Spotted on Black Girl with Long Hair. The blog, which targets “Black girls” who’d love “Long Hair”, shows us these are five common things ladies do to their hair, in the name of love, that could be harmful when done in excess. Study it. Find out which you are guilty of, then cease and desist forthwith.
Deep “Deep Conditioning”
Picking a deep conditioner is like picking an ice-cream flavor; there are so many delicious options. Once you select your DC of choice, you slather it on then — to make it work *really well* — keep it on your hair for hours on end. Well, that’s actually very counterproductive. Hair science blog The Natural Haven finds that most deep conditioners work their magic in 15 minutes or less. And excess deep conditioning can lead to hydral fatigue, which occurs when the cuticle is wet (and expands) then dries (and contracts) too frequently.
The Amount of Product in Your Hair is NOT Directly Proportional To the Pace of Hair Growth
If leave-ins, oils, butters and styling products are loaded onto the hair, what will result is a limp, soggy mess. Cuticles stifled by product buildup have less lustre, spring and, ultimately, less strength. Remember, the products you apply are at the service of your strands, not the other way around!
Just Because You CAN “Carry” Your Braids For 3 Months Doesn’t Mean You SHOULD
Protective styles are definitely a silver bullet for length retention, but bad things can happen when they are left untended for too long. Lint and dust that get into the hair can quickly turn into knots or tangles if unaddressed, and neglecting to moisturize makes for a breakage-heavy takedown. Then there’s scalp health. A dirty scalp is susceptible to sores and infections if the skin is punctured or cut. Always have an end date in mind when you put in a protective style, and be sure to tend to your hair while the style is in. Protective styling isn’t code for chucking up the deuces and ignoring your hair for months, on end.
Do Not Get Scissors-Happy; Your Split Ends Could Be Imaginary (did that rhyme?)
Oh, scissor happy naturals. Many of us over estimate how frequently we need to trim. A good dusting every few months is enough to remove split ends and knots. Some naturals are so gentle with their hair that they only need to trim once a year! Unless your hair undergoes intense styling on a regular basis (we’re talking industrial strength blowdryers, round brushes, curling irons, harsh pulling, the works), your ends are probably fine. Don’t cut yuor hair for no reason!
The Case of Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen… or on Your Hair
It’s typically a good idea to have hair mentors; women who have mastered their hair and can show you what it looks like to tend to a healthy, thriving mane. But please remember that every head of hair is UNIQUE. What YOUR HAIR is telling you should always trump what a hair guru is telling you. Take the time to become familiar with your key indicators (hair strength, tensility, fineness/coarseness, thickness/denseness, curl type) and keep that in mind as you digest the advice of hair gurus. Following blind will ultimately lead to frustration and the sad refrain of, “If worked for her. Why didn’t it work for me??”