The average human hair grows at the rate of about half an inch per month. If the months go by and you feel like your hair is not making any progress, it’s probably because your hair is breaking. Breakage is a common problem faced by many on their hair growth journey. It’s important to avoid breakage in order to retain length. Is your hair breaking? Here are some causes:
- Your hair is too dry: Our hair needs moisture to thrive. When your hair lacks moisture, it is dry, brittle and breaks easily. Remedy this by deep-conditioning your hair once or twice a week. Apply a leave-in conditioner daily and seal in the moisture with oil and a butter or cream. Spritz your hair with water from time to time.
- Your hair is too soft: your hair is likely break if it’s too soft. This could be because the hair is naturally soft, or has been over-conditioned. In this case, the breakage problem can be solved with regular protein treatments.
- You’re over-manipulating your hair: If you’re constantly combing, styling, playing with or fighting with your hair, you’re bound to have more breakage. Give your hair a rest by tucking it under protective styles such as braids, twists, cornrows, bantu knots etc. Don’t forget to keep it moisturised, even when styled.
- Your hairstyles are too tight or too small: If you make braids or plaits that are too tight or small, your hair will break and shed. Avoid hairstyles that cause you pain or discomfort, they could do damage to your hair and scalp.
- You’re over-processing your hair: relaxers and frequent blow-drying or flat-ironing can cause breakage by weakening your strands. Avoid relaxers or reduce your frequency of retouching. Dry your hair naturally or with a blow-dryer on a low-heat or no heat setting. Use heat-protectants while flat ironing, or stretch your hair with heatless methods such as threading, banding, twists etc.
- You have split ends: when your ends are weak and unhealthy, your strands split from the tips. This split will grow with time and eventually lead to breakage. Avoid this by trimming your hair occasionally. Also protect your ends by keeping them moisturised and tucked away in a protective style.
- You’re stressed or ill: stress or illness can cause your hair to break. Minimise this by eating healthy, exercising regularly and drinking lots of water. Take a break when you feel overworked and try to remove yourself from stressful situations
- You don’t use satin at night: your cotton pillowcase dries out your hair and snags your ends. Prevent this by wearing a satin bonnet to sleep, or sleeping on a satin pillowcase.