Preventing damaged hair should be one of your main goals, and not even the best-selling natural hair products will save you if you don't nurture your hair with love and care.
If you want to ensure that you have healthy, growing hair it's important to stay away from some of the bad habits that can kill your hair and stop growth.
Even worse than stopping your hair growth, some of these bad habits will cause you to lose your hair and even damage your scalp.
You should take these warnings seriously if you value a beautiful head of hair.
Anyway let's get to it, here are your 13 top reasons for damaged hair.
1. Applying TOO MUCH Heat
No, we're not against using heat, but using TOO MUCH is a quick ticket to breakage-ville. If you're using EXCESSIVE heat on your hair you are hurting the luscious big time and may not even know it.
Using a flat iron, curling iron or blow dryer too often can EASILY cause major damage to your hair. Using curling irons and flat irons at extreme temperatures causes a different type of damage than blow dryers do, but every type pretty much sucks.
Flat ironing DRY hair makes cracks along the edges of your hair cuticles while ironing WET hair makes the moisture burst out in little steam explosions through your hair strands. This makes your hair cuticles bubble up and buckle under the heat and makes little blisters on your hair that can be seen with a magnifying glass.
Both types of heat damage cause split ends and your hair to break off early.
So you probably caught the hint by now.... right?
If you want healthy hair you gotta have some mercy on your crown and avoid heat damaged hair. Instead of blow-drying hair, you should air dry it instead, some ladies don't wanna do it but their hair will pay the ultimate price.
If you don't have time for all of that in the morning, wash your hair the night before and let it to dry out overnight. Use hair dryers in time emergencies only because each heat drying session kills your hair a little bit more.
2. Chemical Bombing Your Hair
A bunch of man-made chemicals harms your hair and the rest of your body too, it's no joke. Chemical bombing your hair can cause build-up and easily strip your hair of its natural oils.
In natural black hair, too many chemical products can give you tons of dry hair strands by over-coating the cuticle and suffocating your hair, this prevents your hair from moisturizing.
You can straight up DESTROY your hair with too much perming, coloring, keratin-ing, etc. These are sure-fire ways to damage your hair.
So please try to keep those chemical processes to a bare minimum, and when you do do them be sure to take all the needed preemptive measures a couple of days before you or your hairdresser start slapping on the chemicals.
Get those pre-shampoo protective treatments, scalp masks and elasticizers on deck and ready to roll. If you're going to a hair salon be sure they know about your earlier hair treatments, even if they didn't work the damage could still be there.
3. Bleaching The Life Out of Your Hair
You wanna mess some healthy hair up real good? Wanna crush the very structure of your hair? Try bleaching your hair then...
It's a sure-fire way to jack your hair up reaaaaal good! Expert dermatologists say all the time that bleaching your hair soaks chemicals into your hair cuticles and strips the pigment from it.
This actually changes the chemical structure of your hair for the worse and makes it far more vulnerable to damage from the weather, other hair products, ANY and EVERYTHING. Stay away or play at your own risk.
4. Perms -- Ahhhhh, that good ol' creamy crack....(sigh)
You probably already know how damaging perm is to your hair. How could anyone not know?
But I will remind you and you can go ahead and do what you wanna do after that. Deal?
Hair dermatologists have described what perm does to the structure of your hair, perming actually breaks the inner bonds of your hair and re-forms them together again in a different way. The same is true whether you are chemically curling or chemically straightening.
Just like bleaching does, perming makes your hair weaker, and over time you will be left with brittle, dull, damaged hair.
Why you think so many older women are basically bald now? That perm aint no joke.
5. Not Trimming Those Ends
We talked about this in my how to grow longer hair article.
If you are slacking off on trimming your ends you are making a HUGE mistake. Some women don't like the idea of cutting off their hair, and others are simply not staying on top of their trimming the way they know they should.
Either way, it's bad for your hair health, in a MAJOR WAY.
With time, your split ends like to divide into even bigger split ends, this will make your hair weaker and thinner. You DEFINITELY don't want that.
So don't avoid trimming or atleast dusting your ends every month, or at the very longest every other month.
Don't be afraid if you are trying to grow your hair long, dead split ends are a dead end in your hair growth goals anyway. Keeping your split ends is working against your length and overall hair health, trimming your ends gives your hair a chance to reboot and grow healthier and longer.
6. Wearing Tight Hairstyles Consistently
If you're rockin' those tight hairstyles all the time you could be tearing your hair up and out, literally.
Traction alopecia may sound like a ghetto-fab name for the hoodrat next door but it's actually a very real hair problem for many women and not just black women either.
Traction alopecia can be caused by tight hairstyles that constantly pull and tug on your hair. You need to avoid tight ponytails, tight hair clips and fasteners as much as possible.
When you do wear tight hairstyles, ALWAYS remember to keep your edges well-moisturized. Finally, never go to bed with your hair clipped back or still tied up in a ponytail because your hair will be getting yanked and pulled all night long.
