Tips to Encourage Healthy Long Strands Prevent Hair Breakage
Last updated 03/24/2022
You may rely on your hair as a sign of beauty and extension of who you are. So, you crave healthy, shiny and strong hair (who doesn’t right). To sum up it takes a bit of work, tips to encourage.
I mean you just don’t leave it do its thing. You need to nurture and encourage it with what you use on it and from inside you. Certainly nutrients provide food that is valuable.
If you don’t nourish it things can become pretty ugly. You know limp, dull and stringy is not attractive. So breakage and split ends are not a good look.
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What is Hair Breakage?
This is not a natural course but usually occurs when your hair can’t take the pressure anymore. Strength and elasticity in your hair is due to chemical bonds called disulphide bonds. In short they hold keratin protein inside your hair cortex together.
Moisture is also required for your hairs strength. This allows the disulphide bonds in your hair to retract and stretch normally. But if they lack moisture and aren’t able to do this your hair breaks.
What is the Difference Between Breakage and Shedding?
Grasping the difference can assist with your path to healthy longer hair. Keeping hair healthy and strong is the ultimate goal. Further this will prevent breakage and split ends.
Shedding is Natural
Breakage is not Natural
Breakage can be from many causes mainly something external. When scales fall apart from the inner cuticle your hair becomes dry leading to damage. In other words breakage or split ends.
This you can treat or simply change your habits. In conclusion shedding takes place from the hair root while breakage is along the hair shaft.
You can examine your hair strand. If it was shed there is a tiny white bulb at the end. To sum up this is how you tell the difference whether hair was shed or it was breakage.
Who Does Breakage Affect Most?
More often African-American hair suffers breakage. This is due to the hair being drier. Further certain styling and practices causing weakened hair shafts. As a result hair tends to be naturally curly which requires detangling, this in turn can lead to breakage.
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Tips to Encourage Healthy Long Strands
You have to think of two areas to get longer hair. Encouraging hair to grow and keeping your hair healthy as you do it. Certainly this takes into account what you have learned. But for growth you should peak inside.
Clean and Stimulate Your Scalp
In order to see hair grow go to the source, your scalp. If your scalp is normally inflamed due to:
- Scalp tension
- Oxidative stress
As a result, this can lead to hair loss or thinning.
The inflammation begins to shut off your hair follicle as it cuts growth and causes shedding. It affects your hair quality of growth because of product, dirt and oil (as in sebum) that is built up around your hair's follicle opening. In short, all that goop slowly kills your hair root.
Boost Hair Growth with Collagen and Biotin
Collagen and Biotin help promote the health and growth of your hair with all the right nutrients. Both collagen and biotin, similar to your hair’s keratin, contain amino acids such as:
- Glutamic acid
Most importantly these are the foundation of your hair.
In fact biotin is one of the major ingredients in many hair growth supplements. Low levels have been shown to cause hair loss. In addition biotin is thought to naturally encourage healthy hair growth because it creates keratin, the major component of hair.
Collagen further aids hair growth through supporting your scalp just like the rest of your skin. Through the aging process this depletes. But there are supplements and powders to increase your collagen production.
Be Aware of Physical Damage
This will protect your hair length as it is. Physical damage from every day wear and tear, harsh brushing and tight hair styles can cause breakage. And you don’t want to have breakage prone hair if you want hair to grow.
While brushing your hair always begin at the tips and work up, not the roots. Because your hair is at its most vulnerable point when wet don’t shampoo aggressively. This can cause tangles and knots. Summing it up be mindful of how you treat your hair, be gentle.
Moisturize Your Hair
Your hair can be the driest part of your body especially if you color or use hot appliances on it. And if you are trying to grow it out it requires moisturizing. Thus dry hair leads to brittle hair which breaks off.
Because your hair is dry it’s likely you have open cuticles. The cuticle is the outer layer (like your epidermis) that protects your strand. Most importantly when it is open or lifted moisture and nutrients can be lost.
Conditioning agents can support sealing down your cuticle. For some a simple conditioner is enough, others could benefit from a hydrating hair mask done weekly and oil treatments. For example I have saturated my hair with jojoba oil before showering, this makes it so soft.
Age changes everything including your hair. Antioxidants manage oxidative stress and neutralize free radicals. Your body demands enough nutrients to encourage healthy hair (as skin). For instance vitamin C plays a major role in producing collagen which strengthens your hair.
Topical antioxidants can be used as well, these can be found as hair oils, serums or sprays. Especially helpful against free radical damage from UV rays or pollution in the big city. In other words, purchase products that contain vitamins or antioxidants.
Protective Hairstyles Encouraged
Transitioning from short to long hair can feel daunting. But as you grow your hair out protective hairstyles are helpful. Likewise safeguarding from weather conditions and damaging environmental factors.
Switching up your do and taking breaks between will help avoid scalp tension that could cause traction alopecia. Wear loose braids and hair down styles. To sum up minimize styling and go au natural as the French do.
If you want stronger longer hair utilize heat less. By using heated appliances these break down the hydrogen bonds. Further this can damage as it decreases moisture content thus increasing breakage.
So daily heat styling is not a good idea. When you do use your hot tool use a heat protectant. Likewise search for one that can protect up to 400F.
This is usually how high some blow dryers and irons go. In addition if you use natural oils go for a higher smoke point.
Keep Breakage at Bay
Going for regular trims will help manage split ends. Your hair grows from the follicles on your scalp not your hair ends. So cutting those dead ends doesn’t affect the follicles at all.
This will help with breakage which does cause a problem with length. With split ends your hair slowly splits up the shaft. The only way to prevent frayed ends is to trim them. Moreover you can’t bring back that dry, damaged hair (so forget CPR).
Wrapping it up
Your hair can suffer with harsh habits, heat and its environment all causing damage. Damage can be prevented and treated. Therefore pay attention to styling methods.
When hair sheds this is a natural process as it goes through its growth cycle. To encourage hair growth it needs to be nurtured and nourished. In short give it some pampering too.
Hair oils are a great way to add moisture back into the hair shaft. This will improve the look of dry and brittle hair. Most importantly take measures to prevent hair from breakage and split ends for healthy long strands.
Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fifteen years.