Growing longer hair every year is a goal that many naturals have in mind. It is a goal that has been achieved by many and yet remains elusive to some. If you are looking to get serious about gaining hair length, then it is time to start setting goals to breakage proof your hair. Here are 5 key tips:
1. Accept no less than a gain of 3 inches per year
If you find your hair growth to be stagnant or you find that you gain less than 3 inches per year, you should consider that your hair is breaking at a fast rate. It is true that hair has a terminal length when it stops growing but hair could take as long as a decade to get there. It is also possible to have a slow growth rate but even low estimates put a slow rate at around 4 inches per year. Therefore breakage proof hair should be able to gain an additional minimum of 3 inches per year with a little room for trimming and dusting. More growth is always welcome but a minimum standard is necessary to define what breakage proof hair is.
2. Consider all hair loss: Do not separate shedding from breakage
Many of you will be able to quote that it is normal to shed 50–100 hairs per day and therefore expect perhaps if you have been in a protective style for a week or two, quite a bit of hair may come out. The problem is that it is actually not uncommon to shed much less than 50 hairs per day and furthermore, not many of us have the inclination to actually look at each and every hair after detangling to determine if it has a bulb and is therefore shed hair. One of the worst things to do is to expect plenty of hair to be lost during a detangling session. This can lead you to unnecessarily comb or brush a section of hair with more wear inflicted on your hair. Your general aim should be to minimise all hair loss.
3. Stop breakage at the root : Detangling should be pain-free
The bottom line is that detangling your hair should never under any circumstances be painful. If it is, then you need to consider detangling in smaller sections or changing your method of detangling. Pain at the root leads to breakage at the root and results in long sections of broken hair that can be confused for shed hair (see point 2 above).
4. Stop breakage at the ends: Dip twists or braids in oil before undoing
If you are an avid protective styler, you may find that it is routinely difficult to undo the ends which may have intertwined (meshed) strands. Some may spend a lot of time picking at the ends leading to wear and tear of the hair. The simple trick to this is to soak (and I mean soak) the ends in a light oil e.g coconut, olive oil, jojoba oil for a few minutes. You will find it much easier to then proceed with undoing the hair as the oil gives extra slip. Feel free to reapply the oil whenever you find your undoing tool of choice getting stuck. The same trick works well too for hair which may have been left free for long and shrunk over time.
5. Choose the correct detangling method : Not the one you like but the one that works
If you like the ease and speed of your detangling method but find that your hair growth is stagnant, it may be time for you to pick a different method even if it is more tedious as your choice should be beneficial to your hair growth goals. Some hair suits dry finger detangling while other people prefer conditioner combing or wet detangling. There is no single right method, all methods are valid provided they yield the results of breakage proof hair which is a net gain of hair length every year.
Ladies, have you tried any of these steps? How do you breakage proof your hair?