When it comes to hair damage for most of us we think of things like improper use of heat or double processing with chemicals. Well at least that’s what I thought.
When I first started my hair journey, around 3 ½ years ago, after reading information from site after site I felt like I was well equipped with the tools that I needed to retain unimaginable lengths (okay I’m over exaggerating … but I had a mission dang gonnit! ahaha). Here was my regimen at the time:
Prepoo 1x a week
Wash 1x a week,
Cowash* 2x a week,
Deep Condition 1x a week,
Moisturize and Seal 2x daily
Protein Treatment 1x a month
On top of this I would use a wide tooth comb* about twice a week and redo my bun every two days and I would trim every 3 months. While I was retaining length, I wasn’t retaining as much as I should have been.
I didn’t understand. Why was I not retaining when I was doing everything right? Well, that’s when I learned that my regimen might have been too much for my strands and that mechanical damage was probably the culprit.
What is Mechanical Damage?
Mechanical Damage is damage caused to the hair strands through manipulation whether it be through combing, styling or deep conditioning*. Normally mechanical handling of the hair or manipulation done properly does not affect hair retention to any great extent but this “normal” can vary widely from person to person.
As is to be expected though, every time we touch our hair be it to style, wash or detangle we risk mechanical damage since the protein bonds, of which our hair is made, can be so easily damaged.
So clearly some damage is to be expected but when it comes to the point where you are doing everything correctly and there is still no exceptional retention, you may be doing more to your hair than it can handle. If this is the case for you, following we have listed 6 tips to reduce mechanical manipulation to increase retention.