Hair breakage seems to be the end of having good hair days. The dry, damaged and brittle hair tend to break a lot making healthy hair seem like a distant dream. If your hair is breaking off too quickly, then there must be some underlying reason. And it brings us to the obvious question – how to stop hair breakage? Let us find out the most common causes of hair breakage and how to stop them for good?
What Is Hair Breakage?
Hair breakage is a condition where hair scales fall apart, leading to dryness and breakage eventually. Healthy hair, on the contrary, has inner cuticle with overlapping scales intact that keep our hair strands together. Our hair gets prone to breakage when these scales begin to fall apart and eventually separate. This leads to hair breakage along with other symptoms such as dry, frizzy or brittle hair.
If it goes unnoticed or untreated, it eventually leads to damage or hair loss due to breakage.
What Is The Difference Between Hair Fall & Hair Breakage?
- Hair Breakage – Hair breakage generally occurs when our hair shaft breaks due to underlying factors. This leads to split ends or dry hair making our hair strands shorter. The protective inner layer of cuticle gets exposed and hair becomes extremely dry. Since hair is constantly suffering from dryness, it turns into split ends ultimately leading to hair breakage.
- Hair Fall – Hair fall is essentially hair loss resulting from the loss of hair from the root. This usually occurs when the root of hair or hair follicle becomes fine and hair begin to fall off in large quantity. Hair fall is a natural phenomenon as every person loses around 50-100 strands in a day on an average. But if hair fall becomes excessive, then it can be a cause of concern.
Hair fall can be blamed on genetics, poor diet, excessive use of chemicals on the scalp etc. If hair fall becomes excessive, it doesn’t get normal on its own and needs professional help to be treated.
What Are The Reasons For Hair Breakage?
There are many reasons for making your tresses weak and leading to hair breakage problem. The common reasons for hair breakage are listed below –
- Diet – Certain nutrients prevent damage to the hair and help your hair grow. If you are not taking adequate amount of zinc, iron, folic acid etc. in your diet, then your hair will be prone to breakage. Also, antioxidants, vitamins (A, C, E & B-complex) and proteins can keep your hair damage-free. Lean protein is the best-known protein to treat hair breakage.
- Dryness – Usually lack of moisture and dryness are considered to be the precursors of hair breakage and damage. It can be due to factors like dry weather, low humidity, excessive heat etc. If hair loses moisture, then turn into split ends and become prone to breakage.
- Heat Damage – Heat damage occurs due to excessive use of heat-based hair appliances such as hair dryer, hair straighteners, flat iron etc. When used at extreme temperatures, they tend to damage the hair cuticle leading to damage.
- Over-Washing – If you are washing your hair more often than needed, then it can strip the scalp of the natural moisture and lead to dryness.
- Incorrect Brushing – Incorrect or excessive brushing may often lead to hair breakage so make sure to comb your hair only when required.
- Lack of Hair Trims – Regular hair trims keep your hair healthy and free of split ends. But if you don’t get a trim or haircut, the chances are that the splits in the cuticle will travel to the length of hair further damaging it.
- Chemical Exposure – Coloring your hair exposes them to harsh chemicals and they often break the cuticle layer of the hair which acts as a shield to the damage. Apart from that, hair breakage after permanent straightening also occurs due to the breakage of di-sulfide bonds of the hair that holds the curl.
- Stress – Stress can lead to hair breakage as it may make the hair follicle go dormant and the old hair may break too soon.
- Excessive Styling – Certain hairstyles may end up making hair too weak that they fall out eventually. Also, the use of tight elastic hair ties may damage the hair cuticle and cause breakage.
- Medical Reasons – Among many hair breakage medical causes, hypothyroidism is one of the popular ones as people with low thyroid tend to have excessive hair loss due to breakage. Also, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa can take a toll on hair health due to the lack of nutrients to produce new hair.
Does Hair Breakage Lead To Hair Loss?
Yes, hair breakage eventually leads to hair loss if it goes untreated for long. We often notice that hair starts losing its original volume and we wonder if hair loss is the main reason behind it. What we don’t understand is that hair breakage is generally the reason behind your hair losing thickness and volume.
Can You Treat Hair Breakage?
Yes, absolutely! Hair breakage can be treated and reversed using some common home treatments as well as advanced techniques. Certain dietary and lifestyle changes can have positive impact in restoring hair health and stop hair breakage before it gets too late.
