by Shelli of Hairscapades
Tips and Tricks: Number 19
Until a few months ago, I probably would have never thought about this or believed that it was achievable. I mean, nape hair is the same as the hair at our sideburns or like eyelashes and eyebrows, right? In my mind, this hair just had a very short terminal length and was meant to be shorter. Then, I was perusing the Fotki of Zhara after Jasmine aka CurlsDivine told us about her in a GOC update and I came across this picture. Go ahead, look at it and read the caption … I’ll wait.
Are you kidding me? Waist length nape hair? That’s impossible, right?!?! Guess not! I started thinking about my own very wispy, fine, thin (density) and tangle-prone nape hair. Could I possibly grow that hair to waist length as well? So, I started to do a little research to understand what others have done to grow their more delicate nape hair longer. These are some tips that I found or think make sense.
Some of these tips are no-brainers and techniques that I already practice. Others probably wouldn’t work for me because of the fine, easily weighed down nature of my nape hair. So, I think it’s probably best to pick and choose the techniques that are likely to work for you and modify as needed:
- Don’t over-manipulate the hair at the nape with brushing and/or combing.
- Be very gentle when detangling the nape area (finger detangling is recommended).
- Wear styles that prevent your nape hair from rubbing your clothing as excessive friction can cause damage and breakage.
- Avoid placing a lot of tension on the nape hair with overly tight weaves, braids, bun and ponytail styles.
- Protect the nape at night with a silk/satin scarf and/or bonnet ensuring that this area is fully covered. A satin pillowcase adds yet another level of protection in the event that your headgear is prone to “slippage” like mine.
- If you use commercial permanent colors, apply dyes to the nape last so that it is processed for less time or don’t treat this area at all.
- If/when you use heat, reduce the temperature and ensure the hair is adequately treated with a heat protector.
- Moisturize and seal this hair more if hair it is prone to dryness. This applies to using additional conditioner through the wash session (regular conditioner, deep conditioner) and moisture during styling (leave-in, styler, sealing).
- Massage the scalp to promote circulation and growth. (I use an essential oil mix that has been proven to stimulate growth. I have tried Dr. Miracle’s Temple and Nape Grow Balm to increase density, not length, in the past. I didn’t notice any appreciable difference. However, I admit, I wasn’t diligent about using it every day either.)
- Braid the nape hair into a horizontal cornrow and thread the length through the cornrow to protect it.
This last technique is the only one that I hadn’t really thought of or applied previously and I found this great “How to” on it on K is for Kinky: Protecting and Growing Out Your Nape with the Braid Method. Now, this may not work for every style, but it looks like a great way to protect the delicate nape when wearing hair down and out as the braid can easily be hidden. I’m thinking that even a simple braid bun-ed at the nape would work for those with very fine nape hair like me or those who can’t cornrow. So, don’t be surprised if the next time you see me wearing a WnG or TnC, I’m packing a mini-bun under it as I’m on a mission now to grow my nape hair to waist length too!
Are you growing out your nape? What techniques have you found to be effective?
Shelli is an insurance professional by day, natural hair blogger by night, fitness and yoga enthusiast, fangirl, and 40 something newlywed! She has been natural since 2000 and started Hairscapades at the urging of curlfriends who followed her “amateur” Grow Out Challenge blog on NaturallyCurly.com. She wants to share the things she’s learned and continues to learn in hopes of helping others love the hair they’re in!!