The key to solving the most common forms of black hair breakage is understanding that - what you put on your hair whilst it is wet is the key to solving hair breakage. Finding which type of deep conditioning treatment is most appropriate for your hair, in view of its current condition, is essential. Getting this right can solve your hair breakage. Regardless of whether you have natural/afro, relaxed or transitioning hair. To figure out which type of treatment is right for you read on. However, it is important to know that in some cases no amount of treatment will solve it. The broken hair will need to grown out. Giving your hair a rest from styling by wearing a wig, hair extentions, braids or cornrows may be the next step forward.
There are three general reasons why black hair breaks
1 Your hair feels very dry and breaks at the slightest touch of a comb or as you put you fingers through it. This is a general sign it does not have enough moisture.
2 Your hair feels limp, or mushy. It is very very stretchy when it's wet. When it’s combed it stretches a long way with the comb and then breaks. This is a sign it has been over conditioned.
3 Your hair has been traumatised by some form of chemical processing. For example a relaxer or hair colour. Your hair breaks easily and is very weak.
The first reason is the most common reason why black hair breaks, the second reason is less common. I have experienced both of them and have outlined below why the hair breaks and what you need to know to correct the breakage, and stay corrected. Finally, for damage that arises from chemical damage from a relaxer or colouring. It may be best to have a salon treatment to put the damage right. There are however some details on products you could try at home listed opposite.
Using protein and hair still breaking?
Quick product Guide
Product to solve Serious hair damage from Relaxers, Colouring, and Heat
Ensure that you follow manufactures guidance on using these product exactly. It's also a good idea to follow up the use of a strong protein treatment with moisutursing product. Ideally use a product within the same brand.
Dry Breaking hair
You need pre-shampoo treatments namley hot oil treatments. Argan oil, aloe vera oil, grape seed oil, shea butter, and safflower are some of the best oils to use. Otherwise you can shampoo and use a deep moisturising conditioner afterwards. Adding oils to your deep conditioner as shown in the youtube video , is another alternative.
Limp, Mushy, Stretchy hair
Limp, Mushy, Stretchy hair
For hair that feels limp, or mushy. It is very very stretchy when it's wet try using a deep Protein conditioner. One or two treatrments should fix it.
If you want to stop you hair from breaking it is very important to understand that you hair needs to have the right moisture/protein balance. The right amount of protein in your hair will ensure it has structure and strength. Too much protein and your hair will be dry and snap! The correct amount of moisture in your hair, allows it to hold a style. Too much moisture and it will stretch and stretch until it breaks.
Common Mistakes made when using Protein treatments/conditioners.
A common mistake made in connection with the use of protein based products is to think “My hair is breaking, `I’ll use this mega protein treatment which states it will strengthen hair and stop breakage'. You use it once and after finding it doesn’t work you proceed to use stronger and stronger treatments. Unfortunately the effect of this is that your hair becomes drier and actually breaks more. The reason it hasn’t worked for you is because your hair needed moisture, or even a mix of protein and moisture. What you need to know is that protein based products strengthen the hair, they don't really add moisture. Eventually it is possible with the over use of protein to reach a point where the hair snaps. To re-balance your hair, use deep moistening conditioners 1/2x a week for 8 - 12 weeks. During this time if your hair becomes a little bit too limp or extra stretchy when wet add in protien conditioner.
Mistakes made using deep conditioning treatments.
Over conditioning your hair is a mistake that is less common. It tends to happen to women like myself who got the hair needs moisture message and then went on to use light moisturising conditioners for washing their hair. Then deep moisturising conditioning 1/2x a week and never used a protein treatment. Initially the hair becomes softer, stops breaking, and starts growing. However, without the use of protein in a hair care regime the structure of the hair weakens and becomes limp and stretchy. After many months you can come to a point where your hair begins to break and you can’t understand why because you’ve given it the up most care. If this sound likes your experience, your hair is doing this because it needs protein. Thankfully this type of problem is quickly solved one or two treatments with a protein conditioner is enough. (I know this from experience).
Do a strand test. Simply pull on a single strand of hair whilst it is still on your head. Note how it behaves, then follow the practical advice given below.
Hair needing Moisture - Hair stretches a little and then snaps
Feels: Dry, rough, breaks when touched/combed.
Solutution; Use Deep moisturising conditioner 1x 2x a week with heat. For 8 - 12 weeks to rebalance your hair
NB: If hair becomes super stretchy whilst doing this use a protein treatment.
Hair needing Protein - Hair stretches and stretches until it eventually snaps
Feels: Mushy, limp, and stretches very easily particularly when wet.
Solutution; Use a protein conditioner. Usually one or two treatments will sort this out.
Balanced hair - Hair stretches slightly and returns to its original shape.
Know your products/ingredients
There can be ingredients in your every day products that your hair could do without. For instance, if your hair really needs moisture use products hair lotions cream which have water as the first ingredient. Products which have petroleum or mineral oil as the first ingredient are not moisturising. Try to be mindfurl that protein can be found in various hair creams leave-in conditioners as well as regular hair conditioners. So if your hair is protein sensitive at that moment in time, it may be additional protein you can do without.
Examples of types of protein found in hair products
Hydrolyzed Human Hair Keratin, Hydrolyzed Keratin Protein, Silk Protein, Animal Protein,Vegetable Protein, Wheat Protein, Collagen Protein.
| Treatments for Very Damaged Black/Afro Hair |
Aphogee 2 step Protien treatment*, states that is a product for professional use only. It is an extemley strong protien conditioner and will add strength to your hair. There are ladies you have used this at home and had great results. The youtube videos below are of two ladies one natural and one relaxed who are sharing their experience and explaining how to use the product at home.
* Please note due to its strength this product should be used no sooner than 6 weeks from the previous treatment, it is powerful stuff!
Relaxed hair and Aphogee 2 step
Natural/Afro hair and Aphogee 2 step
The reason that the treatment is for salon use is because the instructions must be followed exactly. Faliure to do so will result in you creating futher damage to your hair. If you prefer something a little less intense, Nexxus Emergencee could be the answer for you. This is a strong protein treament that you can use at home, every 2 weeks if you wish until your hair breakage is under control. Another product that seems to have a good reputation is Organics Hair Mayonaise. This type of conditioner is great to use monthly, as a moderate treament to keep your hair stong.
Moisturising Deep Conditioners
From salon quality to high street, there are many options for moisturising conditioners. Keracare humecto is a product which has gained a reputation over the years for being an excellent deep moisturising conditioner. But it must be said that doing hot oil treatments with natural oils such as Shea Butter, Cold pressed Castor Oil, and Avocado oil is a highly effective wayto quench thirsty locks.
As with all haircare products, there is an element of trial and error until you find the right combination that works for your hair. So you may have to kiss a few frogs on the way to finding your your perfect match.
Listen to your hair! It will tell you what it needs. To start with I would suggest following one of the hair care regimes on the site, There are regimens for Relaxed NaturalBraidsWeave on Transitioning
Simply select your style. Use the regime to get you started. Then overtime as you learn what your hair likes and dislikes, you will adapt it. Essentially when your hair is getting stretchy/limp bump up the protein when it’s too dry give it a major moisture hit. May I also suggest that you follow the link below and read though the section that follows. As there could be other contributing factors to your hair breakage.
I hope this goes some way to reducing your hair breakage woes.