4. Dry manipulation
Girl, dry manipulation will do you dirty every time. If you are a natural lady with kinky* hair who is trying to detangle or style your hair when it is dry, that is like an invitation for breakage. No matter how you slice it, it’s better to manipulate natural hair damp or wet.
When you use water or a moisturizing leave-in product you will help increase your hair’s moisture content thus boosting elasticity and leveraging your hair’s tensile strength so it can stand up to manipulation. With the elasticity increased, your hair will stretch further before breaking which essentially means less friction and breakage overall.
5. Heat misuse
This is a cardinal sin in hair care. Regular press n’ curls or blow dry sessions will be aesthetically appealing right now but since heat breaks the bonds in your hair and promotes dryness and friction then it’s safe to say that long hair shall not be in your destiny any time soon if you use heat often. Heated styling tools are ok to use on occasion but always use them on clean hair which has had a heat protectant applied.
If you are natural, overuse of heated tools can lead to heat damage which will be evident when your curls loosen and don’t spring back after a wash. It is even more important for you to avoid direct heat if you have chemically treated or relaxed hair since there are far less bonds present to help you ward off breakage. In chemically treated hair the heat damage will present as hair that starts to get a lot of mid strand breakage due to loss of protein. In either case you may want to avoid heat as much as possible or heat style less.
6. Ingredient ignorance
This can be an important issue to consider, particularly if your hair length is stuck at a plateau. If you are not aware of the ingredients in your hair products such as mineral oil*, silicones and other such ingredients and how they affect hair’s health, it could be damaging to your regimen. With these ingredients you need to take special precautions in order to use them successfully in your hair regimen. Either that or decide whether you need to be using them at all based on how your hair reacts to them.
If you are a newbie then stick with all natural hair care brands that provide great results without any hidden nasties. As time goes on and your knowledge increases, you can opt to be more adventurous with your product choices.
7. Product junkie-ism
This is an often overlooked contributor to length plateaus in hair care. Don’t get caught up with spending way too much time on the hair care forums, buying every product mentioned as this will result in you over manipulating your hair as you try to work your way through the crate loads of products you have already bought.
Your hair needs time to adjust and react to the products you use so using too many all at once will not allow you to make an assessment of what really works for you. Stick to a small group of products that you already know work well with your hair. Once a product is finished then feel free to try something new while always having your staples at hand in case of a disaster.