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How to Stop Hair Breakage

Vicky Davis, FNP

Medically reviewed by Vicky Davis, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 12/2/2021

Hair breakage is a common issue. When it happens around your hairline, it can leave you with short, broken strands of hair that serve as a serious distraction, especially when they refuse to blend in with your natural hair.

While broken hairs can be frustrating to deal with, the good news is that it’s relatively simple to stop them from developing in the first place.

Below, we’ve explained why hair breakage and hair loss occur around your hairline, as well as steps you can take to prevent hair breakage and stimulate healthy hair growth.

What Causes Breakage and Hair Loss?

Human hair is surprisingly strong. In fact, according to the UC Santa Barbara Science Line, the tensile strength of healthy human hair fits somewhere in between nylon and ordinary structural steel.

Despite this strength, your hair isn’t indestructible, and a variety of different factors can cause it to break. 

These include pressure from pulling on your hair follicles, nutritional deficiencies and even simple things like exposure to heat or chemicals.

Beyond breakage, it’s also possible for shedding and hair loss to affect your hairline. You might notice fewer hairs around your temples as a result of female hair loss, which can develop from hormonal issues, stress, thyroid problems and even sudden weight loss.

11 Ways to Stop Hair Breakage

While hair breakage can be extremely frustrating to deal with, the good news is that it’s almost always a treatable issue. 

In fact, in most cases it’s possible to treat hair breakage by making a few simple changes to your habits, lifestyle and hair styling routine.

Here are 11 techniques you can use to protect your hair and lower your risk of hair breakage around your face.

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Eat a Balanced, Healthy Diet

Just like the rest of your body, your hair is made of proteins. More specifically, every strand of hair on your scalp consists mostly of keratin, a fibrous protein that provides hair with its strength and texture. 

Creating hair requires a complex range of nutrients, including amino acids and minerals such as zinc and iron.

When your diet lacks these important nutrients, your hair can become weak and brittle, resulting in an increased risk of breakage.

To keep your hair strong, healthy and less likely to break, try to eat a balanced diet that’s rich in vitamins and minerals. 

Prioritize consuming fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, as well as important hair-friendly vitamins such as biotin

Be Careful with Tight Hairstyles

Tight hairstyles, such as ponytails, braids, cornrows and dreadlocks, can pull on your hair roots and contribute to breakage. 

They can also cause a form of hair loss called traction alopecia, or ponytail hair loss

Traction alopecia tends to develop gradually as the tension from your hairstyle loosens the hair inside the follicle. 

Over the long term, it can cause scalp inflammation and even permanent hair loss around your temples and hairline.

To prevent breakage and traction alopecia hair loss, make sure to be careful with tight hairstyles that pull on your hair roots. 

Wear them only for short periods of time — for example, a few hours — and then wear your hair down to give your follicles some time to relax. 

If you wear clip-in hair extensions or weaves, make sure that they’re light and avoid using them too often so you can give your hair time to relax and recover. 

Most importantly, never wear your hair up while you sleep. Instead, wear your hair in the loosest style possible (like a loose braid, if it’s long) overnight to relieve tension and reduce your risk of breakage and shedding.

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Avoid Strong-Hold Styling Products

Just like overly tight hairstyles, styling products that offer a strong hold can put extra tension on your hair follicles and contribute to hair breakage. 

If you use spray, cream or other products to style your hair, it’s best to stick with mild or medium hold products. 

Make sure to avoid any products that make your hair extremely firm or pull on the roots, as these are the most likely to contribute to breakage and hair damage. 

Only Brush Your Hair When Needed

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to brush your hair to stimulate growth, stop shedding or keep your hair “healthy.” 

In fact, brushing your hair — especially when you brush too often or firmly — is far more likely to cause damage vs. keep it thick, strong and smooth.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the idea that you need to brush your hair 100 times a day is a myth.

Instead of brushing daily, it’s better to only brush your hair when you need to brush it in order to style it. 

And when you do brush, use as little pressure as possible and avoid tugging on your hair, as this can pull on the hair follicles.

To minimize damage, consider using a wide-tooth comb, which allows more hair to pass though with each stroke.

Limit Your Hair’s Exposure to Heat

For the most part, heat and hair don’t go well together. While it’s okay to straighten or curl your hair using a heat-based product such as a straightener or curling iron, it’s important to take care not to cause damage when you do so.

To protect your hair from damage, always use the lowest heat setting on your straightener, blow dryer or curling iron. 

Hold your hair dryer away from your scalp and limit the amount of time that any hot surface touches your hair directly.

Better yet, limit your use of hot styling tools in general. For example, try to straighten or curl your hair once a week, or even less, instead of curling or straightening every other day.

Wrap Your Hair in a Towel to Dry

Your hair is weakest when it’s wet, meaning you have the greatest risk of breakage when you’re fresh out of the bath or shower.

This means that small things such as styling your hair while it’s still wet or towel drying wet hair a little too firmly can easily lead to broken hairs and noticeable thinning.

