Raise your hand if you’ve ever witnessed someone pulling their split ends apart or done it yourself. Now that everyone reading this has raised their hand, let’s clarify: Don’t do that! And stop someone else from doing it. Tell them, no, that is your hair telling you that it is, in fact, breaking.
WHAT CAUSES HAIR BREAKAGE?
Yes, it’s true, your hair can actually break. According to Redken Artist Adina Doss, hair breakage occurs when the hair has been compromised and the hair’s proteins are weakened. This can be caused by chemical services such as haircolor or highlighting processes and mechanical services, like heat styling or blow drying.
“A distressed strand of hair will look, well, I always call it cotton candy hair,” says Redken Artist Julie Lahr. “It can look frayed and similar to a flyaway, or sometimes you’ll begin to notice the damage when split ends begin to appear.”
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT HAIR BREAKAGE?
Many things can make hair breakage worse, and unfortunately, they’re habits many people aren’t even aware could be extra damaging to the hair.
First of all, never, never, never pull the strands of hair apart if you see a split end. Sure, it might be fun and satisfying, but you’ll end up paying for it in the long run.
“Pulling on a split end is just weakening the hair fiber itself,” Doss says. “And adding heat will definitely make it worse, not better. It may cosmetically look a little better with heat, but the end result is that it can dry out the hair and cause more damage.”
WHAT PRODUCTS CAN I USE TO PREVENT AND REPAIR HAIR BREAKAGE?
Breakage is caused when protein bonds are depleted, and if it’s chemical breakage (such as haircolor and most often highlights), then the hair is lacking a protein bond connection, Doss says. It’s important not to overload damaged hair with conditioners or heavy products but to fix the hair first, says Lahr, in order to strengthen and fortify the hair.
So, what’s one to do when they’re suffering from hair breakage and damage? Redken’s Extreme haircare system for damaged hair can step in to save the day. When used as a system with Redken Extreme shampoo and conditioner, Redken’s Extreme anti-snap leave-in treatment can reduce hair breakage by 73%. Formulated with a strengthening protein complex, this product provides benefits to ensure hair that’s healthy-looking and resilient. Anti-Snap is used at home, once you get out of the shower, on towel dried hair. Apply it as a leave-in treatment and then style as usual. You can learn more about protein treatments and if your hair needs a protein treatment here.
Available in August 2019, Redken is introducing another must-have tool to combat hair breakage and damage caused by heat styling. The NEW Extreme Play Safe 3-in-1 leave in treatment is a heat protective treatment for damaged hair formulated with key ingredients such as plant protein and tourmaline. This innovative hair treatment reduces damage caused by hot tools, strengthens the hair fiber to reduce breakage, and protects hair from heat up to 450 degrees.
HOW CAN I WORK WITH MY STYLIST TO REDUCE HAIR BREAKAGE?
In addition to a strong product and haircare regimen, it’s important to remember that you can treat hair breakage at a salon too, depending on the type of damage you’re experiencing and what you need to strengthen your hair. Talk to your stylist about how to maintain the integrity of your hair while having the hair of your dreams, Doss says. You might need a haircut to get rid of damage before you treat it and work to build it up.
Patience is key for healing hair damage, but with the right products, it is possible to have healthy, beautiful strands!