Brushing or Combing Wet Hair
The rate of combing friction increases when the hair is wet.
In addition, wetting the hair causes the strands to stretch by at least 30%
of their normal length. Moreover, water increases the weight of the hair by
12% to 18%. As such, brittleness and breakage are more likely to occur when
you comb or brush wet hair.
Excessive Use of Hairdryers
Granted, wet hair is more prone to brushing- or
combing-induced breakage. However, this doesn't mean you should rely too much
on your hair blower. Too much heat is one of the biggest reasons people end up
having to repair dry and damaged hair.
Excessive heat removes too much moisture from the shaft, which then makes it brittle. Add to this the
frictional force of brushing or combing, and you'll snap your hair in no
time at all.
Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation
The sun's UV radiation is among, if not the
most common cause of hair shaft damage. UVA rays are powerful enough to
change the color of your hair, while UVB rays can decrease hair protein.
Either way, constant and direct exposure to the sun can result in severe
Hair Relaxers or Straighteners
Hair smoothening, straightening,
and keratin treatments can help make hair easier to manage.
However, they can also cause serious hair shaft damage, as they have a
direct impact on the hair cuticle. For instance, hair straighteners or
relaxers contain chemicals with high pH (alkaline) levels.
In some cases, their pH levels can even go beyond 12!
After all, the higher the pH level, the "wider" or more open the cuticle scales can get.
This "opening" is what allows the chemicals to straighten and smoothen hair.
Unfortunately, it also causes the hair to become more prone to friction.
In short, these "treatments" can weaken the hair and make it less resistant to breakage.
Regular Dyeing of the Hair
"Permanent" hair dyes alter the color of the
hair through a process called "oxidation". This oxidation enables the hair
dye to bleach or removes the original color of the hair. From here, the molecules
of the hair coloring product dive deep into each hair strand.
The thing is, bleaching and oxidation can cause
severe weakening of the hair. After all, they raise the scales in the
cuticle so that the color molecules can penetrate deep into the hair.
This, in turn, increases the hair's porosity.
The more porous the hair strands become, the greater their risk of hair breakage.
Lack of Nutrients
In the US alone, almost one in three people
are at risk for vitamin deficiency. Among the most common deficiencies
include A, B, C, D, and E vitamins, as well as folate, iron, and magnesium.
Unfortunately, all these nutrients play major roles in keeping the hair
healthy. As such, if you're lacking on any of them, your hair can get
very weak and prone to breakage.