December 27, 2023 9 min read
What are some of the most common hair breakage causes that occur, and what treatments can you use to address them? Learn more in this article.
Waking up to damaged, dry, and brittle hair can be an absolute confidence breaker - and let's be honest, we all love rocking a healthy and shiny mane that draws all the attention!
Unfortunately, hair is also a very gentle and delicate creature, and it can easily get damaged by a wide variety of causes, including improper hair care and poor styling practices.
On the positive side, most of these hair breakage causes are within our control, which means that there are some techniques and best practices that we can apply to prevent damage - or fix it if it has already happened.
So, if you are suffering from hair breakage and damage, continue reading this article to find out what you can do about it.
So, what does damaged hair mean in the first place? What does it mean when our hair has been "damaged"? Let's take a look:
Damaged hair is a term used to describe the structural and chemical changes that hair undergoes when exposed to a variety of factors, including chemical treatments, excessive heat, and poor hair care practices.
When hair is damaged, its outer protective layer, called the cuticle, can become compromised. This makes the hair more prone to issues like breakage, split ends, frizz, and dullness.
As we just mentioned, hair breakage and damage can occur for a variety of reasons, ranging from improper hair care and styling practices to health issues and environmental factors.
Here are some of the most common reasons for hair breakage:
Heat exposure is one of the most common hair breakage causes - exposure to high temperatures can cause the hair cuticle to lift and become rough, and they strip the hair of its natural moisture by opening up the cuticle (the protective layer of the hair).
Does this mean that you should stop heat styling? No! Thermal hair styling can actually be a safe option for your hair as long as you are ensuring that these practices are put in place:
Flat irons that are made from the gemstone tourmaline, such as the award-winning NuMe Megastar Flat Iron, emit up to 6 times more negative ions than flat irons made from other materials.
They counteract the positive ions found in dry and damaged hair, and seal in moisture - allowing for damage-free hair styling.
The best temperature at which you are going to style your hair depends highly on your type of hair - for example, thick hair may need higher temperatures than fine hair in order to obtain the same results.
Make sure to use a flat iron with temperature control settings, and set the temperature to the one that fits your hair the best.
Using a thermal heat protectant is an absolute must if you want to enjoy thermal heat styling without damage. It creates a protective barrier between your hair and your hot tool, providing a shield against the high temperatures.
Applying heat to wet hair is among the most common reasons for hair breakage and one of the worst things you can do if you want to enjoy a shiny and healthy mane.
Ironing dirty hair is another no-no - you don't want all the product build-up to be burning on your hair!
Among the most frequent hair breakage causes is exposure to harsh chemical treatments. Frequent coloring, perming, or chemical straightening can strip the hair of its natural oils and proteins, making it more prone to breakage and damage.
Some ways in which aggressive chemical treatments cause damage include:
However, this is not all - some other hair breakage causes associated with chemical treatments include uneven color absorption, weakening of the hair bonds, as well as cumulative damage over time.
A diet lacking in essential nutrients like protein, vitamins (such as biotin and vitamin D), and minerals (like iron and zinc) is another one on our list of common hair breakage causes - it can weaken the hair and lead to damage.
When your body lacks certain essential nutrients, it can affect the growth, strength, and overall health of your hair. For this reason, it's extremely important to eat healthy foods for hair - including nuts and seeds, leafy greens, eggs, meat, avocado, berries, lean chicken, and more.
Medications and medical conditions can contribute to hair breakage and damage through various mechanisms, often affecting the growth, structure, and health of hair follicles and the hair shaft.
Conditions such as alopecia, hormonal imbalances (like PCOS), scalp conditions, and autoimmune conditions can affect the hair follicles and their overall health, as well as the absorption of nutrients.
In addition, chronic stress or stress caused by medical treatments can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle, and lead to increased hair shedding and breakage.
Low-quality hair care products are among the leading causes of hair breakage because they often contain harsh ingredients, lack essential nutrients, and may not provide the necessary protection and care that your hair needs.
One effective hair breakage treatment involves selecting high-quality hair care products that don't contain harsh ingredients and will actually provide the protection that your hair needs.
All NuMe hair care products are made from natural, high-quality ingredients without parabens and harsh chemicals. This includes the flagship NuMe Vegan Tourmaline Hair Care Set, a powerful trio of shampoo, conditioner and hair mask that coats the scalp in antioxidants and helps fight free radicals while delivering optimized hydration.
One of the most underestimated causes of hair breakage is tight hairstyles and accessories made from harsh materials like elastic hair bands.
