Featured Contributor: Darlene Alexander shares advices for preventing hair breakage.
Photo by Maldon Hopkins of Papa! Razzi Photography
WAYS TO KEEP YOUR HAIR HEALTHY
Your first client of the day happens to be a new referral. She’s seated in your chair, you drape her, you begin to comb and examine her scalp and hair. She’s scheduled for a chemical relaxer, so you immediately focus on the areas of her hair that appear to have several different lengths. From your experience, you know this individual has hair breakage. So instead of proceeding with the service she requested, you address the hair breakage; excellent choice!!!
It’s so important when dealing with a new client to ask questions. You may feel uncomfortable at first, but you’re trying to protect the client from hair breakage and to protect your reputation as a professional. What if this client’s hair has been weakened due to chemotherapy and desires to have a chemical procedure? This client would not be the best candidate for such a procedure. How would you know about the chemotherapy? Only by asking important health questions. Several years ago a man came into a beauty school requesting a permanent wave. This man had shoulder length hair and the procedure appeared to have gone well; his hair looked great. However, weeks later he returned to the school with his hair in a brown paper bag.
TIPS FOR PREVENTING HAIR BREAKAGE
Unlike hair loss, hair breakage is usually self-inflicted and preventable. Hair breakage is caused by multiple factors. Hair that has been over-processed through chemical processing, braiding the hair too tight (traction alopecia), wearing a ponytail and pulling the hair straight back instead of contouring the hair around the shape of your head, using hair appliances without using a heat protectant, and lack of proper hair maintenance can all contribute to hair breakage. Also the type of comb you use can add to hair breakage, especially if you’re using a small tooth comb and combing the hair when wet from the root to the ends. Always start at the ends using a wide tooth comb and work your way up.
Suppose the hair lacks moisture, its best that you suggest that she covers her head with a scarf at night. Ask if she’s presently using a cotton pillow case, then you would suggest she use a material less likely to absorb the moisture from the hair. This too can weaken the hair and increase the risk of breakage.
Most important use high-quality products. Choose a shampoo that doesn’t strip the hair of its natural oils. Apply a conditioner that’s protein-based with natural oils. This will not only moisturize the hair, but will add shine to dry, damaged hair.