All Articles Tagged "breakage"
You’ve thought about pills, procedures, even considered going the Monistat route, but realized that the quick fix is not always the safest. Although genetics will play a role in your hair’s terminal length, there are steps that you can take to boost growth and reach your optimal hair health. If it seems like you’ve tried everything and nothing is working, check out these ten steps that will help you achieve your goals of healthy hair– the natural way.
There’s an old wives tale that brushing your hair 100 strokes per day will help it flourish, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Tugging stresses your tresses point blank period. This also goes for twirling strands around your finger, constant combing (yes, even with a wide-tooth comb) and styling hair daily. The best way to avoid this is to wear hair in a way that allows you to easily refresh with minimal manipulation such as twist-outs, ponytails and roller sets.
Hair breakage can range from mild to horrifyingly severe. Just recently, I was a victim of the very severe kind after I decided to highlight half of my head a very light brown. In the months after, as I witnessed large clumps of hair falling out in the shower, and seeing the short stubs of my hair spread around my hair, I took some major action. But now, these new habits are part of my routine to prevent breakage and keep my hair healthy.
1. Get regular protein treatments Now that I’ve experienced the wonders of protein treatments, I don’t understand why they’re not more popular. I immediately went to the salon after my initial breakage and asked for a protein treatment. A good protein treatment coats your hair in protein and specifically strengthens your hair to prevent any further breakage. Because of its potency, stylists recommend getting them at least six weeks apart.
2. Deep Condition In general, if your hair is moisturized and conditioned well, it will not break. Simple, right? Obviously, your hair would be prone to breakage if it’s dry and brittle. To avoid that, make sure you deep condition your hair regularly. There are a myriad of options in deep conditioning products – just make sure you allow the conditioner to sit on your hair while you sit under a dryer. The heat will help the conditioner penetrate your strands. If you don’t have a dryer, simply wrap up your hair in a plastic cap and get to moving around, doing chores around the house. Hey, any body heat will help!
3. Use a wide toothed comb If you haven’t adopted the wide toothed comb, why haven’t you? These combs are great because they detangle and minimize the stress on your hair. When dealing with your tresses, the idea is to treat it well without putting too much tension or stress on it.
4. Lay low on the heat I know you love to blow dry, flat iron and curl your hair on the regular but just know, the less heat you use, the better. Blow dryers and flat irons are not gentle on your tresses so if you’re in a delicate state, the heat will definitely not help matters. Try to look into low-heat to no-heat styling options.
5. Oil gently. Investing in a great and light hair oil has done wonders for me. Every night I use jojoba oil and comb it through my hair before I wrap it. Of course, the idea here is to avoid dryness and promote soft and moisturized tresses. It doesn’t matter which oil you use as long as it’s something that’s not too heavy and works well with your own hair.
6. Use a satin pillowcase. This is an oldie but goodie. Cotton is much more harsh on our tresses so to avoid that contact, invest in a satin pillowcase or wrap your hair in a satin scarf.
7. Stay away from chemical treatments. If this is not obvious by now, I’d like to reiterate just how harmful relaxers and coloring treatments can be to your hair’s elasticity. If you’ve already sworn off chemical treatments and are in the process of growing out your hair, it’s important to pay special attention to the line between your natural hair and your processed hair. Carol’s Daughter has a kit specifically designed to treat hair that is transitioning from relaxed to natural, which helps reduce the likelihood of breakage. The kit includes an extra gentle cleanser, scalp spray and anti-breakage treatment.
That’s it for me. What are your secrets to keeping your hair healthy?
It seems like everywhere you look, folks are doing the big chop! Although many women are donning a short cropped look for style purposes, many others are cutting off their locks to speed up the transition from relaxed to natural.
Although cutting your chemically-treated hair is a quick and fast option, for those not ready to take that leap, there are ways you can ease your transition. Here are a few tips:
Consult a consultant. When starting your journey, why not meet with a hair stylist who specializes in natural hair? She can not only recommend products, but also provide you information about protective hair styling options.
Moisturize. Keeping your hair nourished and conditioned is a must for any hair type, but especially critical when you’re caring for two different textures. Chemically-treated hair tends to be weaker than natural hair, so it’s very important to deep condition weekly and use natural oils to keep it supple during the week in order to avoid breakage. One option to aid your transition is the Transitioning 1-2-3 kit from Carol’s Daughter, the first hair care system that specifically targets transitioners. It includes a cleanser, scalp spray, and anti-breakage treatment.
Lay low on heat: Again, since you’re caring for two textures and want to protect against breakage, it’s critical to style your hair with as little direct heat as possible.
