damaged hair 10 Ways to Prevent Hair Breakage

It may be time to put down the hot tools.

August 01, 2022
Ways To Prevent Hair Breakage

Hair breakage is one of the worst forms of damaged strands with some lengthy repercussions. If you’ve ever had uncontrollable frizz or noticed that your ends are starting to split, then you’ve probably experienced hair breakage firsthand. 

When it comes to getting (and maintaining) gorgeous hair, it’s all about taking steps to stop hair breakage and that means putting a stop to certain habits, like aggressively brushing your hair or excessive flat ironing without heat protectant. If you’re wondering how to stop hair breakage, it’s best to start with the basics, so below, we’re sharing causes for breakage and ten tips for putting it to an immediate end.

What Is Hair Breakage?

Breakage can take on many forms, such as frizzy hair or split ends, that eventually lead to your hair breaking off. If you have shorter strands around the hairline or your hair feels thinner at the ends, it’s likely a result of hair breakage. Breakage targets dry strands, which are usually a result of frequent bleaching, heat styling or even over-manipulation. 

When hair is healthy, the scales on each strand’s cuticle line up together, which creates smoothness and shine (what we all strive for, basically). When hair becomes dry or damaged, the scales can spread apart in every direction, resulting in frizz, brittle texture and eventually breakage.

What Causes Hair Breakage?

Unfortunately, there are many daily things that can contribute to and cause hair breakage and most of them are interconnected. Below we’re digging into three of the most common causes.  

1. Too Much Heat Styling

Too much heat styling can cause your hair to become dry and damaged, which will eventually lead to breakage. If you suspect your hair is close to breaking, avoid hot tools as much as possible and opt for a heatless style like overnight beach waves or a protective style

When you must blow-dry your hair or use another heat tool, be sure to protect your strands with a heat protectant like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In or the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant.

2. Dried Out Strands

Dry hair, beware, because strands that deal with breakage are almost always dry. Just like the rest of your body, your hair needs moisture to stay healthy. When hair becomes overly dry it can feel straw-like to the touch and for long hair especially, since the ends of your hair are furthest from the scalp, they are most likely to show signs of dryness first. 

When your hair starts to feel dry, switch to a hydrating shampoo and conditioner like the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron Plump Hydrating Shampoo, Paraben-Free and the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron Plump Hydrating Conditioner, Paraben-Free. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, this hydration-friendly duo delivers long-lasting moisture for soft, shiny and bouncy strands.

Editor’s tip: If your hair feels extra dry, try hair slugging with a hydrating oil to replenish strands.

3. Stress

Stress doesn’t do any good in pretty much any situation and according to the Mayo Clinic, stress can lead to hair loss. The good news is stress and hair loss are not permanent so once you lower your stress levels, your hair should start to improve. 

Editor’s tip: To destress, treat yourself to some well-deserved self-care and a face mask like the L’Oréal Paris Pure Clay Detox & Brighten Face Mask.

10 Ways to Prevent Hair Breakage

Now that you know what causes hair breakage, there’s more to preventing breakage than just simply avoiding those three things. Read on for ten tips that can help to put an end to your hair breakage.

1. Don’t Tug on Tangles 

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), hair breaks more easily when it’s wet, so 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 hair shaft. If you hit a tangle that you can’t delicately work through, apply conditioner or a detangling spray like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free 21-in-1 Color Caring Spray, Leave In to help loosen the knot.

2. Limit How Much You Brush

Contrary to popular belief, brushing your hair 100 times a day is not the answer to shiny, silk strands — it’s the opposite. According to the AAD, 100 daily brush strokes can actually lead to the formation of split ends, which leads to breakage, so, put that brush down. If you want shiny, silky strands, you’re better off reaching for a hair gloss like the L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss.

Alternatively, a glossing hair care system is another great way to achieve silky, shiny strands. We recommend the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing Shampoo, pH Balanced the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing Conditioner, pH Balanced and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing In Shower Acidic Glaze. First, massage the shampoo onto wet hair, lather and rinse. Spray the glossing treatment all over wet strands and leave on for one to three minutes. Without rinsing, follow up with conditioner, rinse and style as usual. 

3. Protect Hair From Heat 

As we mentioned above, too much heat styling can lead to breakage so it’s vital to apply a heat protectant like the Elvive Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In or the EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant. When you use your heat tools, opt for the lowest heat setting and only pass through each section of your hair once. The less heat you can use, the better. 

4. Use a Reparative Hair Treatment

Adding a hydrating hair mask to your routine can make a huge difference when you’re trying to avoid breakage. We love the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm Rinse-Out Mask, a rinse-out mask formulated with almond and protein to repair strands and prevent breakage. After shampooing, apply the hair mask and leave it on for three to five minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. 

Editor’s tip: Super-hot water can strip strands of essential oils, which can leave hair feeling dry, so always rinse your hair with lukewarm water. 

5. Try a Different Hairstyle

According to the AAD, continuously wearing the same hairstyles, like tight braids or ponytails, can tug on strands and cause tension, which can lead to breakage. Try wearing your hair down or switching things up with a messy ponytail or a loose, low bun.

6. Use a T-Shirt for Wet Strands 

After washing your hair, your first instinct is probably to rub your hair with a towel to sop up any excess water. Towels can be rough and cause friction which can lead to breakage, so reach for an old cotton T-shirt instead. Carefully blot your hair instead of rubbing to soak up all the excess moisture.

7. Wait Before You Start Blow Drying

When you blow dry your hair immediately after washing it, it can take what feels like forever to fully dry your hair and that exposes your hair to more heat damage. It’s a good idea to wait until your hair is about 75 percent dry before you reach for the blow dryer. You’ll expose your hair to less heat and spend less time drying.

8. Don’t Color Your Hair Too Often

We know how annoying it is to have dark roots but coloring your hair too often can be the cause for your hair breakage. Dry hair is more susceptible to breakage and coloring your strands too frequently can cause dryness, damage and definitely lead to breakage. It’s good practice to wait around four to six weeks (or longer) between dye sessions to preserve the integrity of your hair.

9. Sleep on a Silk Pillowcase 

If you’re a wild sleeper, friction between your hair and your pillowcase can actually lead to breakage. Silk or satin is gentler on your hair, so consider investing in a silk pillowcase so you’re not roughing up your hair while you sleep. As an alternative, you can also wrap your hair up in a silk scarf before bed. 

10. Get Routine Trims 

Split ends can lead to breakage and sometimes the only (and best) way to deal with that is by having them snipped off. This is why routine haircuts are so important. If you’re dealing with lots of breakage, you may want to go for a fresh start and try a dramatic cut like a pixie cut or a wavy bob.

Next: The Best Shampoos to Give Your Thin Hair Volume

Edited by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photo credit: Chaunte Vaughn