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Hair Care

Chemical Hair Breakage
By Dermatology Institute
Aug 2, 2004, 02:41

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Keywords: chemical hair breakage, hair loss, hair break, hair relaxers


Chemical Hair Breakage is a condition in which chemicals used to treat the hair have caused damage to the hair.


When permanents or relaxers are used in the treatment of the hair to make it straighter, the way these chemicals tend to work is to cause breakage of the hair bonds which weakens the hair. If a permanent or relaxer product states on the instructions to use it for three minutes, it means exactly three minutes and no longer.  If used longer than that, there is a risk of causing too much breakage of the hair bonds and there is a good possibility the hair will become weakened, friable, and break. Then, the hair will tend to look like it is falling out from simple brushing or combing or wearing curlers.  Continue hair loss will occur until new hair grows and replaces the damaged hair.


If this condition has occurred, the only treatment that can be done is:

          1. To use protein conditioners to coat the outside of the hairs to try to give some strength back to them.

          2. Avoid excessive or improper use of permanents or relaxers


This condition of Chemical Hair Breakage will resolve itself, but it will take time for new hair to grow and replace the damaged hair. During the regrowth, the hair may continue to break at various lengths.


If you suffer from Chemical Hair Breakage, for the next six months it is recommended that you should:


1.     use no permanents or relaxers or use only every 8-10 weeks.

2.     use caution at all times when working with the hair

3.     avoid use of anything that puts pressure or tension on hair

4.     avoid using close—tooth combs, brushes, curlers, braiding, pigtails, or any other devise or hairstyle which causes tension on the hair

5.     avoid use of hot curling irons because the increased temperature  causes increased breaking of the hair

6.     so far medical studies have not shown that extra vitamin really have any effect on hair growth.  However, anecdotal studies does.  Therefore we recommend you take for the next 1 year:

                             a. Centrum Silver 1 daily

                             b. Vitamin E 1000 mg 1 daily

                             c. Biotin 25 mg 1 daily, or

                             d. Apparex 1 daily

7.     use protein conditioners on the hair to give some improvement by providing extra strength to the hair and preventing further breaking of the hair shaft. Nexxus Shampoo and Conditioner are useful in black patients whose hair is friable and breaking.


If the problem of hair loss persists past six months, evaluation by a dermatologist would be indicated.


This article is provided by the Dermatology Institute.

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The medical information provided in this site is for educational purposes only.  Any topic discussed in this article is not intended as medical advice. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice and shall not create a physician - patient relationship. Consult a dermatologist, if you have a specific question or concern about a skin lesion or disease.
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