If you have relaxed hair you have to reduce breakage to retain length. Relaxed hair can be weak and dry because of the chemical treatment applied and over usage of heat. Relaxers have to break the protein bonds in the hair strand to force curly hair straight. These protein bonds are essential to the strength of the hair. Once these bonds are damaged, you have very weak hair as a result. Weak hair equals breakage. Over usage of heat causes very dry hair. Heat can remove moisture from the hair strands. Hair needs moisture to make it elastic. Elasticity allows the hair to bounce back when it is stretched by combing and manipulation. Dry hair equals breakage. Dry and weak hair together equals constant breakage. While healthy hair can have breakage from daily manipulation, chemically treated hair is more fragile and breaks off more often. If long locks are your objective reducing breakage is the key to success! The goal is to reduce breakage as much as possible. Here are six tips for reducing breakage:
1. Never use the highest setting on any heat device. If you are using a flatiron, for example, try to use the low or medium heat setting. The same goes for a hooded or handheld dryer, try to use the low or medium heat setting on these devices as well.
2. Use one source of heat while styling. If you are using a flatiron to style your hair, for example, air dry your hair instead of using a hooded or handheld dryer, then follow up with flat ironing.
3. Limit heat usage. Try to use heat as little as possible. If you use heat every week, see if you can go every two weeks instead.
4. Keep your hair moisturized. Deep condition your hair with a moisturizing conditioner every time you shampoo. Try to deep condition the hair once a week to every two weeks. If you have time, leave the conditioner on for at least an hour. In addition, use a daily moisturizer in between washes to keep the hair supple and soft.
5. Instead of using a super strength or regular strength relaxer, give a mild strength relaxer a try. A mild strength relaxer will leave more protein bonds in the hair strands. This in turn will allow the hair to have more strength and durability. More strength and durability will equal less breakage. A mild relaxer won’t get the hair as straight as the super or regular strength relaxer, but it will help reduce breakage.
6. Perform a protein treatment. Protein treatments help strengthen weak hair. Use a protein treatment once every two weeks or as needed. Hair can get protein overload so be careful not to use a protein treatment too often.
All these tips will significantly slow breakage down. Breakage is not our friend! No longer do you have to suffer from various sized pieces of your precious strands all over your clothes. Breakage reduces length and it makes the hair very uneven. Give these tips a try and watch your breakage reduce.