I know you're going to wear some tight hairstyles every now and then, just try not to do it all the time.
Mix things up a bit and wear your hair loose too.
If you are wearing your hair so tight that you can get a headache, it's DEFINITELY tight enough to cause hair damage and have you walking around lookin' like George Jefferson.
Ummm, that aint a good look baby girl.... Trust and believe that.
7. You're Skipping The Heat Protectant
Well, earlier in this top 13 hair killer list we talked about the damage that putting heat on your hair does. But let's be real, you probably will still put heat to your hair at some point.
So if you absolutely insist, at least don't forget to use heat protectant hair spray.
Heat protectant is a must-have product to help in minimizing hair damage, it helps protect the hair shaft and it helps the shaft keep its moisture. Heat protectant spray helps stop too much hair breakage by coating your hair strands with all-important moisture.
So show your hair the love it needs when your getting ready to burn, be sure the spray coats each section of hair that's going to get the heat. But don't go overboard, your hair doesn't need to be dripping wet with the stuff just spritz it on damp or dry hair from about 6 inches away right before you start heat styling with your blow dryer, flat iron or curling iron.
A few light sprays will work wonders for saving your hair. Revitalizing Leave-in Conditioner from Jane Carter has been getting alot of good reviews as a heat protector. Take a look at Jane Carter Hair Products when you have a chance.
They're famous for their natural hair care products.
8. You're Washing Your Hair TOO MUCH
I know, I know.... I really do. It feels really good to wash your hair everyday. And trust me, you wash day routine is sacred for good reason, sis... It's only natural to want to do so.
But if you wash your hair every single day you will be stripping your hair of its precious natural oils and your scalp will try to make up for it by getting greasier.
You don't want no parts of that(Yeah I meant to say "no parts of that").
Unless your hair is dirty, wash it every other day or so, even every few days if you can afford to. You are the best judge of that.
9. You Are Under-Conditioning Your Hair.
If you aint conditionin' enough you obviously aint listenin' enough. (Droppin dope rhymes on the daily, haaa...)
Everywhere you go for advice on maintaining a beautiful head of healthy hair has told you, and will always tell you to condition your hair often. Like....all...the...time.
Hair conditioner is your hair's best friend and first line of defense in regards to keeping moisture, length and strength. Whenever you shampoo your hair, conditioning your hair afterwords should be a given. ANd be sure to use the best conditioners for black hair.
10. Brushing From The Roots Down
Take your time and do it right!
Brushing your beautiful hair with one long stroke from top to bottom can easily cause hair breakage and snagging. You need to be gentle with that lusciousness and divide your hair into three-to-four-inch sections and brush those sections starting from your ends and working up to the roots.
In other words, grab hold of a few inches of hair from the bottom, and brush down from where your hand is. Move your hand up a few inches and repeat the process until you reach the roots. Going with short strokes in sections is a lot less stress on your hair. Try it!
11. You're Using Too Many Hair Products
I know...I know... There is a new "miracle" natural hair product on the market every other day and you can't live another minute without trying it. Right?
That could be a big mistake. Using a gagillion products can cause some major build-up on your hair and scalp, weigh your hair down and when you remove all of the gunk you'll end up stripping your locks of their natural oils.
Don't bomb your hair with a million products, stick to a few great products and leave it at that when it comes to your beautiful black hairstyles.
12. You Use Nasty Brushes.... Ugh
First of all, Ima need you to get it together.... Just kidding, I'm sure you aint using a stank brush, but this is a VERY common problem that many people don't even think about.
Old, dirty brushes are a breeding ground for nasty germs and old residue. Use your favorite shampoo, baking soda, and water(in equal parts) to clean your hairbrushes atleast once a month. This will kill bacteria and remove oil, dirt and grime.
13. Back Combing Is a Bad Idea
Last, but not least, there's backcombing. If you didn't know that backcombing was horrible for your hair, now ya know!
Combing your hair like this quickly tangles your hair and causes knots that can lead to hair damage and breakage.
If you're trying to "poof" your hair or give it more body, there are much better ways to do it than backcombing your luscious crown. Try using a good volumizing shampoo or root booster sprays and powders to give your hair that sexy volume you want without all the knots and tangles of backcombing.
So that's it! I just dropped some major tips on how to stop hair breakage and hair damage in general. I didn't add "you aren't using shea butter" because I didn't think it was necessary, almost every great natural uses shea butter. I'm sure that's why shea butter is one of the top 5 beauty butters on Amazon. In my case, even though I never thought of using shea butter for my hair, I've been using it on my skin since atleast 2004. It works miracles for my skin, I was born in 1977 and everybody tells me I look "20 something" , not that I care what they think, but I KNOW it's true.
If you avoid these 13 hair killers you won't be one of the desperate souls worrying about how to repair damaged hair, instead you'll have a head full gorgeous healthy hair.
P.S. Please share this page because it may be useful to someone you know. And check out our article on making your own hair pills for cheap!