The Importance of Simplicity In Your Hair Care Regimen
Simplicity. There is something so obvious about this word yet so easy to miss. Simplicity in everything is the key to getting the results you desire.
I am reminded of looking though a black woman’s online photo album (as many do when looking for inspiration). It was the album of a natural headed 4b sister. Her shrunken tresses were past her shoulders and nearly waist length when straightened! In one of her albums she mentioned that she had been growing her hair for 5 years from when she had cut her relaxer off. An excellent achievement by anyone’s standards.
One of the ladies who commented on her photos had asked her how she had done it as she too had been growing her natural hair for 5 years but was barely at shoulder length when shrunken and only slightly past when straightened.
Now here is the ideal situation where one would conclude that it was genes that made one person’s hair longer than the other in spite of similar grow out periods. But let’s look closer at their regimens.
Luckily enough both had put down what their regimens were and how they looked after their hair in general from month to month. It was then that the differences literally popped out of the screen.
This is a summary of the long haired lady’s regimen:
On Saturday’s she would wash, deep condition and detangle her hair then braid it up. The braids would be taken down for work on Monday morning for a defined braid out and she would sleep in 2 large twists nightly just fluffing out her hair with her hands in the morning. By Thursday when the curl definition was gone, she would pull her hair into a huge afro puff or ponytail and wear it like that for the rest of the week. On Saturday, she would repeat as before. This is how she had worn her hair week in, week out for the past couple of years. She would straighten her hair only very occasionally. She never wore any extensions (weaves or single braids).
The other lady’s regimen for the month:
Week 1 – Wash and mini twists with her own hair. Wet hair daily.
Week 2 – Wash and go for the week while co-washing daily
Week 3 – Braid out with a co-wash and redo midweek
Week 4 – Wash and deep condition then straighten hair for length check.
Now at first glance, you would imagine that the second regimen is the more sound for black hair. It is literally bursting with moisture! Right? Wrong!
The problem with the second lady’s regimen is the sheer amount of manipulation her hair encounters every month. She will be braiding it, taking the braids down, doing wash and go’s more than likely detangling during each session, doing a braid out twice in the week and finally straightening her hair. Each time she manipulates her hair, she will lose a small amount; not a great deal to worry her but if she were to look at the total amount lost during the week, it would certainly shock her!
Unfortunately, it is one of those annoying facts but black hair is fragile and prone to breakage even when natural. Excessive manipulation just compounds the issue.
I’ve heard people say that braids, weaves or wigs grow your hair. No, it’s the lack of excessive manipulation while your hair is in these styles that allows you to retain it’s length. However, it is not written in stone that your hair has to be ‘hidden away’ in order for you to retain length and grow it long. Just simplicity in your regimen.
If however, you are the kind of person who’s hands are always in your hair and you can’t help it then a weave, wig or braid regimen might just be the thing that helps you break bad hair habits. Whatever regimen you decide on, keep it simple won’t you?