Whether you are a naturalista or rocking relaxed hair, one thing we all have in common is the constant need to grow, keep and retain healthy hair. Having struggled for years trying to grow my hair, I have had to spend time researching on various ways to improve the quality of my hair, grow it and prevent damage. So here are a few tips to help you achieve healthy hair, prevent hair loss and breakage:
1. Quit heat styling your hair: I bet you have heard this countless times but yet you have this irresistible draw towards your hand dryer (guilty!). The truth is air drying is the best thing you can do to keep your hair from breaking off. It is important to limit heat styling to rare or special occasions.
2. Invest in large tooth combs: When your hair is soaking wet and coated in conditioner, it is best to use a large tooth comb to detangle. Although of all the detangling gadgets in the market, your 10 fingers still remain your best tools (smiles).
3. Refrain from teasing your hair: Often time, I see hair tips on our cable networks talking about how cool it is to tease your hair. But believe me, teasing your hair is a cardinal sin against highly textured hair (I will say all hair in general). Its rather a pity that a lot of women are not aware of this.
4. Never pull your hair apart: You need to stop pulling your hair apart like a wishbone. If your hair is tangled up, gently pull it up and apart rather than pulling it apart.
5. Invest in hair accessories without hanging pins or exposed metals: Consider investing in banana clips, satin scrunchies, goodie flex barrettes and elastic bands. They’re great for styling your hair and don’t get your hair damaged.
6. Avoid pulling your hair tight at the hairline: Whenever you pull your hair tight at the hairline, it causes your hairline to recede and damages your follicles permanently.
7. Check your nails: Did I hear someone say “What do my nails have to do with my hair?” Well, hanging nails are great at damaging hair because your hair could easily get tangled in them. Always make sure your nails are smooth before styling your hair.
8. Ditch shampoos with sulfates: Sulfates strips the hair of needed moisture and natural oil, thereby drying your hair out.
9. Deep condition your hair: Always deep condition your hair with a moisturizing deep conditional after every wash. Consider using a gentle heat source like a microwave cap or by wrapping a towel around your head to generate some body heat of your own.
10. Pre-Poo (Pre-Shampoo): Strive to always pre-poo your hair with coconut oil or olive oil. Coconut oil helps hair retain its protein levels, thereby preventing damage. It also limits the amount of water the strands absorb, preventing wear and tear (from expansion and contraction) over time. Both natural oils protect your hair from being stripped of moisture when you shampoo.
11. Get a protein treatment: This is very good for hair maintenance and can be done once a month. For someone experiencing hair breakage, you can do this weekly till your hair improves.
12. Trim away split ends: Now this is a touchy one for me because most people act like “if you don’t trim your hair, your hair is doomed!”
My suggestion: Trim away split ends as necessary but don’t get a trim just for the sake of trimming. If you goal is to retain length, you will only be cutting off perfectly good hair. What you need to understand is “The less you do to damage your hair, the less you will need to trim it.” Simple!
To be continued …
About the Writer: Eniola Adeniji is a woman after God’s own heart, a motivational Writer, Speaker, Fashion and Photography addict. She is also a Business Developer, Social Media Manager and the founder of Woman Of Value. She blogs at ennmae.wordpress.com