We all have bad hair habits! I sometime play in my hair too much, and even though I know better I just can’t seem to shake the urge to play in my cute twist out every now and then. Most afro-textured hair women can attest to having one or more bad hair habits that unfortunately can be one reason why they aren’t retaining as much length, but they say if you practice something often enough then it becomes a habit. So changing one habit at a time can be extremely helpful in bringing our hair back on the right track. If your goal is to achieve long and healthy hair then here’s a list of bad hair habits that you should consider leaving behind this year.
- Hand-in-Hair Syndrome.
This is a common one, and I have been sooooo guilty of this in the past as well. Like I’ve shared in many of my other posts constantly touching and manipulating afro-textured hair actively removes moisture which results in dry hair. And as you know dry hair and excess manipulation equals breakage. Trust me I know that the urge is strong and very real, but you must leave your hair alone to be able to retain your length. Whenever I get the urge to play in my hair I put it in a protective style such as twists, braids, etc for about 3 weeks at a time. This gives my hair plenty of time to recuperate from previous manipulation and stress.
2. Not Reading Your Product Ingredients.
I want to state the importance of reading our product ingredients because sadly many of us simply buy a product without giving any thought to what’s in it. First off, I am in no way shape or form trying to be a dictator by saying “you shouldn’t use that product or this product” because we are humans and we have free will. But, I would highly recommend thinking about using products that contain mostly natural ingredients that actually provide nourishment to your hair. Always read your product ingredients to decipher whether or not they are the best for your hair.
3. Heat Styling on a Daily
I’m sure you’ve heard of the natural hair deadly sins, and this one my dear is one of the deadliest. Whether or not you agree with me direct heat in my books is simply bad for business when it comes to natural hair. Yes it can make you hair look nice for while, but if you’re not careful it could be the reason you are bald or can’t retain length. If you’re going to use heat I would suggest 2 things: 1. Use it very sparingly (2x a year), and 2. Protect your hair as much as possible (keep it moisturized, heat protectant, deep condition).
Another important thing to remember is that if you are heat styling you should know your strand thickness/thinness if you are to avoid heat damage. Women with thin strands are very likely to get heat damage even if it’s the very first time that they are using heat (flat-iron, curlers, blow dry, etc). Thick strands are more likely to withstand heat thus the reason why some women do not have heat damage. Read here to find your strand thickness.
4. Winging your hair regimen.
What do I mean? Winging your hair regimen is simply haphazardly doing stuff to your hair without a plan or listening to your hair. Well I guess it wouldn’t be referred to as a regimen then since regimens are structured, but you get the picture. Don’t just simply care for your hair whenever you feel like it, for instance one week you wash and condition your hair and then for 2 months you don’t do anything to it and the cycle continues. Have a schedule for your hair or learn your curls enough to know when it needs to be moisturized and treated. Find out how to create a regimen here.
5. Forgetting that your natural hair exists.
I love protective styles! I’m all bout protective styling for length retention, but there is a limit to how much your hair can take. Having a protective style in for months at a time without properly caring for your natural hair underneath is a very bad idea. It will become very dry, brittle, and damaged which of course will decrease the health and length of your hair. I would also recommend that you choose your styles wisely because tight braids, twists, or sew-ins can cause traction alopecia. But whenever I get a protective style done I make sure that I care for my natural hair first. Yes you may want to preserve your protective style, but you should first and foremost think about your natural curls. Because if not when you remove that style there won’t be any hair left.
6. Changing your hair color every month.
Ladies, woman to woman I have to say this is hair suicide. Yes I can admit that hair colors are cute, cool, and fun, but unfortunately they usually result in dry hair that you have to cut. Hair colors and dyes include ammonia and peroxide, two ingredients that damage the hair strands in order for the color to penetrate the cuticles. Peroxide breaks down the pigment inside the inner layer of the hair (cortex) and strips the hair of its color. This will result in dryness and breakage over time.
I told you my past bad hair habit, so what is yours? Please share your answers in the comments.
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