HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW – HOW TO AVOID HAIR BREAKAGE
One of the most common afro hair complaints doing the rounds is about hair breakage. The bad news is it’s more common than you’d expect, the good news is that with a few simple tweaks you can say bye-bye to breakage. In this case, we are talking about hair breakage, not shedding, and they are two very different things. Shedding is natural; it’s your scalp getting rid of ‘dead’ hair that’s no longer growing.
Breakage on the other hand is ‘unnatural’ and is related to improper hair care techniques causing the strands to weaken and become damaged. The causes of hair breakage are numerous. The trick is to work out where your regime is going wrong and bring it back on the straight and narrow.
Afro hair by its very nature is naturally dry and prone to breakage due to its unique elliptical structure. To help it maintain length therefore a good hair care routine and using the right products for your hair are essentials you can’t afford to ignore.
Let’s dive into some of the most common causes of hair breakage, and ways to fix them.
NO SULFATES PLEASE
Sulfate-based shampoos will strip away too much of the natural oils and moisture needed to keep your hair healthy and prevent breakage. Start your wash day with a water-based, sulfate-free shampoo and warm water. Cantu’s award-winning Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo cleanses and moisturizes, helping to reduce breakage during shampooing.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Dry hair is prone to breakage and damage and afro hair is naturally dryer than other hair types. When it comes to afro hair, the tight coils make it tougher for sebum (the natural oils your scalp produces) to travel down the hair strand.
An easy way to combat dryness is by using the 3-step LCO or LOC method, which is applying Liquid (ideally a water-based leave-in conditioner), Cream (moisturizer), and Oil to your hair in that order i.e. LCO or the alternative LOC. This method locks the most moisture in, you just have to test it out to see which works best for your coils.
Leave-in conditioners perform best on damp hair to help retain all that wonderful hydration. Cantu’s Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioning Repair is ideal as it traps moisture in the strands giving you stronger, healthier hair. Add in a styling cream, and then complete with an oil to seal the moisture into the hair shaft. Cantu’s Coconut Curling Cream followed by the Dry Deny Moisture Seal Gel Oil locks in moisture and shine, leaving you with smooth, frizz-free, ready-to-style coils.
TIGHT PROTECTIVE STYLES
In general, wearing protective styles keep your ends protected and prevents excess dryness and breakage so you can look fabulous while retaining your moisture for longer. However, not all styles will be suitable for your particular hair type. If your hair is prone to breakage then wearing a tight hairstyle might be counter-productive, it’s not worth sacrificing your hair for a hairstyle. Using conditioning styling products that moisturize while keeping your style intact is also a win. Cantu’s Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel not only moisturizes while styling, it also de-frizzes and keeps your coils hydrated.
Heat styling and straightening is one of the main culprits for hair breakage if done constantly, Blow-dryers and straighteners strip moisture from the hair, so ideally heat-free methods of drying or styling your hair are your friend. However, on those occasions where you want to rock a bone straight pony using a few protective heat-styling tricks is key. In addition to simple steps like making sure your hair is deep conditioned, detangled and you’re using a low heat setting on your tools, using a heat protectant is top of the list.
As well as adding in vital moisture to your coils Cantu’s Thermal Shield Heat Protectant is a pre-treatment that helps to prevent damage caused by flat irons and other heated styling tools, shielding your hair from heat up to 425°F! For smoother, frizz-free results spray on damp hair before blow-drying, and mist hair evenly before applying heat.
Eliminate these missteps from your routine and you’ll be well on your way to getting the length you’ve always wanted.
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