Chemical Processes & Hair Breakage

Woman with long blonde hair, wearing a silk blouser
Photo: Dreamstime
Q: Why do I have breakage around the hair line that only had about 1 1/2 inches of new growth and nowhere else? I have recently had my hair lightened about 3 to 4 levels lighter. I had previously relaxed my hair with a no-lye relaxer around 4 months ago, and the last few inches I had lightened myself with peroxide. If it was from the color, wouldn't all of it fall out? Please help me.
A: You should count yourself lucky that it didn't all fall out. Actually, the hair breakage at the hairline is not uncommon, since that is the hair that is most susceptible to breakage when damaged.
The hair back inside the hairline has other hairs surrounding it to give it added strength and support, but the hairs at the hairline don't have these supporting hairs and when subjected to stresses and tension from combing and brushing (after being damaged by chemical processes) these forward hairs will break more easily than others will.
The biggest problem I see is that you have used a number of chemical processes on your hair one of which typically reduces the hair structural integrity - the relaxer. Even no-lye relaxers permanently break the chemical side bonds in the hair, which destroys about a third of the hair's elasticity. Add to this the harshness of lightening the hair (which works by dispersing the melanin molecules in the hair shaft) and you can easily see how the hair can be severely damaged by multiple chemical processes.
Generally, I never recommend that a person perform hair coloring or lightening on themselves if their hair is already chemically processed. There is simply too great a risk of doing severe damage to the hair. And an ill-informed person who attempts to "mix" chemical processes can literally destroy their hair.
It is always in your best interest to seek professional assistance in dealing with chemical services, especially when dealing with performing one service over another.
See also:
After-care for colored and chemically treated hair
The scientific processes during perming & relaxing
Is it normal to lose some hair at the root after chemical hair service?
Is it bad for my hair to get dyed and relaxed in one hair salon visit?