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Hair breakage can be a total bummer—it can affect the way your hair looks (and not in a good way). A good hair day can be a total confidence boost, but when you notice breakage, this can put a damper on your entire mood. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to help prevent hair breakage so that your mane looks as beautiful as possible day in and day out. It’s all about making a few key changes to your hair care routine, as well as stocking up on products like leave-in conditioners and hair masks. Keep reading for five tips that can help prevent hair breakage.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), hair breaks more easily when it’s wet, so heed this golden rule: Never pull on wet tangles with a hair brush. Instead, slowly work a wide tooth comb through damp strands, starting from the bottom and working your way up the shaft. If you hit a tangle that you can’t delicately work through, apply conditioner or a detangling spray to the knot to help loosen it up, and then go back and gently comb through. (Here is Our Best Conditioner for Damaged Hair.)
You know how your mom used to tell you that you should brush your hair 100 times a day? Well, that’s not necessarily the case. According to the AAD, brushing your 100 strokes each day can actually lead to the formation of split ends. So put that brush down!
Before picking up your blow-dryer, flat iron, or curling wand, make sure to apply a heat protectant, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray, first. Apply from root to tip, and distribute evenly by brushing through hair so that no section goes uncovered. When you do go to use one of your heat tools, put it on the lowest heat setting that you possibly can while still only having to pass through each section of your hair once. The AAD suggests allowing your hair to air dry somewhat before blow-drying, as well as limiting the amount of times you blow-dry your hair each week. The AAD recommends using flat irons only on dry hair on a low or medium heat setting, every other day at the most. As far as curling irons, you should only leave one in place for one or two seconds.
Adding a hair mask to your weekly hair care routine can make a difference. Try the L’Oréal Paris Total Repair Extreme Recovery Emergency Recovery Mask, a rich hair mask formulated for extremely sensitized, damaged hair. Use it conjunction with the L’Oréal Paris Total Repair Extreme Renewing Shampoo. After shampooing, apply the hair mask and leave it on for 3-5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Super-hot water can strip strands of essential oils, which can leave hair feeling drier—so always rinse off in lukewarm water. While it might not feel quite as enjoyable to wash your hair in lukewarm water, your hair will definitely thank you!
According to the AAD, continuously wearing hairstyles like braids and ponytails can pull on hair and cause tension, which can lead to breakage. Try switching things up—we’ve got plenty of hairstyles for you to try that’ll allow you to show off your gorgeous hair without tying it up (or using heat). Take a break from heat styling and embrace your natural texture. Create beachy waves by spritzing the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray onto damp hair, then let your hair air dry.
Next, take our How Damaged Is Your Hair? quiz to determine your hair’s damage level and get more hair care tips tailored to you.