Whether it’s split ends, dryness, or just an overall dull tone, no one issue describes hair damage. But, there is one issue that easily wins the title of the biggest B (yes, that’s a capital B), and her name is breakage.
Hair breakage is an all-too-common hair concern that, unfortunately, most everyone may experience at some point in their life. While it’s not 100 percent preventable, there are steps you can take to protect your strands and combat hair breakage . If you’re wondering how to stop hair breakage, we’re breaking down everything you need to know, including the causes of hair breakage and the best products for hair breakage to add to your hair routine.
Why does my hair break so easily?
Step one of figuring out what causes hair breakage is identifying what lifestyle factors or styling techniques you use in your everyday routine. If you want to know how to prevent hair breakage, keep scrolling to discover breakage-causing missteps and how to fix them.
Dry hair is the most common cause of hair breakage. This is even more so for hair types prone to excessive dryness like natural curls and coils. Be sure to use plenty of nourishing, hydrating formulas in your hair routine, beginning with shampoo and conditioner. A system like Biolage Professional Hydra Source Shampoo and Conditioner will gently cleanse and condition dry hair while balancing moisture levels and providing shine, softness, and manageability.
Heat Styling—Without Protection
We hate to break it to you, but heat styling is one of the most common culprits behind hair breakage. Flat irons, curling wands, and that super-speedy blow dryer are all life-savers when styling your strands. Still, they can wreak some serious damage, especially when used daily without proper precautions.
If you have to or want to use heat, be sure to first reach for a heat protectant like Redken Iron Shape 11 Thermal Holding Heat Protection Spray. These products help to form a barrier between your hair and your hot tools. When possible, take a break from heat styling and embrace your hair’s natural texture, or wear it up in a chic top knot or any other gorgeous and protective style.
Over-Coloring and Over-Processing
There really can be too much of a good thing when it comes to chemicals. Over-coloring and over-processing your hair are two other top causes of hair breakage and damage. If you don’t leave enough time between chemical sessions, your locks may become too porous, lacking moisture, oils, and proteins so it becomes weak and brittle. This goes for thin and thick manes alike, but thin hair may show signs of damage earlier.
Be sure to talk to your stylist during the consultation phase of your visit to make sure you both have a plan to get you the healthy hair of your dreams. This may mean multiple visits to the salon over a few months versus a one-and-done appointment.
Not Caring For Curls…The Right Way
One of the most at-risk hair types for breakage is naturally curly, textured hair. Céline Marquet-Gonzales, French hair expert and education manager for Mizani and Matrix, explains that your curls can be “flat and shaped like a figure eight, which creates their kinks.” As a result, oils from the scalp can have more difficulty coating your strand from root to tip, leaving those ends dehydrated and vulnerable to brittleness and breakage.
Marquet-Gonzalez stresses the importance of curly girls choosing gentle shampoos and conditioners. Intensive hair breakage treatments are also a must.
“A leave-in product is significantly more intensive than any of your normal hair care products, so it will reward you with richer benefits,” she says.
While it’s tempting to lather your strands at the first sign of greasy roots, washing your hair too often can strip your mane of its natural oils, leading to dryness that causes breakage. We recommend washing your hair once or twice per week, depending on your hair type. If your strands get oily by day two, use a dry shampoo like Redken Deep Clean Dry Shampoo. This heavy-duty formula delivers maximum oil absorption and instantly refreshes hair.
Skipping Trim Appointments
It’s true—snipping off split ends can prevent breakage from happening in the first place. If you leave split ends unattended for too long, they can travel up the rest of your hair, causing hair breakage. To prevent this, book trim appointments with your stylist every three months or so.
What causes hairline breakage?
While some complain of hair breakage on their ends, others deal with it around their hairline. This is typically caused by wearing tight, high-tension hairstyles like ponytails and braids that tug on the strands around your hair. If you want to prevent breakage around your hairline, opt for loose hairstyles like low ponytails, braids, and messy buns.
How can I stop my hair from breaking naturally?
Hoping to shield your strands from potential aggressors? Opt for what’s known as a protective style. Protective hairstyles run the gamut from messy buns to box braids, but they all exist for the same purpose: to give your strands a break from the wind, pulling, tugging, and heat styling. Simply put, these hairstyles safeguard your ends and help reduce tangling, breakage, and shedding.
