Causes of Hair Breakage
Hair breakage is a condition that occurs when hair breaks off before it completes its growth cycle. Brittle hair breaks off before new hair can replace it. This can lead to thinning hair, as well as bald areas on the scalp. When a person suffers from hair breakage, it makes hair difficult to style and maintain.
This problem is almost always reversible, and it can be treated in many different ways. In order to eliminate it, the causes for it must be identified. Once a person knows what is causing the breakage, that cause can be eliminated and then treatment can speed up hair recovery.
Common Causes for Breaking
Continued use of chemical treatments - chemical treatments break the bonds of the follicle sheath, then in some cases, rebuilds them - or glues them back together. This weakens strands tremendously and makes the prone to or susceptible to breaking.
Lack of Nutrition - See the explanation below, but, like other parts and organs of your body, follicles are greatly affected by what they are fed - read nutrition. The B-complex vitamins, Vitamins A and E, and amino acids, proteins, and a number of minerals are the "building blocks" of the follicles cuticle necessary for growth, strength and shine. Similar to your body, trash in, trash out.
Styling with heat - Flat irons, curlers, curling irons, and blow dryers can diminish moisture. Lack of moisture content in the hair makes the follicles weak and brittle. Additionally, using flat irons without thermal protection can lead to burning, snapping and tearing - very easily.
With hair breakage, the “usual suspects” can explain the problem.
Anyone who has ever walked into a hair styling salon has probably encountered strong chemical odors. Those smells are not lethal, but they beg the question: What is powerful enough to smell so pungent?
Those smells do give a good idea that the chemicals being used are strong. Hair dyes and other chemical treatments are strong, and they can damage hair enough to make it brittle and easy to break off. The same could be said for heat treatments. Curling irons, blow dryers, and flat irons can burn hair and dry it out. Hair that is dried out is more susceptible to breaking off.
Even a hairstyle can lead to hair being susceptible to breakage. People who have worn tight braids, corn rows, or even a tight ponytail can attest that the pressure on their scalp is easy to feel. Pulling the hair in these ways weakens it. Hair extensions can create the same effect.
How a person treats her or his hair can account for problems with breakage. Using less chemicals and heat can take pressure off of the hair and scalp. Also, keeping hairstyles that are looser and that cause less pressure on the scalp can help to make hair stronger.
You are what you eat, and so is your hair!
Hair relies on essential vitamins and nutrients, just like the rest of the body. While it is true that hair itself is a collection of cells that are not technically alive, it is built from once vibrant cells, and vitamins and minerals can keep it healthy looking. Not enough vitamins B and E, or iron, or zinc, or a lack of essential amino acids that are the building materials the body uses, will lead to weaker hair that is prone to breakage.
If your body is lacking these essential nutrients, it will deprive the hair first. That’s a basic function of survival. A good diet filled with vitamins and nutrients is a good tool to prevent hair breakage. Supplemental vitamins and minerals can also help to combat this problem.
Some causes of breaking are not as easy to remedy, but they are also temporary. Stress can lead to hair breakage. Lowering stress in one’s life may sound like an odd way to contribute to hair health, but it works. In other cases like chemotherapy treatment, usually as soon as the treatment ends, hair re-growth begins.
Top 5 Reasons for Hair Breakage
It is difficult to avoid and generally no one can avoid hair breakage. It is a natural process that is a result of various reasons. All you can do is try to limit hair fall, by strengthening your hair. We have tried to underline the 5 reasons and causes that usually lead to hair breakage.
Hair Perms and Breakage
Permanent curls or Perms are one of the most common causes of hair breakage in a large number of people. If the hair isn’t in good condition, when the perm is given, then even more hair is liable to break. Perms, straightening and other chemical treatments break-down the protein bonds that give hair it's strength, shape, and moisture retention capability. When these bonds are broken, follicles become weak and susceptible to moisture loss and increased chance they will break.
You must always get a perm from a well-trained person otherwise an untrained procedure will leave you with a less amount of hair, as compared to when you started. The solution that is used in a hair perm is the chief culprit when it comes to hair breakage as at times it is kept in the hair for too long a time and at other times, the solution is much too strong.