To avoid post-shampoo hair breakage, dry your hair by wrapping it in a towel instead of towel drying it normally. 

This minimizes tension on your hair. Alternatively, you can do things the natural way and let your hair dry on its own.

If you prefer to blow dry your hair, stick to a low heat setting and keep the hair dryer away from your scalp. 

Since blow drying can cause damaged hair, try to use your hair dryer only when it’s absolutely necessary, not every time you get your hair wet. 

Take Steps to Limit Stress

Stress can have a serious impact on your physical and mental health. It can also have a major impact on your hairline. 

In fact, stress is one of several causes of a type of hair shedding called telogen effluvium. 

While telogen effluvium doesn’t cause hair breakage, it can cause your hair to thin across your scalp. 

You may notice that your scalp is visible through your hair, or that you just don’t have the same level of coverage as before.

To avoid telogen effluvium, take steps to limit your exposure to stress. This could mean taking part in mindfulness meditation, making changes to your habits or avoiding stressful people or situations.

Shampoo the Right Way

Believe it or not, there’s more of a technique to using shampoo than most people realize. When you’re shampooing your hair, the key is to concentrate your use of shampoo on your scalp, not on the full length of your hair.

Washing this way helps to remove excess sebum while reducing your risk of developing flyaway hairs.

To keep your hair strong and healthy, choose a shampoo that’s formulated with your hair type in mind. Wash your hair based on how oily it feels. 

If you have naturally oily hair, you may need to wash on a daily basis, whereas naturally dry hair may need shampoo less frequently.

Dealing with hair loss? This hers hair loss shampoo is formulated specifically to control shedding so you can stop your shower drain from looking like an animal’s nest. 

Use Conditioner Every Time You Shampoo

Shampoo can dry out your hair, especially if you use it too often. To prevent breakage and keep your hair looking and feeling its best, it’s important to apply conditioner after shampooing, every time you wash your hair. 

Conditioning helps to strengthen your hair, reduce static electricity and increase your hair’s level of resistance to UV radiation. 

All of these things keep your hair healthy and reduce your risk of dealing with weak, broken hairs around your face.

For best results, apply most of your conditioner to the tips of your hair. 

If your hair is damaged, try using a leave-in conditioner to keep it moisturized and protected from UV rays throughout the day.

Get Checked for Thyroid Disorders

If you’ve noticed that you’re shedding more hair than normal, you may want to get checked for a thyroid disorder, such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels) or hyperthyroidism (high thyroid hormone levels). 

Like stress-related hair loss, these conditions usually don’t cause breakage, but they can cause you to shed hair on your scalp and around your hairline.

You can get your thyroid hormone levels checked with a quick blood test. If you have low or high thyroid hormone levels, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication to bring your thyroid hormone levels back to normal. 

Use Minoxidil to Treat Hair Thinning

Finally, if you have hair thinning rather than just breakage, you may want to try medication such as minoxidil to speed up regrowth and restore your hair.

Minoxidil is a topical medication that stimulates hair growth. It’s used to treat female pattern hair loss, as well as other conditions that can cause thinning hair. 

It works by moving your hairs into the active growth phase of the hair growth cycle and by improving blood flow to your scalp. 

While minoxidil won’t prevent breakage, it’s a great option for regrowing hair that’s thinned due to damage or androgenetic alopecia.

You can find minoxidil solution and minoxidil foam online, with both medications formulated to treat women’s hair loss. 

Get Rid of Hair Breakage for Good

Hair breakage can be a serious annoyance, especially when it affects the visible, obvious hairs around your hairline and face.

The good news is that breakage is easy to treat and even easier to prevent with the right mix of proper hair care and healthy habits. 

If you’ve noticed lots of hair breakage recently, use the methods listed above to strengthen your hair and cut down on damage. 

For more protection, try incorporating these specially formulated her's hair care products into the mix to prevent shedding and stimulate extra growth. 

Looking for more ways to care for your hair? This full list of simple hair care tips for different hair types covers everything you need to know about taking care of your hair, from understanding your hair type to shampooing, styling and more. 

If you seem to be losing more hair than you normally do, consulting with a healthcare professional can help you determine what’s causing your hair loss, and help you back to fuller, healthier hair. 

8 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

  1. Is a strand of hair stronger than a strand of steel the same size? (2007, December 14). Retrieved from
  2. Guo, E.L. & Katta, R. (2017, January). Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatology Practical & Conceptual. 7 (1), 1–10. Retrieved from
  3. Heath, C.R., Robinson, C.N. & Kundu, R.V. (n.d.). Traction Alopecia. Retrieved from
  4. How to Stop Damaging Your Hair. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  5. Hughes, E.C. & Saleh, D. (2021, June 8). Telogen Effluvium. StatPearls. Retrieved from
  6. Tips for Healthy Hair. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  7. Is My Thyroid Condition to Blame for My Hair Loss? (2018, August 21). Retrieved from
  8. Badri, T., Nessel, T.A. & Kumar, D.D. (2021, April 13). Minoxidil. StatPearls. Retrieved from
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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

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