It goes without saying that the main reason that you’ve come here is because you want longer, healthy hair. The reason that I bring up five hair care concerns is that the end result of them is usually not being able to grow longer hair. So I’m hoping that pointing them out and suggesting solutions will help you reach your goals.
I mention this concern first because I believe dryness is one of the main reasons Black hair breaks so easily. The solution for dryness is MOISTURE, MOISTURE, MOISTURE!
- Use moisturizing shampoos, conditioners, and styling products
- Do deep conditioning treatments for added moisture. This can be done every couple of weeks (or more if you have extreme dryness). I use a conditioning cap when I do them. There are many on the market. Shop around. Here’s the one I have: Thermal Conditioning Cap.
I remind you that the hair is constantly growing. It’s not getting longer because it’s probably breaking as fast as it grows. There are definitely things that you can do to minimize breakage:
- Wash the hair in sections. I know this is more time consuming, but hey… beauty can take time. You’re worth it though. J I part my hair into two sections and put it in ponytail holders before washing each side separately. Doing this minimizes tangling and breakage.
- Detangle thoroughly before rinsing out the conditioner. Whenever detangling, use a wide tooth comb; the wider the better. Work from the ends to the roots GENTLY removing any tangles.
- Speaking of combs, all are not created equal. The wrong comb can cause breakage and split ends. I recommend bone combs. Quality combs back in the day were actually made of bone. Today, they are made of an organic resin. They are caramel in color. Please be aware that all combs that say “bone” or “bohn” aren’t the real deal. Some companies slap the name on them knowing that this is a selling point. Those are the ones you get for $1.00 at the beauty supply store. In this instance, you get what you pay for. How can you tell the good from the bad? The good ones don’t have ridges around them from manufacturing. They are handmade, polished and completely smooth. I got mine here: Bone Combs.
- Wear protective styles. THIS along with lots of moisture is what helped me to grow my hair. This is where I lose most people that ask me how I did it. I know we wanna be fly 24/7. But when I was super fly, my hair stayed the same length for almost 20 years. My protective style of choice is the bun. It’s librarian sexy but it works. AND there are other options:
- Individual braids
- Corn rows
- Bantu knots
- BE CREATIVE!
3. TOO MUCH HEAT
This can be a challenge for some. It was definitely a challenge for me! But I want to emphasize that to get different results from anything that you’ve ever experienced, you WILL have to change how you treat your hair. You will have to be kinder and gentler.
Blow drying, and using curling irons and flat irons on a regular basis are not kinder and gentler. They all cause excessive dryness… even with heat protectants. Because of the length of my hair when I first started, I had to completely change what I was doing. I washed, blow dried and curled my hair twice a week. And then wondered why it wasn’t growing. Don’t get me wrong. I do wear my hair straight every now and then, but not all the time. I wish I was one of those people that could get away with it, but I’m not.
Even if you can eliminate heat some of the time, your hair will thank you for it. But if you can avoid heat for long stretches of time (and will keep your hair mega moisturized), you will be as surprised as I was at the amount of hair that you’re able to retain.
If you choose to relax your hair, there are certain things to do to avoid over processing:
- Don’t overlap relaxer
- Don’t relax too often
- Don’t relax too straight
5. TRACTION ALOPECIA
What is it? It’s a form of gradual hair loss caused by the hair being pulled too tight. It happens with braids, ponytails, tight buns, weaves, etc… Whatever the style that causes it, it is usually preventable. Here are some warning signs:
- Bumps and redness where the hair is being pulled
- Receding hairline
- Headaches from tension
If you have any of the warning signs, the first thing to do is loosen up the style that you’re wearing, or even better, switch to another one without all the tension. Traction alopecia can be reversed if caught early enough. If you suffer from this condition, I highly recommend seeing a dermatologist right away.
No matter how many years of experience a stylist has, they don’t know your hair better than you!
*I'm an affiliate for things I've bought or used personally. If you click through my referral link, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase. Thank you for your support in this way.