No, not like that you weirdos! Some people look at clothes and shoes, others look at butts or tattoos. I look at hair, constantly. Probably because our family owns beauty supply stores, but I look at new trends, styles, and cuts. Ladies, there is a big hair epidemic going on here! Dumping Perm on your scalp like there's no tomorrow, weaving recklessly, pulling buns and braids so tight that there's a medical term for it now (traction-alopecia). We do things to our hair that seem innocent enough that we don't think about the damage we are causing until chunks of hair in the shower or start noticing thinning or length shortening. As you read, I hope by the end of this post you have learned a thing or two about these silent killers that wreak havoc on our hair day in and day out.
1. Pulling hair too tight!!
From ponytails, getting braids, or even putting it in that cute ballerina bun that's been popular, you're pulling your hair. Some of us tend to pull a little harder than others, I get it, you want that super sleek look. But think about the undue stress you are causing your hair; especially your edges. All that tugging, and pulling put lots of stress on your hair that it pulls out the hair follicle from the roots. Now, don't think this is just a Black women's hair issue - this means ALL of us! Any woman that tries to keep hair off their face or gets braids/weaves are at risk for bald spots, or no edges. If you must get super tight braids then please, for the love all that's sacred use a product that will Moisturize your edges like Ecostyler Gel. My final words of wisdom, don't EVER go to sleep with your hair tied or clipped back.
If you guys haven't watched Chris Rocks documentary "Good Hair" (I highly recommend it) It shows you what perms/relaxers are made out of and what kind of damage it can do when using it in a daily basis. This creme solution creates a chemical reaction that softens the inner structure of the by breaking some of the cross links within the and between the protein chains of the hair..permanently. Any chemical with lye or not, would have to be pretty damn strong to bend genetics. This is what makes perms especially damaging to your hair: hair that is naturally curly is inherently weaker (because each bend in your strand of hair is a potential breaking point), and we protect these breaking points by making the natural hair as resilient as possible and essentially shielding the weak points. When you perm, you basically expose those weak points and make them weaker. Which equals to hair loss, not to mention that if you leave it on too long you will have no hair.
3. Hair Dye
Ok, I get it. You want that Rihanna's red, Nicki Minaj's blondie locks, or maybe you just want to put the whole damn color wheel. Do you know what price your hair is paying for your colorful locks? If your a natural blonde, then you're born lucky. But for those of us with darker colored hair, you have to go through many steps in order to lift that natural darkness off before you can retain that brighter hue. Again, we're playing with genetics here. Bleaching is TERRIBLE for any texture of hair. Going blonde is the most difficult color to achieve, and requires higher concentrations of ammonia which strips your hair...leaving it dry and brittle. If you must, please seek a professional.
4. It's getting hot in here
In my previous post, I told you guys that curling/flat irons can potentially lead to breakage to hair. Think about it, you're using a HOT thermal equipment to make straight/curly hair, 150-450 degrees...that's an oven on a stick. Please use a heat protectant spray each time you blow dry, straighten, or curl. Products like Oraginc Olive Oil Heat Protection Serum, or if you have more money to spend CHI Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray (I got mine at T.J Maxx for $9.99) is recommended.
5. Under conditioning
It's obvious that I'm obsessed with deep conditioning. I can't stress enough how important it is to add this to your hair care regime. Everyday, we do things to our hair that damages it. Your hair needs oils, and protein in order to be strong and thick. Conditioners are really your hair's first line of defense in terms of moisture and strength. I deep condition my hair at least once or twice a month...it's my way of saying "I'm sorry for all the crap I put you through". Creme of Nature is my go to deep conditioner, our store carries it for only $1.99.
6. Over washing your hair
Believe it or not, my sister and I don't wash our hair everyday. We wash it once or twice every week..you're probably thinking "Ewww" but mark my words it's more like "Ooooh!". When you over wash your hair it takes out the natural oils in your scalp that it needs to nourish it. Shampoo has alcohol in it, don't be fooled if the bottle says "extra moisture" oh some oh la la marketing. Alcohol dries out your hair, the more you shampoo, the more dry and brittle. Hence you use deep conditioners to repair the damaged follicles. My sister (who's a licensed beautician stylist) recommends washing your hair 3 times a week, every other day.
The list for breakage hair is endless, but these are the most important ones that we feel is the reason for hair loss. Hopefully from reading this post you would leave that box of perm, or bottle of dye on the shelf and get things that actually helps your hair, not destroy it.