Understand and Prevent Hair Breakage With Hair Serums

Young woman worried about dry hair, damaged hair and split ends. Hair problems and hair care concept.

Hair breakage is frustrating and leaves your hair looking lifeless. Take control of your hair health with these hair serum tips and tricks to give you strong strands. Be gentler on your hair when you brush or style. Avoid harsh chemicals and treatments. Eat plenty of vitamins and minerals to grow strong hair.

Everyone’s hair breaks. Cuticles become dry or damaged and break off when you pull out your ponytail after the gym or leave your hair flying about on a windy day. Even if you don’t do one particularly bad thing to your hair, such as curl it daily or bleach it monthly, small habits add up to continuous hair breakage. Be mindful about how you treat your hair to keep it healthy and strong.

Did you observe August 2023 as Hair Loss Awareness Month? If not, take the time now to review ways to prevent or control hair loss, starting with simple daily habits to keep your hair healthy and happy.

Hair Alchemy Fortifying Treatment Serum

by Oribe

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Key Highlights of Top Pick: Oribe Hair Alchemy Fortifying Treatment Serum

  • Make your hair stretch instead of snap with this top pick hair serum for breakage.

  • This exquisite hair serum strengthens and moisturizes your hair to prevent further breakage.

  • Treat yourself to this sweet smelling, fast-acting hair serum.

If you feel like splurging and appreciate a beautifully scented hair serum, try the top pick Oribe Hair Alchemy Fortifying Treatment Serum. This serum works to bring elasticity back into your hair to prevent breaking.

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If your hair snaps instead of stretches, try Oribe’s blend of plant-based proteins, cotton seed extract, bamboo leaf, and hyaluronic acid to moisturize your hair, strengthen it, and restore some elasticity. If you want the full experience, try their entire Hair Alchemy Strengthening Collection to transform your hair.

No.7 Bonding Oil, 1 fl. Oz.
$30.00 ($29.70 / Fl Oz)

by Olaplex 

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03/08/2024 05:37 pm GMT

Key Highlights of Budget Pick: Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil

  • Prevent breakage while controlling frizz, detangling, and adding shine to your hair with one magical oil.

  • Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil is a styling oil, but with loads of added benefits to strengthen and restore your hair.

  • Carefully add just a bit of this oil to your hair at a time as it’s concentrated — a little goes a long way.

Protect against UV damage, control frizz, detangle easily, add glorious shine, and strengthen your hair all in one amazing product. The Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil, our budget pick of hair oil, is a lightweight styling oil that repairs and cares for your hair.

The bottle comes with a highly concentrated oil, meant for only a few drops per use. Use this oil to style your hair and enjoy the benefits of strengthening and protection to avoid further damage and breakage.

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Hair Breakage

Hair breakage occurs when a damaged hair shaft breaks off, typically in the middle of the shaft. The hair shaft has three layers: the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla. The cuticle is the outermost layer of overlapping scales that protect the inner layers of the hair. The cortex is the middle layer of keratin, a protein that gives hair strength and elasticity. The medulla is the innermost layer of air.

When hair becomes damaged, the cuticle raises or breaks, exposing the cortex. This makes the hair more susceptible to breakage. The hair becomes even weaker and more susceptible to breakage when the cortex becomes damaged. Hair usually breaks at the weakest point, typically near the end of your strand. The broken hair strand may be shorter than the rest or completely separated from the scalp.

Here are some signs of hair breakage:

  • Split ends: Split ends are the most common sign of hair breakage. They occur when the hair shaft splits at the end.

  • Shorter strands of hair: If you notice your hair is getting shorter, even though you’re not cutting it, this is a sign of hair breakage.

  • Thinning hair: Excessive hair breakage causes hair to thin as the strands become weaker and more prone to breaking off.

  • Easily tangled or breaks off: If your hair tangles easily or breaks off when you brush, it’s suffering from breakage.

  • Dull, frizzy hair: A lot of hair breakage makes hair look dull and frizzy because of the damage to the hair shaft. Damaged cuticles are rough, creating frizz and a dull look.

  • White spots on individual hairs: White spots on individual hairs are another sign of hair breakage. These spots indicate damage to the cuticle.

If you’re experiencing hair breakage, identify the cause and take steps to prevent further damage. If you’re concerned about hair breakage or have a sudden dramatic increase, talk to your doctor or a hairstylist to determine the cause and recommend treatment options.

Causes of Hair Breakage

Hair breaks for many reasons. You may have several contributing factors creating your frayed strands. Consider what’s causing your hair to break to fix your hair care routine and have healthier, stronger locks. These are the major culprits.

Mechanical Damage

Mechanical damage is a common issue that includes brushing hair too vigorously, brushing wet hair, heat styling too often, or pulling your hair into tight hairstyles. When your hair is wet, the cuticle opens and is more likely to break. Using heat styling tools on a high setting damages the hair shaft and makes it more prone to breakage. Pulling hair back into tight hairstyles stresses the hair and causes it to break.

Chemical Damage

Chemical damage from actions such as perming, relaxing, or coloring causes breakage and damage to your hair. Harsh chemicals, even those in shampoos or other products, make your hair more fragile.


Some vitamins and minerals in your diet are essential to hair growth, health, and maintenance. A lack of zinc, iron, biotin, or other essential vitamins and minerals leaves your hair more prone to breakage. You may also have difficulty growing long, thick, and healthy hair. See a doctor to determine any missing nutrients and supplement them.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions such as thyroid problems or alopecia areata cause hair breakage. Thyroid problems affect the hair growth cycle and make it difficult to grow. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss. These conditions make your hair fall out, make your strands weaker and prone to breakage, and limit your hair growth. If you’re struggling with hair loss, try using a scalp serum or hair growth serum to grow back strong, healthy locks.


