I know that when I began my natural hair journey I wanted to transition for as long as possible because I did not want to be seen with short hair. The more I let my hair grow out, probably around the 6 or 7th month, I experienced TONS of breakage which led to my BC in July. This was caused by a number of things including the point where my natural hair met my old relaxed hair..long story short, they didn’t get along. This point of the hair is called the Line of Demarcation, the new growth is stronger than the fragile relaxed hair.
I know of many people who experience breakage on a daily basis, some who have already transitioned or have been natural for years. I am not an expert on hair breakage, but here you find can find a few things relating to your problems.
- Too much manipulation causes wear and tear of the hair follicles. This also caused the ends of the hair to split. Remember the old saying of “You should brush you hair 100 times before bed”? WRONG! Consistently brushing and combing the hair causes breakage, especially on dry hair. Advice: Try protective styling such as braids,twists or roller sets which will keep your hands out of your hair.
- Handle hair gently when detangling. The number one rule to detangling is to start with a moisturizer, oil or water and begin at the ends of the hair and work your way up to the roots. If you begin at the root and work backwards, you are snatching out all of the hair underneath. Advice: Be gentle, not rough.
- Heating tools to style is a big NO NO! Using heat on your hair dries it out, which is the last thing that naturals need. Whether it is a pressing comb or flat iron, moisture is lost. Advice: If you wish to use heat every so often, use a heat protectant and keep heat under 300 degrees.
- Split Ends creep up on everybody sometimes. You can see split ends if you simply hold strands of your hair up. You will see strands that do not fit well with the other ones, meaning they kind of grow out in different directions. They are thin and lifeless. Split ends need to be trimmed often because they can ride up the hair shaft and damage the upper parts of the strand. Advice: Check for split ends regularly. It ultimately depends on the growth of your hair.
- Lack of Moisture. African American hair is naturally dry compared to other cultures which mean we need to take extra good care of it. This can lead to breakage and split ends.Moisturize your hair depending on the level of dryness you experience, but usually once every day works. Advice: Always remember to moisturize and seal. This means using a cream or butter moisturizer and then sealing with an oil or water.