#NaturalHair!

Why is my Hair Breaking Off?

By Kiana of Rockin’ It Naptural

Are you wearing a beanie or tam to protect your natural hair from the weather?

If so, you may want to wear a satin bonnet or scarf under your beanie/tam to prevent the hair from rubbing against the fabric and causing friction. The constant rubbing against the fabric will tug on the hair and eventually cause breakage.

Are you wearing twists/twistouts or braids/braidouts,etc?

Make sure you are moisturizing the hair with a sufficient and slightly heavier creme than you would normally. The colder temperatures will suck the moisture out of your hair and trust me, your hair will need it. Don’t forget to seal those ends. The winter is when I like to put my whipped Shea butter to work on my ends. This keeps my ends from drying out and breaking off.

Are you over manipulating your hair?

I know, I was obsessed with my hair when I first discovered my kinky coils and still am. But, one thing I learned is that constant pulling, tugging and styling the hair can cause breakage as well. I’ve learned to coil or twist my hair and leave it in for at least a week so that I’m not tempted to constantly play in put my hands in my hair. Protective styling such as braids, twists and cornrows are longer lasting styles that can really help you to stop over manipulating the hair.

Are you protecting your hair at night with a satin bonnet or pillow?

The same applies as wearing a satin bonnet/scarf under your beanie. When sleeping, your hair will constantly rub against your pillows causing friction that leads to breakage. Try purchasing a satin bonnet from Walmart for under $3 or a satin pillowcase.

Are you heat styling? If so, are you protecting the hair?

Heat styling, especially for a natural girlie and even more so during winter months should be kept at a minimum. Excessive heat styling can severely damage the hair shaft and cause the texture of your kink/coil pattern to change. Always always use a heat protectant to keep the hair cuticle protected from damage. A few naturals have had to learn the hard way that heat styling can be just as stressful to the hair as a chemical relaxer, without the harsh long-term effects. Many have BC’d a second time due to damage caused by improper styling techniques and/or extremely high temperatures without proper protection when blow drying, flat ironing, pressing, etc.

curly hair breakageAre you properly cleansing the hair and scalp?

I know there are naturals who swear by co-washing and don’t get me wrong, I don’t know where I would be had I never learned about it. However, I feel the need to shampoo my hair at least once every week or two. Product buildup can strain the hair and clog the scalp. I like to shampoo to ensure that the gunk is washed out thoroughly. In addition, excessive buildup can cause he hair to dry out, become brittle and even break off from the scalp.

Can you totally stop your hair from breaking off?

Naturally, hair sheds and you will experience some breakage. Again, this is natural and you shouldn’t be alarmed that a few hairs are shedding. If your hair as been braided or in some form of protective style for 3 weeks or more, you will notice a moderate increase in breakage. This is normal as your hair continues to shed but by not having anywhere to go, it stays tangled with the rest of the hair until the protective style is taken down.

*The tips mentioned above are simple techniques for eliminating unnecessary breakage. If you are experiencing severe hair breakage or loss of hair from the scalp, you may want to consult a trichologist or dermatologist to determine what is best for you.

Has anyone else been experiencing an increase in breakage since the winter months?

About Jenell B Stewart

Jenell Stewart MS, the founder and editor in chief of the award winning website KinkyCurlyCoilyMe.com dedicates most of her free time educating and uplifting women with natural hair by way of her extremely popular website and YouTube channel. Jenell has been featured in Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise.com, and starred on the Dr.Oz television show as a Beauty Expert. In 2012 she was named one of Essences top Instagramers and that same year KinkyCurlyCoilyMe won an award for “Favorite Website” of the Natural Hair Community.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lanise-Mondie/1023377083 La’nise Mondie

    I’m curious as to what African women do to cleanse their hair. Surely they don’t use shampoo. Why are we so dependent on shampoo and so concerned about “clogging the pores” if we’re using all natural ingredients on our hair? I do feel that in this society we’ve become overly concerned with issues of cleanliness and it might actually be more harmful than good. Take for instance our hypersensitivity to germs and anti-bacterial soaps and cleansers. Why all of a sudden within the last decade we’re more concerned with germs in our everyday lives than we ever were? If we agree that the advent of shampoos were for white people and not us, then why are we still trying to use it? With all the vaccines and over medication we have on the market, we have to clean our own homes with pharmaceutical grade cleansers? Hmm…I’m just thinking out loud here….

