Sunday, September 22, 2019

Broken hair on top of head

Broken hair on top of head

So you it looks like you have broken hair on top of your head and you want to know more about causes and what can be done to fix damaged hair. Broken hair can happen not only on the top of your head but also other common areas like at the hairline, crown or even at your temples. So if you know what is causing the problem the hope that you can fix it or at least stop what is causing your hair to break.

Are you freaking out over broken hair

"Hair loss is a billion-dollar market yet the average person understands so little. It is imperative for you to first learn to identify internal hair loss and external hair breakage. Then examine the various contributing factors for each. You can damage your hair externally, which is the lighter of the two. Secondly, you can also damage your hair internally, which is more detrimental to not only the hair strand, but the systems of your body, your health and life itself." Vaughn Leon McCall, The Breakage Book: How to Not Lose Your Hair

Are you familiar with Vaughn Leon McCall? She is Master Edutainer (Entertaining Educator) but also as someone who cares about your hair and understands the value it is to your individual's self-esteem. She has over 25 years of experience in the field of cosmetology and has produced over 25 videos teaching how-to techniques for hair stylists. She coves topics such as chemical structure and hair color and coloring, relaxed and un-relaxed hair and more.

Top 5 broken hair causes

There are hundreds of ways you can damage your hair. I am not going to cover all the possible ways but my research below lists the most common ways hair on top of your head or elsewhere could have been damaged.
  1. Chemicals - hair coloring is the worst. There are many harsh chemicals in hair color.
  2. Heat - high heat can wreck your hair fast causing hot spots and breakage.
  3. Overdoing it - too much of anything can be bad especially shampooing.
  4. Cotton towels - rubbing you hair vigorously with a cotton towel is not a good thing.
  5. Diet - plays an important role in our whole health and in fact can affect your hair as well.

1. Chemicals

If you are experiencing broken hair on top of your head is most likely from the use of chemicals. This is a common problem. Chemicals such as colors can easily cause damage just because the way they work. For coloring to work the color needs to penetrate into your hair shaft. This means it has to penetrate through the cuticle. This of course is not an easy task due to your hair cuticle is tough.

Cross section of a human hair
Hair cortex and the medulla
Your hair cuticle's job is to protect the inner most layers of your hair the cortex and the medulla. So it has a tough shingle layer built up of dead cells in the form of overlapping scales. So chemicals are used to penetrate the overlapping scales.

Most hair dyes use ammonia to penetrate the cuticle. The ammonia raises the PH level of your hair and thus the cuticle is lifted upward so now the dye can penetrate into the cortex. The dye uses peroxide to break down the natural color of your hair. Peroxide will dry out your hair quickly and can cause it to become very brittle. To finish the process you rinse the chemicals from your hair and now you have a nice hair color of your choice.

But you also now have or most likely could have damaged hair since your cuticle was not meant to be chemically lifted and the peroxide could have really dried out your hair. Some hair color contains less damaging chemicals (ammonia free) and that's a good thing but the the color washes out faster.  The end result is that these products are less damaging to your hair which is a good thing but you will need to use them more frequently since they do not last as long.

So now that you know more about the coloring process you can see that by over doing it you can easily damage your hair. Your hair can become brittle and beak off.

2. Heat

By applying heat as you style your hair can cause damage. The heat makes your hair weaker over time and thus will eventually break. If you are using hot air tools frequently and not taking any precautions the repeated use and high heat setting on your tools can take it toll over time.

Resist the temptation to start blow drying wet hair. Wait till your hair air drys to at least 80% if you can. Your hair is at it's weakest point when it's wet. This is when it's very easy to cause damage because your hair is very elastic. By pulling and heating you can easily break you hair. So when drying make sure not to pull too hard.

What treatments do you use or considering using? Do you have damaged hair? What are your thoughts? Readers and myself would love to hear from you. Please comment below.

3. Over doing it by washing too much

Anything you do like coloring and styling if over done can damage your hair. Even washing your hair too much. The bottom line is every time you wash your hair the more of your hair's natural oils you are stripping off. These natural oils or sebum help condition your hair and keep it from drying out. If you have average hair then on average you should try not to wash your hair more than three times a week.

Now that being said there are folks who have thin oily hair that will need frequent washings. The key take away is not to over do it. You will have to monitor and see what works best for you.

4. Towels and pillow cases

After washing your hair are you vigorously rubbing your wet hair to get it dry and then immediately applying high heat? Well by doing this repeatedly did you know you could be destroying your hair? By rubbing your hair with a cotton towel the micro fibers in the towel could be breaking your hair. They can easily catch an individual strand and break it. And if you are sleeping on a cotton pillow case the cotton fibers could be doing the same thing.

5. Diet

The last most common reason is a poor diet or a deficiency in protein could be a major contributor. Poor heath can cause problems as you well may know. Your hair needs protein to grow strong. A lack of protein can cause weak spots in your hair and thus cause your hair to break easily at that spot. But too much protein is also bad and cause hair to be too brittle. So the take away is to eat a balanced diet.

