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Apr 22, 2011

Fighting Breakage- Part 2

4. Relaxer overprocessing and overlap are chronic problems. Relaxing too frequently, leaving chemicals on too long and relaxing from root to tip every time are big no-no's. These practices are extremely hard on the hair. I would advise 8 weeks as a minimum for touchups because it is almost impossible to avoid chemical overlap when there is a very small amount of new growth. 10-12 weeks is optimum. When relaxing, only new growth should be processed. Root-to-tip is not "freshening" your relaxer. What that practice is doing is ensuring that you will be broke-bald at some point down the line. Whether self-relaxing or at the salon follow the recommended time to the letter. You should NOT have scabs or a burnt scalp after a relaxer!

5. Overmanipulation through the use of improper styling accessories (rubber bands, metal clips, etc), doing the same thing every day, braiding too frequently or too tightly, rough clothing and collars, clip-ins, and glue can all lead to pattern breakage. I try to switch up styling methods every day and use the most caring accessories I can find - or I make them myself. Rule of thumb: if something feels uncomfortable, is pulling or too tight it is probably doing damage. Tressbuzz leaves her hair untouched for hours and hours every single day. It is damp bunned, under a dorag, or otherwise "out of commission."

6. Breakage can begin on the inside. What goes in is what comes out. I know ladies who don't drink water and head to the couch for their happy meal every night and are reaping what they sow hair-wise. Diet and exercise are as important as any other factor when assessing hair health and breakage. Get your body hydrated and oxygenated and get that blood flowing! If you are nutritionally deficient you should look into supplementation.

7. Mineral Oil, Petroleum/Petrolatum, heavy silicones and many "styling" products can actually BLOCK moisturization and lead to breakage. Those items must be clarified away to allow the shaft access to nutrients and moisture, so check those labels and make adjustments as necessary.

Remember, hair that has been tortured in the past is subject to break as it reaches the ends. Your goal is to get increasing amounts of fresh length that has been babied and given the ultimate TLC! While some accidental breakage is unavoidable much of it can be avoided with proactive care.

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