One of the biggest myths when it comes to natural hair is black women and hair growth. We want you to know your hair grows. So many of you believe your hair is not growing. But the truth of the matter is unless you’re suffering from alopecia or dealing with some medical condition. Your hair is growing. It grows on an average of half an inch a month. YES, coilies, your hair is growing. If we do the math (half an inch a month + 12 months = 6 inches of growth a year). Your hair is growing but the problem is you are not retaining the length.
Based on genetics some people grow more than half an inch a month and others stay at the average of half an inch a month. But the average human head grows half an inch of hair a month and shed between 50 – 100 strands a day. So you can stop panicking now, shedding is normal. It’s breakage you need to be worried about.
WHAT CAUSES BREAKAGE?
There are a few things that cause breakage.
Stress – Can cause your hair follicles to go dormant causing hair that’s in the middle of the growth cycle to break off.
Dryness – Dry weather and low humidity can impact the condition of your hair. If your hair ends are constantly dry when shampooing focus on cleansing your scalp and stay away from the ends of your hair. After shampooing it’s always important to follow up with a “deep conditioner,” with heat. To add the moisture back into your strands.
Elastic Hair Ties – Be careful when using hair ties to make sure they are not tight. Hair ties can pull on your scalp and hair cuticle which can increase the amount of hair fall out when taking down your hair.
Single Strand Knots/fairy knots- They are very common amongst naturals with kinky and coily hair. They feel like beads along the hair strands. Which can result in breakage while combing or brushing your hair.
Over-washing your hair – There is such a thing for women with type 4 hair. Washing your hair every day can dry out your hair. Try washing your hair every 5-7 days or on a biweekly basis. If you’re one of those Coilies constantly using different products every other day and need to wash your hair constantly. Instead of shampooing every time try co-washing with a conditioner that way all the oils from your hair are not being stripped away from your hair.
Here are some ways to retain your length
Over Manipulation – We're a huge advocate of low manipulation hairstyles. I’m sort of a lazy natural when it comes to how often I style my hair. In the last year, I’ve been able to retain more length by practicing low manipulation styles. I style my hair once a week and I leave it alone. For example, if I’m doing a braid out which are my favorites. I’ll braid my hair and leave the braids in for the first 2-3 days then take it down. Rock my braid out until my next wash day. I preserve my braid out with the pineapple method at night to keep the definition from the braid out. I wash my hair every 7 days. Sometimes I’ll rock 2 french braids for a week or a bun etc. Those are examples of low manipulation styles. Keeping your hands out of your hair and leaving your hair to do its own thing which is to flourish. Keep in mind it's important to moisturize your hair before styling and keeping it moisturized.
Split Ends – It’s important to get your hair trimmed as needed. We can’t tell you when to trim your ends. For me, I get my ends trimmed once a year and dust my ends as needed throughout the year.
Too Much Use of Heat – We know some you love the heat. But constantly blow drying your hair or the use of styling tools to style your hair not only dry out your hair. It can also cause heat damage to your strands.
Lack of Moisture – If you don’t hydrate your hair, it leaves your hair prone to breakage. So you want to ensure your strands are getting lots of attention. We will always stress the importance of knowing you're hair porosity. Hair porosity is how well your hair can absorb moisture. There are 3 types of porosity levels (Low, Normal and High).
Wash in sections – Many coilies can attest 75-80 percent of breakage they experience is during wash day. Attempting to comb through your hair all at once is suicidal Sis. It’s important to detangle your hair on damp or wet and in sections. This was another game-changer for me in retaining length. I started detangling my hair in 4 sections. First I finger detangle then I use a wide-tooth comb.
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