Warebi Yebide is the Manager of Dove Spa and Salon, Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State. In this piece, she speaks about the causes of hair breakage and how to prevent it.
HAIR shedding is a natural part of life; you lose between 50 to 100 hair strands a day. When hair break, it means the hair has become so weak from damaging techniques and poor hair care regimen. The result of this is that the hair splits off before its cycle is complete. Listed below are five reasons hair breakage occurs:
Lack of moisture and oils: Your scalp produces natural oils that keeps a certain level of moisture in your hair. The speed that these oils travel down your hair shaft will vary depending on your hair type. The curlier and thicker your hair is, the slower the process. However, even if your scalp produces plenty of oil, you may be cancelling it out by washing it everyday, not conditioning it, and continuously straightening it. The weather and your daily activities also have effect on the level of moisture your hair has. For example. if you’re a swimmer, the chlorine will dry your hair out tremendously.
Over-processing : A common result of over-processing is heat damage. Heat damage stems from the excessive use of thermal styling tools (flat irons, dryers, tongs and so on). This is a major cause of breakage. It causes the ends to ”fry” and change the hair’s texture. Over-processing can also be as a result of the overlapping of different chemicals that are found in hair colours, perms, relaxers, texturisers, and other treatments that strip, break and change the bonds that make your hair the texture it is.
Poor Diet : What you put in is what you’ll get out! If you haven’t been eating as well as you should be, there are bound to be other consequences besides unhealthy hair, but this certainly adds to it. Foods that are high in sodium, like most snacks, can cause hair to shed abnormally. Sugary foods can interfere with the absorption of protein which is very important for the structure of bones, teeth and hair.
Stress : Whether you are struggling to get a project done, or you have troubles at home or are just going through some tough times, the situation will start to tell on your hair. Stress can affect your diet and also cause you to neglect your hair.
Illness: Breakage and excessive hair shedding can sometimes be a sign of something that is potentially more serious. This external loss may be an early warning that something is not functioning correctly internally, and you may need to see a doctor.
What to do about hair breakage
*Avoid heat styling, blow- drying, excessive brushing and combing on a daily basis as much as possible. Washing your hair everyday for any hair type is never a good idea; however if your hair is extremely oily and you feel the need to wash it every day, use a shampoo that conditions while eliminating build up.
*Also eat healthy – especially foods rich in protein and drink lots of water.
*Avoid stress and anxiety by having enough sleep; also make daily schedules in order to manage your time effectively.
* As you feed yourself, you must feed your hair. There are tonnes of kitchen remedies and treatments out there that you can use to prevent breakage . Many feature egg, which has essential Omega 3 and protein, oils such as jojoba or grapeseed, which are both light oils (won’t weigh your tresses down) that are great for moisturizing the scalp and relieving dandruff.
* In addition to giving your hair and body the nutrition it needs to be healthy, you have to choose the right products that will repair your hair in its fragility. Try to find products with gentle, natural ingredients that are formulated for your hair texture. If you have fine hair, go for clear shampoos – try to abstain from using the creamy kind- they’ll weigh your hair down and won’t lock in true moisture to prevent breakage. If you have curly, fuller hair that tends to get drier, frequent conditioning should be a part of your regular hair care regimen.
* Always have regular trims. Regular trims every six to eight weeks will drastically reduce your breakage. If your hair is especially damaged, it may seem at first like a lot of hair, but as you increase your trims, and follow the tips above, you will grow stronger, healthier hair.