Hair Breaking Off in the Middle: Understand the Causes and Treatment Options

Amisha Jain
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Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
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Hair Breaking Off in the Middle

Hair breaking off in the middle is a frustrating and concerning issue for many people.

It occurs when the hair shaft becomes weak and brittle, leading to strands breaking off or snapping easily. 

It is known to affect around 53% of men above 40 years and 41% of women above 50. 

A lot of factors may contribute to your hair breaking off in the middle.

It is important to understand them and find ways that can help maintain strong and healthy hair.

This article discusses the causes and treatment options available to avoid breakage.

Causes of hair breaking off in the middle

There are various causes that might lead to hair breakage.

These causes include the following:

Physical damage

This kind of damage occurs when the hair is exposed to heat too much or too frequently.

It could be from heating tools like blow driers, straightening irons, or curling rods.

Overuse of styling tools can cause the hair to become dry and brittle, making it more prone to breakage.

Researchers have found that high heat can damage the hair surface, cuticles, and cortex.

Additionally, the way and frequency with which you comb your hair might also lead to hair breakage.
A study from 2009 found that women who brushed their hair less lost lesser hair.

Instead of hot water, use warm water for washing your hair.
Hot water can strip the hair off of oil and make it dry.

Chemical damage

Chemical damage is another potential cause of your hair breaking off in the middle.

This can occur when hair is subjected to harsh chemicals, such as those found in hair dyes, relaxers, or perms.

These chemicals can break down the protein bonds that give hair its structure and strength, leading to breakage.

Research has shown that repeated exposure to harsh chemicals can significantly weaken the hair, making it more prone to breakage.

Nutritional deficiencies

In addition to chemical and physical damage, nutritional deficiency can also lead to hair breaking off in the middle.

Research has shown that vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy hair growth and maintenance.

These include vitamins A, C, and E and Biotin, Iron, and Zinc. 

Hair may become weak and brittle when the body lacks these nutrients, leading to breakage.

hair breaking off in the middleSource: Sorapop_Udomsri
Hair breakage


Stress can also damage the hair and make it susceptible to breakage in the middle.

Studies have been conducted to prove that stress can disrupt the hair growth cycle.

This can lead to increased shedding and hair breakage.

Stress can also cause the body to produce more cortisol, a hormone that can weaken the hair follicles and make them more prone to damage.

Apart from this, stress has been linked to hair loss and hair breakage.

Evidence shows that it can cause Telogen Effluvium, a type of Alopecia

This condition can lead to hair damage by making the hair follicles go dormant. 

It results in hair breakage of both old and new hair during a growth cycle.

Around 85% to 90% of hair follicles are typically in the growth phase at any given time.

Treatment and prevention

Hair breakage could be a problem for many, but some lifestyle changes and a little extra care can help treat it.

Here are a few tips that could be useful.

Trim the damaged ends

Trimming the damaged or split ends can help prevent further breakage of the hair.

It also promotes healthier hair growth.

Avoid styling tools

Avoid styling tools as much as possible to avoid damage.

Let your hair air dry whenever you can.

If you have to use heat, make sure you use a heat-protectant to reduce the damage.

Hair styling toolsSource: Pixelshot
Hair styling tools

Comb the right way

Never detangle your hair when wet unless you have curly or coily hair.

Also, use a wide-toothed comb and go from the ends toward the roots to minimize the breakage while detangling.

Use gentle hair care products

Harsh chemicals in your hair products can weaken your hair and cause hair damage.

Use gentle and moisturizing shampoos and conditioners to maintain the scalp and hair health.

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Deep conditioning

Regularly deep conditioning your hair can help strengthen and moisturize your hair, reducing the risk of breakage.

You can use hair masks once a week.

Hair masks are readily available in the market, but you can also make them at home with ingredients such as eggs, oils, vitamin E, honey, etc.

Regularly condition your hairSource: Triocean_from_Getty Images
Regularly condition your hair

Protect your hair

Using a satin or silk pillowcase helps reduce friction that can lead to breakage.

You can also cover your hair with a silk scarf while sleeping.

Also, use hair ties made from the same material instead of elastic bands.

Spiral hair ties or scrunchies are also gentle on hair and prevent breakage.


In conclusion, many factors can lead to hair breaking off in the middle.

These include excessive heat styling, tight elastic bands, chemicals, and nutritional deficiencies.

Deep conditioning, gentle hair care products, necessary supplements, and some hair care habits can help promote healthy hair growth.

If you are experiencing persistent hair breakage, consult a hair care specialist to develop a customized treatment plan that addresses your individual needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix hair breakage in the middle?

To fix hair breakage in the middle, it is essential to know the cause of it. Chemicals, heat styling, and dehydration are frequent causes. Reducing heat style, avoiding harsh chemicals, and deep conditioning can restore moisture and reduce breakage. Trimming the damaged hair can also be helpful.

How do you prevent mid-hair breakage?

To prevent mid-hair breakage, avoid heat styling and harsh chemicals. Use a wide-toothed comb, and do not over-brush your hair. Keep your hair moisturized by using gentle products and deep conditioning regularly. Additionally, protect your hair when sleeping by using a silk or satin pillowcase and avoiding elastic hair ties.

What illnesses can cause hair breakage?

Specific illnesses can lead to nutritional deficiencies or hormonal imbalances. These conditions include thyroid disorders, anemia, and autoimmune diseases, which can contribute to hair breakage. Stress-related conditions, such as depression and anxiety, can also lead to hair breakage.

Does cutting hair stop breakage?

Trimming or cutting hair can help to prevent further breakage by removing damaged or split ends. However, it will not necessarily stop breakage altogether, as the underlying causes, such as heat styling, chemical treatments, or lack of moisture, will still need to be addressed.

What does hair breakage look like?

Hair breakage can manifest in different ways, such as split ends, shorter or broken strands of hair, and even thinning patches. The severity of breakage may vary, and it can cause dryness, brittleness, rough texture, and tangled hair.

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