From split ends to fuzz around the hairline, breakage is a sign that hair needs a little—or a lot of—TLC. Pretty much everyone has experienced this hair concern at some point or another, so there are tons of products out there to help. We enlisted none other than celebrity hairstylist and NatureLab Tokyo brand ambassador Andrew Fitzsimons, go-to guy for the Kardashians, Adriana Lima, and other A-listers, to help explain what exactly causes hair breakage to occur, how to prevent it, and what to do when it inevitably happens.
“We may not realize it, but we put our hair through a lot of damage with everyday pollution, chemical treatments, and the use of hot tools,” explains Fitzsimons. “Lack of moisture and excessive sun exposure can also lead to breakage,” he adds. In other words: Some factors are unavoidable, but others are more under our control—at least to some extent. Of course, the longer hair is, the more likely it is to break or have split ends.
If you’re a fan of curling irons or other tools, remember to use protective products—and to take a break now and then. “You can prevent breakage by spraying on heat protection before using any hot tools, and by minimizing your use of hot tools,” Fitzsimons says.
Shave your head and start from scratch. Kidding! Focus on deep hydration to help rectify the damage. “The best way to treat breakage is to use a weekly hair mask or deep treatment,” recommends Fitzsimons. “Personally, I’ve been using NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Repair Masque since going platinum a while back,” the hairstylist says.
Also, remember that not all shampoos and conditioners are created equally; look for sulfate-free formulas that nourish and strengthen hair from the root.
When in doubt, go in for a trim—your hairstylist can snip off damaged ends so hair looks and feels healthier.
Read on for more products that prevent breakage:
Silky hair ties help create tangle-free hairstyles, especially if you wear your hair in a ponytail or topknot while sleeping. Plus, they’re super cute.
Wet hair is weaker than dry hair, so it’s important not to overwork it. After showering, try using a comb or Wet Brush, which is specially designed to minimize damage.
This ultra-absorbent hair towel cuts drying time, which is both better for preventing breakage and loads more convenient.
It's an investment, but this hairstylist-approved tool provides amazing curls, waves, and straightening—all without the extreme heat that traditional irons require.
Not only does sleeping on a dreamy silk pillowcase feel ultra luxurious, but it also has major beauty benefits—including smoother, less damaged hair. Want more expert hair tips? Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's Hairstylist Told Us 9 Ways to Fake Thicker Hair. This piece was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.