What Causes Hair Breakages – Black, Crown Hair, Reasons for Breaking Hair

What causes hair breakage? Is it hard water, friction, over processing, poor diet, exposure to sun or lack of moisture in your hair?  Learn more on all the causes of hair breakage, including extreme hair breakage, breakage at the crown and black hair breakage both in men and women. In our other great work on hair breakages, you will more about how to treat and how to prevent it.

What Causes Hair Breakage
What Causes Hair Breakage

How Much Hair Is Normal to Lose?

On average, a normal person should shed of between 50 to 100 strands of hair. This is considered normal. However, if you are suffering from hair breakage, you will definitely shed more hair. This problem can be caused by a number of things, which we will discuss in detail in this article. If you are interested on best treatments for hair that is breaking, or ways on how you can prevent such hair that is breaking, we have covered them elsewhere. Let us not go straight to what causes hair breakage in women and in men.

What Causes Hair Breakages – Hair Care Products, Diet, Styling, Friction

While discussion what causes hair breakage, we are going to discuss some of the main causes or reasons in details. Later in the discussion, we will mention something small about black hair breakage causes as well as look at what causes hair breakage at the crown to help people whose hair breakage is much on their crown as this can spur a receding hairline. Normally, breakages happen when the external forces overwhelm the individual strand strength. Some of the main causes of hair breakage include the following:

Devices Used for Hair Care and Hair Processing

Various hair processing and hair care devices such as blow dryers, flat irons and curling irons, etc. can trigger hair damage and breakage.  According to The American Academy of Dermatologists, “warmth that is produced by these devices penetrate the hair shaft, causing it to become brittle and more vulnerable to breakage” [Livestrong]. This therefore means that you need minimally to use these devices or use them only when it is extremely necessary if you are to avoid sudden hair breakage causes.

People who process their hair quite often will have their hair texture hampered with and their strands will become very weak. This means that during hair styling and grooming, they are likely to lose some of the hairs that have been already weakened. This is why you will see more hair when you are for instance combing your hair.

Excessive Styling and Use of Styling Products – Too Much Brushing, Shampooing

This reason for hair breakage closely to the first reason and it can too cause hair breakage to occur. When you use various chemicals such as hair dyes, relaxers, perms, texturizers and other hair care treatments, you strip, change or break bonds that make your natural hair strong and give it the texture it has. In fact, most of the chemicals you use can really leave your hair weak and vulnerable to breakage especially those containing peroxides or hydroxide ions. Any mild strain on it will make it fall off.

Hair styling can be a reason for why your hair is breaking off. This particularly true for people who opt for hair styling that tend to overstretch your hair and thus affect its natural elasticity, cause more friction during styling and changing them too often. Imaging the strain, you cause on your hair if you keep on stretching, twisting and pulling it, each day as you style. Think of it and you might never ask again, what causes hair breakages or google for more information on this subject matter.

In fact, although they initially it was believe that using vigorous combing does help. Yes, it might help in increasing blood circulation to your scalp but it can lead to hair breakages. Ensure you don’t aggressively brush your hair, shampoo it, or comb it. Instead, a simple way to encourage hair growth is gently massaging your scalp with various natural oils, shampoo and use a leave-on-conditioner.

Wrong Styling, Hair Care Products and Hard Water

Going on with what causes hair breakages, there are people who are fond of using the wrong hair grooming (such as tight ponytail and buns that strain hairline and might cause hair breakage and receding hairline) and styling products. If you do so, you might encourage your hair to break. For instance, using a comb made form abrasive material or that is too fine can make your hair to break off. Furthermore, some combs have seams that tug your hair and thus causing breakages. Stay away from such combs.

In addition, washing your hair with hard water has been found to causes of hair breakage. Hard water will make your hair to dry as all the moisture is sucked from your scalp due to the alkaline hard water you are using.

Finally, ensure you do not style your hair when it is wet or drenched as it is more fragile while wet. This is one of the causes of mechanical hair breakages.

Poor Diet Lacking Proteins, Minerals

To some people, what causes hair breakages is besides the above things. It has to do with the diet they eat and some vital minerals. Insufficient amounts of proteins can affect your hair growth and health since hair growth requires proteins (hair is made of keratin, a type of protein). This will result to thin and weak hair that can easily break when mildly strained. Ensure you eat foods with lots of lean proteins, both animal and plants proteins such as legumes, eggs, etc. Other diets that will give the much needed vitamin B, B12, E and Iron include organ meat, nuts, salmon, soybeans, broccoli, milk, bananas, poultry, meat, pumpkin seeds, etc.

