Breakage, split ends and hair loss, why does it happen and how can it be prevented?

Your hair is the crown you never take off, but you are likely to have a bad hair day more often than not if your tresses are damaged! One major factor that makes your hair look unhealthy is when it has split or snapped off ends. 

Hearing a snap, crackle, or pop when brushing your hair is not ideal and never a good sign. While losing 100-120 strands of hair per day is considered normal, breakage and split ends are a problem that can be avoided! 

We’ve all had them at some point but do you know why they happens? Whether it's due to a too-tight ponytail, bleach overkill, or even your diet, read on below to solve your hair woes.

The term 'split end' simply refers to a single hair strand splitting into two at the tip. But in severe cases, the hair strand splits into multiple ends which not only looks bad but also makes your hair unhealthy and damaged. There's a greater chance that you have split ends if you have long tresses which require more upkeep.

Why do split ends occur? Your body reacts with pain when you put it under mental or physical stress, and so does your hair. When you put too much thermal, mechanical or chemical stress on hair it reacts by becoming too coarse, it loses sheen and may develop split ends. 

Why does breakage occur? Annoyingly, for lots of very similar reasons. Check out a few ways you could be causing stress and pressure on your hair:

Straightening / curling: These appliances work mainly by heating your hair to give it the shape you desire. However, they also end up sucking the natural moisture out of your hair follicles, leaving your locks dry and brittle – an open invitation for split ends! Use these tools as sparingly as possible, with the coolest setting possible. 

Blow drying: The hot air used to dry your mane is also making way for split ends. Try to make a habit of air drying your hair unless it is really necessary to blow-dry it. And try to keep the setting to the coolest possible temperature to prevent damage.

Bleach and dye: Chemicals, chemicals and more chemicals – they wreak havoc with the natural chemical composition of your hair! They also end up changing its texture. Coloured hair tends to get rough quickly which often results in snapped of ends or splitting. When you're next at the salon, ensure that your hairdresser is using the highest quality colours available, to avoid unnecessary damage from occurring. 

Brushing & combing: Combing your hair too vigorously can not only damage it but also make your strands weak. Brush your hair as gently as possible, especially when wet because that’s the time its most fragile. Stick to using your fingers to detangle while your hair is sopping wet to minimise breakage when hair is at its weakest. Vigorous drying and combing is one of the most common reasons for split ends. 

Genetic conditions: For some, hair with split ends is just a genetic problem. Called Trichorrhexis nodosa, this condition causes a defect in the hair shaft. So the hair is thick at some points and thin at others. This uneven texture causes it to break easily. We recommend speaking to your healthcare professional if you think you need more information on this one!

Your diet is lacking: Your hair needs natural proteins to stay strong. Protein can repair weak spots in the hair shaft, warding off breakage. But be forewarned: Too much protein can make the hair brittle, and too much moisture makes strands too flexible. It's important to find the right balance of moisture and protein.

You're a hair puller: Tugging on your hair can cause stress and eventually breakage. So if you have a tendency to twirl your fingers in your hair, it can have the same effect as yanking out your strands (eek)!

You love a 'too' tight ponytail: Pulling your hair back into a tight bun or ponytail is a great option when you're trying to avoid washing your locks. But be cautious about the effect it could have. Too tight and it can cause stress at the hairline. You can also cause breakage if you continually put hair in the same style. Switch it up to save your strands. You should also be cautious of hair accessories that tug and pinch.

You're a wild sleeper: Noticing a bit of breakage at the back of your head? It may be caused by the friction between your hair and the cotton pillowcase you're sleeping on! Switch to a hair-saving silk variety instead, like our 100% mulberry silk pillowcase. They are super gentle on your strands and skin, boasting an array of beauty benefits.

In addition to these reasons, don't forget regular trims are essential! Depending on the severity of your split ends and breakage, you may need a little trim every 6-12 weeks. You shouldn't leave your trims any longer than 3 months. Getting a haircut (even a small one) will leave your ends feeling thicker, stronger and more lustrous!

It’s quite simple really – be nice to your hair and it will be nice to you. Don’t stress the tresses! 

We recommend doing weekly applications of our hydrating hair masks as a preventative measure for protecting against split ends and breakage.