Are you losing sleep over dry, damaged hair that breaks and splits? We’ve all been there! Hair breakage is very often the result of harsh chemical treatments that cause loss of protein or improper handling of hair. A balanced diet also plays a part in keeping your mane healthy and glossy. By extension, lack of proper nutrients and unhealthy eating habits can also reflect upon the state of your hair. In rare cases, dry, brittle hair and hair breakage can point to a medical issue such as hypothyroidism.1 It’s a good idea to understand and address the underlying cause if your hair health is not all it should be. Aside from that, here are some simple but effective tips to make your hair stronger and fend off those unsightly split ends.
1. Avoid Damaging Hair Treatments
Damaged hair breaks easily. Avoid using hot curlers, blow dryers, or straightening or curling irons which expose your hair to heat and weaken it. Incidentally, even excessive sun exposure can damage your hair. So, if you must use heat styling products, don’t use them on a high setting or on wet hair. And always take care to follow instructions. Harsh chemicals present in perming, coloring, relaxing, and styling products can also make your hair more vulnerable to breakage.
2. Don’t Comb Wet Hair
Wet hair breaks more easily than dry hair as it’s more elastic. Brushing or combing, or even roughly drying wet hair with a towel, can cause damage. If you have straight hair, let it dry out a bit and then gently run a wide-toothed comb through it. If you have tight curls or textured hair, using a wide-toothed comb on slightly damp hair may be easier.2
3. Nix The “100 Strokes A Day” Rule
“Brush your hair a 100 times before going to bed and you’ll have a shiny, glossy mane” – we’ve all heard this one, haven’t we! But rather than making your hair shiny or smooth, overbrushing can damage it and lead to split ends. So comb and brush your hair only when you’re styling it. Use a wide-toothed comb to gently untangle hair. Using a conditioner can also help tackle those tangles by reducing static. Vegetable oils like olive oil or almond oil work well as hair conditioners if you’re looking for a natural option.3
4. Don’t Tie Your Hair Too Tightly
Ponytails, braids, or other hairstyles that pull and stretch your hair too tightly can cause it to break. Wear your hair loosely to prevent breakage.4
5. Apply Argan Oil
Hair is mainly composed of proteins known as keratin which give it shape, elasticity, and strength. A study found that argan oil effectively reduced damage caused by hair coloring by minimizing protein loss.5 Massage it into your scalp and hair as a prewash treatment and lightly apply a few drops of it into your hair after washing to strengthen hair and tame your frizz and flyaways.6
6. Condition With Cupuassu Seed Butter
Cupuassu seed butter is obtained from the seeds of Theobroma Grandiflorum, a tree found commonly in the Amazon region. It is rich in fatty acids like stearic, palmitic, oleic, and arachidonic acid. This seed butter works well as an emollient or a softening agent and can be used as a styling gel. It penetrates your hair to strengthen it, coats your hair shaft, and prevents loss of moisture. Studies have also found that it helps reduce protein loss from hair and limits damage due to hair coloring.7 8
7. Get A Coconut Oil Head Massage
Coconut oil, thanks to its lauric acid content, can help strengthen your hair and prevent damage to it. Research indicates that lauric acid easily penetrates hair shaft and reduces protein loss from hair when used as either a prewash or a post-wash treatment. And it works not just on undamaged hair but also protects hair affected by UV rays, chemically treated hair, and even hair exposed to hot or boiling water. So, whether your hair has become weak and brittle due to sun damage, chemical treatments, or excessively hot showers, coconut oil can help. Massage this beneficial oil into your hair and scalp before you shampoo and apply a few drops of it after a wash for strong, shiny hair.9
8. Apply An Egg Mask
Eggs make a great conditioning mask for weak hair that breaks easily. Their protein content is believed to make hair follicles stronger and reduce split ends. To make an egg hair mask, mix 2–3 eggs in a bowl till it has a smooth, lotion-like consistency. Spread evenly across hair and wash it off after a couple of hours.10 You can also whisk an egg yolk with moisturizing and protein-rich yogurt to get a double dose of protein. Leave this mixture in for around 15–20 minutes and then rinse off for stronger, well-conditioned hair.11
9. Use A Banana Hair Mask
Got a couple of ripe bananas lying around? Don’t let them go waste. These fruits contain protein, fat, and vitamins which make them a great option for strengthening and moisturizing your hair. Puree 2 ripe bananas with a tablespoon of almond or olive oil and 2 tablespoons of honey. Wet your hair with warm water and apply this mixture, making sure that you cover your hair completely. Then cover up with a plastic shower cap and let the mask work for about 15 minutes. Rinse off for strong, glossy hair.12 13
10. Apply A Beeswax, Castor Oil, And Olive Oil Balm For Split Ends
The only cure for split ends is a trim. Regular trims protect your hair ends from splitting and help hair growth by keeping hair healthy and stopping it from breaking off. But if you’re looking for a temporary fix, a homemade balm can help.
Melt 2 tablespoons of beeswax in a double boiler and stir in a teaspoon of castor oil and half a teaspoon of olive oil making sure that they blend thoroughly. Pour into a tin and let it cool. Apply to hair ends to temporarily seal split ends and prevent further damage.14
Here’s to a head full of strong, healthy, and lustrous hair!