Losing hair due to breakage is technically not considered a hair loss condition. This is primarily because the follicles are not affected. With hair loss, the strands you shed fall from the root. This is why, upon closer examination, the roots are still attached to the strands. Meanwhile, hair lost due to breakage usually get snapped at the shaft. Hence, the strands that fall off usually do not have roots.
Hair breakage rarely causes patches of hair loss. However, it can make your hair look thin, uneven and dull. Furthermore, it can be difficult to style it.
What Causes Hair Breakage?
Dryness is one of the primary causes of hair breakage. Natural oils envelop the outer covering of your hair giving it a natural glow. These oils are also essential in protecting the inner layer of the hair. When there aren’t enough natural oils, the hair becomes dry.
Basically, oil production decreases as you get older. However, aside from age, there are other factors which may also interfere with this process. For one, a dry scalp can cause the hair to produce less oil.
In some cases, the dryness is due to moisture escaping from the hair. This happens when the cuticle is damaged. The cuticle is a protective layer that protects the hair from the sun and heat. It is also responsible for keeping moisture in the hair. Due to various factors, the cuticle layer gets peeled off. Consequently, with the protective layer no longer intact, moisture easily evaporates from the cortex of the hair.
What can cause the scalp to dry and cuticle to get damaged? Excessive styling and hair treatments are the leading causes of dry hair. Frequent use of heat-emitting styling tools like hair straighteners, curling irons and blow dryers can damage your locks, too. To be more specific, they effectively suck out the moisture in the hair.
Chemical treatments like dyeing, bleaching and perming also cause dry, brittle hair. Repeated treatments using harsh chemical solutions may permanently damage cuticle layers and result in dry hair.
Aside from dryness, sporting tight hairstyles like braids and buns and using hair extensions may also cause hair breakage. In fact, this habit can lead to a hair loss condition called traction alopecia. The main symptom of traction alopecia is the presence of broken hairs and bald, bumpy spots. This hair loss condition is reversible if you change your hairstyle. However, when it is not addressed immediately, follicle scarring may occur and the hair loss can become permanent.
How to Prevent Hair Breakage
One of the best ways to prevent hair loss due to breakage is to keep your hair moisturised. Avoid hair products with alcohol as this can contribute to the problem. Meanwhile, if your hair feels dry and brittle, use shampoos and conditioners that are specially formulated to clean and moisturise the hair and scalp.
Minimise your use of heat-styling tools. As much as possible, air-dry your hair. When using your hair dryer, always put it on medium setting. Also, do not forget to apply serum to protect your locks from the heat. Similarly, during summer, avoid staying under the sun without covering your hair or putting any protection on it.
Do not regularly subject your locks to harsh chemicals. If possible, use organic materials for dyeing, perming and other treatments. Keep your scalp healthy, too. Always thoroughly clean it so that pores and hair follicles don’t get clogged. Consult a dermatologist when you notice scalp problems like flaking. Lastly, stay away from hair styles that pull hair too tightly.
If your hair breakage persists even after doing the aforementioned tips, consult a hair and scalp specialist for proper diagnosis.
Learn more about how to prevent hair loss due to breakage. Call us at +353 (0)1 6793618 and schedule an appointment with our hair specialist.
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