Stress often contributes to hair breakage and hair loss. When stressed, you produce more cortisol, a hormone that damages the follicles and makes hair more prone to breakage and loss. Many parts of your health suffer when you’re overly stressed — work on relieving your stress and maintaining your mental health.

Preventing Breakage

Everyone experiences hair breakage to some degree. If your hair is starting to thin, look drab, or leave a trail everywhere you go, take better care of your hair to prevent breakage. Even if you have mild hair breakage, there are ways to keep your hair healthy and avoid more breakage.

Start by being gentle with your hair. Avoid brushing it while wet; don’t be too rough, and use a gentle comb to detangle. Use gentle products on your hair, avoiding bleach, hair dye, and harsh shampoos or conditioners.

Protect your hair from heat styling and environmental damage. Keep heat styling to a minimum, and always use a heat-protectant serum beforehand. Wind and the sun’s UV rays also damage your hair, so protect it with a hat, scarf, or serum when outdoors.

Swimming often or in heavily treated waters is bad for your hair. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends, “Protect hair when swimming. Protect your hair from the damaging effects of chlorine by wetting and conditioning your hair before swimming. Wear a tight-fitting swim cap and use a specially formulated swimmers shampoo and deep conditioner after swimming to replace lost moisture.”

Dry hair is more prone to breakage, so keep your locks well hydrated. Use a leave-in conditioner and hair serum during your wash routine. Split ends are the first sign of hair breakage and make your hair look unkempt. Get regular trims to remove split ends.

Take good care of your body from the inside out. Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods are good sources of essential nutrients for healthy hair growth and maintenance. Stress contributes to hair breakage by weakening the hair follicles. Manage your stress with yoga, exercise, and mindfulness.

Hair Serums to Prevent Breakage

Hair serums prevent breakage by providing a protective layer around the hair shaft. This layer reduces friction and protects the hair from heat styling damage, environmental factors, and brushing.

Hair serum ingredients, such as silicones, oils, and proteins, serve several functions, including the ability to:

  • Reduce friction: Silicones form a protective layer around the hair shaft that reduces friction and prevents damage, tangling, and breakage.

  • Provide moisture: Oils hydrate and strengthen the hair, making it less prone to breakage. They also coat the hair to protect it from heat styling or environmental damage.

  • Strengthen the hair: Proteins strengthen the hair shaft and make it more damage-resistant.

Select a hair serum made for your hair type and needs. If you have dry hair, choose a serum that contains oils or butters. If you have fine hair, choose a lightweight, non-greasy serum.

It’s easiest and most effective to apply the serum to damp hair. Put a pea-sized amount of serum in your hands and rub them together for warmth and easier distribution. Start by applying the oil to your tips, gently running your fingers through to cover all shafts. Work your way up your hair to distribute throughout, leaving the most serum toward the ends. Put a bit on your roots, but be sparing because serum makes some people’s roots greasy.

For more even distribution, gently comb your hair with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb. Allow at least five minutes for the serum to soak into your strands, then style as usual. Apply a tiny amount to your dry hair for an added boost of shine, frizz control, and heat protection later in the day.

Hair serum prevents breakage and keeps your hair healthy and beautiful, but it isn’t a miracle cure. Follow other tips for preventing hair breakage, such as avoiding heat styling, brushing your hair gently, and getting regular trims. You can’t reverse breakage or damage to your hair, but you can prevent future damage and breakage.

Top Hair Serums for Breakage

Protect your hair from breakage by nourishing, moisturizing, and protecting it. In addition to the Oribe Hair Alchemy Fortifying Treatment Serum and Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil, these trusted hair serums work on a variety of hair. Try one that speaks to you most, then try another to see which your hair likes more. With some experimentation and patience, find the perfect product and routine to make your hair strong and healthy again! Here are more to consider.

Botanical Repair Strengthening Overnight Serum
$37.55 ($11.04 / Fl Oz)

by Aveda 

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03/07/2024 10:40 am GMT

Aveda Botanical Repair Strengthening Overnight Serum

Be patient with your hair and give it ample time to absorb your serum with Aveda Botanical Repair Strengthening Overnight Serum. Repair your cortex with a serum that works to build new hydrogen bonds between your layers.

This product strengthens, repairs, and protects hair. It reduces frizziness and detangles to prevent breakage. Since it protects against heat up to 450°, it’s effective against blow-drying and heat styling damage.

Smooth cuticles with avocado, green tea, and sacha inchi oils protect from heat and breakage and provide a shiny finish. This hair serum is suitable for all hair types!

Tracee Ellis Ross Jojoba Hair & Scalp Oil Blend
$28.00 ($7.18 / Fl Oz)


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03/07/2024 11:57 pm GMT

Pattern Jojoba Oil Blend Serum

As the company boasts, try Pattern Jojoba Oil Blend Serum “[w]hen your hair and scalp need heavenly moisture.” The jojoba oil base of this serum blends with safflower, rosehip, lavender, and olive oil to moisturize even low-porosity hair. Maintain your moisture and elasticity to prevent breakage and make your hair healthier.

This hair serum is ideal for thick, coarse, and textured hair but light enough for anyone. Protect and nourish your hair without weighing down your bounce.

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No More Breakage

Take these steps to take care of your hair and stop breakage! Remember, it’s normal for your hair to break, but keep it to a minimum by growing healthier hair and protecting your strands.

To “break” the hair damage cycle, remember this checklist: no dyes or harsh chemicals, minimal heat, protection from sun or wind, gentle brushing, a healthy diet, and daily hair serum treatment. These simple tips strengthen and safeguard your gorgeous locks.

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