As you probably know, natural hair is very prone to breakage. And while hair breakage may not be totally avoidable during your curly hair journey, you can (and should) follow tips to minimize it.
The best way to prevent natural hair breakage is to focus on moisture, elasticity, and reducing environmental stress. Below are the most effective ways to prevent and stop hair breakage and damage.
1. Moisturize Your Hair
Of course this is #1 and a no-brainer. Natural hair tends to be drier and more dehydrated. To reduce breakage, hair needs to remain hydrated and moisturized. Ideally, you want to do a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week to ensure your strands get the nutrients necessary to keep hair from feeling dry and damaged. Also, moisturizing weekly will help your hair shaft become stronger over time.
In addition, steaming your strands can take your deep-conditioning treatment to the next level. Steaming hair for 15-30 minutes will allow more moisture to penetrate better. Steam also increases hair elasticity by opening up the cuticle, thus preventing further breakage.
If you don’t have a steamer, deep conditioning with heat using the Joiful Bee Deep Conditioning Heat Cap will also help to open the hair cuticle for more intense conditioning. And, don’t forget to seal ends with natural oils when you curl or twist your hair to lock in all that moisture you just received from deep conditioning.
2. Switch to a Microfiber Towel
If you don’t have a microfiber towel in your arsenal now is the time to get one. Curly hair is very fragile, so rubbing it with a traditional cotton towel can create tangles and cause hair to break. Cotton towels snag and pull on your hair and damage it over time.
If possible, switch to a microfiber towel to protect your hair. The Joiful Bee Microfiber Turban Hair Towel is perfect for a hands-free drying experience that is gentle on curly hair.
Besides being gentle on your hair, microfiber towels also leave your hair damp instead of extra dry. Natural hair needs to retain as much moisture as possible. So ideally, you’ll leave your hair damp to allow oils and sealant products to penetrate better into the hair shaft to lock in moisture for longer.
3. Detangle With Care
Most people think detangling causes breakage; this is only partially true. Detangling can lead to breakage if you tug too hard or try to detangle when your hair is dry.
However, if you don’t detangle, your tangles will likely get worse, be challenging to detangle, and eventually cause more breakage. As long as you detangle damp hair, combing slowly, patiently, and in small sections, your hair will be protected. Finger detangling is also a great option and probably the best approach for preventing breakage.
Also Read: How To Properly Detangle Natural Hair (Type 4)
Another essential tool to add to your hair care routine is a detangling brush. The Joiful Bee Honeycomb Detangling Brush is designed to bend, twist, and stretch as you detangle. The twisting design works vertically to detangle and horizontally to define your curls without damaging your hair, tugging, or causing breakage.
4. Be (Very) Gentle
It goes without saying, but you need to be ultra-careful with your hair. Every time you shampoo and condition your hair, do it in the most gentle way possible to prevent damage. Manipulating it too much, especially when wet, can create tangles that cause breakage.
We recommend that you comb or detangle your hair only when it’s damp and never when dry or sopping wet. Soaking wet hair is a little more fragile than damp hair.
As an extra step, you can use a scalp brush in the shower to help the product reach the scalp better without causing damage. Scalp brushes are also excellent for a quick head massage that stimulates hair strength and prevents tangling.
5. Reduce Heat & Product That Cause Build-Up
The heat literally sucks the moisture out of your hair, making it more susceptible to damage and breakage. Using heat tools can dry hair further and damage it over time, especially when used repeatedly.
Make sure your hair is receiving enough protein and nutrients to stay strong. Look for protein in your deep conditioner to help repair and damage heat tools may have caused. If you do opt to use heat on your hair, always grab a heat protectant product first.
At the same time, avoid ingredients that can damage the elasticity of your hair and lead to product build-up. Using a clarifying shampoo will help to ensure any product build-up from heavy butters and oils are eliminated, giving you a clean slate for styling. Some even choose to do an apple cider vinegar rinse for further clarifying and shine.
6. Wear Protective Styles
Lastly, don’t forget to wear protective styles that prevent excessive hair manipulation. Box braids, cornrows, and buns are excellent protective styles that reduce breakage.
Ideally, you want to choose a protective style that completely seals your ends to protect length retention. Don’t forget to use oils like argan, jojoba, or avocado oil while doing your protective styles to protect your hair even further.
Having a wash-day routine and proper hair maintenance is critical for preventing breakage and damage. Keep in mind, if you do notice excessive shedding and breakage, it might be good to consult with a cosmetologist or even a dermatologist to rule out any condition.
These tips can help prevent natural hair breakage and help you have beautiful, moisturized, and defined curls today and tomorrow.
What things do you adopt to stop natural hair breakage?