likely to look dry and dull and feel rougher to the touch due to the lack of water within the strand, also confirmed by the NCBI.

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How to Fix Hair Breakage

Fixing damaged hair that's gotten to the point of breakage is technically not possible. Once your hair is damaged it’s damaged. However, what you can do is start by getting a proper trim to help even out any ragged edges and prevent more breakage and damage from occurring. Haircuts can be the last resort for some, especially if you’re trying to maintain length, but it’s often seen as the quickest solution to stopping hair breakage to eliminate really brittle ends.

Once all hairs are evened out and you have a clear understanding of what led to your breakage in the first place, then you can start working on a treatment plan. In most cases, this will mean revamping how you moisturize your hair — including the frequency and what you’re using to do it — and changing a few hair-damaging lifestyle habits.

How to Prevent Hair Breakage

When it comes to stopping hair breakage, it’s all about the prevention plan. While you can’t outright fix damaged hair, you can stop damaging your hair further so it grows healthy and strong.

Keep Your Hair Moisturized

One of the main reasons your hair is breaking off could be that you aren’t applying enough moisture to it. It’s especially important to heed this rule if your hair is curly because it’s prone to brittleness and breakage. If your hair is in need of extra moisture, try a repairing hair treatment like the Born To Repair 60-Second Moisture Treatment With Shea Butter. After shampooing hair with the Born To Repair Sulfate-Free Nourishing Shampoo, apply this liquid treatment to your scalp and strands and allow it to sit for one minute. The shea butter, babassu oil, and Amazonian nut oil in it instantly repair overprocessed and damaged hair while controlling frizz. Complete this moisturizing regimen with Born To Repair Nourishing Conditioner With Shea Butter, a conditioner that will strengthen hair while nourishing it to improve the smoothness of curls and coils.

Target Split Ends Early

If your ends are frayed and splitting already, it might be time to sit in a salon chair and get those strands trimmed. However, you can prolong this expensive visit through the daily use of a hair oil that will nourish ends and keep them hydrated. Targeting your ends, apply a nourishing oil like the Born To Repair Reviving Hair Oil With Shea Butter, which visibly seals split ends up to 84 percent with the blend of natural oils including jojoba, coconut, and olive oil. This oil detangles hair while it conditions it to leave a shiny finish that showcases your hair's health.

Go Easy on the Heat

Blow-drying and flat ironing hair on a regular basis can take its toll on strands, confirms the AAD, ultimately causing damage. While air-drying hair is the best option, it’s usually not feasible for curly hair that takes longer to dry. When you do use a hair dryer, pick up a diffuser attachment to eliminate the amount of direct heat your curls are getting. If you absolutely must use heat, do so on the lowest heat setting and always apply a heat protectant before using a hot tool.

Use a Pre-Wash Moisturizer

Give your hair an extra shot of moisture on wash day by saturating strands with a rich pre-shampoo conditioner and letting it sit for about 10 minutes before washing with shampoo. Try the Goddess Strength Ultra Shield Pre-Poo With Castor Oil For Curly Hair which protects hair against breakage while strengthening and conditioning hair with its special formulation of castor oil, black cumin seed oil, and ginger. This treatment will also help detangle hair before you shampoo.

Shampoo Correctly

On the subject of shampooing, make sure you’re doing it right. You’ve probably been washing your hair your entire life and don’t need to be told how to do it now, so let this part be a refresher to confirm what you already know. It’s key to use a sulfate-free shampoo (or even a co-wash) that doesn’t have harsh, stripping cleansers that dry out hair. We like the fortifying Monoi Repairing Sulfate Free Shampoo which washes and detangles hair while the infused Monoi oil and coconut oil strengthen frail hair.

You should also pay attention to where you use hair cleansing products. When it’s time to wash your hair, shampoo should only be applied to the scalp and not to the hair shafts. While you may have excess product buildup on your strands, the majority of it will be on your scalp. The cleanser that flows down your strands as you wash is sufficient to break down any dirt and product residue on the rest of your hair.

