Breakage Vs Shedding Part 3 (Manipulation and Improper care)

So in this final part to the Breakage Vs Shedding Series, we'll be looking at how the ways we sometimes handle our hair (over manipulating) can cause breakage. Over manipulation could take varying forms - from constantly combing, twirling and styling, to playing with and generally tugging at the hair ( What is called the 'Hand in Hair Syndrome' and I am sooo guilty of this!).

The more our fragile strands are moved about, the more they rub against one another causing friction and sometimes, locking around one another leading to knots and eventually breakage. Our hair has a low stress point breakage and this is why protective and low manipulation styling are so important. They keep the hair safely protected in a style that prevents you from constantly combing and styling the hair (things like braids, weaves, twists etc)

Improper care (which kinda also covers over manipulation) is just the wrong handling of hair - making it more susceptible to breakage. Things like combing when dry, not protecting the ends of your hair which are the oldest and therefore the most fragile, failing to cover hair with a satin/silk scarf/cap at night and thereby causing the hair to rub against the cotton pillowcase, causing friction, loss of moisture and eventually breakage.

Ideally, hair should be combed (with a seamless wide tooth comb) when damp with water or conditioner: the conditioner/water will give the hair some 'slip' (the ability for the strands to move more freely because of the detangling aid of water or conditioner) thereby making detangling easier and reducing breakage. Also hair should not be combed from the roots down as this is not just a sure way to get breakage but one to give you a nasty headache as well! Hair should ideally be parted in sections (however many that are convenient for you) then combed gently from the tips working upwards to the root.

Hair ends should be protected constantly and this can be done by ensuring they are properly moisturized and sealed; and also keeping them tucked safely away. If your hair is not long enough to be tucked away, then they should be kept up and away from your shoulders (like in a puff). The reason being that the more they are exposed to the elements, the drier they become and the more they rub against the material of your clothes around your shoulders, the more friction occurs and the more moisture is lost - leading eventually to breakage.

Hair should also be kept up in a satin/silk scarf/cap at night because the cotton from our pillowcases generally tend to suck up moisture from hair plus the movement of our heads while we sleep causes our strands to rub against the cotton fabric, causing friction and eventually, breakage.

I am so particular about this that as soon as I get home, my satin cap comes on because I know I'm probably going to flop on my couch and in addition,  I actually have a satin scarf tied around the head rest of the seat in my car! No rubbing of my hair against the car seat fabric thank you very much! lolll

If you're one who either doesn't like sleeping with your hair tied up or no matter what you do, you find your cap/scarf on the floor in the morning; then you may want to get a satin pillowcase!

Another tip is when applying moisturizer, deep conditioner or oils, always make sure you pay attention to those ends - giving them all the love they can get - remember your ends are the part that first grew out of your head and probably have the most cuticle damage from manipulation over time and so are the most fragile.

And lastly, treat your hair like it is silk - sometimes the way I see people yank their (or other people's hair) makes me literally wince. Our hair has to be treated and loved gently for it to retain those precious inches we grow every month.

So now we see how multifaceted breakage really is - you need to be able to determine what you're doing wrong in terms of product choice or styling technique before you're able to effectively address whatever breakage issue (s) you may have.

Hope this series helped!

No comments