Hair breakage possible causes and remedies

Hair breakage possible causes and remedies

Hair breakage possible causes and remedies Hair is defined as the fine threads growing from the scalp and body parts . Hair is dead cells with a complexed structure made up of several components.

The hair shaft is divided into 3 layers:


  1. Cuticle is the outermost layer. This layer is chemically resistant part and consists of flaps of overlapping scales made of dead keratinocytes.
  2. Cortex is the inner layer consisting of long keratin fibers held together by hydrogen bonds. This is responsible for the hair strength, flexibility, and elasticity. Melanin, is present in the cortex which gives the hair color.
  3. The innermost portion of the shaft, it consists of air spaces and a thin core of cells.

Hair can be classified into straight, waved, curly or kinky hair. It is also classified as per ethnicity into Asian, Caucasian and African hair. Different types of hair reacts in different ways to the same procedures done hence it is necessary to know the type of your hair.


We have to be aware that hair loss and hair breakage is not the same. During the normal hair cycle one faces a regular amount of hair loss which usually grows back in healthy individuals. Hair breakage is when the hair shaft breaks and isn’t usually normal in healthy persons. Split ends on the other hand happen when the ends of your hair become dry, brittle, and frayed.

There are several causes to hair breakage:

  1. Congenital diseases: Trichorrhexis nodosa, Trichorrhexis invaginata, Monilethrix, Pili torti.
  2. Hormonal problems like thyroid
  3. Nutrition, deficiencies of iron, zinc, biotin, Vit D3 are considered common culprits.
  4. Hair care practices and procedures, this includes a wide array. Starting from brushing your hair, hot irons, hot rollers, thermal straightening, chemical straightening, hair dyes, neat fashion include gels, sprays, and spritzes.


Hormonal problems need proper medical help and it is advisable to consult a doctor to handle this well.

Nutritional deficiencies can be taken care by consuming enough of zinc, iron, folic acid and biotin in your daily diet naturally or with multivitamins. Good amount of proteins and antioxidants should also be taken to keep hair from damage.


In case of the rest of the causes for hair breakage prevention would be the best way. It does not mean not having these procedures done! You would want to be cautious about the right ways of doing them.

Brushing your hair,

  • Use a wise toothed comb.
  • It is a myth that brushing 100 times works well.
  • Don’t brush wet hair it causes the hair strands to stretch. If hair stretches more than 70% it will cause irreversible damage .
  • Avoid pulling or tugging your hair.
  • Remove tangles gently.

Blow Drying is used quite regularly for styling. Heat from the dryer strips the serum from your hair making it dull and dry. You can reduce damage by setting it at low heat settings and constantly moving it in up and down motion.

Hot irons, rollers

When used often or for longer time CA flange the hair shaft. To reduce the actual heat damage you can select ceramic versions. Best would be to give your strands a break from all styling tools at least once a week.

Thermal straightening of the hair shaft causes weakening and breakage. Over heating the hair leads to damage of the hair shaft by creating air bubbles in the hair shaft.

Chemical hair Straightening or Perms these work by rearranging the disulfide bonds present in the hair shaft causing it structural damage and reducing its tensile strength. Severe damage can be reduced by getting professionals to do it and spacing any repeat or other procedures after 6-8 weeks.

Gels, sprays and spritzes can lead to hair shaft fragility while you manipulate the hair to style it. Decrease combing and grooming of hair once such products are used. This will minimize the damage and breakage.

Hair dyes penetrate the cortex of the hair shaft to impart the pigment. Even the natural colouring processes do this to impart colour. Using semi permanent hair dyes are better instead of permanent ones. Lack of ammonia or ethanol amine would any day be gentle on the hair. If you have done any other hair procedures wait at least for 15 days before you use hair highlights or dyes.


General routines which could help you protect your crowing glory:

Towel rubbing, it is just normal to rub your scalp with a towel after wash! During this rubbing hair shaft gets damaged especially if done vigorously. Ideal would be to wrap the hair around with a absorbent towel.

Oils have proven to protect the hair from damage. When you apply oil onto the hair it lowers the water penetration into the hair shaft. Hygral fatigue is caused due to repeated swelling and drying of the hair shaft and oil helps prevent this. Oils fill in the gaps between the cuticles preventing penetration of aggressive substances. Researches have shown coconut oil reduces the protein loss in damaged and normal hair.

Shampoos are not only hair cleansers but they also protect the hair shaft. Active ingredients in these shampoos are useful in treating scalp problems ( dandruff, psoriasis etc). The conditioners in the shampoo helps you to keep the hair soft and reduce flyaway. Shampoos can be chosen according to one’s needs and that will help.

Conditioners acts by neutralizing the electrical negative charge in the hair shaft and lubricates the cuticle. They are used to decrease friction, detangle hair and minimize frizz. Deep conditioners are ideal for hair which is regularly bleached, coloured , permed or styled with styling equipment. Advisably use deep conditioners only once in a week.

Hair serums are leave on products designed to be applied on wet or dry hair which have to be left on the hair without rinsing it off. These could be aqueous based or alcohol-water based. These acts by enhancing the inter fibre forces and don’t form any rigid bonds. They provide a good detangling effect and give a nice shine to the hair making it look healthier.


Strong hair has shaft body mass, resistant to breakage and grows healthy in both diameter and length with intact cuticle & cortex. If you have hair breakage then you need to replenish the hydration of the hair, strengthen the inner core and rebuild the cuticle. If these key elements are handled well then you will regain back your tresses.


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