Hope we are all good. I'm carrying on from where we left off last time in part 1. We're covering reasons why your tresses may not be growing or retaining length as you would expect. We listed over manipulation, over trimming and not moisturising your hair properly in the first post.
4. You're still using too much heat.
Heat styling is every woman's best friend huh? Lil' tonging here and there, flat iron for the week, blow dry to keep your hair neat...We all love the styles and flawless look we get from heat styling, but heat is one of your hair's worst enemies.
Heat degrades the protein that hair is made from and consistent use damages the hair permanently over time. You can easily tell when natural hair has been heat damaged because the curls will not revert once you wash your tresses and remains straight. It can also be manifested in a MUCH looser curl pattern than you normally have. For instance your hair becomes wavy instead of curly..or you jump from type 4 hair to type 3 and your curls do not go back to their normal tightness.
Relaxed ladies will know they have heat damage when the hair is dry and brittle, has a lot of split and frazzled ends and is thinning. The weakened hair is more susceptible to breakage and is weak, which is why your length is at a standstill. Now heat should be used sparingly and with a heat protectant ALWAYS. If you must use heat, reduce your sessions to once a month, on low temperatures. Try out bantu knots-outs, flexi rod sets, buns, wrapping, air drying, braid outs and twist outs to set your hair without having to resort to the hot tools.
5. You forget about your hair once it is in a new style
You don't stop applying lotion or spraying perfume when you buy and wear a new dress or pair of pants, so why should your stop paying attention to your hair with the new weave or set of braids? The same way your skin craves moisture and a bath everyday is the exact same way your crowning glory needs to be kept moisturised and clean. Most of us focus more on the attached hair than the actual hair underneath, so when you undo the style the hair is dry and weak..and your progress goes down the drain.
A few tips:
- Wash and deep condition your hair at least every two weeks when it is bundled up (I wash mine weekly)
- Section your weave to have easier access to the scalp during wash day
- Deep conditioning may be tricky when in a weave,so thin out the condish with some water or aloe vera juice then apply it to the tracks only, using a spray bottle.
- When in braids, apply the conditioner up to where your hair ends in the extensions.
- To keep your hair smooth in the braids, wear a silk scarf when air drying.
- Use a braid spray for your braids and weaves everyday to keep the hair moist. It will take you less than 2 mins I *pinky* promise. Do not use a sheen spray to moisturise, because it is made up of oils and won't impart any lasting hydration. Use a water based braid spray, and then follow up with sheen spray if you want extra shine.
- Spray the tracks of your actual hair underneath your weave, and not the weave itself to keep the extensions light and bouncy.
6. Colour crazy!
Vibrant colour is always exciting..auburn, blonde, maroon, fiery red..But colour always comes with a hefty price. Some ingredients in popular dyes, such as ammonia and peroxide are damaging to your tresses. A lot of dyed dames also noticed that their hair got drier or required more attention after the process. Therefore it is necessary to step up your game when it comes to moisturising and deep conditioning. And the more you colour, the more you have to invest in keeping the strands up to standard.
Avoid double processing if you can, this is when your hair is relaxed and dyed. This is because your hair will need even more attention. My mum used to be relaxed and would also dye her hair. Her hair seemed to remain at the same length year in and out..When I started my hhj I realised the double process was too much for her. So first I got her to texlax, and we saw some improvement. Next she gave up the relaxer and her hair has made a total 360 in terms of length and health. Now if you're relaxed i'm not saying you should stop relaxing, but if you can't keep up with the effort that dye requires it may be best to keep away from the colour or try safer alternatives.
For those who enjoy colour, you can dip into henna for a natural and safer alternative. You can read up here, here and here on all it's benefits and how to use it. This is the fabulous colour you can get from henna-ing.
Well that's all from me. Thank you for tuning in again. I'm still on a hyper busy schedule with exams and all so I will be back to full time blogging when time permits.