Last year was definitely a year of learning about my hair for me. I made some good hair habits, and some not so good, but all in all I can truly say that I know my hair much better now than I did at the beginning of the year.
Sometimes we don’t always pursue the best habits for our hair and let’s face it: we’re all human and sometimes our hair can’t take first place. But this year, let’s commit to being better to our hair and retaining as much growth as possible by leaving these hair habits behind me:
1. Insufficient Trims.
Trimming is an essential part
of any natural hair regimen. However often you trim, make sure you get
all of the hair that needs to be trimmed when you do. Prolonging trims
can exacerbate thin ends and before you know it, you’ll be in need of a
haircut. The best recommendation is to trim when necessary, but
definitely don’t allow three months to pass without ensuring your ends
are at their best.
2. Defective Styling
I am definitely guilty of defective styling. I called myself protective styling but all too often ended up installing box braids just so that I didn’t have to deal with my hair. All too often I didn’t moisturize my hair or do any scalp massages and as a result, my hair didn’t grow as much could have.
Protective styling is still very beneficial for Type 4 hair, but we have to make sure we wear these styles properly and take sufficient breaks in between. This year I’ve decided to wear braids every other month, allowing my hair to be free for one month in between to breathe.
Combs, brushes, heat tools- all of these take a toll on your hair. When it comes to detangling on wash day, try your hand at finger detangling first. It will help you alleviate the majority of your tangles without ripping your strands. Then use a wide tooth comb and for even smoother results, a paddle brush. Throughout the week, refrain from using combs and brushes as much as possible, opting for using your fingers instead. It may be more time consuming, but it’s totally worth it.
As far as heat tools, there’s nothing wrong with using them every once in awhile but if length retention is your goal, those tools should be used minimally and with care when you do. Always deep condition with protein before flat ironing, and you can always blow dry using cool air to cut down on the use of heat as well. I love blow drying my hair on cool air to prep for protective styles for maximum stretch without the extra stress of heat usage.
This includes anything from not doing those scalp massages that you know are good for your hair to not taking your vitamins consistently if they’re apart of your regimen. Natural hair suffers when it is neglected. So if you find yourself neglecting to do what you know is necessary for your hair, like moisturizing properly, wearing your silk/satin scarf, and sticking to a good hair regimen, don’t be surprised that your hair is not where you want it to be.
5. Rash Hair Decisions.
Since this post caters to hair growth, rash hair decisions just won’t “cut it.” If you’ve been eyeing a cute bob or colored ‘do, try to find a wig instead. In order to grow natural hair, you obviously should refrain from cutting or damaging your strands. Keep in mind that there are many Type 4 naturals who have colored strands, but it will require more maintenance to successfully keep your hair healthy in the process. It’s better to wait until you have obtained the length you’ve been striving for.