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How to Fix African-American Hair Breakage

by
author image Tarah Damask
Tarah Damask's writing career began in 2003 and includes experience as a fashion writer/editor for Neiman Marcus, short fiction publications in "North Texas Review," a self-published novel, band biographies, charter school curriculum and articles for various websites. Damask holds a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas.
How to Fix African-American Hair Breakage
Kerry Washington sports healthy, glossy hair at the Oscars in Hollywood, California, 2014. Photo Credit Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

African-American hair is particularly vulnerable to breakage. This problem is amplified by factors that promote thinner, more delicate hair strands. Catalysts that result in breakage range from heat styling to hairstyles that stress your fragile tresses. To fix breakage, which includes preventing future hair damage, make simple changes in your daily and monthly routine to improve your hair's health and appearance.

Say No to Pain

If you choose a tight braid or weave, trust your sensations. Monitor yourself for a style that feels too tight, gives you a headache and causes irritation or other signs of discomfort. These symptoms point to a hairstyle that may result in hairline breakage. To maintain healthy edges, choose comfortable styles. This may include avoiding braids and weaves. Find a hair stylist who has your best interests at heart and pays close attention to your comfort. If you wear a wig, which may irritate your hairline, remove it and your stocking cap at night. Changing your habits will make it possible for your edges to grow back.

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Handle With Care

Handling fragile African-American hair with care can fix the problem of breakage. Never pick or pull at split ends. Instead, visit a hair stylist once every eight weeks for a trim. Avoid harsh handling by shampooing your scalp and most of your hair while avoiding the ends. After cleaning your hair, use your fingers to gently separate tangles. Combs and brushes often break knotted hair. Use a special absorbent hair towel or a cotton T-shirt, which gently dries wet hair, instead of using a standard towel.

Moisturize Your Hair

Brittle hair is usually dry, so you can correct breakage by adding moisture to your strands. Start by trying oils or butters, which seal in hydration. Your best bet is to apply a water-based, leave-in conditioner after shampooing and then coat your hair with a moisturizer. This seals the moisture into your hair. Reapply moisturizer to the ends of your hair once or twice a week if you notice it looks parched. To protect your hair, wear a satin cap at night to prevent moisture loss.

Cool It Off

Heat styling often yields the desired style results, but it also causes breakage. Limit breakage by letting your hair dry naturally for a while. Whether you choose to wear it curly or pull it back into a bun, giving your hair a rest is often your best solution for improving its health and strength. Say "no" to other breakage causes that burn your hair, such as hair color and texturizing treatments.

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