Hair, Hair Care, Hairstyles

Can Low Manipulation Help Grow Hair?

Starting out learning all about natural hair, you learn the difference between low manipulation and protective styles. Low manipulation can be twist or braid outs, puffs and afros. Low manipulation styles require less handling to maintain the hairstyle and can be worn for several days without have to redo it. Many natural swear by it and says that helped them achieve their desired length where others seem to avoid it at all costs. But can it really help with length retention of your hair? Here’s my thought process…eye-for-ebony-399310-unsplash

Styles like twist outs are cute, but with my low porosity 4C hair I can only stretch it out for 2 days max. By the end of day 2 there is barely any definition and my hair might start shrinking depending on the humidity. Every other night I would two strand twist my hair and take it out the next morning but I’ve noticed after a while I experienced more breakage.

With hairstyles like twist outs that leave my ends exposed I noticed a lot of single strand knots and tangles. My kinky strands love each other a little too much and when they are free to, they will wrap themselves around each other, causing knots and tangles.

For me personally low manipulation styles have to be worn few and far between. My hair grows best when I just leave it be. Low manipulation styles forces me to keep messing with my hair one way or another even when I try my best to stretch the style out for a week. When wash day comes, it’s a longer detangling session and more hair is loss.

I do admire and appreciate low manipulation styles but I’ve grown to realize it’s not for me. From time to time I would wear a puff but for the most part I keep my hair in protective styles. I felt that with doing so it did help me retain more length and less tangles.

Hair, Hair Care

Why I Stopped Wearing Weaves

Why I Stopped Wearing Weaves

Weaves are one of the most popular protective styles, giving you a versality of wearing either curly or straight while preventing damage to your own hair. Growing up weaves was my go to style, aside from wearing box braids. I wore them for weeks on end, would go back to the hair salon to get them to install fresh packs on my head. Weaves became a crutch and it prevented me from really knowing how to manage my own hair. I rarely wear weaves to this day and here’s why.

I need complete access to my scalp. As I started my healthy hair journey I’ve realized the importance of maintaining a healthy scalp. Preventing product buildup and making sure it’s clean to allow my hair to grow healthy. With weaves, no matter what method I did, I was never able to really “clean” my scalp. I would still take my tracks out and noticed product buildup when I washed my hair.

I became hella lazy. With weaves I literally could roll out of bed fluff my hair and go about my business. I’ve realized that with weaves I would neglect my own hair. My hair came out one way or another dry and brittle or greasy. This did nothing but cause unnecessary breakage. I would cause heat damage to get my leave out blend flawlessly with my weave and did not realize it until it was too late. I was causing thinning and heat damage, but it didn’t matter to me. My main goal was to stretch my style out as much as I can because I dreaded to handle my own hair.

I got bored easily. Back when I had all the time in the world, I would change up my hairstyle weekly. It became a waste of time and money after a while as I paid money to get the hair, pay to install it and then leave it in for 2 and half weeks to get a new style.

I believe it is possible for you to be able to manage your hair with weaves. However it was not something that work with my lifestyle. I had to find alternatives to be as versatile as I want, but still have full access to my hair.

Wigs has now become one of my go to styles and I rarely wear weaves anymore. With wigs and can slap it on in the morning and snatch it off when I come back home. The last time I wore a weave was about 2 years ago. Now I try to wear styles that make it hard for me to forget about my own hair as it gives me the ability to learn the best practices to grow it strong and healthy.

Hair, Hair Care

How to Identify Breakage and Shed Hair


How to Identify Breakage and Shed Hair

When you style your hair did you ever wonder if that wad of hair in your comb is due to a lot of shedding? There is a difference between shed hair and breakage and by identifying the two can help with the health and length retention of your hair.

Here is how you can tell the difference.

Shed hair is the hair that has reach the end of the growth cycle. You typically shed between 50 to 100 hair strands a day. It is the full length of your actual hair and you would notice a little white “bulb” at the root of the hair.

Keep in mind if you have your hair in a protective style like braids and you have them in for quite some time, you will see more shedding than you normally would if you were to comb your hair on a regular basis.

Breakage is hair that broke off along the length of the hair. A sure way to tell if its breakage is if you spot 1/4-inch length hair laying around after you finished styling or detangling your hair. Breakage can be a symptom of many things including too much or excessive manipulation.

If your goal is to retain length and grow your hair, it is crucial to know if your hair is normally shedding or if it is breaking off. If you can identify that your hair is breaking, you will notice that some part of your regimen is contributing to your hair breaking off. Most women believe that their hair can only grow up to a certain length. The truth is that your hair is always growing, however your hair is breaking off at the same rate as its growing, so your hair will always remain at the same plateau.