Furthermore, lack of Iron and zinc has been found to encourage hair falling off. Ensure you have diets that are rich in these minerals or go for food supplements if you cannot naturally get all this nutrients. Insufficient iron and zinc can cause brittle hair, which falls during grooming or styling. As a quick natural remedy for such breaking hair is to ensure you apply eggs on your hair. Also, eat green vegetables are they are rich in this minerals.

Bad Hair Accessories

It is not just the hairstyles you use that can cause hair breakage but also some hair accessories such as rubber hair bands and hairpins when worn too tightly. The American Academy of Dermatologists recommends the use of loosely fitting hair clips and fitting barrettes and you should ensure they are not placed at the same point always.

Rapid Weight Loss

For people who rapidly lose weight, about 15 pounds in a few months, they might suffer from hair breakage since this is one of the side effects of losing weight rapidly. If you are on a regime to lose weight, ensure it is gradual. However, such hair breakage will stop after a couple of months.

Some Medial Conditions – Hair Breakage Medical Causes

If you have dry hair that is very brittle, you could be suffering from an underlying illness or condition. Problems such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa (eating disorders) and hypothyroidism can cause breakage of your hair. In addition, Trichorrhexis nodosa, induced by environment, malnutrition or genetics can be behind the hair breakages you experience. This illness can also be induced by “argininosuccinic aciduria, Menkes’ syndrome, Netherton’s syndrome, argininosuccinate lyase deficiency, trichothiodystrophy and hypothyroidism,”[Source – Urban Bash Babes].

These are not the only hair breakage medical causes since some medications, more illness and conditions might cause it too.

Sulfate Containing Shampoos and Hair Care Products

Shampoos that contain sulfates i.e. the SLS and ALS might be too harsh for your hair or weaken it. This can make it to start falling off.

Overexposure to sunlight

Exposing your hair to too much sunlight, especially during summer can weaken and cause breakages during the fall or winter seasons. To prevent such breakage, try protein treatment or trim your hair.

Cotton Pillow Cases

Cotton pillowcases can be too abrasive your hair, causes friction or hair drying as they absorb moisture from your hair. Instead, use satin or silk pillowcases, as they are less abrasive and will minimize breaking of your hairs or even naturally reduce receding hairline. In addition, not covering your hair while sleeping, especially if you are a wild sleeper can cause hair breakage.

Hair Pulling

Some people are fond of pulling their hair, especially when they are stressed up. Avoid even twirling your fingers in your hair as it has the yanking effect on your hair that will eventually break it off.

Other Causes

  • Moisture – Protein Balance – This often causes frizz and curly hair is prone to the condition that can make it to fall off.
  • Hormonal Imbalances – Hormonal imbalances, especially during pregnancy can exacerbate hair breaking off. In fact, this sudden cause of hair breakages happens to most women during pregnancy.
  • Stress – High stress level often leads to this problem.
  • Irregular and poor hair detangling, poor washing and ignoring your hair

What causes hair breakage at the crown

Some people have a problem of hair breakage at the crown area that often results to a receding hairline or even baldness if not contained. Some of the causes of extreme hair breakage at the crown include:

  • Excessive stress which often leads to both a receding hairline and frontal hair breakage (crown).
  • Relaxer stretching, which has many pros could cause this problem especially “Crown area breakage can occur when hair that is either transitioning or being relaxer stretched for a given period of time is combed or smoothed back into a ponytail” [ Yahoo Voices]
  • Wrapping your hair has been found to trigger hair breakage at the crown especially when it is doe not the same point.
  • The uses of hair dryers that are hooded, which are the best in styling hair as they focus, heat on their central units, which coincides with where your crown hair is.
  • Poor relaxer application where you might overlap it severally to your crown hair as you apply different areas of the head

Causes of Breakage of African American Hair – Black Hair Breakage

If you have black hair, it is characteristically slightly different, especially in its texture. We are referring to the African and African American hair. Most of the causes of black hair breakage are similar to the ones that cause hair breakage. Additional causes of black hair breakages include use of hair extensions, alcohol containing styling products and tight platting. Furthermore, use of the incorrect hair care and styling products can cause it to break.

I guess you have solid answers to the question, what causes hair breakages, and even from the causes, you can easily guess ways on how you can stop this breakage.  Other helpful and valuable resources on this hair that is breaking you can rely on include the following:

Further Suggested Readings

Receding Hairline

Damaged Hair


  1. It is not just the hairstyles you use that can cause hair breakage but also some hair accessories such as hair extensions and hairpins when worn too tightly. The American Academy of Dermatologists recommends the use of loosely fitting hair clips and fitting barrettes and you should ensure they are not placed at the same point always.