What Is Hair Breakage?


Hair breakage: it’s a term that terrifies many of us. But any fears surrounding the term can be reduced or eliminated entirely by learning more about it. If you’d like a little clarification on hair breakage, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll share with you what hair breakage is, why it happens, and what you can do to avoid it. 

What is Hair Breakage? 

Let’s start with a quick definition of hair breakage. Hair breakage is what happens when one or more strands of hair have been compromised and broken into two or more pieces. When we talk about hair breakage, we’re not usually talking about one broken hair- we’re talking about many of them, either all at once or over time. 

Causes of Hair Breakage

Hair breakage may be caused by a myriad of things, some of which you may not be aware of. Read the below list to learn about the most common causes of hair breakage: 

  • Brushing wet hair without a detangler. Hair is more fragile when wet, so brushing it in this state increases breakage risk. That is, unless you slather a slippery detangler to your hair – a product like this will help your strands glide past each other more easily and reduce breakage risk.  

  • Slathering high-hold hair products onto your hair. While these products may not directly cause breakage, they may make your hair dry or difficult to detangle, leading to breakage.

  • Not using conditioner on a regular basis. Your hair may look hydrated and pliable immediately after shampooing it, but that’s a facade. Shampoo dries out your hair, leading to an increased risk of breakage. Chronically dry hair is more likely to break than moisturized hair. 

  • Wearing tight hairstyles. Tight hairstyles pull at your strands and can create weak spots that are vulnerable to breakage. 

  • Excessive chemical processing and heat. Both of these weaken your hair strands, making them more prone to breakage.

*This is not an exhaustive list of hair breakage causes. 

How to Avoid Hair Breakage 

Avoiding hair breakage doesn’t have to be hard. The more of the following you do, the easier it will be to keep your hair healthy and breakage-free:

  • Wear your hair in looser, low-manipulation hairstyles. Any style that doesn’t pull on your strands or require a ton of brushing, combing, or pulling will work. 

  • Try to limit the amount of chemicals you use on a regular basis. Every time you subject your hair to harsh chemicals like bleach, permanent hair dye, relaxers, heat, and the like, your hair structure becomes compromised. The less of this you do, the healthier your hair may remain. 

  • Use a heat protectant as needed. Before you apply heat from your flat iron, curling iron, or blow dryer, spritz your hair with a heat protectant (according to the instructions on the packaging). 

  • Limit detangling sessions (both brushing and combing). Though it’s essential to detangle your hair now and again, doing it every day is a surefire way to jumpstart breakage. The popular recommendation of “100 brush strokes a day” is unnecessary and can increase breakage.

  • Use hair masks on a regular basis. Hair masks can bring your hair from the brink of damage. But not just any treatment will do - you need one that addresses your specific hair issue(s). Your ideal hair treatment could be a protein treatment, hydrating treatment, anti-breakage treatment, or something else entirely. 

  • Use a leave-in conditioner whenever you need a quick dose of moisture. It could be the difference between healthy and broken hair. 

So, there you have it - what hair breakage is and everything you need to know about it. We hope you found all the information you were looking for, and we wish you the best with your hair.




Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of NaturallyTextured.com, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.


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