There are several routines for hair care and some hairstyles which have become a common habit among everyone. Some of these habits have been proven to be unhealthy and damaging for afro-textured hair. Listed below are six common unhealthy habits that should be dropped;
- Exposing your hair to the sun
The sun’s rays harm the hair by causing the loss of essential vitamins and proteins that aid in the growth of a healthy hair structure. While you can not totally avoid sun rays (especially in Africa), it is necessary to always wear hats, caps, or anything that can serve as a heat protector while sitting/going around under the sun. Spending as little as eight minutes under the sun with your afro-textured hair exposed will not only lead to discoloration but also dryness and brittle strands, broken or split ends, thinning, and frizziness.
The skin is not the only thing that needs protection from the sun.
- Packing the hair tightly
While tight updos and putting your braids away from your neck may work perfectly during hot weather and before going to bed, it could result in stress on your scalp. Now, the advice is not to put the hair into a ponytail style but to ensure you change it up now and then. Make sure it is not tight to avoid manipulation and replace elastic bands with soft fabric hair ties to give your hair a break. Also, invest in silk scrunchies; the more flexible your hair ties, the lower the risk of it causing any damage to your hair.
- Using hot water for washing
One thing that has been noticeable when reading about washing afro-textured hair is the advisable water temperature that is meant to be used. The tested and trusted temperature is lukewarm, which has been discovered to be perfect for the kinks and coils. Using scalding hot water to wash the hair results in more disaster than any good, and not only can it dry up the hair and increase its frizziness, but it can also damage the scalp and cause inflammation and dandruff.
- Washing afro-textured hair everyday, without giving the hair a break
For afro-textured hair, washing the hair everyday equates stripping the hair of its oil everyday. This is not exactly doing the hair’s healthy growth any favor, because stripping it of oils and moisture. What is advisable instead is to wet the hair everyday with just water. This makes combing and styling easier and less stressful. Do not wash with shampoo and conditioner everyday, only twice or once a week.
- Using small combs on hair
How do you comb your hair?
Some ladies comb their hair with so much aggression. Why?
Apart from it being painful,it could also lead to hair damage. It is easier to detangle hair without thinning hair due to wider spaces between the teeth and larger diameter. When compared to a standard fine-tooth comb, a wide-tooth comb offers little or no friction. This characteristic makes the wide-tooth comb gentler on the hair and aids in avoiding breakage.
- Trimming hair with scissors or burning after braiding
Burning or trimming out excess hair after braiding is one of the common practices when it comes to afro-textured hair, but it is an unhealthy habit. Not only can it lead to unequal length and split ends.
So, what can you do to make it neat?
Leave the excess hair out alone, or use your edge controller on it. Sounds funny, but works wonders.