We’ve all heard the saying “Long hair, don’t care,” but if you really want your healthiest, longest locks, they need a little TLC. Read on to learn why your hair’s growth is at a standstill and how to get results.
1. It’s dirty.This may seem like common sense, but dirty hair is not healthy hair. Our scalp is an extension of our skin. Imagine what your face would look like if you went 2 weeks without washing it! Hair needs to be treated to a good cleansing at least once every 7-10 days.
2. Heat DamageHeat damage is no fun, whether it occurs on relaxed or natural hair. For natural hair using a high temperature of heat can give the same permanently bone-straight results as relaxing your hair. And, relaxed hair becomes brittle, dry and breaks easily.
“For breakage issues it’s best to see your stylist to get a trim. Severe damage may warrant a little more cutting to re-grow the hair,” says Sharrell Dorsey a natural hair expert and licensed esthetician. “Combat heat styling issues by getting regular protein treatments and deep conditioning treatments to make the hair healthier and stronger.”
3. It’s dry.To prevent hair loss and drying, both the hair and scalp need to be moisturized. A lack of moisture causes hair to be brittle and prone to breakage. Instead of using petroleum-based products because they can clog pores, use natural oils, Dorsey says.
“Turn to nature’s best oils like olive, Vitamin E, jojoba, coconut and monoi oils that naturally hydrate the scalp, hair and even body,” she suggests.
4. It’s being pulled too tight.Pulling hair too tightly can result in permanent hair loss such as traction alopecia, which occurs around the temple and near the ears. It can also result in acne or sores to the scalp, and that’s just not a good look. We already lose about 100 hairs daily, so there’s no need to double this number from irresponsible styling.
5. OverprocessingRelaxers, hair dye and hair curlers, oh my! Doing too much to your hair at once is dangerous. It’s damaging to hair’s overall health and can result with immediate consequences such as chunks of hair falling out. Be sure to read instructions carefully and to do your research before trying multiple treatments at once and for proper maintenance over the long run.
6. Lack of exercise and proper nutritionA healthy diet results in healthy hair. “Our diet plays a big part in the health of our hair,” Dorsey says. “Make sure that you are eating enough Omega-3’s like salmon and nuts and drink enough water to keep your internal health hydrated to support healthy hair.”
7. It doesn’t have time to just breathe.Although weaves and extensions are an excellent protective style that gives you the freedom to switch up your hair’s color and texture, it’s important to remove weave every 6-8 weeks and give hair a break for at least one week.
8. It needs a trim.Trims are not hair’s enemy! A good trim every 6 to 8 weeks prevents slit ends. Split ends are the cause of stunted growth so ridding hair of that ¼ to ½ inch will pay off.
9. Lack of proteinChemical treatments and heat damage can diminish between 15 and 20 percent of protein. Each strand of hair is made of protein, so it definitely needs it to survive. There are weekly treatments and others that take place every 6 weeks. Consult with a stylist to figure out your regimen.
10. Using the wrong regimenYou have to use the right products for your hair texture. If you have oily, straight hair, don’t buy a shampoo for brittle curls. Use products that cater to your hair’s needs for maximum results.
-Margaret Francois of Clutch Magazine