Thursday, October 22, 2009

Inquiring mind: Reader's conern

Hello all! I received an email from a reader with concerns about breakage and braiding. I will address them in this post. I did do some investigating on this topic, but please realize that I am not a hair professional.

Hello Callalily,

I just came across your interesting blog a few days ago and it's extremely informative. I wonder if you could help me with a teeny tiny question.

My hair used to fall off very badly a couple of months ago and after the final abuse from a stylist that was supposed to be one of the best I decided I'd had enough and would take my hair care into my hands. My hair is shoulder length now. Since I started my new regimen, my hair has started coming back to life very slowly and is growing quite well. It still falls out but not as much as before and it is reducing day by day. At the moment I do not wish to relax at all until the damage has been rectified but at the same time it is getting a bit harder to manage the new growth so I'm thinking of braiding it for a few months to give it time to recover from the damage. My question is do you think it's advisable to braid my hair while it is in this condition? I would be making medium sized braids and not micro braids? If braiding is not advisable then what could I do to put my hair away for a while apart from wigs and weaves? The middle east weather is TERRIBLE for African hair.

I don't use heat at all on my hair, comb as gently as I can and use logona organic shampoo and Lush handmade shampoo. My conditioners are logona wheat protein conditioner, bodyshop honey moisturiser, garnier fructis long n strong, tresemmes and mane n tail. I use mayo and eggs for protein treatments. I also use olive, coconut, rosemary and eucalyptus oils for daily moisturisation after adding leave ins. A lot of other products I could use are not available in UAE so I try to improvise best as I can.

I look forward to your response. Thank you :)

I’m very sorry to hear about your experience. This is the perfect time to embark on your healthy hair journey! It seems you already have a good understanding of what your hair needs and are on the right track with your hair care.

Assuming you can exclude other causes for breakage (i.e. medical issues, diet, etc.) we will focus on the hair. Hair requires a balance of protein and moisture. When the balance is off, I believe breakage occurs. While your hair is in a weakened state, less manipulation is better. Braid extensions can protect a person’s hair from excessive styling and breakage. When you approach this protective style correctly, you can have great success with nursing your locks back to health.

Before: It is important to give your hair some deep conditioning treatments. Preparing the hair in this way, prior to braiding it, can strengthen hair that is in a weak condition.

During: During the process of braiding your hair, make sure of several things (1) your braids are not too small (2) your braids are not too heavy from adding too much hair (3) your braids are not too tight!

Getting braids is not a ticket to maintenance-free hair (I learned this the hard way). While you are wearing your braids, remember to moisturize daily. You can choose to cleanse your scalp during this time also. Various methods exist for this purpose. You can apply witch hazel or another product to your scalp to remove build up. You could also mix shampoo and water in an applicator bottle to cleanse, then thoroughly rinse afterward. If you choose this method, you may want to section your hair and put it in a few big braids first. Remember to protect your style with a scarf before going to bed. If you find it necessary to oil your scalp, use a light oil 2-3 times a week.

After: It is recommended that you keep extensions in for no longer than 2 months. During this period, you can re-do the edges if necessary. Removing braids should be done gently. You can spray diluted conditioner on your braids prior to taking them out. Then, after the extension has been removed and the hair still wet, gently comb out the hair that has been shed while you have been wearing this style. There is no need to be alarmed when you end up with a mass of hair after you have detangled all of your hair – this is normal.

Now that your hair is free and detangled, make sure to use a good moisturizing shampoo and deep condition again. You can give your hair a resting period and then return to another braided style if you desire. If you intend to go back to relaxing and you feel your hair is in condition to do so, read this article to give you a guide on approaching this wisely.

I hope this helps you. Good luck with your hair journey.

Thanks for reading. Be blessed!


* This site provides terrific information and instructional videos for those who want to wear their hair braided.


Related Posts with Thumbnails