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Curly Nikki

Stopping Hair Breakage & Proper Cleansing- Q&A

By January 27th, 20216 Comments

Hair Liberty’s Nicole Hollis, our Resident Curl Chemist, is back from hiatus answering your most urgent hair questions. Got one for her? Email me at using “Hair Liberty” in the subject line and she may answer your question right here on the blog.

What’s the best way to cleanse my hair? Is the shampoo free method or Low-Poo method better than regular shampoo?
The point of shampoo is to clean your hair and scalp. Everyone needs a regular shampoo! Think of washing your hair like washing your face. Shampoo free and Co-washing are like the Oil cleansing method, Low-Poo is like using Cetaphil or some other lotion-like cleanser, and regular shampoo is every other face wash on the market. If you have acne prone skin, or you wear a lot of makeup, or you sweat a lot during the day, you choose a face wash with those things in mind…same thing with shampoo. We all know the kinks in our hair prevent the natural oils from traveling down the hair shaft. But, think about that. That means the oil is left sitting on the scalp, mixing with sweat, and dirt from the environment. The excess oil needs to be cleansed away regularly for your scalp to stay healthy. Plus, leaving product residue on your hair will cause tangles and breakage. You have to cleanse thoroughly, but gently, and there are plenty of shampoos that can do that. Some of the shampoos that earned the Hair Liberty “Highly Recommended” status are Jane Carter Solutions Moisture Nourishing Shampoo, Kinky Curly Come Clean, and Motions Weightless Conditioning Shampoo.
I’m finding little pieces of my hair on the sink. Please help me keep my hair from breaking off!

Many people try to stop breakage with extra moisturizers and/or protein, but you really have to pay attention to every step of your hair care routine. You have to use a gentle shampoo and a conditioner that contains hydrolyzed protein and good detangling ingredients. It’s equally important to only comb damp or conditioner-saturated hair. The more kinky the hair, the more it will break when it’s combed and it should never be brushed. Brushing isn’t for hair health, it‘s just for styling. 50 strokes a day to help hair growth is a myth and even then it was never meant for kinky hair.

If you’re not sure why your hair is breaking, it’s best to get a trim. Everyone hates to lose hair, but even if you turn your whole routine around you won’t be able to drastically improve breaking ends. It’s better to “start fresh” and maintain your ends from there. If they start to get thin and tangled again soon after the trim, you’ll know you’re still doing something unhealthy. You want to be able to go at least 8 weeks before your ends start to feel like tangled threads. Remember, your hair is always being damaged. Your goal is to slow down the damage cycle so you can enjoy each inch of hair for as long as possible before it needs to be cut off.

It can take a while to find a routine that reduces breakage, but once you have the right products and are doing the right things, don’t stop! Don’t look for cheaper substitutes for your holy grail products and don’t start heat styling or combing more because you think your hair is stronger. Kinky hair will always be fragile and it will always need the best care you can give it.

Hair Liberty (def): The freedom to rock whatever style you want, whenever you want. Curly, straight, natural, relaxed, whatever! Free yourself. For more info, visit


  • ebonyrose31626 says:

    Nice article and I totally agree about needing different cleansing methods. I wanna start co-washing for the fall/winter but I use Shea butter( a very small amount) and oils as a sealant so…co-washing may not be enough.

  • Anonymous says:

    In regards to shampooing, everyone's hair is different. I use to be able to shampoo with deep cleansers with every day (I wash and go) but after a while even KC Come Clean feels harsh. Now, I low poo 75% of the time with Black Soap or CJ Daily Fix and then give my hair a good cleanse with a Come Clean type product after every 3-4 days of washes or so just to have a clean slate again. Just listen to your hair and do what works for you.

  • Anonymous says:

    The article states you may need a trim if your hair is breaking but it depends on where the breakage is. If it is your ends then a trim is a good idea but if it is further up the hair shaft I don't think a trim will solve the issue. This article isn't very clear on what kind of breakage she is speaking of.

  • Lela7 says:

    @ hair brush. There are many things that could lead to breakage including split ends, which is why a cut or trim can be a good idea. The whole point of the article is that it provides many options. I've had breakage due to split ends and a trim helped me. The only 'poor advice' is the fact that u think u are some sort of faux hair guru, who thinks the same method applies for everyone!

    The article is fine. The article didn't say u must get a cut, but put it 4ward as an option. If u knew anything about hair, u would know addressing the moisture protein balance isn't always enough

  • hair brush says:

    Can't say I agree w/most of these assertions. Advising a cut instead of addressing the moisture/protein balance of the hair, which leads to breakage probably much more significantly than other factors, is just poor advice.

  • Jei says:

    Hola ladies-

    The link below will take you to a survey I created. I need to gather data about women of color and their hair care product choices as a project for class. I am a fellow kinky/curly girl and chose a hair care line made specifically for women of color with relaxed or natural hair as my focus. The survey asks question about your decision making process for choosing products for your special hair needs. I would be so grateful if you participated and passed the survey on to any of your friends who are naturally curly girls.


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