Could your clothes be stunting your hair growth?
by Myesha Skye
Reading the title, most of us think of ASAP Rocky’s 2013 mega hit “Fashion Killa.” You know the video with him and Rihanna walking through various designer boutiques trying on questionable clothes (look me in the eye and tell me you liked that zebra print number she had on I dare you!). But in reality that Alexander Wang slip dress all the way down to that 2.99 Forever 21 t-shirt could possibly be stunting your hair growth! Certain fabrics cause friction and tension on the ends we so desperately try to save to retain length! When ends aren’t in protective styles, they’re vulnerable to damage and breakage... the very thing we’re trying to avoid.
Most of us have hit a growth plateau at shoulder length. For a while, I was in this boat. One of the contributing factors to that is your new hair length has met a formidable foe! Hair meet fabric. Once your hair reaches shoulder length, whether natural or relaxed, your hair will rub on your coats, sweaters, and hoodies. Some fabrics can be gentle on the hair like satin, microfiber, dupioni and charmeuse. Others, the ones which are commonly used for our clothing, are delivering a Mike Tyson worthy 1-2 punch to our ends and ultimately our hair growth.
Satin is a smooth glossy fabric, typically made of silk (did you know silk is a fiber and not a fabric cause I was clueless). Silk satin is most commonly used for clothes and is the most expensive of the satin family. Most bonnets and scarves on the cheaper side are made of rayon satin which is a close second to silk satin because of its breathability. Charmeuse and dupioni are in the satin family and have minor differences but tend to be relatively cheaper. Charmeuse might be the weave of that satin pillow case you own. I got mine from Bed Bath and Beyond, but Walmart carries them as well.
Microfiber is a close second in the hair friendly fabric family. Microfiber is easy to wash, care for, and it can be used to make almost anything! The reason microfiber is so good for your strands is because the fiber that’s used to make it has a smaller diameter than human hair. Therefore it's gentler on your strands. It absorbs water faster than a cotton towel, reduces frizz, and doesn’t produce tangle causing lint. Microfiber towels are easy to come by! Even retailers like dollar tree have microfiber towels and turbans for drying your locks! Although its synthetic and most studies say the fabric is bad for the environment, microfiber has made a lasting impact on the black hair community.
The best rule of thumb when determining if a fabric will be straining on your strands? If it holds pet dander or lint, then it’s no bueno for growing long locks. If you’re like me and can’t give up your wool hats and jersey knit turbans, there are alternatives. Sew hair friendly fabric into your hats. Joann’s fabric is my go to place for extra fabric! Their stuff is already affordable, and if you join their email list they send 50% off coupons almost every week! I take advantage of them far more often than I should. As far as turbans go, I tend to wear a protective style underneath them. When I wear a big turban, i.e., my roots picnic erykah badu-esque turban (pictured in the Hair Growth Challenge Group), I just tossed my hair into a huge puff and wrap my night time scarf around it.
Now go forth and make conscious decisions about the fabrics you choose on your hair! Let us know in the Hair Growth Challenge Group if you know of any other hair friendly fabrics, and share your hair journey with us. Remember to shop Precious Tresses hair care and use my code MYESHA20 for 20% off your purchase. Sending love and light!
About the author
Myesha Skye is a 22 year old blogger and Precious Tresses brand ambassador based in Delaware. She loves self-help books, astrology and meditation. She’s a novice yogini and adores hibiscus tea. Myesha can be found on all social media with the user name MyeshaSkye.