It happens to the best of us, whether we co-wash, pre-poo, deep condition, or go organic breakage is can still occur. While many articles address how to prevent breakage I haven't seen a whole lot of discussion on what are the major culprits that cause breakage. There are the obvious offenders, heat damage, chemical damage and dryness but there are also internal factors such as hormone imbalance, dehydration and even stress. In addition wearing braids-while categorized as a protective styles- can also contribute to the demise of healthy hair.
First look at where your hair is breaking? Is is the edges, the crown, where your new growth is? Is it just one of the four quadrants? Around the crown could be an indication of stress and/hormonal imbalance. Edge thinning and breakage is often result of pulling hair too tightly away from the face (braids, ponytails, high-puffs, etc.) If the breakage is in a quadrant it could be an indicator of applying heat to the same section first every time you press.
Then look at the condition of hair that is not breaking closest to the hair that is breaking. What are the differences in texture and length? Is this hair more or less dense? Because we have combination hair we have to often condition our hair based on the thickest and most dense hair type we have. Fine hair needs are different from coarse hair needs.
What is the overall condition of your skin? Yes, your skin? Is it dry, oily, or combination. Does the skin around your eyes look tight or rested? This is the primary indicator of mineral deficiency and dehydration. Healthy, hydrated hair is like healthy hydrated skin; it glows.
If you are transitioning hair is prone to breakage because the chemically processed hair is weakened and often stressed as a result of the different textured hair making its way on the scene. Combat this fight by encouraging your straight hair to act like the curly hair. Do rod or straw sets and two strand twist with a moisturizing gel such as Ecostyler, which has a medium hold and is alchol free.
Remember the key to treatment is proper diagnosis!