5 Easy Ways to Stop Your Hair Breaking

Hollie Shirley / Hair & Skincare Editor

They say prevention is better than a cure when it comes to breakage, so before you start maxing your bank account on all the potions under the sun, here are some of our go-to tips to help. 

What causes hair to break?

Hair is an incredibly strong fibre – a single healthy hair is actually stronger than a steel wire of the same diameter and can stretch up to 30% of its length when wet before breaking – if it is in good condition.

Hairs’ strength and elasticity aka its ability to stretch when say, brushing or combing your hair, comes from the presence of strong bonds which hold the keratin protein in your hairs centre together and is also dependent on your hair’s water content. This is because moisture allows the bonds in your hair to stretch and retract to normal again – without this, your hair would snap off every time you brushed, blow-dried or changed your style, so maintaining elasticity is paramount when it comes to preventing breakage.

Things that reduce your hairs’ strength and elasticity, and cause it to break more, include chemical processing (such as bleaching and highlighting) UV exposure, salt and chlorinated water and excessive heat styling. Chemical processing might be the worst culprit, however, as it raises the hair cuticle, allowing for continuous excess water evaporation from the hair cortex.

While you can never completely close the cuticle back to its pre-damaged state (despite the claims made by various brands) using the correct products for your hair type can do a pretty good job of it. Pre-shampoo conditioning treatments specifically targeting improving elasticity can be especially helpful in restoring elasticity and shine and reducing breakage.

 Fortunately, there are a number of things you can to give your hair a boost and keep breakage to a minimum.

Sleep in Silk 

Sleeping on cotton is a 100% guarantee to give you bedhead. Want to know why? Cotton, although soft to touch on the skin, is actually a pretty rough fibre, so as you move around in your sleep you are roughing your hair up and hello! Bedhead.  Silk also doesn’t cause friction between it and your strands, thanks to the slip it gives, which also creates less breakage in the end. Want to know more? Click here.


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Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate! 

If your hair is brittle and breaking, it is probably hella dry, and needs moisture. We aren’t just talking about conditioning and oils. Did you know your hair is actually made up of 25% water? Aim to drink at least 2L of water a day (we know you’re not perfect but try your best) to ensure that your scalp and hair strands are kept gorgeous from the inside.  

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Get a trim 

If you’re struggling with split ends and breakage, getting a trim might seem counterintuitive, but seriously, go get a trim. Removing split ends is the only way to prevent further damage on other parts of the same hair shaft where split ends are present.  If the word trim scares you, ask your stylist for a “dusting,” which is code for takeoff the least amount. Please and thank you.

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Deep condition 

Going back to hydration, if your hair is dry, it’s going to break, and no one has time for straw-like hair. Investing in a decent highquality deep condition treatment will do wonders for your hair. Curly hair is more susceptible to breakage due to the way your hair shaft sits. For this, we would recommend using an oil treatment every other day in addition to a weekly deep condition. 

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Step. Away. From. The. Hot. Tools.

Yep, we mean it. Try and have a break from the heat styling to give your frazzled hair a rest. Try to reply on heat free-styling, like two-strand rope braids, french plaits etc.  If you absolutely must use heat, make sure you use heat protection spray, and always keep the hair tool moving

Other tips to reduce hair breakage

  • Apply a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment to your hair at least once a week and use a protective conditioning spray
  • Gently remove tangles with a wide-tooth comb, starting at your ends and gradually working up towards the roots
  • Blow-dry your hair correctly and use a heat-protective serum
  • Don’t pull your hair back too tightly when you style or leave your hair under traction for too long. This can cut into the hair shaft and cause breakage, and add unnecessary strain on the roots.
  • Protect your hair from the sun, especially when you are spending extended periods of time outside.
  • Don’t brush your hair too often just because it feels satisfying!
Hollie Shirley
Hair & Skincare Editor

Hollie Shirley is SILKUP’s hair and skincare editor. She’s obsessed with all things hair care and results-driven skincare, that is kind to the environment and your wallet. She has a weakness for limited edition eyeshadows and is always testing out the newest and greatest deep conditioners. Hollie has a passion for hair and is studying Trichology, working towards becoming a Member of the Association of Registered Trichologists.