Photo Courtesy of SimplyCyn
Hair breakage is a common concern for women with textured hair. Let’s face it, long hair is a desire for most women. For years women  believed the myth that curly and coily hair cannot grow, but the real concern was length retention. Lack of moisture and over-manipulation are the main contributing factors to breakage. There is more to having beautiful hair than creating amazing styles and top-notch products. While eating a balanced diet, exercising, and keeping your stress levels down helps for optimal hair growth, manipulation and products are big precursors to hair breakage. But is hair breakage inevitable? 

Michael Sparks, renowned celebrity hairstylist of Cie Sparks Salon, says, "No, you can maintain healthy, textured hair with proper care, products, and minimal heat styling. Using a deep conditioner like Evo The Great Hydrator in place of your conditioner ensures you keep your hair long and healthy. Thin, fine hair is usually prone to breakage because it isn't as strong as thick, coarse hair. Not to mention the everyday heat styling can damage the hair more. Using the proper shampoo and conditioner, like Oribe Gold Lust Shampoo & Conditioner, will allow you to help counteract the damage from heat styling and the environment, as this shampoo and conditioner is geared to help restore damaged hair. Creating the perfect foundation before styling your hair by using Oribe Royal Blowout is an easy way to prevent damage from heat."

We also asked internationally acclaimed hairstylist, Vernon Francois, for his opinion if hair breakage is inevitable for textured hair: “In my experience the answer is yes, because it tends to be dry. Decreasing breakage comes down to choosing the right products, applying them in the right way, drying, and styling your hair with the right tools and knowledge. Your diet also plays an important part in helping to reduce breakage. Textured hair craves ingredients that are hydrating and nourishing, which is one of the main focuses of my collection. Try to avoid heat drying and styling if you can. Also, a traditional cotton bath towel can pull and stretch the hair, stripping out moisture, which is not good at all. A much better option is to carefully squeeze and pat your hair dry with an old cotton t-shirt or a microfiber towel. It’s far more caring for your hair and really helps to reduce breakage.”

When we asked which textures are more prone to breakage, Francois says kinky hair: ”When hair has kinks—not a coil or a curl—it can be the most fragile, because it tends to lack the most moisture of all hair types. Co-washing can be done very frequently, up to twice a day for intense hydration and conditioning if needed.”

Cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson of confirms that, “Textured hair tends to be drier, which makes it more prone to breakage. Combine that with the fact that many women with textured hair use heat styling tools or chemical processing that exacerbate this problem.” He adds, “the curlier, coilier, kinkier the hair, the more prone to breakage.”

How to decrease damage

Robinson does give some tips on how to decrease the damage.

  • Limit use of heat-styling tools
  • Don't over-brush your hair
  • Don't wear tight ponytails
  • Don't style hair while wet
  • Limit use of chemical processing

Final thoughts

The experts have spoken. While breakage is inevitable, it can be limited. Yes, highly textured hair is more prone to breakage, but there are tools and methods to lower the chances and still maintain healthy, long hair. Eat right, use moisturizing products, reduce manipulation, and limit stressful (tight) hairstyles and heat.