Black Hair 101: I Steam And My Hair Is Still Not Growing

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You’ve tried steaming your hair more regularly and you moisturize on occasion, yet your hair is still is not growing.  Many times upon closer inspection I find that those who make that complaint still aren’t doing all they should be doing to retain length.

Steaming/deep conditioning your hair more frequently, is most times not enough to grow long African hair. It will definitely give you healthier, shinier and fuller hair, but in terms of length retention…not really.

Remember I said that African hair is the most fragile of hair types. When I say most fragile I mean the MOST FRAGILE. It’s as if our hair was genetically designed to break, whether natural or relaxed. As black women we must take the extra steps to prevent breakage as much as possible.

Though some ladies claim they are conditioning and moisturizing their hair more, they haven’t really reduced their heat usage. Most of women that I know refuse to leave their real hair out. So their hair is constantly in weaves, braids, etc. Now if I am not mistaken here is how your typical day at the salon goes:

  1. The hairdresser washes your hair
  2. Then maybe just maybe you may steam your hair. (If you do steam your hair are you using a good enough moisturizing deep conditioner? Does your conditioner soften and detangle?)
  3. After washing and conditioning, the hairdresser towel dries your hair quite roughly tangling your hair even more.  (Our hair is fragile and prone to tangles, at every point we should strive to reduce tangles as much as possible) try patting your hair with the towel instead of rubbing.
  4. Then because you are doing a weave or braids, there is no point in setting or styling your hair abi? So what happens next? The hairdresser blow-dries your hair.
  5. Then oils your scalp with some petroleum based product (destined to clog your scalp)
  6. Then plaits your hair up tight (mechanical stress)

Now from my previous post on heat damage, you should know that blow-drying in my opinion is the most damaging form of heat, and I bet many of you still don’t use heat protectants….sigh. Have you ever had a hairdresser gently blow-dry you hair in sections? Lol… No, they take a comb and just blow-dry and pull your hair in every direction possible. If there were nerves in each strand of your hair, I promise you that you would NEVER,NEVER EVER let anyone blow-dry your hair in that manner ever!(Imagine if you could feel every strand as it broke off….)Just to prove a point, the next time you blow dry your hair at the salon take note of how many strands of hair leave your head. Take note of quantity of strands, and the length of strands, and the think back to my post on hair mathematics. If you lose 1-2 inches of hair each time you wash and blow-dry then it would take you 2-4 months to recover those broken strands (hair grows ½ an inch a month on average).  Imagine if you blow dried twice a month! Do the math yourself.

This is scenario is based on hair that has not been over processed chemically. If you are one of those who relax every 6 weeks or less, keep the relaxer on for more than 20 minutes, or put relaxer on your ends, then….ahh…mehn…I don’t know what to tell you. Your situation is quite dire.


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