To naturally prevent and decrease hair breakage, you don’t have to spend a fortune on products marketed to protect your hair. In fact, by using a little common sense and spending less time harassing your hair, you can actually save yourself a little money. Follow these tips to prevent and decrease hair breakage naturally:
Sure, it seems like shampoo helps keep your hair looking squeaky-clean and therefore healthier, but it can actually rob your hair of the oils that make it shiny and sleek. So to naturally help your hair, you don’t have to shampoo daily. (I have started shampooing every other day, and my hair looks much healthier.) But when you do need to shampoo, it’s best to use a natural shampoo free of harsh detergents. My rule of thumb is to try and avoid anything with the word “sulfate” listed in the ingredients. You can even search online for recipes on how to make your own homemade, natural shampoo using ingredients you might already have in your kitchen.
Brush Your Hair Properly to Prevent Breakage
And no, I don’t mean to brush your hair a hundred times every day; to decrease breakage, it’s actually a good idea to avoid over-brushing. I like to use a natural boar-bristle brush on my hair, which is much gentler than the plastic kind, and I always try to work tangles out with my fingers instead of the brush. It’s also a good idea to let your hair dry a bit before you attempt to brush it, and you should really try and fight the urge to carry a brush around in your purse. (Trust me, I used to do so religiously but have since found out that my fingers work just fine as a safer, gentler method of smoothing and combing out my hair.)
Avoid Heat Styling
Save yourself some time and step away from the curling iron! Of course, heating your hair up is going to cause breakage, so it’s best to use the blow dryer and any other heated styling tools sparingly. Instead of blow-drying your hair, you can let it dry naturally, using just a small dab of jojoba oil on your hands to smooth down fly-aways. Just rub it on and brush it in with a bristle brush. And if you want to curl your hair, let it dry naturally for an hour or two at night and apply some soft cloth rollers to take out in the morning. Cloth rollers are easier to sleep in than the Velcro or foam plastic kind and will pull on your hair a little less, helping to decrease breakage.
Avoid Bleaching Your Hair
I know that dye jobs are a big business nowadays, but one of the easiest ways to save money and naturally decrease hair breakage is to avoid the harsh chemicals in hair dyes, especially the peroxide kind. After all, with everyone doing it these days, won’t you stand out more as a natural beauty by not being bleach-blonde, and by having healthier hair than everyone else? However, if you really want to change your look, at least opt for a few highlights instead of an all-over blonde dye job (at least you’ll be damaging less hair), or try out a temporary hair color.
Toss the Rubberband
Tight ponytail bands can cause breakage to hair strands, so avoid wearing a ponytail for a prolonged period of time (especially if you have your hair pulled back really tight). I try to just pull my hair back in a loose ponytail, and I avoid those hair elastics with the metallic tabs like the plague.
So to prevent and decrease hair breakage, sometimes the best thing to do is avoid spending big bucks on products, styling tools and hair color. You’ll feel smart for spending less, and your locks will look all the lovelier for your thriftiness.
Didi Gluck, “Healthy Hair 101,” http://www.marieclaire.com/hair-beauty/trends/articles/healthy-hair>.
Diana Benzaia, “Bad Breaks,” http://www.prevention.com/health/beauty/quick-fix-beauty-tips/bad-breaks/article/afcbd08f88803110VgnVCM20000012281eac>.