All through the time i had relaxed hair, i can only remember noticing my hair grow three times. For many years, it was more of the same length. Many people would compliment and ooh aah over the hair but i knew it had kwashiokor and wasnt moving past that length. I saw ladies with longer hair and just wondered why my hair wasnt obeying me or what i was doing wrong.
i’m no expert now but with my natural hair journey, i’ve realised many of the mistakes i was making and you might be making too. Whether you are relaxed or natural, your hair should be growing. It is growing but you’re not seeing or noticing it because you are not retaining length and your hair is breaking faster than it is growing. An average person grows half an inch of hair every month. For some people, this growth could be more or less probably due to genetics, diet or medications.
Here are a few tips on retaining hair length in no particular order.
- •Moisturise: This was the first thing i learnt about hair and it is very important. Most naturals swear by the “LOC METHOD” to moisturise. This is acronym for liquid, oil and cream. The very best liquid nature has is water. i usually apply water mixed with a little leave in conditioner from a spray bottle and seal with any oil. Coconut oil,Jojoba,olive or Castor oil are really good oils for holding moisture in the hair shaft. Finally C for cream. Shea butter is a very good example of cream. Dry hair breaks and your hair doesn’t need to suffer from dehydration.
- • Combs – I’ve been a little afraid of combs lately probably because i have been noticing people with little or no hair at their edges and I now have the fear of going bald. One faq about my hair has been how I manage to comb it with its very thick texture. Its not so hard really. I would never try to comb my hair dry and I do not comb if I don’t have to. Yet I have tangle free hair. The trick is detangling effectively.
- A lot of people have this mentality that when you apply grease to the hair, it makes it easier to comb. I was guilty of this at one time. All it does is leave you with an oily mess of dry hair. Try passing a fine toothed comb through that. Major destruction!
With relaxed hair, moisturise lightly not wet, apply oils and comb with a wide toothed comb. Fine toothed combs break the hair and cause split ends.
With curly or coily hair, never comb your hair dry. A lot of people have the misconception that kinky coily hair is the strongest because of how thick it looks. Its actually the weakest and is more prone to breakage. Moisturise before combing with a wide tooth comb.
After rocking my coily styles for 2 weeks, I usually use my fingers to detangle. It takes a while but its safer.
•Use a deep conditioner after every shampoo wash. Deep conditioning makes the hair soft, restores bounce, strength if it is a protein deep conditioner, prevents breakage and frizz. When deep conditioning, it works faster if a sort of heat is applied. Either through hot towels, body heat or hooded caps. This makes absorption faster.
• Blow dryers, flat irons and curling irons can make the hair look very beautiful but the downside is it damages the hair. Heat is a no no for your hair. Excessive heat application would cause split ends, weak hair that lacks luster, degrade hair keratin and make the hair prone to breakage when combing. If you have to use heat, make sure you use heat protectant and a low heat setting. Its so sad that some salons would help you straighten your hair after retouching and there would be no professional advice. Then they would still ask that you bring your family members too. Tufia!
After a wash, its healthy to let your hair air dry or use hair dryer with cold air setting.
• Its preferable to use an old T-shirt to dry the hair instead of towels. Towels absorb moisture from the hair instead of just excess water. When our objective is to try as much as possible to keep moisture in to prevent frizz and protect the hair cuticle, the grooves of a towel prevents that. Some professionals recommend using microfibre towels. This doesn’t work for me though. It tugged at my hair strands with just mere contact.
If you feel the dos and donts are overwhelming, you could try incorporating them into your regimen one after the other instead of all at once.
Its a good feeling when you know you’re doing something right for yourself. Black hair does grow.
Has your hair been the same length for a long time? Which of the mistakes have you been making? Are you willing to retain more length this year? Your twopence is worth a lot in the comments box.
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Live naturally, Imisiayo.