If you are using people bands, or (gasp) actual rubber bands, then that is the problem. You need bands specifically for dog hair. Try lainee.com Their bands are awesome. And keep in mind you need to CUT the bands out at least every other day...and you need to do it without cutting hair..just the band. If you leave the bands in for longer, they will break hair, cause matting and be a mess to get out.
They do make rubber bands out of plastic for kids hair. Dont know if you could use that or not but it doesnt break my daughters hair at all. I have a shih tzu and I would use them on him when his hair is actually long enough to do so lol.
Sorry. Its Laineeltd.com I have used the kids hair bands too, that don't break hair, etc. and they don't work as well as dog bands. They stretch out, and you have to put them in too tight to get them to stay, and then they break coat.
Do not use the bands made for childrens hair unless it is made of fabric. The cheap rubber/plastic ones will just chew up the hair. Use the wee tiny cloth ones made for little girls. No metal clips between them. Just cloth. And remove them everyday. Do not leave in longer than one day. Use a diluted conditioner/water spray on the hair before you brush it out again. Then pull up and band. You will have a long pretty top knot in no time. Never brush hair totally dry. Just slightly wet. good luck.
There are 'no break' gentle bands that I have found in Shoppers for humans (babies) that don't break the hair. You have to know what you are looking for and even bands from Lainee can break hair if not used right. You can place them too loose or too tight and damage hair but I rather like tighter than loose otherwise you are doing it always. I always spray strengthener or use Vellus on the top knot between band and hair to protect the hair and I always cut out making sure I only cut the band. There are cheap madan scissors that have a hook on them to help cut out the bands easier.
I agree with Kyashi - never brush a dry dog - top hair or body. You just get static and it breaks the hair. Even the hair around the eyes or beard when it has food in it should be saturated before brushing to eliminate brushing.