Breakage and splits are sore points for naturals because they steal hard-earned length. Try these tips and tricks to cut down on breakage.
Broken hairs, and split ends occur when the protective cuticle (outermost layer of the strand) is destroyed at any point along the length of the shaft.
1. Avoid Direct Heat Styling
Heat removes precious moisture. If you want to stretch your hair, try braiding or banding. Do not blow dry or flat iron.
2. Use Gentle Cleansers
Harsh shampoos can leave the hair dry and brittle and this can lead to breakage. Find a cleanser that doesn’t disrupt the moisture balance of your strands.
3. Gentle and Minimal Styling
Be gentle with your hair and be mindful of how the tools you use affect your hair. Keep in mind too that putting in and taking down twists and braids can put mechanical strain on the hair, particularly the ends. Also remember that, while some naturals can style their hair daily, others don’t have hair strong enough to manage that. In this case, gentle protective styles might be a better option.
4. Moisture & Conditioning
Moisture is what keeps hair strands supple. Moisturize your hair with a leave-in conditioner and seal with coconut oil, shea butter or any natural oil you prefer. How often you do this depends on how well your hair retains moisture. Some women need to moisturize daily, while others moisture every 3 to 5 days. Also, some naturals find that deep conditioning helps to keep their hair strengthened and moisturized.