‘My hair is breaking really badly. I have relaxed hair that is 4b I think but every time I wash it, I see lots of little hairs. What should I do to stop the breakage??’
I get clones of this question from naturals and relaxed ladies so often in my inbox and even though I have addressed it many many, many times, it seems I need to provide a refresher course. So here we go:
Get your hair wet more often is the best advice I can give to a newbie then we can tweak your regimen from there. Washing your hair weekly will keep your hair’s moisture levels optimal. Use a moisturizing conditioner* and also remember to seal the moisture in after the wash with a good coating oil.
2. Protein – Protein is what our strands are made of and any manipulation however gentle leads to the loss of protein. People don’t usually associate combing, washing , styling with or without heat or your hair rubbing on your clothes as activities that lead to protein loss but they definitely are.
We lose billions of skin cells daily so it stands to reason that we are also constantly losing cells from our hair too. But unlike skin, hair cells are not continually replaced so we are left with the responsibility of replenishing that protein ourselves. Make sure you keep up with your hard protein treatments every 6-8 weeks.
3. Don’t touch it! – Manipulation is the single biggest killer of hair strands. Think dreadlocks. They tend to grow very long because they are the ultimate low manipulation hairstyle.
While you don’t have to grow dreadlocks to have long hair, keeping your length is much easier than growing it out for many people, so an option is to keep your hair in weaves, braids, twists or wigs* majority of the time then use a great regimen to maintain the length.
Some people choose to reduce breakage by transitioning to natural, a technique that has worked a charm for me. Alternatively you may choose to continue relaxing but pay attention to how long you process your hair or deliberately under-process your hair (texlax or texturize) to keep some of your natural hair strength.
It’s important to point out, even though it may not be what a lot of you want to hear, with over processed relaxed hair or severely heat damaged hair, stopping breakage is not entirely possible. You have to concentrate on getting your hair care practices on point to prevent future breakage on the newer hair growing in.