Wearing tight hairstyles like tight ponytails, braids, and buns can put stress on the hair shaft and hair follicles, causing breakage, especially around the hairline.
In addition, using tight elastic hair bands with metal clasps can lead to breakage, as they can snag and weaken the hair.
When discussing the most common hair breakage causes, we can't forget to mention environmental factors which can also impact the overall health of your hair.
For example, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can damage the hair's outer layer, known as the cuticle. This damage weakens the hair's structure, making it more prone to breakage, dryness, and frizz. That's why it's extremely important to protect your hair in the sun.
High temperatures can also cause the hair to become dry and brittle, while excessive humidity may lead to frizz. It causes the hair to absorb excess moisture, leading to swelling of the hair shaft.
Washing your hair too frequently can cause hair damage by stripping the hair of its natural oils and disrupting its moisture balance.
The scalp produces natural oils (sebum) that help keep the hair moisturized, shiny, and protected. Washing your hair too frequently can lead to several negative effects, including but not limited to:
It's recommended to wash your hair every 2-3 days, although this may vary by person. You can find your ideal frequency by starting out every 2-3 days, and adjusting accordingly.
One of the most underestimated hair breakage causes is product buildup. If you are using too many hair care products, especially ones that are heavy and weigh down your hair, you will accumulate them on your hair and scalp over time. For example, hair products made from silicones lead to a lot of buildup.
Buildup on the scalp can clog hair follicles, leading to an unhealthy scalp environment. Clogged follicles may hinder healthy hair growth and can lead to thinning or hair loss over time.
Product residue can also create a barrier that prevents moisture from being absorbed into the hair shaft. This can result in dry, brittle hair that is more prone to breakage.
Hard water can cause hair breakage and damage due to its high mineral content, particularly calcium and magnesium ions.
When hard water comes into contact with your hair, it can interfere with the ability of shampoos and soaps to lather effectively. As a result, you may end up using more shampoo to clean your hair, which can further contribute to product buildup.
Hard water can also strip the hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and more prone to breakage and frizz. In addition, if you have colored or chemically treated hair, the minerals in hard water can interact with hair dyes and cause them to fade more quickly.
Among the most common reasons for hair breakage is lack of moisturization - it is important to keep in mind that dry hair is more prone to breakage, especially in environments of low humidity.
So, make sure that you are providing enough moisturization to your hair through:
Speaking of the common causes of hair breakage, we can't forget to mention stress, which can trigger multiple conditions and disrupt your overall health. Some of them include:
Hormonal changes can cause hair breakage due to their significant impact on the hair growth cycle and overall hair health. They can occur during pregnancy, menopause, and other periods of a woman's life.
Hormones play a key role in regulating the hair growth cycle. Changes in hormone levels can shift hair more rapidly into the shedding phase, leading to thinning and breakage.
In addition, hormonal imbalances, such as those experienced during menopause, pregnancy, or thyroid disorders, can affect the quality and texture of hair, making it more brittle and prone to breakage.
To prevent hair breakage, use a gentle sulfate-free shampoo, limit heat styling, and avoid tight hairstyles. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle, apply a conditioner, and trim regularly.
Make sure to use nourishing hair masks, protect from UV and wear protective styles. Eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated.
Yes, hair breakage can grow back if you address the underlying causes. Adopt a gentle hair care routine, avoid damaging practices, and provide proper nutrition.
New hair growth will replace broken strands over time, but damaged hair tips cannot be repaired; trimming is necessary for healthier growth.
Hair breakage on the top of your head can result from multiple factors. It might be due to frequent tight hairstyles, overuse of heat styling tools, poor nutrition, or genetic predisposition.
Consult a professional to identify the cause and adjust your routine accordingly for healthier hair.
Hair can break easily when wet due to its weakened state. Wet hair swells, causing the cuticle to lift and become fragile. Tugging, combing, or rough towel-drying while wet can cause breakage.
Use a wide-tooth comb, be gentle, and avoid tight hair ties to minimize wet hair breakage.
Yes, severe hair breakage can lead to hair loss. Continuous breakage weakens hair strands, and if left unaddressed, it can lead to thinning and noticeable hair loss, especially at the hairline and crown.
Treating breakage promptly and practicing gentle hair care can help prevent further damage and hair loss.
Biotin (Vitamin B7) deficiency is associated with hair loss. Biotin supports hair growth and health by aiding in the production of keratin, a key protein in hair structure.
Ensuring adequate biotin intake through a balanced diet or supplements can help prevent hair loss related to this deficiency.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
February 02, 2024 6 min readRead More
January 30, 2024 8 min readRead More
January 29, 2024 6 min readRead More