The biggest culprit when it comes to fussy natural hair is breakage. Usually caused by dryness and/or poor hair nourishment, breakage gets in the way of length retention, softness, and strong strands. Signs of breakage or damaged hair includes brittle texture, tangles, short broken off ends, and split ends. If you’re noticing your mane is becoming a bit naughty (and knotty), stop what you’re doing and read the following solutions below.
1. TRIM OR CUT
Get rid of those bad ends by trimming or cutting off the damage. To see how far you should snip, do the curl test. Take a small section of hair, dampen with water by using a spray bottle, do a two-strand twist, and check your ends. If the ends are frayed or tangled, trim the tip until your ends create a perfect curl. Healthy ends aren’t split or tangled; they are tight, smooth, and coiled.
Sometimes all your hair needs is a reboot. Using a ACV rinse or a gentle clarifying shampoo, cleanse your hair from root to tip. A clarifying cleanse will rid your scalp from the bacteria and fungus that get in the way of maintaining moisture and healthy hair growth. Using ACV will help balance your pH level which will then help prevent bacteria and allow your strands to thrive on your natural oils.
3. DEEP CONDITION
Deep conditioning is not just for special occasions or hair emergencies. It should be part of your usual hair routine. A deep conditioning treatment a week, will keep your hair game at its peak! But while we’re on the topic of hair emergencies, this is definitely a major key for breakage. Whether you concoct your own hair elixir or use a store shelf conditioning pack, be sure to let the mixture marinate in your mane for at least 5 minutes with heat or 15 minutes without.
4. GO NATURAL WITH PRODUCTS
Sometimes breakage is your hair’s reaction to a styling product. Pay attention to what’s working or not working and slowly discontinue the products that may be causing you hair trouble. To nurse your hair back to health, try going all-natural by strictly using organic fruit oils, natural butters (like shea or cocoa), honey, aloe vera juice, and water.
5. TAKE A BREAK FROM THE HEAT
With the exception of heated conditioners, which includes your hair being protected from direct heat by the use of a plastic cap, heat can make your breakage worse. Take a break from the blow dryer, curling iron, flat iron, and other heat tools until your hair is strong enough to handle. When you return to heat, be sure to use a protectant styler and have your heat set on low.
6. STEP YOUR MOISTURIZING GAME UP
The L.O.C. (liquid + oil + cream) method will save your hair every single time. However, it’s all about your technique. One can’t just simply rub products throughout her hair and call it a day — there’s levels to this thing. Section your hair into quarters and moisturize each part by applying your L.O.C. layer by layer. You strands will thank you.
7. SEAL ENDS
This tip is similar to the one above, but it deserves it’s own section because it’s that important. When it comes to breakage, the ends are the first to go and it’s usually because they aren’t nurtured as much as they should be. When your twist, curl, or set your hair, be sure to seal your ends with a hydrating protectant like castor oil. For some hair types, like fine hair for instance, castor oil can be a bit too heavy for the entire head. But there’s nothing wrong with using the heavy stuff on your ends.
Edges letting you down? Check out our guide on how to treat a damaged hairline.