8 Anti-Breakage Tips & Tricks for Natural Hair


Breakage and splits are a particularly sore point for naturals because they steal hard-earned length. The little ‘wisps’ of hair you see around your bedroom or bathroom — if they don’t have a white bulb on the end — are broken hairs, and split ends occur when the protective cuticle (outermost layer of the strand) is destroyed at any point along the length of the shaft. Try these tips and tricks to cut down on breakage.

Avoid Direct Heat Styling (Blow drying, Curling/Flat ironing, Hot Rollers, and Crimpers)

Heat removes precious moisture from the shaft, and can produce air bubbles within the shaft that weaken it. If you want to stretch your hair, try Curlformers, braiding or banding. Read more about the effects of blowdrying here.

Use Gentle Cleansers

Harsh shampoos can leave the hair dry and brittle and susceptible to breakage. Find a cleanser that doesn’t disrupt the moisture balance of your strands. Find a listing of BGLH readers’ favorite cleansershere.

Gentle and Minimal Manipulation

Be gentle with your hair and be mindful of how the tools you use affect your hair. Keep in mind too that putting in and taking down twists and braids can put mechanical strain on the hair, particularly the ends. Also remember that, while some naturals can style their hair daily, others don’t have hair strong enough to manage that. In this case, gentle protective styles might be a better option.

Moisture & Conditioning

Moisture is what keeps hair strands supple and pliable. Moisturize your hair with a leave-in conditioner and seal with a butter or heavy oil. How often you do this depends on how well your hair retains moisture. Some women need to moisturize daily, while others moisture every 3 to 5 days. Also, some naturals find that deep conditioning helps to keep their hair strengthened and moisturized. Read more about BGLH readers’ views on deep conditioning here.


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Gabrielle Allen aka StrawberriCurls, the natural hair blogger from New Orleans is a native in New Orleans, La and currently a cosmetology student and natural hair stylists. Gabrielle’s 4 year natural anniversary was in May 2013 and she hasn’t looked back since! She started a blog called Strawberricurls.com for natural hair care and tips and she now shares all that she has learned about caring for hair via her YouTube channel and her natural hair blog. 3 years after starting her blog, she made the decision to go to cosmetology school to pursue her passion of educating women about their hair. She has been featured on Essence.com for 2 consecutive years as one of the top Natural Hair Bloggers, hosted events for various natural hair brands such as African Pride and worked with brands Sofn'Free, Nothin'But Hair Care and a list of others. She has also hosted her on natural hair educational meetups in New Orleans.


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