How To Repair Hair Breakage, According To Experts

How To Repair Hair Breakage, According To Experts
How To Repair Hair Breakage, According To Experts

Even though heat styling and coloring your hair are fun, both can result in an unwelcoming and not-so-fun side effect: hair breakage. That said, hot tools and highlights aren’t always responsible for harming your hair — simply brushing it too aggressively can take its toll on your strands as well. Whatever the cause, it helps to know how to repair hair breakage so you can restore it to its lustrous, healthy state.

The first thing to do? Figure out the source of your hair damage. “People forget that hair is elastic and needs to be treated carefully, especially when it’s chemically treated or wet,”  adding that even ripping out topknots and ponytails are more common causes of weakened hair than one might think.



What’s more, there are two different types of hair damage: Mechanical damage comes from harsh physical treatment, such as brushing knots out too aggressively or wearing your hair up in tight styles too often, Chemical damage, on the other hand, is often the result of bleaching and/or dyeing hair, straightening treatments, and/or perms — any process during which a chemical is applied to the hair.

Breakage tends to happen mid-way down the hair shaft or close to the root, leaving those pieces significantly shorter than the rest of your lengths. If this sounds familiar, don’t fret: There is plenty you can do to repair your locks. Read on for what pros recommend if you’re looking to fix hair breakage.

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Be Gentle With Your Hair — Especially When It’s Wet

When your hair is wet, it’s at its most vulnerable state, which calls for extra-gentle TLC. Avoid excess mechanical damage by carefully combing, brushing, and/or styling your hair, and be sure to remove styles gently. “Are you aggressively brushing your hair, especially when it's wet? Are you ripping out that topknot or ponytail? If you answered yes, you are doing your hair a disservice and more likely to see breakage and have brittle hair,” Min warns. also points to brushing wet hair as an unexpectedly common cause of hair breakage, and suggests only using a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle before drying.

It’s possible the way you’re towel-drying your hair could be sabotaging your strands, too. “Use a microfiber towel to blot hair dry hair before blow-drying,” This helps reduce damage-inducing blow-dry time, and blotting the hair dry instead of rubbing the hair can help reduce breakage.” Similarly, Experts advise always ensuring your hair is completely dry before using a flat iron or curling iron, as accidentally heat-styling wet hair can impair it even further.



Switch To Sulfate-Free Shampoo

The pros also recommend sticking to a shampoo that doesn’t contain any sulfates, aka a category of cleansing agents found in many formulas. Experts say sulfates can strip your hair of its natural oils. “Sulfate-based shampoos can also cause the color to fade,” adding that harsh sulfates can weaken and harm the hair, leading to excess damage.

Wash Your Hair Less Often

Do you know how showering too often can dry out your skin in the wintertime? Such is the case for your hair as well — but this applies all year round. “Sometimes people with oily hair tend to over-wash or use aggressive cleansers, which can cause the scalp to over-compensate with sebum production and exacerbate the issue,” adding that washing too often — such as every day or even every other day — is an increasingly common cause of hair weakness and damage.

To combat this, Experts suggest trying to go as long as you can between washes. “Give hair a break and allow your natural oils to produce,” they say.


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Always Use Heat Protectant

Every hair pro says it’s incredibly important to protect your hair before heat styling. “Hot tools dry out hair, causing it to become brittle, A nourishing mask or thermal protectant is both easy-to-use options that protect your hair from thermal damage.”

Minimize the Use Of Hot Tools

It can be difficult to completely avoid hot tools like blow-dryers, flat irons, or curling irons, which is why experts universally suggest limiting the use of these styling devices and turning down their temperatures whenever you do use them. “I recommend minimizing hot tool use when possible and lowering heat settings to the lowest effective setting,” Experts say.

When heat-styling, also be sure to keep moving and avoid repeatedly going over the same section of hair. “Don’t leave the tools on the hair for longer than necessary,” Experts say. Of course, Experts note that your hair will benefit the most from a hot tool break entirely, even if it’s a short one — so try to let your hair air dry every once in a while.




Keep Hair Hydrated & Protected

Protecting your hair doesn’t end once you’ve finished styling: McLaren notes that protecting hair from environmental factors like pollution, free radicals, and UV exposure will help prevent damage, in the long run, so turn to hair care products that contain UV protection.

Experts also suggest protecting your hair’s ends with a hydrating serum or oil on a daily basis, as this will aid in combatting breakage, as well as applying a heavy-duty repair mask once a week for a boost.


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