5 Small Changes for Optimal Hair Length Retention
This article was originally published on LovinOurTextures.com
Many of us that take our hair regimens seriously incorporate a lot of extras to aid us on our hair journey. The extras are fine and can be fun, but we tend to forget about the basics and the small things that can make a huge difference. Below you will find five small things that can be incorporated into a healthy hair regimen. When done consistently, these can make a huge difference in hair length retention.
Hot Oil Treatments
Every single hair strand is made up of 3 layers-the medulla, cortex, and the cuticle. Most hair types, especially afro-textured hair is absent of the medulla and there isn’t any scientific evidence that states the function of it. The cortex is the second layer and this is where our hair gets its color, strength, and elasticity. The cuticle layer protects the cortex and endures the most wear and tear. The cuticle is made up of tiny scales that overlap each other and are glued together by ceramides. Ceramides are made up of fatty acids, cholesterol, and lipids that can be found in natural oils such as Grapeseed, Olive, and Wheat Germ Oils. Overtime, ceramides are lost from washing and styling hair. Monthly hot oil treatments on dry hair can help to replenish ceramides within the cuticle structure which will help to keep your hair strong, smooth, and minimize breakage.
Wash Hair with Warm to Cool Water
“Treat your hair like your favorite cashmere sweater.” Anthony Dickey, Owner of Hair Rules Salon
Just like a cashmere sweater, your hair is a fabric. When clothes are washed in hot water-even whites-they tend to lose elasticity, becomes dull, and worn out. The same happens with hair. Hot water changes the uniformity of the cuticle structure making hair look dull, more porous, and susceptible to breakage. Always wash your hair in warm/tepid to cool water. I love how this video explains this: The Science of Black Hair: Hot vs. Cold Water
Applying Product from Root to Tip
If you’re one to suffer from dry patches of hair and don’t know why, you may be applying hair products improperly. Many people apply product quickly and are not distributing it throughout the entire head. Taking the time to section your hair and applying product from root to tip will ensure that you’re getting your entire head of hair as well as the length of it.
This is a no-brainer. Everyone knows that finger detangling is better than comb detangling because it prevents one from snatching through tangles and ripping their hair out. The way that I personally view detangling is to look at the shed hair as loose hair instead of tangled hair. Once I instilled that idea, I no longer looked at detangling as a hefty task. It is now a breeze and I have way less breakage.
Did you know that if you were to cut off a portion of your hair and place it in a Ziploc bag or container for years, it would still be in the same state and just as strong as the day that you stored it? That is because hair is dead (keratinized). The reason why we shampoo and condition our hair is to preserve it from the daily wear and tear from styling, washing, and environmental elements. No matter how healthy your hair is, it is still prone to breakage during manipulation. If you’re one to re-twist or wrap your hair every night to preserve your style, opt for doing this every other day instead of every night.
Ammina Rose is a hair and beauty enthusiast from Chicago, Illinois. She created Lovin’ Our Textures on the belief that all hair is beautiful no matter the texture or style preference. Follow her hair journey from Relaxed to Natural on Youtube and Instagram.