8.01.2012

Ask Elle: How To Stop Hair Breakage


This is one of the most-asked questions I get! Below is listed what I do to avoid hair breakage. It is a little extreme? Maybe, but I don't have damage. Check it out:


  • Never brush hair when wet--I've even seen this done in salons and I cringe every time. You are breaking your hair! Use a wide-tooth comb & gently do it. Bonus: See my hair routine here.
  • Avoid sleeping with wet hair--Hair is most fragile when wet (see tip above). Since hairstyles sometimes call for a sleep-in-it-overnight direction, try damp hair instead.
  • Use satin pillowcase--Your hair will thank you! Goodbye, frizzy hair (and crease marks). See my other reasons for loving satin pillowcases here.
  • Try sulfate-free--I use both shampoos with sulfates & those without. If your hair is totally damaged, try sulfate-free.
  • Try a cold shot--I rinse in cold water & then cool down my hair with cold air. The cold is thought to seal cuticles.
  • Avoid overwashing--There is no rule that says you must wash your hair every day! Washing too frequently can result in overproduction of oil, if you've an oily scalp, or drying hair out. I used to wash daily. It was very frizzy and dry. I slowly trained my hair (it's possible!) to now I can wash once or twice a week! Bonus: If you color your hair, avoid washing it a couple of days before your next color. Your hair won't be as dried out.
  • Keep conditioner on ends only--The ends are the driest part and they need hydration. Conditioner all over hair leads to a greasy scalp, overwashing, etc. I've also seen hair damaged by too much conditioner!
  • Don't rub the towel to dry--This is going back to hair being fragile when wet. That rubbing of your hair creates friction, frizziness and damage. Instead, I squeeze the water out and then keep a towel on my shoulders to let me hair dry.
  • No turbans--Again, I avoid anything that twists my hair when it's wet. I only put my hair in a turban if I'm putting on clothes. After that, I put a towel on my shoulders like a cape & let my hair hang. No, water doesn't run all over my back/clothes, and I have long hair!
  • The 70% rule--If you wait until hair is 70% dry before using a blow dryer, you will experience less breakage and damage. Bonus tip: Use the nozzle that came with your dryer. It will help focus the heat on where it's needed, instead of blowing your hair all over the place.
  • Heat protectant always--I'm surprised at how many of us religiously use heat protectant before styling, but not before blowdrying. Keep that hair protected.
instagram (ellesees) pics of my hair,
which I now realize look kinda creepy :/

PS: Have a hair/beauty question you'd like answered? 
A hair/beauty tutorial you'd like me to recreate? 
Let me know in the comments or email me!

38 comments:

  1. What great advice!! I do all of these except the silk pillow case, I will have to try it!! My girlfriend is a hair stylist and I've seen her use a brush on my wet hair, it drives me crazy too!!!

    http://www.mythriftychic.com/

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  2. These are great tips. I always sleep in a satin scarf or on a satin pillow case. I was using non sulfate shampoos and for the past several months I have tried washing my hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. The difference is astounding.

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  3. Those are great tips, I didn't know about the satin pillowcase. My hair is pretty tough though. I've broken many a comb with it

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  4. You have given me so much help for my hair. I really have learned a lot and need to do these tips.

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  5. These are amazing tips! I'm going to be making some changes asap!

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  6. Great post Dear loving the tips

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  7. Did I tell you I finally clipped in some extensions? I did, I did.. but it was actually just for fun, and I took them off before going out.. but any news/advice about the real extensions, that are combined/sewed/glued (whatever the process is) in the hair, are they damaging to the hair, scalp, etc? In case I am gonna go for it..

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  8. great advice, you're an expert, i must follow all these tips!

    It’s a GIRL Thing

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  9. Good golly! I'm doing EVERYTHING wrong. Time to change my routine. Thanks my adorable, Elle! xoxo

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  10. You must've been using me as your bad example. Haha. I'm a slave to the turban. Thanks for steering me in the right direction!

    http://mandycrandell.blogspot.com/

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  11. love this! I pretty much break all of these rules. Have I mentioned that I have terrible hair? ;)

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  12. Note to self: Do not pull her hair, even is she asks. Got it.

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  13. Gosh...I'm so bad with the brushing the hair when wet. Must really stop! THanks for all the tips again:)

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  14. great tips! I stopped using shampoo and conditioner with alcohol and noticed a HUGE difference.

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  15. I always benefit from these practical tips. 70% dry? I'm switching to your plan.

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  16. Great tips!!! You should totally try Acure Organics Argan line! It's the best all natural hair care I've ever tried! I always ended up going back to chemical based since it worked so much better, but I've been steadily using this for over a month. And it smells AMAZING! Can't wait to try your tips!

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  17. These are great tips. I'm definitely guilty of more than a few of these crimes. I brush my wet hair ALL the time... no wonder there is so much blonde on my brush.

    I'm also going to hop on the satin pillowcase trend. I've been showering at night lately, because I don't have enough time (slash I refuse to wake up early enough) to blow dry and style in the AM. But I've been getting weird kinks in it when I wake up.

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  18. wow i do all of those things!! tsk on me, now i will know better! thanks for sharing!!

    -Jessica
    http://www.jumpintopuddles.com

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  19. I need to try not washing everyday!!

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  20. I have to admit I have comitted some of these crimes but I defintiely try to get better with my hair since it's so dry. Thanks for the tips :)

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  21. Sad... I only follow about 2 of these rules. I'm lame.

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  22. Since my hair is natural, I have a lot of different care instructions, but a few of them are the same, so thanks so much for these tips. I sleep on a satin pillowcase and a silk cap. I have to remember to rinse with cold water and condition on my ends only. Sometimes I go overboard with the leave-in. Must make sure my shampoo is sulfate-free.

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  23. Great tips! I do a lot of these to avoid breakage, but I'm going to try the others too. I am still trying to grow my hair out so every tip helps! :)

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  24. well you do have the best hair in blogland so obviously these tips work. I've finally started to use heat protection spray before blow drying and it really does help.

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  25. You have the most gorgeous hair ever so I'd do anything you'd tell me too. Just don't take advantage of me, ok? ;)

    Hope you're having a great week, love! I've missed you! xoxo

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  26. You have the most gorgeous hair ever so I'd do anything you'd tell me too. Just don't take advantage of me, ok? ;)

    Hope you're having a great week, love! I've missed you! xoxo

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  27. love these tips ( i usually sleep with wet hair -- oops) haha.

    thanks for stopping by my blog -- want to follow each other??

    xxo!

    www.richlittle-poorgirl.blogspot.com

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  28. Great question and from your advice I realise that I have been doing too many things that encourage breakage. Uh oh! P.S Yes please do come along!

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  29. I have been working on training my hair to be less oily by washing it every other day. This only works when I straighten it, but it is nice having a day off like that.

    *Erin

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  30. Thanks for the tips. Your hair looks amazing, so they must work!

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  31. I'm putting a satin pillowcase on my "must purchase" list!

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  32. Great tips Elle!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  33. I do all of these except for the satin pillow cases!! I'm going to try that :) :)

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  34. I have satin pillow cases and love them... Someone told me to sleep with my hair tied up that was I don't rub the ends with my shoulders against the pillows.

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  35. I love this advice! I did a post Thursday asking for these exact tips because my ends are so dry and break so easily right now. I wash my hair everyday because my roots get oily if I don't. Tell me more about training your hair to go days in between washes! I need that!

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  36. Wow! These are great tips! I'll have to try the conditioner on only the tips part. Maybe that's why I feel like I have to wash my hair daily??!

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