Does your hair crunch when you rub it between your fingers? Does it tangle and knot like crazy? Does it air dry more quickly than usual, but then look dry and frizzy? Is it matte and dull-looking? Does your color look a shade darker than usual, but then fade too quickly? Do you wake up to tiny bits of hair floating on your pillow? Is your hair clumpy when wet? Are you plagued by constant split ends?
If you answered 'yes' to a number of these questions, then chances are you have fallen victim to dry, brittle, damaged, undernourished, dehydrated, or breaking hair. And how can you be suprised? Between heat tools, dye, sunlight, wind, A/C, heat, stress, and more, the world is a scary place for hair! But have no fear, we have done the research, and figured out the best ways to restore health, life, and shine to your tortured tresses. Read on to rekindle the love between you and your locks!
1. Shampoo right - If your hair is breaking, then it is not as strong as it should be. To pull those fragile strands out of their weak state, turn to a protein-rich shampoo that can strengthen and fortify your delicate locks. When you're shampooing, don't forget to show your scalp some love, too! Massaging your shampoo into both your hair and scalp will help invigorate your roots. And, most importantly of all, make sure you're not over-washing your hair. Shampooing too often can strip your hair of the natural oils it needs to maintain its health. Experts recommend shampooing no more than once every other day! And, when you're in the shower, don't use scalding hot water, as this can further damage your hair. Pleasantly warm water is ideal for healthy, clean hair.
2. Deep condition - Breaking hair is oten dehydrated. One of the best ways to replenish its moisture is to use a hydrating conditioner on a daily basis. Once or twice a week, pamper your dry 'do with a deep moisturizing conditioner. My favorite is Neuma's Moisture Intensive Masque, which can transform strands from brittle to shiny and oh-so-touchable after just one or two uses, and smells amazing!
3. Brush, don't break - A great deal of the hair breakage you're experiencing could be unknowingly self-inflicted. A hair brush should be your friend, not a weapon of mass destruction! First, make sure that the brush you are using is hair-safe. A general rule of thumb is to try and avoid plastic brushes, as their more rigid, synthetic bristles can easily snag and snap your hair. Instead, opt for a natural boar bristle, or something similar, which is not only softer, but is more flexible, and less capable of damaging your 'do. Once you have armed yourself with the right tool, focus on your technique. Never start brushing at the top of your head. It is always best to begin at the ends of your strands, using short, even strokes, and gradually work your way up.
4. Load up on healthy hair vitamins - Vitamins and minerals don't just keep you feeling fit, they also benefit your teeth, nails, skin, bones, eyes, and, oh yeah, hair! Brittle hair is often the result of vitamin deficiency. Luckily for you, there are plenty of easy (and tasty!) ways to quickly fix this. To get hair soft, healthy, and shiny, you need to make sure you are eating plenty of protein. Calcium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids are critical to toughening up your tresses, as are Vitamins B and E. How can you bes sure to include these mirale workers in your diet? Load up on lean meat, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Salmon is one of the best foods for your hair, and it is delicious. Check out our blog on healthy hair superfoods for snack suggestions and a tasty, tress-boosting treat. Above all, focus on balance and nutrition. If you feel like you still aren't getting enough nutrients through your diet, consider purchasing a hair supplement (focus on Vitamins B and E) from your local pharmacy, they are inexpensive and can strengthen hair in no time!
5. Pass on the pony - Ponytails may be easy on your schedule, but they are far from easy on your locks! Elastic hair bands are huge perpetrators when it comes to pulling and snapping your strands, as are ponytails that are super tight. Consider minimizing the amount of time your hair spends in a ponytail (hellooo, perfect excuse to buy yourself a brand new headband). Or, if you are a pony junky and that is just non-negotiable, consider picking up hair-friendly, snag-free elastics, and gather your hair into a pony a little more loosely. Clips are another breakage-proof option!
6. Say 'lickety split' to those split ends - We all know how frumpy and stringy a mane full of split ends can look. But did you knwo that they can actually be harmful to your healthy hair, too? If left alone, a split end will quickly begin to rise up, pulling your hair apart farther and farther up the strand! Plus, split ends snag and tangle easier, catching healthy hair up in knots. The solution? Don't skip out on a hair appointment! Be sure to trim your ends consistently every six weeks to avoid and eliminate dangerous split ends.
7. Go natural - I know, I know, its hard to resist the allure of sleek and pin-straight flat-iron hair, or perfectly bouncy curls from your curling iorn. But heat tools such as these and your blow drier are the number one reason why your hair just keep breaking. Fall is the perfect time to let your hair air dry naturally while you sip on your morning cup of coffee after getting out of the shower. Instead of heat styled 'dos, wear your hair naturally! Who can resist a cute autumn beanie hat perched on top of a soft mane of natural waves? Or a jeweled headband taming unnoticable flyaways on naturally straight hair? Plus, think of how much time you can save in your daily hair ritual if you skip all of the heat treatment! Give your mane some R&R time and wear your hair naturally, at least a few times per week!
8. Protect, protect, protect! - Sometimes, whipping out those curling irons, straighteners, and blow driers is just unavoidable. In cases like these, be sure to do as much as you can to protect your hair from the heat! Before letting a tool get anywhere near your locks, spritz them with a defensive product, to seal moisture in and keep temperature damage out. Kenra's Hot Spray is a great protecting product and helps hold style. Running a dab of Moroccan Argan Oil through damp strands can also put of a defensive barrier. Additionally, no matter what combination of products and tools you are using, turn the temperature of your heat tool down as low as you can, alway avoiding the highest (Read: most damaging!) settings.
Follow these guidelines and your hair will be back to its soft, shiny, vibrant self in no time! The best way to combat hair breakage is to avoid it in the first place, so be sure to live by these stronger-strands tips even when your hair looks happy and healthy! Do you have any other advice on how to deal with brittle hair?
For the love of healthy hair,