How to keep your hair hydrated and prevent breakage

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Hanna Ibraheem
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One of the biggest signs of dehydrated hair is breakage. Here, we explain how to keep your hair in good condition.

Have you ever brushed your hair, only to notice a large amount of hair strands are left behind between the bristles?

Hair loss can happen for many reasons. But hair breakage tends to come down to a lack of hydration, which leaves the hair shaft weak and unable to bend.

“The key is to understand how simple hair is,” explains hairdresser Michael Van Clarke. “Once the hair follicle [grows out of] the scalp, it is no longer connected to the metabolism so, unlike skin, cannot repair itself.”

“Damage usually starts with dehydration which leads to a brittle fragile hair shaft, which is essentially made of 97% proteins and 3% water. The protein gives it the strength and structure, while the water, provides its flexibility and shine.

“Take away the water and the hair no longer flexes and bends without breaking some of the internal bonds.”

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Over time, this lack of water thins down the protein in the hair shaft or causes hair to completely snap off, which is why it’s important to ensure your hair is getting enough hydration. Plus, once it gets to this point, it is unable to repair itself and the damage cannot be undone.

“The more damaged the hair shaft the less water it can hold,” explains Van Clarke. “And the less water it can hold, the quicker it decays and thins further.”

“That loss is cumulative and permanent once it starts, until new hair replaces it. On long hair that can be three to five years.”

Keeping your hair hydrated may not sound as straight forward as keeping your face moisturised, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. Here, we share our favourite products for hydrated, healthy hair.

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  • Opt for an intensive conditioner


    Dizziak’s Deep Conditioner has quickly gained cult status for a reason. Not only does the creamy formula leave hair smooth and shiny, it delivers a long-lasting hit of hydration in the days to follow. While it’s suited to all hair types, those with curly and coily hair types will find it particularly effective in helping to define your hair pattern.

    Dizziak Deep Conditioner, £22

  • Protect hair against environmental aggressors


    Just like your skin, your hair needs protection against environmental aggressors and UV rays. Hair can become brittle when exposed to the sun, and can actually be left burnt. As well as restoring optimal moisture levels, this daily spray delivers a UV filter and protect hair against free radicals.

    Ultrasun Daily UV Hair Protector, £24

  • Don't be afraid of hair oils


    Many people avoid using a hair oil for fear of it leaving hair greasy and flat. But hair oils are effective formulas when it comes to penetrating the hair shaft. Beauty director Shannon Peter also discovered they’re handy at preventing a flaky, itchy scalp

    This particular Liha product is made from cold-pressed coconut oil to condition hair, while added tuberose delivers a gorgeous scent.

    Liha Idan Oil, £39

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