Another secret to reducing breakage is to be extra cautious when handling wet hair. Hair is in its most fragile state when it's wet, making it more susceptible to damage and split ends caused by towel drying or brushing. After washing strands, use a microfiber hair towel or a cotton T-shirt to absorb excess moisture, which are softer and less abrasive on hair's cuticle than terry cloth towels.
In addition, you may want to reconsider the brush you are running through your precious wet locks. Traditional boar bristles and paddle brushes are often too harsh on wet strands, resulting in unnecessary snagging and split ends. Go for wet brushes instead, which feature larger bristles or ball-tipped pins that specifically detangle and smooth damp strands with significantly less damage. And regardless if tresses are wet or dry, always remove knots by working your way up the hair shaft to cut down on tugging that results in breakage.
How long does it take to heal hair breakage?
Depending on your hair growth cycle and texture, expect to wait anywhere between four to six months to see hair return to its beautiful, healthy self. We promise the payoff will be worth the months of patience!
Can hair breakage grow back?
The good news is that hair breakage is normally temporary and with the proper treatment of hair breakage, you’ll experience healthy hair growth and leave your days of broken, brittle strands behind you. Equipped with the right information, tools, and products, along with consistent trims to further remove split ends, we’re happy to report that areas of hair breakage will indeed grow back.
Wondering what products you need to add to your routine to keep hair breakage at bay and repair what you’re working with? Keep scrolling for all our favorites from the L'Oréal portfolio of products you need to stock up on.
The Best Flat Iron For Hair Breakage
L'Oréal Professionnel Steampod Hair Straightener & Curling Iron
When using a steam-powered flat iron like L'Oréal Professionnel Steampod, you can experience up to 91 percent less breakage over time**. This innovative styler also uses steam technology to style hair two times faster* and two times smoother*, ensuring that you won’t need to pass the tool through your hair too many times to achieve your desired style.
*Compared to Steampod without steam and comb (heating plates alone); **after 15 uses with steam and integrated comb vs. Steampod heating plates alone; ***vs. natural hair
The Best Shampoos And Conditioners For Hair Breakage
Redken Extreme Strengthening Shampoo And Conditioner
If you’re searching for the best shampoos for hair breakage, be sure you’re pairing it with the matching conditioner for best results. This strengthening duo from Redken is formulated with the brand’s protein complex to strengthen damaged hair and help repair split ends.
Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo And Conditioner
Formulated with citric acid and vitamin B, this system is a must-try for damaged color-treated hair. The concentrated bonding complex helps improve hair’s strength and repair the look and feel of hair that’s been damaged by external forces like coloring, lightening, and heat styling tools.
Matrix Total Results Instacure Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner
Combat damaged, weakened strands with a shampoo and conditioner like Matrix Total Results Instacure Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner. Infused with liquid proteins, the shampoo targets damaged trouble spots where hair needs the most TLC, filling overly porous areas with liquid protein to add strength and resilience. Following up with its complementary conditioner helps correct damage caused by chemical, mechanical and environmental stress, leaving hair tangle-free, softer, and stronger!
Kérastase Resistance Bain Extentioniste Shampoo And Fondant Conditioner
If you have super long hair or you’re trying to add a few inches to your length, you don’t want hair breakage getting in the way of achieving (and maintaining) long, luscious locks. That’s why we recommend a length-strengthening shampoo like the Kérastase Resistance Bain Extentioniste Shampoo and Fondant Conditioner to keep your long hair healthy.
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Silk Bloom Shampoo And Conditioner
Searching for a luxurious formula to help revive your broken strands? Add a restorative shampoo and conditioner for damaged hair like the Shu Uemura Silk Bloom Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner to your shopping cart.
The Best Hair Treatments For Hair Breakage
Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Split Ends Treatment
This best-selling treatment for hair breakage gently smoothes the hair cuticle to help prevent hair breakage and fortify damaged hair. The product is formulated with Redken's Strength Complex and acts as a deep conditioner, reducing friction from brushing and preventing further damage, leaving hair healthy, shiny and resilient.
