My Hair Won't Stop Breaking... Now What?
We’ve all heard that terrible sound. You’re brushing your hair like nobody’s business, then a tug, a pull, and snap.
Uh-oh. Sounds like you’re in need of some hair repair to strengthen your strands and prevent breakage, fly-aways, and other unsightly disasters.
You’d be surprised at what you can do for stronger hair – everything from changing your diet to extra-careful styling can make the difference between luscious locks and flyaway frizz.
Here are our best tips for hair triage – follow along so you never have to worry about weak, brittle strands messing up your good hair day ever again:
Strong Hair Dos
1. DO: EAT A HEALTHY-HAIR DIET
It’s what’s inside that counts – literally.
Changing your diet to include hair-healthy fruits, veggies, and nuts can make the difference between flawless hair that’s stronger than ever – and hair that just keeps breaking.
“Vitamin C is essential to building collagen in our bodies,” nutritionist Keri Gans, RDN told Refinery29.
“And collagen, which is a connective tissue that gives structure, is important for hair strength and growth.”
Without collagen, you could be looking at frizz, split ends, and snapped strands.
According to nutritionist Lisa Drayer, protein can help, too.
“Without enough protein, the texture of your hair can change,” Drayer explained to Refinery29. “It can result in hair that’s dull, dry, thin, and brittle.”
So the next time you’re in the grocery store, remember to nab some fruits high in Vitamin C, like strawberries, cherries, and oranges, and plenty of lean protein, for stronger hair. Adding a hair vitamin to your diet can help make sure your hair gets all of the necessary nutrients.
2. DO: BECOME A MOISTURIZING MAVEN
The fatty acids and antioxidants found in Omega-3s also make incredible moisturizing treatments for malnourished hair.
Thankfully, the beauty industry’s starting to catch on. If your hair’s in need of a pick-me-up, try out a hair oil made from coconut, avocado, or argan oils to restore moisture to your hair and scalp.
“Hair oils are a favorite of beauty experts everywhere, and for good reason,” writes Barbara Gonzalez at Cosmopolitan.
“They’re full of essential fatty acids and they’re lubricating, which means they’re great for healing split ends, sealing in moisture, and detangling.”
Try Hairfinity Nourishing Botanical Oil for the ultimate experience..
3. DO: EMBRACE SPA DAY
Too often we think of special treatments – like a good hair mask – as a treat rather than a necessity.
And if you have weak, brittle strands, than you need to treat yourself more often! To start, hop in the shower before applying your mask, says celebrity stylist Chuck Amos.
“When you deep condition, you restore the moisture and essential oils back to your hair after the cleansing process.”
Most stylists recommend using a hair mask about once a week, and suggest looking for ingredients like restorative fatty acids and lipids (like those found in avocado and olive oil).
Life’s about to get way more relaxing, my friend.
4. DO: CALL YOUR STYLIST
Scheduling a regular trim is a surefire way to keep hair strong, happy, and healthy – so don’t be afraid of those shears.
We know, we know – you’re probably trying to grow your hair out, not go shorter. Don’t worry, says stylist Cynthia Alvarez, a trim will help you get where you need to go even faster.
“Removing split ends is the only way to prevent further damage on other parts of the same hair shaft where split ends are present,” Alvarez told Cosmopolitan.
“Allowing a professional stylist to trim your hair every six weeks will help to keep it in optimal shape and decrease breakage.”
Embrace your turn in the salon chair for happier, healthier hair.
Strong Hair Don’ts
1. DON’T: STYLE WHEN WET
If you’re trying to do more than comb your hair when you step out of the shower, you’re headed straight for splitsville.
“Hair is weakest when it’s wet, and wet hair is more prone to tangling,” explains Anna Borges at Women’s Health. “To prevent shower-induced snarls, give your hair a brush before hopping in.”
Alternatively, you could invest in a brush that’s designed to maneuver through the tangles and knots of wet hair.
But you’re probably better off just using a wide-tooth comb to prevent breakage – or taking Borges’s sound advice, especially if you have fine hair.
The truth is, already-weak strands really can’t stand up to constant shampooing or specific kinds of styling, says stylist Gino Giumarello at StyleCaster.
If you have fine hair, Giumarello also recommends avoiding “pulling hair back…or up, styling with heat, and teasing hair.”
Sorry, ladies. Time to give up that ponytail in the name of healthier hair.
2. DON’T: DIAL UP THE HEAT
We love the toasty-warm feeling of drying our hair as much as anyone, but styling your hair by jacking up the heat could cause more harm than good.
Heat from hair dryers or styling tools can strip your hair of moisture and make your hair more susceptible to breaking.
“Blow drying causes a ‘flash drying’ effect that not only removes the surface moisture but also removes water that is bound to the hair,” explains Shannon Roamanowski at Self.
“The effect of this flash drying is that the cuticles become dry, rigid and brittle. When the hair flexes, the pressure causes the cuticles to crack.”
Ouch! Thankfully, there are good work-arounds, but they require time you might not always be willing to put in if you’re running out the door to work.
“In order to prevent heat damage and breakage, I recommend letting hair air dry until it’s almost completely dry before using a blow dryer to finish a look,” stylist Kim Kimble told StyleCaster.
Time to hang up your blow dryers and give your hair a break!
3. DON’T: OVER-WASH YOUR HAIR
This can be a tough one, especially if your hair starts to feel overly oily – or dry and itchy – between washes.
“Unless your hair is super oily, washing it every day can make it very dry and cause it to break easily,” celebrity stylist Ursula Stephen confirmed at Cosmopolitan. (She styles Rihanna’s hair, so pay attention!)
Instead, you’re better off shampooing a few times a week and using dry shampoo in between washes to cleanse your scalp of dirt, oil, and product build-up.
“The natural oils from your scalp are fantastic for your hair,” Drybar founder Alli Webb told StyleCaster.
We’re not saying you have to hop on the “no ‘poo” bandwagon, but waiting between washes can help restore sheen and luster to your locks. Right on.
4. DON’T: SKIP APPOINTMENTS WITH YOUR STYLIST
If your hair’s struggling, a routine can help it get back on track, especially if you use chemical straighteners or relaxers, says celebrity hairstylist David Lopez.
“If you get a relaxer too often, you’ll definitely suffer from severe hair dehydration and end up with brittle strands that break easily,” Lopez told Cosmopolitan.
“But if you wait too long in between services, you run the risk of having the relaxed hair break away from your new growth.”
It’s better to stay on top of your calendar and plan ahead. Work with your stylist – who knows all there is to know about building a healthy head of hair – for a stronger coif.
While there’s plenty you can do – or not do – for strong, healthy hair, the best piece of advice we’ve heard?
Just be yourself.
“The ultimate tip to avoiding breakage is to simply learn to accept your hair in its natural state. Changing your hair by constantly dyeing, curling, or straightening leads to damage,” stylist Carlos Flores told StyleCaster.
A man after our own hearts!
Whether you decide to put your hair in the trusty hands of your own stylist, up the amount of omega-3s in your diet, or treat yourself to a restorative hair mask, stronger hair is within sight.