I have the scissors in my hand ready to cut all my hair off!! Ugh!!My hair is really getting on my nerves! I have nappy hair(I don't think nappy is a bad way to describe natural african hair by the way =)) and I cut out the perm about 2 years ago. It's fairly healthy, but I have noticed some breakage lately, but I'm not doing anything different than I was 2 years ago and I feel like my hair should be longer than it is. Why isn't it growing?!?!?! I use all natural products like olive oil, shea butter, coconut oil, aloe vera, and I henna my hair frequently to keep it strong, but it just doesn't want to grow and b/c it's not as long as I want it, I'm having trouble styling it too. The only style I can really do is two strand twists, but those get old fast! I'm ready to cut it all off and start over, but I know I'm going to regret it if I do. So I need some help before I end up bald!!
Nad says: Is it too late? Did you chop it all off? I hope not. Please, tell me there is still some hair on your head. Assuming there is some left, I'll continue. I'm glad to hear that you use natural products. You're not putting all those chemicals into your scalp. YEA for you, but something is going on with this breakage. Have you changed anything in your routine? Have you been moisturizing it more in these winter months? Just like your skin gets ashy in the winter, your hair and scalp get dry. If you already have dry hair, then its even dryer in the winter, so you've got to step your moisture game up.
Now we're going into spring, so you won't have to do as much, but make sure you keep your hair moisturized, which means wetting it and sealing in the water with some type of light oil. A lot of people think moisture means slathering on this goopy greases that only clog your pores and hair shaft. How often do you wash your hair? If you do it once a week, try twice a week, or even three times if you can. (Ever since my daughter was born, I've been slacking, but before that I used to wash my hair, which is natural, every day. I experienced the most growth when I started doing that.) Is your shampoo natural too? A lot of traditional shampoos have harsh, drying chemicals in them. Also, if it is natural, make sure it really is what it says it is. Some products claim to be natural but have some of the same ingredients as the other shampoos.
Where is the breakage? Your crown, edges, all over? This could help you figure out what is going on with it. If it's in your crown, are you wearing it in a ponytail a lot? That can put stress on the hair near the ponytail holder and make it snap off. If it is your edges, are you brushing and pulling it back tight? That can pull your edges out. Do you cover your hair? Sometimes the cotton fabric on khimars can dry out and snap off your edges. Try wearing a satin/silk scarf underneath.
Do you know any good natural stylists? (Emphasis on GOOD, because some "stylists" will mess your head up!) Two strand twists may be the only thing you can do with it, but someone else can find a cute style that can make you feel good about your hair, even though its not as long as you want. Pay attention to the breakage, though. Don't assume that its normal. Your hair is trying to tell you something. You just have to take the time and figure out what. Girl, telling you all this makes me want to go wash my hair. I know it needs it. Keep us posted!
Mina says: I wanted to defer this one to Nad--especially cus I know she has this water-wet-moisture-growth thing down! I wish I was more of the hair care expert but I'm in learning mode myself right now--continue to ask around and get different suggestions--but don't panic!!!
One thing Ive noticed, even with my hair, is that hair patterns change depending on age and whats going on in your life, hormone levels and such--overall healthiness and growth is affected by everything from mood to diet--take your vitamins consistently (though you may not see immediate results), drink at least 8 cups of water (I just realized recently a cup is not even that much, all this time I'm thinking we're supposed to drink those tall glasses--the ones in your cabinet--no only a cup, as in 8 ounces---duhhh*Mina slow moment*) and figure out what you can do to relax, destress, rejuvenate--which will create a growth friendly body environment.
The fact that you've been natural and consistently nurturing it, is a GOOOD thing! Go through Nad's questions and figure out what could be causing breakage. Do all you can to address possible problems (whether in methodology, or lack of nutrition or whatever)...In the meantime--it may not be the length you desire, but I'm sure those products haven't gone to total waste--there HAS to be something about it that looks pretty, no doubt! Maybe a new shine, its moisture level, or fullness... (As a matter of fact, I wanna see a pic!---pic!...pic!...pic!...lol) Focus on those aspects and just love it up...like really really love it.
Because I think a funny thing about our body parts is they respond to the eyes we cast on them. If they feel love from our eyes, they're receptive and will look and feel different. And we'll be expanded to see more beauty, hope and options...
I was talking to one sister recently and she cut her hair off due to breakage--she loves her hair and so she wasn't pleased it was short due to the cut--but decided to just have fun with it, she colored it and all--when I saw it, I immediately lovvvved it. Even though shes not yet crrrazy about it, its growing on her (because naturally it takes time)--but to everyone else, it looks fabbb!...(I put that on everything I love! hehe)
The point in me bringing this up is--lets say you take care of the breakage, but it never grows to that level you want in your mind...then what? Definitely strive for OPTIMAL health, but understand your hair is YOUR hair--and it has limits uniquely your own. So acceptance may be in order as well--acceptance and a light attitude of funnn--no matter what the length, make it your own, rock it, color it, claim it, wear braids sometimes, extensions sometimes (if you're into them), afro it up--boldly--(girl i just got locs and you're making me want to experiment more!! I wanna rock it!! lol) speaking of which, locking is an option too...it'll def. grow them lol! (and now you can take locs out when you're done...!) Soo--just remember, there are options, God always gives us options, though it takes courage, receptivity and flexibility on our part... Have fun and doooo keep us posted....! (I was only semi-kidding about those pics =) )