Biolage Hydra Source Daily Leave-In Tonic
Dealing with severe hair breakage due to dryness? This leave-in treatment deeply moisturizes dry strands from the inside out, leaving them shinier and more manageable.
Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Intensive Treatment
If you opted to use the Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo and Conditioner (excellent choice!), consider the brand’s Acidic Bonding Concentrate Intensive Treatment as a way to fast-track the duo’s powerful repair benefits. Made to apply to damp hair before you shampoo, hair is left 90% more conditioned, 14 times smoother, and two times stronger after just one use. Watch the video above to see the gorgeous transformation for yourself.
Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Leave-In Conditioner
Complete the Acidic Bonding system with this repairing leave-in conditioner, made with citric acid and a bonding care complex to strengthen damaged hair and reduce the appearance of split ends while providing heat protection.
L'Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Instant Resurfacing Golden Masque
Having a salon-quality shampoo and conditioner is a great start to nourishing your broken strands. Adding a hair mask to the mix, however, is like giving your hair a tall glass of water. The L'Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Resurfacing Golden Masque helps to strengthen, repair, replenish, and protect very damaged or weakened hair.
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Ultimate Reset Restorative Hair Mask
Sometimes, all you need is a fresh start—and this hair mask is the reset your strands have been asking for. The Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Ultimate Reset Restorative Hair Mask is an extreme repair treatment that works wonders for very damaged hair without weighing it down.
Pureology Hydrate Superfood Treatment Mask
It’s no secret that a bleach session or two can easily lead to hair breakage. Whether you asked your colorist for blonde highlights or went full-on platinum, you need the Pureology Hydrate Superfood Treatment in your life! The silicone-free vegan formula is made with avocado oil and coconut oil to nourish dry, color-treated hair in just five minutes.
The Best Hair Serums And Heat Protectants For Hair Breakage
Kérastase Resistance Serum Therapiste Hair Serum
If you really want to take your mane to new lengths, complete your Kérastase Resistance system with this scalp and hair serum. This product not only softens locks, it protects against heat up to 450 degrees to prevent split ends, cut down on breakage, and speed up drying time.
Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-in Conditioner
If you’re a curly girl who’s sworn off blowouts and flat irons, you may believe there’s no need to incorporate heat protectant products into your hair care routine. However, you should pick up a heat protectant if you’ve swapped your blowouts for a voluminous wash-and-go dried with a diffuser. A multipurpose product like Mizani’s 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner works to repair past damage, treat current issues including dryness and frizz, and protect against future hair stress like breakage.
Matrix Total Results Instacure Anti-Breakage Porosity Spray
Yanking on our hair and applying heat, color, or chemicals create uneven porosity within strands, a key factor in hair damage. But Matrix Total Results Instacure Anti-Breakage Porosity Spray is designed to target damage caused by chemical, mechanical and environmental stress while shielding against harsh heat.
Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray
After you color your hair, you need to swap out your regular shampoo and conditioner for a system formulated to protect your color. The same thing goes for your heat protectant. If you’ve recently colored your hair but can’t get enough of your flat iron, we recommend picking up Pureology’s Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-in Spray for Color-Treated Hair. The lightweight mist primes, protects, and perfects. The formula delivers 21 essential benefits for color-treated hair including detangling, preserving color vibrancy, moisturizing, and more.
Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique Blow Dry Primer
If you have parched locks, every hair product you use should help moisturize your hair—including your heat protectant. Kérastase’s Nutritive Nectar Thermique is a polishing, nourishing, anti-roughness, anti-dullness blow-dry milk for dry hair that results in 85% less breakage.
Mizani Thermasmooth Style & Style Again
Much like sunscreen, you can’t just apply heat protectant once. You should use a heat protectant product every time you heat style your hair. If you just can’t seem to remember to reapply your heat protectant, Mizani Thermasmooth Style & Style Again is the perfect heat protectant for you.
This lightweight, non-greasy cream, which is enriched with beeswax, cranberry seed oil and vitamin E, is perfect for all curl types and has heat activated style memory, meaning you can apply the product once and reactivate it just by restyling your hair using heat.
Searching for more tips on how to stop hair breakage? Head on over to Hair.com to find everything you need to banish breakage and more.