Trim: We all get behind on our trims from time to time, but you can’t let that happen when you’re transitioning. Getting regular trims will help promote healthy growth, reduce breakage, and just give you an overall more polished look.
YouTube and Uncover The Blogs: I bet you’re wondering, where do you find out about these new style options? YouTube of course. The resources for natural hair has exploded in recent years past so you won’t be short of any blog videos to choose from. You can also go directly to the blogger’s websites for more information. One great resource is Afrobella.com
Stronger, Longer Hair Challenge
A lot of hairstyles these days can cause a lot of stress on our edges. Braids, cornrows, twists, weaves, they all involve pulling of the hair. These hairstyles make us look and feel great, but can be detrimental to our hair. I’m sure we have all seen the pictures of Naomi Campbell or other celebrities with bad edges. Those celebrities are constantly stressing their hair out because they are getting several different styles so soon – one behind the other.
Here are some helpful ways we can be careful and avoid stressing our edges:
When you are getting braids, hold the braid while the stylist is braiding. They need the tension to braid down so to prevent your edges from coming out, hold the braid at the root so there is no stress on the edge.
When you get extensions, leave your edges out. It’s the most delicate part of your hair so don’t stress out the edges. Leave just a small amount out and if you have a straight weave, use a heat protection polisher to keep your tresses safe and frizz free.
When you are straightening your hair, don’t use a pressing comb or get too close with your flat iron. We know you want perfect edges but think about having no edges! Instead, use a product that lays down your edges. Preserve your straightened hair with a silk scarf at night.
If you get cornrows or weaves frequently, give your hair a break in between. Don’t take a set of braids out and then an hour later put another layer of stress on it. Give your hair at least a one week break. Deep condition it with a deep conditioning masque.
Try these tips out next time you do a style that may stress out your edges.
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by Marissa Ellis
I never thought it would happen to me. But we’ll get back to that in a second.
Like every woman out there, I’ve been inundated with advertisements of hair products promising to stregthen and volumize hair to make it healthy and lustrous. I ignored most of it. My hair was healthy after all and I didn’t need to “heal” it.
In the past few weeks, I’ve since changed my tune. I’ve been scouring product reviews to find out which protein treatments, deep conditioners, and moisturizers would help me avoid these daily thoughts of cutting it all off. That’s because a month ago, what I thought wouldn’t happen to me, happened: severe breakage.
Sure, I’ve read about it, but assumed most people were talking about split ends. I didn’t know your hair could really break off an inch from your head, taking fly-aways to a whole new level. In telling my hair horror story, I hope you can learn from my bad experience and be better informed about the dangers of coloring.
Go To A Colorist
The first mistake I made was not going to a “colorist.” I did go to a professional, a very expensive professional in a high end salon at that, but I soon found out that he was known more for his cutting/styling skills than his coloring skills.
I arrived at his salon at 8am on a Saturday morning, showed him a photo of the color I wanted, and he went to work ten minutes later. In essence, there was no consultation, and every good colorist does a consultation. The only question he asked me was when was the last time I had semi-permanent color in my hair. I put in a warm brown rinse in my hair every six weeks to cover my premature grey. So after I told him that I had a semi-permanent color in my hair done about a month ago, he just nodded.
By Chrissi J
“Why Won’t My Hair Grow?!”
There are several potential answers to this commonly asked question. Unless hair has been permanently damaged for some chemical or health-based reason, our hair is and always should be growing in one way or another. Growing slow, growing fast, growing in crazy directions–it should be growing nonetheless. Everyone’s hair grows on average about ¼ inch every month. If your hair seems to be growing less than that, here are some explanations as to why that may be and tips to help.
1. Breakage- In my experience, this is the number one reason hair seems not to grow. A lot of times we forget to moisturize the ends of our hair so they dry up and break off. You must remember that the curlier your hair, the less likely oil is to reach the end of the strands, so that’s where you need to step in. It is just as important to oil the ends of your hair, as it is to oil the scalp.
2. Split Ends- Split ends can be caused from lack of moisture, heat, chemicals, and plain carelessness. It’s important to trim chemically treated hair every 6-8 weeks, and natural hair every 3-5 months, and make sure to keep hair moisturized to avoid split ends. When hair splits at the end, it splits all the way up the shaft causing breakage and creating a thinner strand. Wearing weave and extensions can also cause split ends, so you will want to trim a little every time you take your extensions out.
3. Scalp Build Up- Grease and other heavy products can clog your scalps pores, stunting the growth of your hair. Your scalp needs to be able to breathe! Use light products that penetrate your scalp and hair. Try to use all-natural essential oils and avoid grease, wax, or jam. If heavy product is required for styling, be sure to shampoo or clean your scalp with an astringent at the end of the day.
