Hair Damaged by Wool Coat

Hairdresser coloring hair
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Q: My elbow length hair was badly damaged by the collar of my wool coat I wore all winter. I noticed early spring that the back middle of my hair was much shorter than the rest. It broke a large amount of the back of my hair off to within a couple of inches of my scalp.
I had it all chopped off short a year and a half ago. It hasn't really filled back out. All the non-damaged hair grows quickly and healthy but the back damaged section is growing out thin and damaged looking with a ton of short, about 2 inch long hairs throughout (new growth?) but why is it staying the same length for so long?
It looks terrible. Why is that area still damaged looking? I've had large trims. I don't dye, heat style, or process my hair in anyway. I don't shampoo every day. I'm very gentle with it. I eat very healthily and take vitamins. Biotin gave me breakouts... What can I do? And why isn't it growing out normally?

A: I’m sorry that you’ve had to go through this horrible experience. Wool coats are especially abrasive to hair, particularly because it builds up static electricity. The static electricity makes the hair cling even tighter to the wool, and eventually causes enough friction during normal movement to eventually break the hair off.
To prevent this from happening, you should wear a silk scarf around your neck, or even around your head, (Kelly scarf), to protect your hair from the coat’s surface. Also remember that our hair tends to get wet/damp all the time. Hair is super fragile when it’s wet, so the hair breaks even easier during that time of the year.
The average speed of hair growth is 0.5 inch per month. Some people struggle to have their hair grow long, but since you had long hair previous to this unfortunate event and the rest of your hair is growing out like normal, this isn’t the case in your situation. It is very likely that the hair that has been broken off at the back suffers from split ends, as well as still being damaged. This will obviously contribute to the fact that it keeps breaking off.
You should also be mindful of other things that could be making the situation worse. If you’re wearing a necklace, (even a fine one), this will also break the hair off very short. I have a friend who struggled to grow her hair out in the nape area, and she only later realized that the reason was the gold necklace that she received from her parents for her 21st birthday!
Also, hair bands are a huge culprit when it comes to hair breakage. If you tie your hair up a lot, you’ll often hear the hair snapping when you twist the hair band around the circumference of the ponytail. Rather use a claw-clip to clip up your hair, or if you must wear hair bands, get metal-free bands that will do the least amount of damage.
You can go to a professional salon and have a keratin treatment done to the damaged section, which will significantly harden and strengthen the damaged hair, and help it to grow out better.
Also, dry your hair with a T-shirt instead of a towel, as it causes less friction. Try to lather the damaged part with strengthening products and try to not apply heat or chemical products such as color or bleach to that part of your hair until it grows out normally.