On Saturday, she would repeat as before. This is how she had worn her hair week in, week out for the past couple of years. She would straighten her hair only very occasionally. She never wore any extensions (weaves or single braids).
The shorter haired lady’s regimen for the past month:
Week 1 – Wash and mini twists with her own hair. Wet hair daily.
Week 2 – Wash and go for the week while co-washing daily
Week 3 – Braid out with a co-wash and redo midweek
Week 4 – Wash and deep condition then straighten hair for length check.
Now at first glance, you would imagine that the second regimen is the more sound for black hair. It is literally bursting with moisture! Right? Well yes but there’s also a major problem with her regimen.
The problem with the second lady’s regimen is the sheer amount of manipulation her hair encounters every month. Her hair encounters manipulation when braiding it, taking the braids down, doing wash and go’s (more than likely detangling during each session), doing a braid out twice in one of the weeks and finally straightening her hair and all the detangling and combing that involves.
Each time she manipulates her hair, she will lose a small amount to breakage which is perfectly normal. Now if she was doing this just once a week or less, it would not be a great deal to worry about but when we look at the sum total of the amount of hair lost in an average week, I’m certain she would be shocked!
This is one of those annoying facts that some choose to not hear, but black hair is fragile and prone to breakage even when natural. Excessive manipulation just compounds the issue and breakage gets worse.
I’ve heard people say that braids, weaves or wigs grow your hair. They don’t, it’s actually the lack of excessive manipulation while your hair is in these styles that allows you to retain it’s length. However, it is not written in stone that your hair has to be ‘hidden away’ in order for you to retain length and grow it long. Just simplicity in your regimen.
If however, you are the kind of person who’s hands are always in your hair and you can’t help it then a weave, wig or braid regimen might just be the thing that helps you break bad hair habits. Whatever regimen you decide on, keep it simple won’t you?
Originally posted 2010-02-23 04:15:28.