We’ve come such a long way to finally accepting and loving our kinky natural African hair. Gone are the days when we would relax our kinky hair or wear weaves in pursuit of European-like hair. Now more than ever, African women are wearing their natural hair in all kinds – braided and locs. Because we have now embraced our naturally kinky hair, there are so many hair routines out there that claim to work best. However, even with all the products and hair routines, we can still damage our curls with bad hair habits. Here are some hair habits you need to ditch for a healthy and beautiful afro:
Washing with hot water
Washing your hair with extremely hot water is the fastest way to damage your healthy afro. It’s common to hear that hot water is the easiest way to remove dirt and excess from hair but not quite! Hot water strips the natural oils that give your hair a natural shine and keep it healthy. When you constantly wash your hair with hot water, you risk your hair breaking and thinning and your scalp becoming very dry. To keep your hair healthy and strong, wash it in lukewarm or cold water instead.
Using too much heat
Excessive heat damages your hair strands and follicles. The result will be hair that is brittle and eventually breaking off. The heat from hot water and heat tools can be detrimental to the health of hair. This is because this heat strips the natural oils from the hair and causes it to become brittle. Brittle hair breaks and thins easily, so stop this hair habit of frying your curls ASAP!
Sleeping without a head bonnet
This hair habit is very easy to fall into even for the most conscious women. After a long day, you simply want to lay your head to rest. Once you’re in bed, it’s fairly easy to forget to put on your head bonnet especially when you’re tired. This habit might seem fairly minor but can cause a lot of damage to your afro. Kinky hair is naturally dry and susceptible to breakage so when you sleep without a bonnet, you are only subjecting it to damage. In fact, your natural hair will lose oils and moisture from your pillow especially if it made of cotton. Therefore, to protect your hair, you should invest in a satin headwrap and make sure to keep on your nightstand so that you don’t forget to wear it. For a fail-safe solution, invest in a silk or satin pillowcase.
As African women, we are all obsessed with length and might not be willing to trim our hair. However, lack of regular hair trims could result in split ends that eventually thins and weakens your hair. So don’t be scared of that little trim, it could be the one ensuring your hair grows strong and healthy.
Pulling back hair too tightly
Protective buns, puffs, and ponytails can be good ways to keep hair out of your face, but they are also a major source of thinning edges. Tightly hair styles can add stress to hair follicles, causing breakage. You should try keep these high-tension styles to a minimum, but if you must do them, do so wisely. Using an elastic hair band or hair band with a metal part can snag on your hair and snatch you bald, yanking out your follicles. Ouch!