Skip to Content
Home » Hair Care

How to Protect Relaxed Hair from Breakage and Damage

Relaxing your hair gives it a straight, glossy look that’s easy for people to fall in love with the first time they see it. However, many unexpectedly experience relaxed hair breakage as a result of the chemical treatment.

As a result, you may wonder if it’s possible to prevent the breakage or restore your hair to its healthy state after a breakage. Read on, and you’ll get all the answers to these questions.

What Causes Relaxed Hair Breakage?

Different factors could lead to relaxed hair breakage. But first, you need to understand the scientific composition of your hair. Your hair consists of a variety of protein cells.

Three different bonds bind these cells together to give rise to what you see as your hair. The glue-like effect of these bonds and their shape determine if your hair becomes curly, coiled, or straight.

The process of relaxing your hair has a permanent effect on these bonds. This is because chemical relaxation weakens the glue-like effect of the bonds.

It also changes the shape of the bonds in a bid to make your hair straight. Weakening and re-arranging these bonds increases the susceptibility of your hair to breakage.

Here are the factors that are notorious for damaging your relaxed hair.

1. Dehydration

What Causes Relaxed Hair Breakage - Dehydration

Whoever said water is life must have had relaxed hair in mind. Drinking enough water throughout the day replenishes your hair’s moisture. This goes a long way in keeping it healthy and resistant to damage.

Dehydration starves your hair of its natural moisture leading to weakening the bonds responsible for averting breakage.

2. Heat

Heat-styling your relaxed hair once in a while is good for maintaining aesthetics. It would be best if you tried to restrict heat-styling to once a week.

Anything beyond that will sap moisture away from your hair. Relaxed hair that lacks moisture tends to be brittle over time. It will then start to break excessively.

3. Ignoring Protective Styling

What Causes Relaxed Hair Breakage - Ignoring Protective Styles

The ends of your hair are fragile and old. Whatever you do with your hair affects this part by weakening it. It is advisable to opt for protective hairstyles when you relax your hair. In protective hairstyles, your stylist tucks in the ends of your hair.

This prevents your hair from drying out. It also prevents the hair from brushing against your clothes and other elements. Protective hairstyles promote consistent hair growth.

4. Constant Touch-Ups

You should go for a touch-up when you notice new growth after relaxing your hair. Frequent touch-ups encourage overlapping on your hair. This means relaxing hair that you have already relaxed.

Bear in mind that relaxing your hair changes its structures permanently. So, going for frequent touch-ups hastens the damage process, which is a by-product of relaxing.

5. Using Many Hair Treatments at the Same Time

What Causes Relaxed Hair Breakage - too many hair treatments

The relaxing process is very tough on your hair. But, for most people, the hair is strong and can withstand it as long as you do the process well.

Combining or trying out a variety of hair treatment procedures at the same time kills the resilience of even the strongest of hairs. Take the case of applying permanent dye to your relaxed hair.

The dye will cause further destruction to your hair that’s already grappling with the weakening effects of the relaxing process. Your hair wouldn’t stand this type of pressure for long. You’ll notice it breaks faster than usual.

6. Inappropriate Use of Protein Treatments

It makes perfect sense to think that applying protein treatment to your hair does it justice. After all, you’re just augmenting the composition of your hair. The trick lies in your frequency of using protein treatments.

Right now, a majority of hair products include protein as one of their ingredients. Failing to read the ingredients list might put you in a tough position.

You’ll inadvertently overload your hair with protein treatments. The result will be dry and brittle hair that breaks often.

How to Avoid Breakage in Relaxed Hair

The good news is it’s possible to prevent or limit relaxed hair breakage. All you need is to follow these tips to the letter.

Control the Heat

How to Avoid Breakage in Relaxed Hair -  Control Heat

Natural hair is excellent at withstanding too much heat. You shouldn’t expect the same from relaxed hair because it’s weaker, and relaxing deprives your hair of some moisture.

Restrict the settings of your blow-dryer to “cool” whenever you need to use it. Or, stick to air drying whenever you are in a position to.

Before using heat styling tools, apply a heat protectant to your hair first. And even then, use the styling tool at low temperatures only.

Do Not Over-Process

Avoid using relaxers on hair that’s breaking. Also, you should minimize the frequency of using any chemicals on your hair. Space touch-ups to at least eight weeks apart.

This enables you to apply relaxers on new hair growth instead of overlapping. Protect the ends of your hair by applying heavy conditioners or oil before relaxing it.

Be Gentle When Styling

How to Avoid Breakage in Relaxed Hair -  Gentle Styling

Relaxed hair breakage is rampant during the styling process. This is because most people don’t handle their hair with care during styling. And they try to do lots of stuff with their hair at this point.

As a rule of thumb, detangle your hair with a wide tooth comb. Only detangle your hair when it’s dry. Relaxed hair breakage increases when you wet your hair before detangling it.


Dry air is a common cause of hair breakage. Hydrating helps hair strands retain or even improve their elasticity. This, in turn, increases their resistance to different types of damage, including breaking.

Aside from water, aloe vera and glycerine products are good at increasing the moisture content of hair strands. Take advantage of them.

Reinforce Your Hair with Protein Treatment

How to Avoid Breakage in Relaxed Hair -  Protein Treatment

Protein treatments work magic on the hair when you use them properly. Before getting a relaxer, strengthen your hair with the right protein treatment.

Do this for at least a week before getting the relaxer. Use a moisturizer alongside the protein treatment to give your hair a perfect balance between moisture and keratin.

How to Repair Relaxed Hair Breakage

Stay calm if you notice that your hair is breaking. Then start by figuring out what’s causing your hair to break. Is it that you are too aggressive when brushing it, or are you using too much heat/chemicals on your hair?

Once you have an answer to this question, then there’s your solution. If it’s too much heat, moderate the temperature to healthy levels. If it’s over-processing, cut back on it. Moisturize your hair and get safer protective hairstyles. Also, trim the damaged portion. If the problem persists, seek professional help.

To avoid relaxed hair breakage, first, ensure you understand the common causes of relaxed hair breakage, such as excessive treatments, too much heat, failing to hydrate, and overprocessing, among other causes.

Then start implementing good practices that prevent hair breakage. Some include gentle styling, moisturizing, proper spacing between touch-ups, and protective styling. 

FAQs on Relaxed Hair Breakage

What are the signs of relaxed hair breaking?

Look at the hair coming off your head and compare it with the length of your hair strands. Seeing hair shorter than your hair strands leaving your head often indicates possible relaxed hair breakage.

Will stretching relaxed hair cause breakage?

Stretching is beneficial for relaxed hair as it helps it to thicken and strengthen. However, improper stretching promotes hair shedding, dryness, and breakage.

How long will breakage in relaxed hair take to heal?

On average, it takes six months to a year to heal from relaxed hair breakage if you go the natural way. However, treatment products can speed up the process for you.

What are the home remedies for relaxed hair breakage?

Some home treatment solutions for relaxed hair breakage include:
– Moisturizing your hair with coconut oil
– Drinking green tea as it inactivates hormones responsible for hair loss
– Using aloe vera to adjust the pH of your scalp and to shield your hair from damage by radiation

Related Topics