Treatment For Hair Breakage
There are many advanced options that work best as the treatment for hair breakage and split ends. These include –
- Biotin Treatment – Among all the nutrients needed for healthy hair, biotin is the most vital one. Biotin or Vitamin B7 is believed to improve the keratin level of the scalp and support healthy hair growth. Biotin also helps in strengthening the roots making hair less prone to breakage. Biotin supplements are a popular hair breakage solution that work effectively.
- Keratin Treatment – Keratin is a protein that maintains the natural lustre of our hair. During this treatment, keratin is added to the hair without causing any damage. Hair breakage after keratin treatment drastically reduces, paving way for healthy hair.
- Anti-Breakage Hair Mask – Anti-breakage hair masks can prevent dry, brittle or frizzy hair by providing them the necessary moisture they need. These can be made at home or bought outside. These help in increasing hair elasticity, making hair tangle-free and resist breakage.
- Deep Conditioning – Deep conditioning will nourish the hair and compensate for the lack of moisture to prevent further breakage. There are many over-the-counter and topical products available for deep conditioning of the hair without any side effects.
- Medical Treatment – If hair breakage is occurring due to pregnancy, hormonal changes, eating disorders or hypothyroidism, then it may require medical attention. It is best to visit your dermatologist who can assess the reasons for hair breakage and then recommend treatment accordingly.
- Other Treatments – Other treatment options include avoiding products or habits that may cause hair breakage such as avoid styling tools, maintain hygiene, take hair supplements, hair massage etc.
Tips To Stop Hair Breakage
In order to prevent further hair breakage, you should consider following these helpful tips –
- Trim your hair on a regular basis. Getting a trim or haircut after every eight weeks is recommended.
- Wash and condition your hair with a gentle cleanser twice or thrice a week to maintain healthy hair hygiene. Also, clean your scalp thoroughly after washing, to avoid chemical build-up in the hair.
- Avoid rubbing your hair with towel when you get out of shower as rubbing motion may damage the hair. Instead, leave the towel in the hair to absorb excess water.
- Do not comb or brush your hair while they are wet. To de-tangle them, use a wide-toothed comb.
- Avoid using heat styling tools as much as possible. Let your hair air-dry when possible.
- Use swimmer’s shampoo or conditioner after going to a pool.
- Consider a hairstyle that needs less maintenance and does not cause hair breakage.
- Eat a balanced diet with essential nutrients to keep your hair healthy.
- Do People With Short Hair Have Hair Breakage Problems?
The length of hair has nothing to do with hair breakage problem. If you have short but dry or damaged hair, then it can lead to the problem of hair breakage.
- Can The Lost Hair Be Regrown?
The lost hair gets regrown following the hair growth cycle. But the rate of growth can be slow. To avoid that, plenty of hair regrowth treatments are available with little or no downtime. One such treatment is PRP therapy that helps achieve hair re-growth much faster and effectively without any side effect.
- Does Hair Break Because Of Aging?
Hair breakage can accelerate because of aging. As we age, our hair follicles start getting weaker and hair may lose elasticity leading to breakage.
- What Do I Do To Stop My Hair From Breaking And Make It Long?
You can stop hair breakage by following preventive tips and treatments meant to promote hair growth. Avoid using harsh hair products, styling tools, hair colors etc. and follow healthy hair care routine. Make sure to keep your scalp clean and moisturized to avoid dryness or split ends that lead to breakage. Also, take vital nutrients in your diet or hair supplements to ensure that they grow long and strong.
- My Hair Is Breaking At The Ends. What Can I Do To Stop It?
If your hair is breaking at the ends, the best solution is to get a trim. Hair trimming helps to get rid of the damaged ends and stop hair breakage instantly. To prevent further damage, consider a protein treatment or anti-breakage hair mask.
- Do Rubber Bands Break Your Hair?
The hair ties or rubber bands that pull your hair aggressively and put around too tight can actually break your hair.
- Why Is My Hair Breaking Off In The Middle?
If you experience hair breakage at the crown or in the front, then it can be due to an unbalanced diet. This area of the hair needs more nutrients than rest of your hair. Make sure that you are taking adequate amount of protein in the diet and moisturize it well.
- Does Stress Cause Hair Breakage?
There are a number of evidences linking hair breakage to stress. Telogen effluvium is the type of stress linked with hair breakage. Stress causes hormonal imbalance that leads to disruption in natural hair growth cycle and makes hair prone to breakage.
- How Much Hair Breakage Is Normal?
Hair breakage varies from person to person. It is normal for a person to lose around 50-100 strands per day on an average and around 100-125 strands a day while washing hair. Anything above that may be considered excessive.