Skip the Damaging Hair Style

Braiding your hair too tightly and having hair undergo constant chemical changes (such as hair dyeing, hair relaxing, and perming) can cause damage to your hair. To reiterate what we shared earlier, too-tight protective styles can pull at your scalp and cause hair damage. When wearing your hair in a braided style or one that uses hair extensions, make sure your hair isn’t being tugged too harshly states the AAD, as this can damage your hair follicles and lead to permanent hair loss. The AAD recommends against wearing protective styles or hair extensions for longer than two to three months.

If you like coloring your hair with fun shades or have an affinity for platinum hair, try to extend the time between salon sessions to repair hair between color touch ups. Avoid going double duty on chemical treatments — don’t get a keratin treatment on the same day you dye your hair, it’s best for the health of your hair to decrease how often you chemically process your strands. Keep your scalp moisturized while wearing one of these styles by using a designated scalp oil that won’t cause excessive product buildup. We like the Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp & Hair Oil which strengthens hair from breakage while it weightlessly moisturizes the scalp and hair.

Try a Hair Treatment

One of the easiest ways to repair and prevent hair breakage is to hydrate curls and coils with a hair mask, deep conditioning treatment or leave-in conditioner. Try a repairing mask on wet strands to add nourishment into the hair. We like the Monoi Repairing Hair Mask which is infused with the hair-nourishing Monoi oil to address damage from roots to ends, in addition to preventing future damage. On the days you don’t have time to soak your hair for a wash-out treatment, try a leave-in conditioner that will repair hair while reshaping curls. Pick up the Born To Repair Defining Leave-In Cream With Shea Butter which softens, detangles, and smooths hair for your best second-day curls, third-day curls, and so-on. These products will keep hair moisturized between showers and pump strands with the extra strength that they so desperately need.

What Hair Care Products Prevent Hair Breakage?

There are certain hair care products, some of which we’ve already mentioned above, that prevent breakage. Products like the ones from Carol’s Daughter rebuild the hair from the inside out, whether that’s by adding moisture or replenishing certain proteins that may be making it weak. Go through your current hair care routine, add and swap out products that will add nutrients, moisturize strands and repair hair breakage for overall hair health. Below are a few hair care products you might want to consider using to prevent hair breakage.

Hair Mask

Thick hair masks coat damaged strands in various nutrients to pump hair full of moisture. The goal here is to leave a high protein and hydrating mask on your hair for several minutes before washing it out to let the nourishing ingredients penetrate deep into the hair shaft to strengthen brittle hair.

Leave-In Conditioner

A popular styling product, leave-in conditioners are exactly what they sound like — a nourishing hair product similar to a conditioner that doesn’t get rinsed from the hair. Leave-in conditioners are ideal for those who want a lightweight product that won’t weigh hair down. It leaves curls looking defined and moisturized between washes while the formulation keeps hair from breaking further.

Deep Conditioner

Hair masks and deep conditioners are very similar hair products with one big difference, a hair mask can sometimes be described as a type of deep conditioner. A deep conditioner is any product that conditions deep to infuse the product's ingredients with the goal to add moisture — it also makes a great hair detangler . This means the product can vary in texture and formulation and, in some cases, doesn’t have to be washed out.

Hair Oil

If you don’t have at least one hair oil in your curl hair routine, then you need to pick up one ASAP. Re: The Born to Repair Reviving Hair Oil with Shea Butter which we mentioned helps target split ends early. Curly hair is more prone to breakage because it’s more prone to drying out, confirms the AAD. To combat this use a hair oil like jojoba or argan oil that’ll add moisture and seal it all in for maximum hydration.


Before washing your hair use a pre-shampoo treatment that’ll condition damaged hair that is extra sensitive to stripping shampoos. A pre-shampoo treatment like the previously mentioned Goddess Strength Ultra Shield Pre-Poo With Castor Oil For Curly Hair can create a protective layer around the hair to strengthen it and minimize damage.

Through the use of hair reparative products and proper hair styling, you’ll be able to treat your hair breakage while preventing it from ever happening.

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Born To Repair Sulfate-Free Nourishing Shampoo
Born To Repair Nourishing Conditioner With Shea Butter
Born To Repair 60-Second Moisture Treatment With Shea Butter
Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp & Hair Oil
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