The Most Common Causes of Hair Breakage and How to Fix Them at Home

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The hair products you use are key weapons in the fight against breakage. Since damaged hair tends to be dry, it’s important to keep it moisturized to replenish the strand. Humectant (moisturizing) oils are going to be your BFF here. “Products that contain coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, shea butter, and avocado oil are all great humectant ingredients that help to seal in moisture and give an emollient finish to strengthen the hair from the outside in,” Dr. Hartman says. But before you dunk your hair in a vat of Jamaican black castor oil, take your hair texture into consideration. “Sometimes, thicker oils don’t wash out well and can cause heaviness and greasy hair,” warns New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank, M.D. If you’ve got fine hair that gets greasy easily, you may want to use those products with a slightly lighter hand on your road to recovery.

When you’re shopping for shampoo, look for one suitable for your hair type that is rich in moisture and sulfate-free.  Try Monday Hair Care’s Moisture Shampoo or the Best of Beauty-winning Carol’s Daughter Wash Day Delight Water-to-Foam Shampoo With Rose Water. Weekly deep conditioners come highly suggested by Dr. Yadav, and if you ask us, they’re a must. Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask has won several Readers’ Choice awards and imparts some serious moisture to damaged hair, making it feel almost like new. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also raved about by folks of all hair types. 

Carol’s Daughter Wash Day Delight Water-to-Foam Shampoo With Rose Water

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

All of the dermatologists we spoke to for this story tell us that sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase can also help reduce breakage, due to the slicker nature of the fibers — they’re much gentler on your strands. Slip makes gorgeous silk pillowcases, but if their prices are a little too steep, Kitsch also has a good offering of satin ones. Still need more options? We’ve got a whole list of silky-soft pillowcases to sleep on if you care to peruse. 

The same idea goes for microfiber towels — they are much gentler on your strands than terrycloth, so it’s a good idea to invest in one, no matter the state of your hair. Aquis’s microfiber towel is a fan favorite — we’re particularly fond of it in its easy-to-secure turban version. Volo’s Hero Towel nabbed a Best of Beauty award this year, and Kitsch, again, comes through in the clutch with an affordable selection of its own.

Kitsch Microfiber Hair Towel

Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Turban

Protective styling can also be an effective tool in preventing breakage for folks with curly or tightly coiled hair, according to Dr. Yadav, as long as they are done correctly. Be sure your style isn’t too tight or over-manipulated, as that will defeat the purpose.

When should I cut off my breakage?

There are some cases in which your hair is so damaged, you may just want to snip the weak parts of the strand off altogether instead of having to deal with tiny hairs everywhere. Depending on the extent of your breakage, you may be able to gradually cut off the damaged ends, but speak with your stylist first before you pick up the scissors. As a general rule, “once the ends have started to split, there is no way to repair them,” Dr. Yadav says. “You can temporarily ‘bandage’ hair strands with various products, but the damage is done and should be cut as soon as possible. This will help prevent the breakage from traveling up and damaging new/newer growth.” 

Will my hair breakage grow back?

The good news is, yes, your damaged hair can grow back. After all, hair grows from the root, so don’t eff it up by putting stress on your root.

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