Breaking Hair- Remedies

As was discussed earlier in a previous article, there are several reasons why hair breaks, some of the reasons are internal-nutrition, stress and some are external-excessive heat, relaxing. We will look at some of the remedies for breaking hair.

1. Hair Relaxers

The chief remedy to avoid hair breaking with relaxers is to stop relaxing hair. Simple suggestion but not a choice several persons are willing to take at this point in their lives. Thankfully, there are several things you can do if you have relaxed hair to mitigate breakage.

(A)  Stretch your relaxing time, so that it is easy for your hairdresser to see the line demarcating your new growth from your processed hair.

(B)   Choose a professional hairdresser who knows not to, under any circumstance, to overlap or switch chemical processes on your hair. There are various chemicals in relaxers, find out what the main chemicals are-sodium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide etc. do not switch them. I learned this the hard way. Switching chemicals is NOT a good thing. If you make the decision to switch a particular relaxer with another one with a different chemical as the main ingredient, than the one you were using, prepare for hair breakage.

(C)   Only relax your hair when your scalp is healthy. Meaning no dandruff or scabs or extremely dry hair conditions. Deep condition, hot oil treat or use specific treatments until your hair is healthy again.

(D)  Neutralize after relaxing. Never let anybody short change you on this one. Every professional hair dresser knows that neutralizing the hair will stop the chemical from breaking down your hair any further. If this step is skipped your hair will just keep breaking down further and further until it breaks horrendously all over.

(E)   Choose relaxers that contain conditioners or add conditioners to those that don’t for a better result.

(F)   Moving from kinky/curly hair to bone straight hair can cause severe breakage after a while. The further your hair is broken down the more likely it is to break, so extremely straight hair is very stressful on your strands. If you want to have stronger, longer hair you can explore the option of shortening your relaxer hair time or ‘texlaxing’, ask your hair dresser about shortening your relaxer hair time to preserve some of your hair’s tensile strength.

2. Hair Dyes

Using synthetic dyes for a long time is a definite hair breaker, my mother had long, thick African hair but after several years of dying her hair with synthetic dyes her hair is a shadow of what it used to be. One remedy to this is to embrace your greys, I know that this suggestion will not go down well with everyone, it certainly didn’t with my mother, so my next suggestion is to consider looking into organic dyes (like henna for orange/red color) henna with indigo (brunette/black colors). Additionally, these natural dyes offer sheen and nourishment for your hair. Buy henna with caution though, many of the henna products on the market are mixed with chemicals. Check to see that the henna you are using is 100% natural.

3. Brushing and Combing

Look at the tips of your brush bristle, is it ragged and uneven and hard? If it is, it is creating trouble for your hair. Do the skin test with your brushes, run it down your arm with the same vigor that you do your hair. It will be painful and it may scratch your skin, that  exactly  what it does to your hair and scalp. Stop using brushes all together and observe your hair for a while. You will find that the hair does much better without a brush.

4. Excessive Heat

Heat makes hair straighter and relaxes the hair bond temporarily, that is why pressed natural hair becomes straight when heat is applied to it. The hair may appear silkier and softer but it is actually weaker. Hence, if you regularly put heat on your hair through curling irons, straightening combs and blow dryers, you are actually weakening your hair and it becomes susceptible to breaking. Try air drying your hair more often, after washing it, wrap it for a straight outcome, braids and twists for a curly outcome or set the hair with rollers, and leave it to dry naturally. Just this one thing can mitigate hair breakage drastically.

5. Water and Nutrition

Lack of sufficient water can make hair dry so drink up more H2O, your hair will thank you for it. Also, there are certain nutrients that encourage the growth of hair, skin and nails. You can eat more foods that are strong in these nutrients and you will see your hair and skin responding. Crash diets and yo-yo dieting are hair strand killers; try to eat balanced organic foods and you will experience a positive change overall.

6. Hair Styles

There are some hair styles that pull the hair and tug the scalp overtime these hair styles can cause hair breakage at the pressure points. The remedies for hair style issues is to try styles that do not stress your scalp or your hair. If you are a person who loves to wear their hair in a particular way, try to change up the points where you add pressure to the hair. Also avoid metal clips or anything with sharp edges that can rub along your strands and break them off at certain points, padded clips and soft scrunchies are best.

7. Ingredients in Hair Products

There are some ingredients that are not supposed to go near your hair. Unfortunately, they are in many commercial hair products on the market. These ingredients can cause your hair to break after prolonged usage. Check out the list here.

8. Stress

Work stress, home stress, school stress, relationship stress can all cause hair breakage. Excess stress is quite damaging to your body system, according to Dr. Julian Mendosa in the book Less Stress, the intelligent and positive response to stress is to control it and to channel it in a constructive way.

