Got afro hair? Chances are you have suffered from breakage woes at some point. The last thing you want when taking care of your curls, is that feeling that your hair keeps breaking and doesn’t grow fast enough. We hear this complaint a lot. It can lead to thinking that your hair is permanently damaged beyond repair. You reach for those chemical relaxers, wigs and extensions to deal what you think is a hopeless cause.
Sound like you? Well, have no fear! Afrocenchix is here to help you on a journey to gorgeous, healthy, undamaged hair.
Before we delve into top tips to stop your hair from breaking, let’s first explain what breakage is, how it happens and dispel some common myths.
What is breakage?
Structurally, our hair cuticle is made of overlapping 'scales' which help keep your hair strand together. In healthy, undamaged hair, these scales are intact. However breakage can occur when these scales fall apart or are damaged.
What causes breakage?
The main causes of hair breakage are dry hair and frequent manipulation – i.e. things like brushing, tugging, touching and friction.
Does afro hair grow slower than other hair types?
No. Afro hair grows just like any other hair type. But if the rate of breakage is faster than the rate of growth, than it may appear that your hair isn’t growing, because you’re struggling to retain length.
Perhaps you and your hair partied a bit too hard in 2022 and now it’s some time for some serious hair-care. So we’ve put together ten top tips to minimise hair breakage so you and your hair can have the best start to 2023.
- Cleanse with a sulphate-free shampoo
Sulphates dry out afro hair. Washing your hair with a sulphate free shampoo like Swish every 7-10 days is good practice, which can help provide a crisp clean, and remove build-up without stripping your hair of moisture.
- Lock in that moisture
The kinks in afro hair make it harder for the natural oils on your scalp (called sebum) to travel down the hair strand. This means afro hair is more prone to dryness than other hair types.
You can combat dryness by using the LOC and LCO methods, which involve the layering of products.
L = liquid O = oil and C = cream
The order of the letters guides the order in which the products should be applied to the hair.
Our Moisture Surge Set contains products for all three steps — Sheen natural moisturising spray (liquid), Seal (hair oil) and Smooth (moisturising cream) and stops afro hair breaking.
- Use the right brushes and tools
Stay away from hard bristled brushes and fine-toothed combs. These can be the enemies of healthy hair and will cause your hair to break. Try gentle finger-detangling instead as you can easily feel for knots and tangles.
To finger detangle, simply coat your fingers with a lightweight oil such as Soothe and work through sections of your hair. Start at the ends and working your way up to the roots. Once a section is detangled, you can twist or braid it to keep it from tangling while you work on other sections.
- Dry your hair with a micro-fibre towel or t-shirt
Your average cotton towel can damage your hair. They cause friction which raises the cuticles of your hair strands leading to frizz and breakage. Microfibre towels are designed to create less friction and prevent breakage so it’s a win-win for your hair. If you don’t have a micro-fibre towel an old t-shirt is also an option!
Also why not try a towel turban? This drying method makes it easy to dry your hair hands-free while you get on with other things or relax on the sofa.
- Use hair-friendly accessories
Using bad accessories to style your hair, can cause it to snag and break. Accessories designed to minimise breakage can make a world of difference. Try our Essential Accessories Pack, which work for afro hair, curly hair and all hair types.
- Don’t overuse heat
Exposing hair to high temperatures is damaging. Heat causes the hair cuticle to be raised leaving the delicate cortex of the hair vulnerable to damage and allowing moisture to escape. Try heat free methods to style your hair and move away from those blow dryers and straighteners in 2023.
- Cover your hair at night
Covering your hair when you sleep can really save your hair. The friction from your movement while you sleep can lead to breakage. Sleeping with a satin bonnet can help you maintain your hair’s moisture and prevent your hair from tangling.
- Sleep on a silk or satin pillow case
Cotton can be really abrasive to hair, causing friction and breakage. Try a satin or silk pillow case – they can really do wonders!
- Wear your hair in protective styles
A protective style is any style where the ends of your hair are tucked away. When your ends are tucked away they are less likely to get dry and less likely to break. So protect your hair from the elements and make sure you wear your hair in protective styles at least some of the time.
- Watch our founder Rachael’s vid on how to stop hair from breaking
Can’t get enough tips? Watch Rachael’s video on how to minimise breakage and share with all your afro-haired friends!
That’s it, 10 tips to prevent breakage. We hope these tips will help you have a break-free 2023!