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      So youve never used shampoo, not ever?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lanise-Mondie/1023377083 La’nise Mondie

         Ever used shampoo? The post didn’t imply that I’d NEVER used Shampoo…NOR did It imply that it was absolutely wrong. It implied that perhaps we should reconsider our options and alternatives and define exactly what “clogging pores” actually means for us and to us. Erroneously, the post did imply that perhaps “we” were all switching away from petroleum based products that are harmful and cause toxic buildup in the hair and scalp. If you still use these products then I understand your “need to clean”. The smell from these products in the hair and scalp after a few days can be gross. You can walk past someone with product buildup tell from the smell. So I can see why you would “shampoo” frequently. But what I was saying is that our view on SHAMPOO and its association with “cleanliness” may need to be reexamined too. If nothing else, using “shampoo” that does not contain harmful ingredients. Perhaps you have not done much digging into the issues of petroleum based products on our hair.

    • http://www.facebook.com/MissArielNicole Ariel Jones

      Well I don’t think I can answer the over cleanliness/germophobia of our society, but I think you kinda of answered your own question about the shampoo. It’s really impossible for everyone to use all natural ingredients in our hair, who has time and resources to mix up their juices and berries. Subsequently, the things we end up using require some high powered stuff to clean it up.
      Plus, White people, just like us, have ancestors that had no need for crazy shampoos, and I think it would be wrong to ignore the fact that many luxurious oils etc come from Africa; so who’s to say the concept of shampoo and cleanliness don’t apply to African/Black people.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lanise-Mondie/1023377083 La’nise Mondie

         Yeah, like the post said “thinking out loud”…But also, what the post is actually referring to is mostly the ingredients in Shampoos. Yeah, you keep using that “high powered stuff” on your body…the same stuff used in commercial cleansers to clean up oil slicks…and wondering why you suffering from fibroid tumors, cancer, skin irrigation and so forth…not to mention why you can’t grow your hair. That “natural ingredients” are all right in your kitchen and would take you less time to mix up than it would to run out to the store and purchase them.

    • http://www.naturalbecomesher.com KikiRocksKinks

      Alternatively, there are all natural ingredients you can use to cleanse the hair if you’re opposed to cleansing with traditional shampoos.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ngotanggwethclairemarina Brittanicus LiLi

      euhhh!! I am African and I DO use a shampoo to cleanse my hair thanks!

      • Del Natural | All Things Hair

        I know right!! I certainly have taken offence.. :/

        http://delnatural-allthingshair.blogspot.com/

        • Janelle

          She did not mean it like that. Stop getting offended and being overly sensitive. She means when shampoo isn’t exactly up the street in your local CVS. You know, the African tribe women that don’t use our so called ‘staple products’? The very tradition African women from way back when, even maybe 17th century and people today that still follow the traditions of their ancestors. SURELY they did not walk to Walmart and buy a bottle of Paul Mitchell. So I too, wonder what they used to cleanse their hair. Because I want in!

    • Del Natural | All Things Hair

      ”I’m curious as to what African women do to cleanse their hair. Surely they don’t use shampoo”
      Huh??!!! What are you talking about??? I’m African and I DO use shampoo!!!

      http://delnatural-allthingshair.blogspot.com/

      • Janelle

        She did not mean it like that. Stop getting offended and being overly sensitive. She means when shampoo isn’t exactly up the street in your local CVS. You know, the African tribe women that don’t use our so called ‘staple products’? The very tradition African women from way back when, even maybe 17th century and people today that still follow the traditions of their ancestors. SURELY they did not walk to Walmart and buy a bottle of Paul Mitchell. So I too, wonder what they used to cleanse their hair. Because I want in!

        • Del Natural | All Things Hair

          Africa isn’t as rural as you might think it is. Even people in the villages use shampoo! It doesn’t matter wether they get it from a supermarket or a kiosk around the corner! You can’t just assume things and expect people to take it kindly… I just don’t like the way her statement generalized ‘African women’ as people that don’t use shampoo. Until you BOTH know what you’re talking about just sshhh! Otherwise, please don’t assume that I am being ‘overly sensitive’. Have a good day..xx

  • Del Natural | All Things Hair

    Good post! Very useful information. Thanks for sharing!!

    http://delnatural-allthingshair.blogspot.com/

  • Natural Girl

    Fabulous Post. Thanks.

  • Cassy

    i appreciate this article! i really needed to know where my shedding was coming from!

  • June

    Omg thanks for the tips , seen an ad on this page saying they tea tree oil is awesome for ur scalp and hair and is excellent for hair loss or in my case breakage !