4. Diet/Medication- Everything that goes into our body effects what comes out of it… including our hair. Make sure to maintain a healthy diet full of live foods and drink a lot of water. If you’re taking medication, speak with your nutritionist about taking vitamins. Biotin and Vitamin E are both great for hair growth.Chrissi J is a hair-care specialist currently based in New York City, specializing in creative natural hairstyling and overall hair care. She is the originator of the Keepin’ It Kinky Campaign. Check out her work and videos at Keepin’ It Kinky and through her YouTube page.
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Dry hair can be a result of one or a combination of things ranging from your hair’s porosity, to the type of water you use (hard vs. soft), or the issue I am going to cover today: protein overload.
I recently discovered that I was overloading my hair with protein. To give you some background, I am relaxed and I do my touch-ups every 6 months. I’ve always wondered why my new growth grew in so dry no matter how much I moisturized, but attributed it to the contrast of my two textures. On my wash days it would be extremely soft until it dried (I air dry). I guess I never really cared much because I wasn’t experiencing crazy breakage, plus I do low manipulation/protective styles when I stretch my relaxer. Keep in mind that my relaxed ends felt perfectly normal; the problem was with my new growth.
Rewind to 3 weeks ago, I wanted to get to the bottom of this, partially because I’ve been playing with the idea of going natural on a 24-36 month stretch. I agree that natural hair is thicker and drier than relaxed hair, but this was a different kind of dry; my natural roots felt like straw! What could be causing this? Panic ensued.
The first thing I did was purchase a different moisturizer—Giovanni Direct Leave-In. Nope, it didn’t work and it went straight back to Target! Once the light bulb came on, I realized it had proteins in it along with everything else I was using (my moisturizing shampoo, conditioner/moisturizer, heat protectant and of course protein treatment). Finally, it all made sense. My natural hair was not benefiting from the extra protein because it’s in its healthiest state. On the other hand, my relaxed hair loved it.
During this chaotic episode, I tried protein-free conditioners (i.e. Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner), but they made my hair feel even worse. The culprit? Coconut oil. Coconut oil works to slow down the loss of protein from your hair—totally counter-productive to what I was trying to do. It also solidifies in colder temperatures, making your hair harder. *Le sigh*. At one point, I wanted to go ahead with my touch-up and let the lye do its job of breaking down that excess protein, but my inquisitive nature wouldn’t let me.
After much trial and error, I have found protein-free products that are putting moisture back into the natural portion of my hair. Before I used them, I clarified with Vo5′s Kiwi Lime Clarifying Shampoo to start on a clean slate.
As you may have learned in my article, “Let Me Count The Ways: 6 Reasons Why I Love My Weave” , I have been wearing hair extensions on and off since the age of thirteen. Shortly after having my hair professionally micro-braided for my eighth grade graduation, I attempted to braid my hair myself. Needless to say, I spent many days of my freshman year of high school looking a hot mess. There was the time I unknowingly bought synthetic hair and ended up with a head full of waxy, shiny, unable-to-be-curled craziness. Oh and let’s not forget the burgundy individuals that hung way past my waistline and made my neck muscles about ten times stronger. Eventually, after much trial and error I perfected my craft, and soon had friends wondering how much I charged. (The funny thing is ‘till this day I still can’t style anyone else’s hair as well as I style my own). From micro-braids I graduated to weave ponytails and when I get enough time, I vow to master a sew-in weave without the help of my stylist.
This post expresses my unending gratitude to all of the weavologists and stylists of the world. I still can’t claim to be a master in the arts of installation and style of extensions, but I have learned a few lessons along the way:
I don’t know why I decided to lock my hair. No, that’s not true. I’m locking my hair because every winter, since my freshman year of college a patch of my hair, which I usually wear in a twist out fro, falls out. I call the patch my “sick spot.” It’s usually the width of three of my fingers behind my right ear.
It first fell out in December during finals week. College was not the best environment for my hair. The city’s water was hard, my diet was sketch, and the stress was outrageous. So every winter, like clockwork my sick spot would return.
This is my first winter out of school, the water is better, my diet is better and I’m not as stressed so theoretically my hair should have stopped falling out. But alas, I became a “picker.” I was constantly fiddling around in my sick spot, trying to determine if that hair was too dry, to tangled etc. So I literally picked my hair to near baldness…again. (Crazy I know.)
It sounds awful but it’s actually not that terrible. I get the back of my hair shaved to even it up and it’s back by the summer. In the meantime the sick spot can be camouflaged in some of the freshest updos. But I got tired of the process and decided to do something to my hair that I couldn’t (or shouldn’t be able) to destroy.