Hair Corner » Breaking Hair

by Barbaraann Rakestraw

No matter how many hair cuts or trims you have in your lifetime, nothing is more humbling than having your hair fall out. Daily hair loss is part of the normal hair life cycle; however, when the loss extends beyond the expected 100 to 150 strands, on a head of about 100,000 strands, there’s a problem. The list of reasons for excessive hair-shedding includes health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes, conditions known to thin your hair. If you’re taking medications for one or more of these conditions, talk to you doctor and try several medications until you come up with a combination that effectively treats the condition(s), yet has the fewest side effects. Thyroid conditions, as well as iron deficiency and other medical ailments which cause hormone imbalance, can also have an adverse affect on your hair.

If you notice your hair breaking or shedding more than usual, find out the reason first. Visit your doctor and have a complete physical and blood work. Do not self-diagnose! Bringing the medical condition under control usually takes care of the problem. If you have a chronic condition that will require medication long term, it’s not the end of the world. Work with your doctor to find a solution that has minimum side effects for you. Then get a recommendation for a good multivitamin. Your daily intake of water also has an effect on your hair. Remember your hair is living and in a constant growth cycle. Like all living things, your hair needs water for sustenance. Your hair and skin will reflect the body’s dehydration. Your hair consists largely of proteins and requires vitamins and nutrients. Simply put, your hair needs nutrients for survival.

Styling is another reason hair breakage. Once you have chemically treated your hair that hair is dead. As new hair grows out from the roots, you have a choice of treating the new growth in the same manner for a consistent texture or cutting the treated hair off and starting with virgin hair again. At the point where new growth and chemically treated hair meet, your hair is very vulnerable. Some people enlist a professional to put heat to the new growth to bring it in line with the texture of the chemically treated hair to reduce breakage. During this transition phase, it is very important to give your hair extra conditioning for the moisture needed to keep hair strong and resilient.

Chemicals that are too strong or just “not right” for your hair are also a problem. If you have a sensitive scalp, or have problems with chemicals on your skin, it is better to go to a professional who has experience with the treatment you desire. An evaluation of your hair and scalp can be made. Don’t get an attitude if any professional refuses to give you a chemical treatment. Their refusal comes because they care about the health of your hair and scalp. You may not be able to get the style you desire, but you’ll save your self a lot of heartache and money in the long run by accepting the denial.

Other styling mistakes cause hair breakage, too. Pulling too tight causes the hair to break. As beautiful as that ponytail on top of your head looks, if you’ve pulled your hair too tight to get it nice and neat, the stress on the hair will began shedding in the stressed area.
Too much heat also causes hair to break. The texture of you hair determines how hot your styling instrument can be. Remember the white towel/rag test? You rubbed the heating instrument on a white towel/rag first. If it burned the towel/rag, it was too hot for your hair. The white towel/rag still works. For newer styling instruments with thermal settings, take the time to start with a lower setting and work your way up to a comfortable heat for your hair. Using heat too often also causes hair to weaken and break. A good rule of thumb is to use heat to style your hair after you’ve washed it, and then leave it alone. Watch out for styling apparatus mistakes as well. Appliances that put too much stress on your hair will cause your hair to break. This includes rubber bands and hair clamps.

I asked readers to submit any hair questions they may have through the contact form at . This question came in from Sharon in Houston, Texas. I’m sharing it for others who may be in the same situation. I’m sending Sharon my Au Naturel Hair and Scalp Treatment and Au Naturel Hair and Scalp Shampoo free of charge for using her question.

I am going from processed hair (Curl) to natural. I am in the transition phase. I still use activator on my hair to prevent dryness. By the end of the day, it is very dry looking. Any suggestions?

The most important factor during your transition phase is to keep your hair conditioned to prevent breakage. Au Naturel Hair and Scalp Treatment is perfect for this task. Oiling your hair and scalp every 2-3 days with give your hair the moisture retention required. Stop using the hair activator immediately! As you have already witnessed, the activator, while activating the perm to “curl” also strips your hair of needed nutrients.

You didn’t mention your transition hair style. This can be tricky if you’re not going to a hair salon. A professional will be aware of how much heat to apply to the new growth while not harming the processed hair. If you’re doing the transition yourself, please be aware of braids, weaves, and various hair extensions that might stress your hair. Try to wear your hair loose and unencumbered for best results. Very loose braids and twists also work using your hair only.

We have many clients using Au Naturel Hair and Scalp Shampoo and Au Naturel Hair and Scalp Treatment to transition their hair style. Customers love the fact that hair breakage stops when they begin using the products.

Good luck on your journey!

These products are for all black hair types (natural, chemically relaxed, pressed). They are produced with essential oils to replenish your hairs’ natural nutrients. If you go to a hair salon, take the products with you or use them at home. Your hair will stop breaking after the first couple of uses. Guaranteed!

Go to the web site, submit your hair questions. They’ll be answered over the coming months in this column. If you have a hair topic you’d like to see covered in a future article, please submit a contact form from the web site. Include your email address in case there’s a need for clarification.

Don’t miss “Hair Growth” coming next month.


Copyright 2012 – Barbaraann Rakestraw. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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  1. avatar Sharon says:

    Just wanted to thank you for sending me the Au NaturalHair and Scalp Treatment and Shampoo. I will be using it rite a way and will immediately stop using the hair activator.
    During my transition, I am wearing my hair loose.No braids, pony tails, etc. I try and pick it out with my fingers as I apply the activator, along with a plastic pick.
    I haven’t gone to a professional yet, but plan to do so soon, and yes, I will be taking my producs with me.
    Again thanks, and I will definitely keep you advised on my progress and how well I am doing with your product.

    Sharon Frazier