|I hope this is the worst setback I will ever encounter.|
Friday, 6 December 2013
Such A Nightmare: Thin Ends!
It can really be a nightmare to wake up to the realization that your once healthy ends have thinned badly. No matter how hard we may try, some of us have such dry and brittle ends that break away uncontrollable if not cared for properly. We simply have to be cut off. That is the way our hair is and until we have mastered what our hair needs to keep it moisturised to the max, we just have to keep the hair shears close by.
Let me show you what I mean:
Devastating huh? See how much length I gained in just 6 months and see the horror breakage caused. In the first 6 months of my hair journey, I was able to retain a lot of length and my ends were just cool so I needed no big trim. But in the next 6 months, after my relaxer, my ends were so arrrrggggghhhhhhh!! Just plain ugly! I needed a cut. A big chop. What accounted for the big change? What went wrong? These are a few things I have taken note of. Yes, we go through a bad experience and we should guard against recurrence right?
I know you do not want thin ends. In order not to face this setback, these are a few things you should do:
1. Moisture, moisture and more moisture: Water is your hair's best friend. Just as you get thirsty, your hair gets thirsty too. If your ends are extremely dry, do step up on your moisture. Wash at least 1-2 times a week, use a good conditioner, water-based moisturiser and seal with a sealing oil. You do not need to shampoo on every wash day. Remember, some shampoos are extremely harsh and do more harm than good. Better still, get a sulfate free shampoo. I just got plain lazy in the last 6 months. I could easily blame the big bulk I was carrying back then but that isn't a good excuse. I got braids and weaves and didn't wash, or moisturise and seal as often as I was doing the first time. That made my ends get so dry and brittle. It is no wonder it just broke off.
2. Have a Fresh Trim: If your ends are badly damaged and split, it is best to trim them off before you begin to care for your ends. Sometimes, no matter how much moisture you give to your ends, they just don't stay moisturised. You apply the best moisturisers and they still look dull, dry and very brittle. Do yourself a favour and trim the damaged ends off else they will continue to split to the roots, hence causing more harm than good. Believe me, sometimes when you trim off those split ends, in a few weeks, it's hard to notice how much you trimmed off. Your hair grows in fuller and looks thicker.
3. Avoid Wet Brushing and Detangling: Not all hair can survive wet brushing or combing. Especially when the hair is relaxed. Same goes for detangling. Even sometimes, combing the hair soaked with conditioner just causes so much breakage in my hair. I totally took it off my regimen. I do not comb my hair in the shower anymore. I make sure I detangle when dry or damp. I ensure my comb can glide through the hair easily before I proceed to wash my hair. Natural hair is easier to work with when wet, but relaxed hair falls all over the place when touched wet.
4. Cut down on Direct Heat: Direct heat on the hair too many times a month can cause the hair to dry out extremely and become unresponsive to products. Airdry or rollerset as often as you can. Use a hooded dryer with low heat setting if you must use heat. I eliminated direct heat from my regimen as much as I could. I flat ironed just a few times to get my roots straighter. The few times I flat ironed and blow-dried, I used my profectiv mega-growth oil which doubles as a heat protectant. Not all salons use heat protectants so be sure to carry one along in case you are unsure. Buy a good head protectant. Grapeseed oil is a great heat protectant too.
5. Strenghten with Protein: You hair is weakened once you apply chemicals to it. If your hair is relaxed, do mild strengthening protein treatments as often as you can. I recommend once a week until your hair is strong. Do a hard protein treatment once a month or every 6 months. Best a week or two after a fresh relaxer. Always follow with a moisturising conditioner. Natural hair also needs some protein but not as often and as badly as relaxed hair.
6. Avoid Unnecessary Manipulation: This was my biggest downfall. Boy, was I glad I had gained so much length that it took just a few weeks of combing too often and wearing my ends out for it to break off extremely. Do protect your ends as often possible. Protective styles such as braids, buns, bantu knots, twist outs, etc can get boring sometimes but if you really want long hair, do hide your hair. Why African hair tends to be so fragile beats me, but once there is a way; follow it.
7. Go easy on Chemicals: If you must apply chemicals to your hair, apply them correctly. Do not overprocess your relaxer or overlap them onto already relaxed hair. Leave at least 8 weeks between relaxers. The more you can stretch, the better as it greatly reduces the risk of overlapping. The more you keep processing your hair, the weaker it gets. Imagine relaxing relaxed hair!! Do not let hairdressers play with your hair and do not assume they all know what to do. By all means, educate your stylist if you believe she got it all wrong. Time to speak up girl.
With all these noted , I have plans of sticking strictly to these hair rules in 2014. I have stocked up on the best hair products one can ever find in Ghana and I'm no doubt armed to the tooth for 2014 personal hair boot camp. Not too much of a price to pay for long and healthy hair.
Bra Strap Length by December 2014, here I come. I do want this; Waist Length Relaxed Hair!
What is your hair length goal by December 2014?