If you are on your journey to longer, healthier hair, you may have experienced or feared the hurdle or obstacle of a setback. Setbacks are known to destroy all progress that you’ve made on your hair journey. Tracking your hair journey can sometimes be frustrating, but experiencing a minor or major setback can be discouraging. Suffering a setback on your hair journey can be one of the most devastating events to happen along the way. Here are four key sources of major setbacks:
1. The Hair Stylist’s Trim
Many women on their journey fear the thought of their stylist trimming their hard-earned hair growth. Some hair stylists overestimate a trim and can end up cutting off significantly more than you requested, especially if they feel your ends would look better/neater.
To prevent this type of setback, avoid trimming your hair. Trimming your ends does NOT produce growth. Hair grows from the scalp, not the ends. When you trim off the ends, another piece of hair does not shoot out of your scalp. Also, keep in mind that the ends are what you need to keep attached to your hair in order to obtain length. Instead keep your ends conditioned and moisturize them every day. If you insist on trimming your ends, select a hair stylist that you trust, one who is familiar and confident with dealing with your hair type. Show the hair stylist how much you want trimmed by physically holding a lock of your hair in your hands. Pay attention while your stylist is trimming your hair. Do not doze off, and stay off your cell phone. Additionally, do not feel bad about asking for what you want, it is a service and you are paying for it.
2. Heat Damage
Heat damage is one of the major issues many women face when it comes to styling hair. Too much heat can be damaging to your luxurious locks. For naturals, it can cause a loss in definition and an increase in frizz, something no natural wants. For relaxed ladies, it can cause splits and irreparable damage that makes the hair more difficult to style. Whether your hair is relaxed or natural…our hair is dry, and when using heat we must be very careful not to use it excessively. Also, it’s extremely important that we protect the hair when using heat.
To avoid this type of setback, a heat protectant should always be used whenever a heated appliance comes near your hair. Not only do they protect against heat damage, but they reduce hair friction ensuring a smooth glide through the plates. You want something that will absorb most of the direct heat from your device, yet still conduct enough heat to temporarily transform your hair’s keratin. Additionally, do NOT use heating appliances daily such as curling irons/flat irons. This kind of abuse can be very damaging to our dry hair. The maximum frequency for your hair to be exposed to this amount of heat from these appliances is once a week. The perfect temperature setting for styling any texture without overheating is 374 degrees Fahrenheit.
Weaves and braids are very popular hair style choices, but they can also be very damaging. Weaves are NOT healthy for your hair! Anytime you put a weave in your head (sew-in/glue), you stand the chances of experiencing hair loss. Hair loss is one of many problems African American Women experience today. Even if you use our product with a sew-in your hair will NOT benefit from the product. The braided hair will thicken at the roots, but the hair underneath will be thin, because the protein will not be able to get to your hair and build on it to strengthen it. I do not recommend using fake hair when caring for your own UNLESS it’s a wig. Wigs allow you to care for your hair underneath.
Braids are one of the worst style options you can choose for your hair, because they are continually pulling on the hair roots and are often pulled too tightly. If you continue to have your hair pulled, the hair cells will eventually die. If the hair cells have been gone for about a year, the hair cells are probably dead. Once they’re dead you can’t revive them.
To avoid these types of hairstyles, select a wig if you feel the need to go fake. Opt for a custom made wig. This styling option is one of the most convenient ways to protect and care for your hair underneath. Especially for those who are transitioning or just looking to grow their hair out to a certain style or length. Wigs last longer, because there is no daily upkeep forcing flat iron or curling iron usage, which means no hair breakage from excessive heat appliance use. (Tip: Simply shampoo and deep condition your hair every 3 days or at least once a week and moisturize daily).
Protective styles are also an option. What is a protective style? A protective style protects your hair from being damaged by appliances, clothing, jewelry etc. Protective styles along with Rapunzel’s Hair Steps can help promote hair growth and at the same time give the hair a break. Some examples of protective styles include braids/cornrows (your natural hair braided), braid out, twists, a bun, a ponytail, wigs and drawstring ponytail.
What is a relaxer? A relaxer is used to completely remove the natural curl pattern from your hair. Relaxers are meant to give naturally curly, kinky hair a very straight, smooth, sleek look. Relaxers are chemically based; the chemicals are what cause your hair texture to change. Relaxers are meant to make tightly curled or kinky hair easier to comb and style; many style options can be achieved with relaxed hair.
Please keep in mind that a relaxer is very drying and can expose your hair to excessive damage. A relaxer is one of the most drying chemical processes we can do to our hair. As the relaxer straightens the hair, the chemical also weakens it. Care must be taken after the use of a relaxer product or any chemical process to minimize hair breakage.
Remember these 6 important tips before you have a chemical relaxer applied to your head:
- Do NOT wash your hair or even exercise the day of your retouch, because the pores will remain open for 24 hours and can burn your head severely.
- Do NOT scratch an itchy scalp 2-3 days before a retouch this can also cause severe burning.
- Keep the product off the scalp!
- Select the appropriate strength. If the relaxer is too strong it could cause breakage.
- Do NOT leave the relaxer on for too long.
- Rinse the relaxer out completely and follow up with a neutralizing shampoo. Neutralizing shampoos should only be used after a chemical process. They are NOT to be used regularly under any circumstances!
To avoid hair loss and breakage you must first remember that a chemical relaxer is not always needed to achieve straight hair. For a healthier, straighter option choose heat, but do NOT use heat excessively.