Some tips to prevent breakage

  • Be careful with detangling with your hair. Your ends are the oldest part of your hair and ripping through with a comb or brush will cause trauma and breakage to your ends.
  • Make sure you have proper moisture/ protein balance. Your hair could be lacking either and could cause your hair to be more prone to breakage.
  • Protect your ends. Make sure your ends don’t have the chance to rub against fabrics causing single strand knots or split ends. Either of the two can contribute to more tangles which can cause unnecessary breakage. Sleep on satin pillows or with a head scarf and be mindful with your hairstyles ensuring that your ends are tucked.

Knowing the difference between your hair breaking off or if it is normally shedding can help you reach your goal if you want to grow healthy hair. Once you determine the difference you can figure out the best technique or regimen for managing your own hair.

Hair, Hair Care

The 4 Basics for Healthy Natural Hair


The 4 Basics for Healthy Natural Hair

If you are new to starting a healthy hair journey, you might not know where to begin. If you’re like me, you watched a ton of YouTube videos and read countless blogs trying to figure out what is the right way to take care of your hair. Unfortunately, there is no secret regimen or product that can provide you with healthy hair. It can be overwhelming at first and if you don’t know where to start you can end up buying a whole bunch of products that may not work with your hair and won’t see any progress. I wanted to share my tips on what I focused on that stopped me from wasting so much time and preventing frustration, leading me to a path to healthier hair.

  1. Moisture

Afro texture hair defies gravity but is also naturally dry. With dryness comes breakage which can prevent our hair from thriving to its full potential. Kinkier textures such as 4C hair is extremely fragile and manipulating dry brittle hair will cause unnecessary hair strands to end up in your comb or on the bathroom sink. Using products that contain water will keep your hair from drying out. You want to make sure that when you are using a product to moisturize your hair, one of the first ingredients would be WATER. A simple mix that you can use to your discretion is mixing a spray bottle with water and leave-in conditioner or aloe vera juice.

  1. Protein

Protein is just as important as moisture when it comes to maintaining healthy hair. Protein is essential when is come to the strength of our hair strands. Our hair is made up of mostly protein, approximately 91%. When we manipulate our hair by combing, brushing, and exposing it to harsh environments, we tend to leave gaps and spaces along our hair strands. Tighter coiled hair will naturally have gaps along the hair strand as our hair tends to twist and turn in every way. Using protein treatments will fill in the spaces and gaps, replacing the protein that was loss. Believe it or not, having a healthy balance of protein will help retain moisture in your hair.

  1. Deep Conditioning

Deep conditioning should always be a part of your regimen as just regular shampoo and conditioning is not enough. Your hair is like a sponge and when you just use rinse out conditioner, your hair is not taking in all the nutrients it needs to make it healthier. Using a deep conditioner for EVERY wash day will give it the extra boost it needs. Depending on what your hair needs you can use either a moisturizing or protein treatment for each wash day. You can deep condition your hair in many ways, using heat is more efficient and can help the conditioner penetrate the hair shaft. If you don’t have a hair dryer you can wrap a towel, a thick hat or a shirt over your shower cap and use body heat; just make sure to leave it in for at least 30 minutes.

  1. A Simple Regimen

When I first started my hair journey my regimen was way too complicated. I would use the baggy method on my hair every other night, co wash on a consistent basis, slab 5 or 6 different layers of products on my hair and then wonder why my hair growth was stunted and had so much product build up. The biggest thing I learned from my years being natural was to stop doing the most. And that was the hardest thing to overcome as I would spend HOURS on YouTube learning what other women would do to their hair to make it grow. Keep it simple, stick to something that you can be flexible with but still commit to. Washing and deep conditioning your hair every 1 to 2 weeks is a great place to start; with using methods such as the L.O.C or L.C.O method in between wash days to keep your hair moisturized.

There are couple of honorable mentions I want to speak on but will do so in a later post. Styling and nutrition have a role in healthy hair and if not done so correctly can lead to breakage, excessive shedding or hair loss. The main point is with all the information you receive here or anywhere, the best thing you can do is make sure that your regimen and what you use for your hair works for you. Following someone’s regimen to a tee might not be the best thing…. take it from someone who knows. It is a great place to start if you are a beginner but just make sure to make it into your own and listen to your hair. Focusing on these basics will result in healthier hair that you will notice in no time.