Top 5 broken hair fixes

There are many ways to fix your hair. There are hundreds of DIY treatments and hair products on the market that claim to fix or help with damaged hair. But the main point you should remember if you remember nothing else is that hair is dead. It's not living, so once it's damaged there is really no real fix. The root of your hair is of course alive but the hair shaft itself is dead. So the only real remedy is to cut off the ends.
  1. Stop coloring your hair or try to use an ammonia free solution that is more hair friendly. 
  2. Change your hair style as not to rely on high heat or any heat for that matter or use a good protectant.
  3. It's just common sense not to over-wash, over-style or over-color your hair.
  4. Let you hair air dry to about 80% before using any type of styling tool.
  5. It's a good idea to use a good deep conditioner before and after coloring. And as a preventive measure once every so often.

1. Hair coloring

Ammonia relaxes and lifts the cuticle and by doing so with coloring your hair, you are also causing damage. The peroxide dries out your hair and makes it brittle. So one fix is not to color your hair. But I know and you too that is not always an option. So if you are using ammonia and peroxide then you want to watch how long your cuticle stays lifted. The longer it's lifted the more the hair is weakened. Your goal should be to rinse out the chemicals from your hair as soon as its time so that the cuticle goes back down.

Another option is to use hair color that does not use harsh chemicals thus causing less damage. These milder ammonia free colors use other chemicals like ethanolamine. It's basally less harsh on your hair due to it does not cause the hair shaft to lift as much as ammonia does. As mentioned the down side is that the color washes out faster. This then becomes a trade off between having to color your hair more often or living with a little more gray, for example. This option in the long run may not be any better due to you are exposing your hair to more frequent chemicals as opposed to using harsher chemicals but less frequently.

But if you do color your hair you now know you have to be very gentle to avoid breakage. Especially if you just colored your hair. One good way to help your hair is to use a deep conditioning before and after coloring your hair.

Also consider having the end cut on a regular basis. This is the only real way to fix split ends. You may end up having to have a little shorter hair style but it will look much healthier due to the split ends are cut off. You hair will not look dried out or over processed.

2. Styling techniques

If you can have and be happy with a hair style the requires no heating tools then you are going to be much better off. Heat is an enemy of your hair and the more and hotter temperature used the greater chance you are taking to cause damage.

Always use the lowest temperature setting you can possibly get away with to style your hair. Go low and see how that works. It that works good then go lower till you find the sweet spot that works for you. Invest in high quality tools that display temperatures and or have enough settings, more than just high, medium and low. This will let you fine tune the temperature to your liking.

Always use a heat protectant. Many heat protectant sprays guard your hair against heat and friction. These products will help during flat iron, hot brush and blow drying sessions. Hot irons and other tools that can reach up to 450 F can cause some serious damage to your hair so be mindful of the temperature. Even some of the best moisture-locking, vitamin complex heat protectant sprays can't protect your hair from damage using this level of heat.

You hair type will also determine the heat level you need to use to get the style you want. For example, a thin or fine hair is going to take much less heat than a thicker coarse hair will. Also don't forget about using a good detangler. This will help with over stretching your hair and cut down on friction.

5 top heat protectant sprays

Product Heat Protectant Description Price
CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray $7.39
HSI PROFESSIONAL Argan Oil Heat Protector $14.89
It's a 10 Haircare Miracle Leave-In Product $16.01
Tresemme Keratin Smooth Heat Protect Spray $10.96
John Frieda Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Conditioner $30.97

3. Too much

Too much of anything can be bad. So this naturally goes for you hair as well. Too much or over-washing is not good. So it's just common sense not to over-wash, over-style or over-color your hair. That's about it there is not much else to say about over doing it.

4. Hair drying

Let you hair air dry to about 80% before using any kind of hot air brush, flat iron or blow dryer. This gives your hair time to strengthen and not be so elastic. While your hair is wet it's in it's weakest point, so you really have to be careful. Use an old t-shirt and pat you hair not rub. Sleep on a satin or silk pillow case not 100% cotton.

5. Deep conditioning

As previously mentioned once your hair is damaged there is no real fixes. Split ends can not be mended back together. You can however get it to lay down and appear to look better but the ends are still going to be split. The real solution is to get a hair cut.

There are a lot of good products that can be of used to help prevent damage. So it's a good idea to use a good deep conditioner before and after coloring. And as a preventive measure once every so often.

"Last but certainly not least, condition, condition, condition! “Investing in a good treatment is a wise way to get your hair back into shape." Marie Robinson, Replenish summer-damaged hair

Are you familiar with Marie Robinson? She is the brains behind some of the hair styles of Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart and Natalie Portman.

The ingredients used in a deep conditioning product are going to be different than a regular conditioner. Basically deep conditioners use a more concentrated amount of ingredients that generally does not wash off as easily as a regular daily conditioner.

5 top deep conditioning products that really work

Product Conditioner Description MFG Size Price Per Oz
OGX Extra Strength Hydrate OGX Extra Strength Hydrate OGX 6 Oz $6.59 $1.10
Marc Anthony Grow Long Marc Anthony Grow Long Anti-Breakage Hair Mask Marc Anthony 10 Oz $14.35 $1.44
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Neutrogena 12 Oz $19.09 $3.19
Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner Arvazallia 8.45 Oz $12.95$1.53
It's A 10 Hair care Miracle Deep Conditioner
It's A 10 Hair care Miracle Conditioner A 10 5 Oz $16.01 $4.00
Hair Biology - Hair Fiber
Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

What are your thoughts on damaged hair? Please comment below.

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