Cures for Hair Breakage

Close-up of a female hairdresser's hands styling a mid adult woman's hair
A woman is getting her long hair styled. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Hair is made up of essentially dead proteins, notes the American Hair Loss Association. That's why no matter what shampoo commercials tell you, you can't "heal" your hair. Instead, the only cures for breakage involve measures that remove the broken portion of the hair and careful hair care practices that promote healthier hair overall. Everyday wear and tear, styling, chemical processes and even your favorite brand of shampoo can lead to hair breakage; cure it by being kinder to your tresses.

Trim Hair Regularly

Split ends occur from the bottom up. Damage is first manifested by a splitting of the hair shaft, and that split travels upward to the root. No matter what a hair commercial tells you, there is no way to cure split-end hair breakage. The only way to stop split ends is to trim them away as a start to better hair care practices. See a hairstylist for a trim, and ask her to cut all of the damaged portions away.

Stop Chemical Processing

Common chemical processes, such as relaxing and coloring, introduce drying chemicals to the hair that can leave it prone to breakage. Instead of relaxing your hair, ask for a haircut that tames your hair's natural texture. Opt for semi-permanent, ammonia-free color over your traditional permanent color. These measures can cure hair breakage by leaving your hair rich in its own natural oils, stronger and less prone to splitting and breakage.

Careful Styling

When your hair is wet, it becomes more fragile and prone to breakage. That's why gentle styling practices can cure your hair breakage. Use a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle your hair when wet, and allow it to air dry, if possible. If you must use a hair dryer, dry 80 percent to create your desired shape and let it air dry the rest of the way. Never use a curling iron or flat iron on wet hair, and give your hair a break in between styling sessions by only using styling tools two or three times each week.

Deep Conditioning

A weekly deep-conditioning treatment can help infuse your hair with moisture so it's stronger and less prone to breakage. Deep-conditioning treatments can be purchased at drugstores, but you can make your own by mixing one mashed avocado with an egg and a tablespoon of olive oil. Apply to your dry hair, and allow it to sit for 20 to 30 minutes, rinsing out with cool water. This is especially helpful during the dry months of winter.

Use Sulfate-Free Shampoos

Working your hair up to a good lather with your favorite shampoo could be causing more harm than good. The common detergent ingredient in most commercial shampoos, sodium lauryl sulfate, can strip your hair of its natural moisture, which you then synthetically replace with a conditioner. Switching to a sulfate-free shampoo may leave you without your favorite suds, but will lead to hydrated, stronger hair with less breakage.

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