Expert tips to prevent hair breakage

No matter the time of year, finding the perfect cocktail of natural hair products that enhances my curls and confidence feels like a journey. As the temperatures start to cool down considerably, the weather gets tougher as I scramble to find the ingredients that will keep my coils healthy and my scalp hydrated. While searching for solutions, I learned that with the change of seasons, there should be some tweaks and alternative hair methods that can provide moisture, promote growth, and prevent breakage in cold, dry weather.

For generations black women have developed an unhealthy relationship with natural kinks and curls due to negative words, thoughts and feelings towards our hair. In addition to a lack of natural hair care education, there is an oversaturated market of products marketed for ethnic hair care but made with ingredients that do more harm than good, leaving many of us feeling overwhelmed, defeated and insecure about our hair in its natural form. . It’s never too late to find what works for you and with winter approaching, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn the right tools and products that will protect and maintain beautiful, curly hair throughout. bad weather.

I spoke to Dr. Gaby Longsworth, Ph.D. scientist, certified hair practitioner, biotech/pharmaceutical patent attorney and owner of online natural hair resources Absolutely Everything Curly and CurlPlanet about how she helps women take care of their curls with our own hands. As a Ph.D. a scientist, she was curious to know why some hair products worked well for her hair but not others. After extensive research, reviews, and an understanding of the ingredients, she realized the amount of misinformation being marketed to the masses. Having become deeply passionate about sharing her knowledge and research, Dr. Gaby has created a database of everything loopy, available right at your fingertips.

To learn how to protect your curls with the right products, the right methods of hydration and the right routines, keep reading Dr. Gaby Longsworth’s 10 tips on how to prevent hair breakage this winter.

Courtesy of Dr. Gaby Longsworth

Dr. Gaby Longsworth, Founder of Absolutely Everything Curly, a science-based educational subscription space created to help those with all types of curls discover and embrace their hair in its natural form. Subscription to Absolutely Everything Curly content for $2.99/month on their website.

On scalp detox and how to clarify curly hair:

“When someone does a scalp detox, it basically means a deep cleansing of the scalp to remove debris and buildup from pollution, hard water, oils and dead skin cells from the scalp. hair follicles and rebalance the pH of the scalp to improve the microbiome of the scalp.for healthy hair.The most common detox product contains apple cider vinegar as a key ingredient.Other ingredients include charcoal, tea tree oil and peppermint My favorite detox product is the Bounce Curl Curmeric Detox.

“An inflamed scalp can lead to hair loss, dandruff or other problems. scalp, healthy hair. When clarifying your scalp, a clarifying shampoo is used to strip the hair of excess buildup. Because these shampoos are more drying to curls, they are not meant for regular use. The most common shampoos contain chemical surfactants such as ammonium or sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate and alpha-olefin sulfonate. The higher the pH of the product, the drier it will be.

“Dry curls often lead to breakage and thinning and for this reason most curls should avoid sulfated shampoos. There are so many great clarifying shampoos on the market. My favorite brands are Ouidad, Bounce Curl, Jessiecurl and Kinky-Curly Come Clean.”

How to determine if you have low, medium and high density hair:

“Density refers to how tightly individual hair strands sit on the scalp. If you can easily see your scalp, you have a lower density or fewer individual hair strands per square inch. If you can barely see your scalp or not at all, you have high density hair, ie thick hair.

“To determine hair density, a popular test is the ponytail test, but this test is not possible if you have short hair.”

On protective hairstyles that don’t break hair:

“Many protective styles are fine as long as the braids are not too tight. It is the tugging and tugging of the edge areas that causes hair loss. Cornrows, box braids, Bantu knots, braids without knots, faux locs, crochet braids, twists and goddess locs can all be good, if not too tight. Extensions should not be too heavy.

“My favorite protective style is two-strand twists because they are lightweight, don’t add tension, and don’t require heat. They also lock in moisture longer and keep hair from tangling. I love it. also the wigs.”

On her tips for avoiding hair breakage this winter:

  1. Never use brushes on dry hair.
  2. Finger combing while detangling is best.
  3. If you use a comb or brush, it should be a wide tooth comb and only when the hair is soaked and saturated with conditioner. If you are using a brush, it should be a detangling brush and only used on hair that has been soaked and saturated with a high slip conditioner. Divide high density hair into as many sections as possible, before detangling with a detangling brush. Remember to be gentle so as not to break the hair strands.
  4. Do not use heat on your hair. Once your hair is healthy, you can use a hooded hair dryer on cool or low heat, or a diffuser. Lubricate your scalp with oil as needed, once or twice a week.
  5. If you have low porosity hair, condition it deeply with steam or heat (like with a heat cap).
  6. Keep hairstyles tight or pull your edges to a minimum.
  7. Detoxify or clarify your scalp once or twice a month.
  8. Use the LOCG or LCOG (Liquid/leave-in, Cream, Gel, Oil) method.
  9. At night, cover your hair in satin or silk, or wrap it in a pineapple and use a silk pillowcase.
  10. Choose protective hairstyles when possible.

Featured Image by wsfurlan/Getty Images

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