Hair Don'ts: Over-manipulation

9:51:00 PM 2 Comments A+ a-

Many naturals experience damaged and weakened hair during their natural hair transition for a number of reason. One common reason for this is due to over-manipulation of your hair. Over-manipulation of the hair occurs when you have what we like to call "hand-in-hair syndrome". As beautiful and tempting as it may be to try every transitional style there is, one must remember that our hair is at it's most fragile state while dealing with two textures. Tangling is a common occurance during shampooing and matting is an even bigger issue. What you don't want to do is braid and style your hair so much that you are working against the very reason you are going natural: to strengthen and lengthen your hair. 

Here are a few tips to remember to keep your hair healthy as it grows:

1. Keep your hands out of it
As much as you want to try every style there is, don't. Your hair is too fragile to handle braiding every night and the piling on of products. Keep it simple. Rock cornrows for a week, a straw-set for two weeks, and even a pin-up will do. The main thing is to stay out of your so that it can rest. During the transitional period (particularly the first few months), your hair is still trained by the relaxers. With only two inches of new growth, there isn't much you can do to you hair at this point but still treat it like it's relaxed. Wrap it up, and leave it be. Trust me, it will thank you later.

2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
I bet you didn't know that the water you take in is good for your hair too, huh? Healthy natural hair starts from the inside out. Drink 8 cups of water every day to add the much needed moisture to hair as well as your body. Watch what you eat too. Leafy greens, veggies, taking multivitamins are all good for your hair.

3. Get Regular Trims
Even while transitioning, I trimmed my hair every 6-8 weeks. I had tons of split ends and this helped keep them at bay as well as helped my hair grow. It seems right after I would trim, I would notice more growth on my head.

4. Sleep in a Bonnet or Satin Pillowcase
When our hair loses moisture, it doesn't grow. Sleeping in a bonnet not only preserves your hair style  but it also keeps it from matting and getting dry. If you are too wild of a sleeper, try a satin pillowcase. You can find them at Walmart or any home store.

5. Moisturize Daily
Now this can go either way: putting too much stuff on your hair will weigh it down and not putting it enough will dry it out. Thus, it's important that you have a good balance of moisture on your hair. I typically spray my hair with Taliah Waajid Bodifier Mist every night before bed, give myself a scalp massage and cover up with a bonnet. I wake up with softly moisturized hair. If I need to add a little more moisture in the morning, a little EVOO goes a long way. 

This list is just a few things that you can do to help strengthen and lengthen your hair. We must always remember that what works for some, may not work for others. Don't let the information on the internet deter you from learning what works for you. Good luck!


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August 24, 2010 7:17 PM delete

Hydration...something that I have to tell (over and over) to my relaxed sisters. They think all natural hair is nappy but I explained that with moisture it looks just like the curly weave they sew in their head every month. and I have to explain the difference between moisture and oil...something I had to learn the hard way

Naturally Me
August 24, 2010 9:15 PM delete

@epitome - Oh yes, I learned the oil vs cream thing later in life and it made a world of difference in how I treat my hair. Even when I was permed.