Hair breakage is often preventable, unlike shedding. On average, a person can expect to shed between 50-100 hair strands a day. While most hair breakage is preventable, we are human so we can not always be 100% error-free. Hair breakage, no matter the severity, can be the result of varying causes. Some causes of hair breakage include heat and / or chemical damage, excessive manipulation, and split, brittle ends to name a few. Breakage can occur anywhere throughout your hair.
A few common areas of hair breakage include around the hairline, nape, ends, and the crown area. While breakage can be an upsetting experience, it is good to know that it is reversible. Natural hair breakage at the crown (the top / middle part of your hair and scalp) can be particularly distressing. Nonetheless, it too can be corrected. In this article, we will go into more depth on how to identify and fix natural hair breakage at the crown:
STEP ONE: How to identify hair breakage at the crown
Thinning, balding, short hairs
The most clear way to identify natural hair breakage at the crown is to take a close look at it. Are the hair strands at your crown significantly shorter than the rest of your hair? Do you notice thinning towards the ends? Is there a bald spot? These are a few signals of weakened strands that have reached the point of breaking off. Tapered, straight pieces of hair at the crown are also an identifier of breakage. If you notice balding at the crown, consult with a health professional to make sure it is not a serious health issue. Aside from appearance, natural hair breakage at the crown can also be identified by how the area feels.
Another way to identify natural hair breakage at the crown is if you are experiencing soreness in the area. Soreness can be a sign that excess tension has been placed on your hair follicles. Furthermore, soreness and breakage at the crown can be a result of frequently wearing tight, pulled back hairstyles such as buns, puffs, and certain braided styles.
Pulled / sleeked back hairstyles like these pull and tug on the hair follicles, creating stress on your scalp that could potentially lead to breakage and thinning at the crown area. The feeling of soreness at the crown is a sign of excess stress on the scalp and a potential cause of natural hair breakage at the crown.
STEP TWO: How to fix natural hair breakage at the crown
Check your parting
A potential cause of natural hair breakage at the crown could be the way you part your hair. If you find yourself parting your hair in the same number of sections every time you style your hair, this could be contributing to natural hair breakage at the crown. The reason why your parting can cause breakage is because of the tension placed on the hair follicles from being stretched in various directions.
In addition, parting your hair down the middle in four quadrants leaves the crown area exposed which can lead to friction on the area. To fix this, try switching your hair parting from time to time. Also, be sure to incorporate protective styles into your hair care regimen.
Don’t neglect moisture
A lack of moisture is a common cause of hair breakage. Many naturals may unintentionally neglect the crown area in terms of moisture. This area is often pulled back or braided up in a style so one may forget to apply extra TLC to this spot. In addition, many naturals may find that their crown section is naturally drier or more coarse than the rest of their hair and thus has more difficulty retaining moisture. This lack of moisture can ultimately lead to breakage at the crown.
To counter this, it is key that you make the effort to be more attentive to your crown area when it comes to moisture. Apply an extra amount of your moisturizing products to your crown section. Use thicker, creamier products on that section if you have to. You should also consider spraying your hair with a moisturizing mist daily to help ensure your strands stay hydrated to prevent breakage.
Refrain from tight hairstyles
Hair breakage can occur pretty much anywhere throughout your hair. A well-known cause of breakage is tight hairstyles. This includes tightly braided styles, sleek / pulled back buns and puffs, etc. These styles can put stress on the hair follicles from the prolonged pulling and tugging. If you frequently wear tight, pulled back styles like buns and puffs and have noticed breakage at the crown, this may be why. Try changing up your styles and letting your hair down from time to time.
Limit crown exposure to certain hats and headwraps
If you leave the crown area exposed when wearing certain hats and headwraps, it can lead to hair breakage at the crown. The constant friction from the hats and headscarfs can eventually cause snags and snarls on your hair strands. Additionally, many hats and headscarfs are made of drying materials such as cotton, which can in turn have a drying effect on your strands and ultimately lead to breakage. There are satin-lined caps and hoodies as well as silk scarfs you can try wearing as an alternative that are much more gentle on your hair.
Avoid harsh detangling
Another potential cause of hair breakage at the crown is harsh detangling. Detangling is a necessary part of natural hair care in order to prevent excess tangles and matted hair. However, if you rush through the detangling process often, it can become too much on your hair and lead to your strands snapping and breaking off.
Harsh detangling can also leave your crown area feeling sore from the pulling and tugging. To prevent breakage, be patient when detangling. Work in sections and start from your ends and work your way up. You should also use a detangling tool and / or detangling leave-in conditioner or spray to help ease the process.
Natural hair breakage at the crown can without a doubt be an upsetting experience. Fortunately, it is often reversible. By identifying what has most likely caused your hair breakage at the crown – neglect of moisture, abrasive hair coverings, tight hairstyles, etc., you can then make the necessary changes to your hair care regimen to reverse the breakage.