Hair breakage can cause anxiety and depression especially if you are not really sure what the problem is. It is not unusual to feel frustrated with your hair and to consider just chopping off all of it when it is not looking the way that you want it to. Before you take out the scissors or do anything else, do a quick rundown of the checklist of what could be causing your hair breakage and then apply the appropriate remedy. It is best to know what the underlying reason for your hair breakage is and rectify it before using any products that purport to fix or repair hair breakage, some of these products are actually no help at all and will make hair worse. If you suffer from hair breakage take a look at this hair regimen for shedding/breaking hair  and see if it helps.


Mendosa Julian, Less Stress, 1999, Inter-American Division Publishing Association, pg. 17


  • Erica said:

    Is it safe to use a rinse instead of a dye before or after relaxing my hair

  • Iyanna said:

    Hi Brenda, I love the article very helpful! I was wondering should I do the vinger rinse before or after the protein treatment? I’m choosing to use mayo this go round and my hair is short cut like a bob I haven’t relaxed it in 5 months because it was badly damaged. I have new growth i kept my hair braided for 4 months, my ends are split and I wanted to ask how much mayo should I use?. I have the organics olive oil shampoo is this a good product to use? I also mixed a little coconut milk with my BB castor oil strengthening cream as a moisturizer was this a bad idea? I haven’t did anything to my hair yet I just want to make sure I’m on the right track.

  • charmaine said:

    Hi Brenda
    after hair breskage caused by dye and rekaxer I had to shave my hair off very short like a boy.IT is now growing back after one month and is very scalp is covered now whereas it was exposed after shaving.
    When do you suggest I can relax again to get the wave out?
    currently I WASH EVERYDAY and use a leave in conditioner and olive oil hair moisturing spray.I also use mayonaise once a week as a oil treatment

  • danielle said:

    hi.. 🙂 im a white african 🙂 haha sounds crazy. Wellll i had long brown-black,thick hair that got SUPER curly when it got washed (i was a little girl then) mom decided to relax my hair with Dark and Lovely relaxer. Ive been relaxing for as long as i can remember,because my hair was so thick,it was a struggle combing it,getting it into rollers and looking presentable,and with a 6 year old daughter,mom had no choice but to start relaxing..(i was a jumpy busy girl) now my hair is of medium length and last time i relaxed was last year december. My hair will grow to a certain length but then at the ends it’s split ends galore.. Any home remedies? I wash my hair and after the rollers are out they’re nice and bouncy,but they feel fragile after brushing them 🙁 help please?

  • Dushie said:

    Hi Brenda

    I was amazed reading all your detailed replies. I had Long thick straight hair when i was young . I was diagnosed with endometriosis and was given injection to stop mensuration and the later I was diagnosed with that I had less thyroxine and I take T4 – 75g everyday
    I am losing lots of hair and now I am can see bald in the sides of my head and in the crown area. I would really really appreciate if you can tell me for people like me if oil massages can help hair growth if so what EO and carrier oil should I use? in what ratio ? how often? what shampoo should I use? please do send me a reply I am eagerly waiting for your assistance.
    Thankyou .

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Dushie,
      Sorry for the late response. If you are still taking the medication you can do nothing much to mitigate the hair loss, some medications are not hair friendly and it can take two to three months after stopping a drug for the hair loss to end. The drug has to work itself out of your system. In the meantime, oil massages can be beneficial but you might not see much of a result from it. Some EO’s like grape seed, rosemary and lavender are very good for hair loss used in tandem with Jojoba a very good carrier oil, none greasy it is actually a wax. You can also check this list- Best Essential Oils For Hair and Scalp Massage. I wish you all the best.

  • Nicohol said:

    Hi Brenda

    I wear protective styles almost 95% of the time and my hair breaks alot, I am still new to the natural hair process. I have not relaxed my hair in over 7years but I also never had a hair care reigment it was always braids in for three months braid out for a day and braids back in. I wear protective styles because I am in the gym six days a week and I am trying to take better care of my hair however I notice a lot of breakage but I am not sure if I need more moisure or protein. Before I started taking better care of my hair I never deep condition my hair or keep it moisturised or co-wash it, I am a month into taking better care of my hair but my hair is still breaking, do I need protein, moisture or is it just too early to tell?

  • tiffany said:

    I have hair breakage I am so sad because I go the the shop every other week. I am thinking Of changing salons. It just seems that a good beautician is hard to find.any suggestions of what look for

  • Amarprecious said:

    Hi Brenda,
    Please which relaxer is good cos d one am using weakn’s my front hair.

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