Another reason for hair breakage is the constant use of hair dye. Hair dye is after all made up of potent chemicals, which are not good for your hair. One of the severest after-effects of using hair dye is hair breakage. This is because an excessive drying of hair strands takes place, which results in a condition known as split-ends. Ultimately, this results in hair breakage and hair loss.
Excessive Combing or Brushing
Some people are obsessed with their hair. If you are one of those, then get out of the habit quickly. Do not brush or comb your hair all the time. We use a brush or comb to style our hair and many a times, this style would be a direct contradiction to the direction of hair growth. Thus combing or brushing puts pressure on the roots of the hair, resulting in breakage of hair.
Also the force used to comb or brush your hair is not constant and sometimes you are not gentle with your hair. The result is hair breakage.
When you blow dry your hair, you are exposing your hair to heat. You must take care in this regard as excessive heat will make your hair brittle and prone to breakage. The application of excessive heat results in the permanent damage to hair follicles, and is a leading cause of hair breakage. Think of this way, when a flat iron or dryer is used, moisture is evaporated. As with anything else, too much, too often can cause dryness, brittleness, and splitting.
More Causes Hair Breakage?
Now that we've taken a look at the "Top 5" reasons we see breaking hair...let's look at the next layer and a little deeper(no pun intended) of several things you need to consider or look out for...
There are many reasons that hair becomes weak and brittle. Especially as years pass, your body stops producing the natural minerals that are necessary for healthy growth and development. Here are a few of the most common causes of breakage, and what you can do to prevent it from affecting you.
Lack Of Proteins
Proteins are the building blocks of nearly every system in your body, and hair is no exception. The strength, vibrancy, and volume of your hair are all largely affected by the amount of protein in the shafts. Protein is an amino acid that binds all of the other minerals and other amino acids in your hair together.
If you have a protein deficiency, or you are generally not eating healthy foods, this can seriously affect how brittle or frayed your hair will be. Try ingesting more protein rich foods, like red kidney beans, some nuts, or some types of fish. If that is not the leading cause of brittle
or weak strands,
it may be the actual amount of absorption of these proteins, indicating an actual physiological disorder.
Not Enough Keratin
This is another amino acid that is a major component in the strength of your tresses. While this is also a base protein in the body, unlike simple proteins which affect the strength of current shafts, keratin deals in the process of cornification, the system by which dead cells form your new hair growth. Keratin deficiencies are actually fairly common in adult females.
This can be counteracted by eating healthier and aiding natural oil production...or by having a keratin treatment
performed by your local hair salon or stylist. Too much sugar makes it harder for your body to replace and use keratin that you get from food, so cut back on those sweets!
As a note: The Healthy Hair Plus product kit to the right was assembled by our staff and customer feedback to provide what we think is the best set of hair care for either repair or helping prevent most common damage - that include controlling frizz, detangling, conditioning, adding Keratin, moisture, and proteins. Vitamins can help build strength that resists breaking and protein conditioners and deep treatments help protect and repair.
Lack Of Natural Oils
Oils are extremely important in both the health of current locks, and the production of new strands. These oils help bind the strands of hair together, and infuse it with the appropriate amount of moisture. Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the best compounds to help replenish the natural oils in your scalp.
These can be gotten by ingesting lots of fish, and some types of nuts. You must also be careful about not washing away the natural oils you have built up in your hair. Brushing multiple times a day, washing everyday (for certain hair types), and blow drying can sap many of these natural oils from your scalp and hair, leaving it brittle and weak.
These are sugars, unnatural oils and dirt that clog the follicles on your scalp. A buildup of any of these materials can stunt the growth and, especially sugars, sap the good oils and nutrients from your hair.
Natural oils can keep the follicles clear of dirt and silicates, but washing these oils away regularly will hinder this process, and make it dry and brittle. Brush your hair once a day, but when you do, be sure that you brush all the way down to the scalp, as this can break apart layers of build-ups, especially if it is dirt or dead skin