Routines that make our lives easier often come at a price and yes, that even applies to our tresses. Once I mastered the wash and go with my TWA I was elated at my conquest. It was a breeze on washdays because I could wash my hair with ease. There were no tangles, no sectioning, and no long washdays. It was glorious!
As my hair thrived, so did my tangles. My washdays grew longer and my frustrations began to mount. Common sense is not as common as one would think, so it was much too long before I made the connection that longer hair meant more tangles. It was even longer before I came to the realization that I needed to change my routine. I lost too many hairs to an insane struggle that was more internal (in my mind) than in my hair. My hair was not the problem, I was the problem.
Oftentimes new naturals and even frustrated veterans give up the natural hair journey before giving it a full and fair chance. My issue was simple. I had to change my routine. I needed to wash my hair in sections and be strategic in my wash routine. We all become comfortable with a hairstyle, a wash routine, and a particular product, so when you see it failing you wonder, “Why is my natural hair failing me?” Well, your hair never fails you. It's probably your routine.
Is your hairstyle damaging your hair?
Just like overuse of protein or wearing braids too tight too often, too much of a bad hair practice can be detrimental to healthy hair. Oftentimes a practice or style in and of itself is not bad, but overuse can cause damage. If you part your hair in the same place too often and you begin to see breakage, it may be time for a different part. If you notice edges are thinning and you wear tight ponytails, then you may need to try different styles. You may be comfortable with a hairstyle but your hair may need a break.
Thinning hair or bald spots should always be a warning that something is wrong. It does not always occur right after you wore a style that added too much tension or too high heat was applied during a flat ironing. Sometimes it takes time for the damage to occur so it may be harder to identify what caused it. Keep in mind that the average person will lose anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs a day and thinning hair is quite common in women.
Have your styling habits caused damage?
According to Health.com, hair thinning or loss can be from physical stress, pregnancy, too much vitamin A, and heredity like female-pattern hair loss (androgenic alopecia). Another big problem is poor hair care, which can ultimately create dry, brittle hair or hair thinning. Livestrong notes harsh products, excessive heat styling, and even tight ponytails can all be culprits for hair thinning.
Your hair is growing and changing along with you, and as we find comfort with styles, products, and routines, they can be stuck in time when everything else has moved on. Listen to your hair and watch the signs of excessive shedding, dryness, breakage, or thinning hair. Sometimes a protein treatment is not the only solution. Sometimes it is time for a new hairstyle.