Thursday, 16 February 2017

Trimming your Hair for Hair Growth

Hello everyone I just wanted to write a post on this topic and answer the question whether trimming our hair can actually make it grow longer. I am sure we have all heard people say that if you want your hair to grow you should get a trim. Now we need to consider whether this statement is actually true. However before we can answer that question we need to first find out how hair grows.

Hair grows in 3 cycles at about half an inch a month. At any given time about 85-90% of our hair will be growing this is referred to as the anagen phase which tends to last between 2 to 6 years. The remainder of our hair will either be in the catagen (transitioning) or telogen (resting) phases. This means that any given time the different strands of our hair will be at various growth phases. The catagen phase is the transitional/intermediate growth phase, where the hair follicle begins to prepare to shed hair that has grown during the anagen phase. It typically lasts between 1 to 3 weeks. The telogen phase is a resting phase where the hair is released and falls out and it may last between 2 - 4 months.

Genetics usually has a great role to play in how long the anagen (growing) phase can last. A person with a longer anagen phase will tend to have much longer hair than someone with a shorter anagen phase. At the end of the anagen phase, the hair will usually fall out. The hair follicle will then remain dormant for about 2 - 4 months before a new strand begins to form and then the anagen phase can start all over again.

From the explanation above it can be seen that hair growth actually has to do with the roots of our hair i.e. our hair follicles. So as long as our hair follicles continue to grow hair, our hair will grow. It therefore appears that trimming or cutting your hair cannot send a message to your roots to produce longer hair. Now let us look into how trimming your hair can actually help our hair as regards growth and retention of length:

After a trim my hair looks fuller and healthier

Trimming gets rid of split ends: Split ends are not good for your hair and actually prevent your hair from growing to its fullest potential. This is because when your ends split; if they are not cut off they can potentially split upwards which can affect the length of your hair. Hair that has a lot of split ends tends to not look healthy and may actually be quite damaged. In the end it is best to cut those split ends off to aid retention of length.

Trimming gets rids of damaged/broken ends: Our ends may not necessarily be split but they may be still damaged or broken. To prevent damage to your ends please refer to this post hereDamaged ends could be caused by over processing e.g. someone who keeps on getting their entire hair including the ends relaxed all the time. In a situation where your ends are damaged the best option to get rid of the damaged ends may be to cut off such ends, this may actually improve length retention in the long run.

Trimming should be done as needed: If our ends are trimmed too frequently, any progress that we may have made will not have a chance to translate to the length of our hair. It is therefore important to keep trims to the barest minimum for example every 3 months or less. Examine your ends, if you do not need a trim there would be no reason to get one. There may be times were only dusting of the ends is needed. For the difference between trimming and dusting and how to do both please refer to this post here.It is important therefore to maintain a healthy and proper hair regimen suited to you so that you can get away with less trimming. To promote hair growth and length retention when getting a trim only cut off what you need to. There is no need to cut off/trim ends that are perfectly fine and healthy except if you are going for a haircut.

Trimming reduces hair breakage: When you trim your ends as needed, your hair would be less susceptible to breakage. This is because when you have split/broken ends, they usually tend to remain that way or get worse. This could lead to a situation where any form of manipulation may result in more breakage. For example whilst detangling or styling your hair you may experience breakage, at this point it may be important to get a trim. Notice that anytime you get a fresh trim, you experience less breakage/shedding. This could be because the ends are fresh; so they do not tangle amongst themselves to result in breakage.

Trimming gives the illusion of thicker/healthier hair: There is truly no point hanging on to dead/uneven ends. You will find that after getting a trim your hair appears thicker and it is easier to hold a style. It also improves the overall look and feel of your hair.

I can therefore conclude this post by stating that although trimming your hair does not make your hair grow, in the long run it can actually lead to longer and healthier hair.

I would love to hear your views about trimming. What is your take on it? How often do you get trims? Or do you prefer to dust?

PS. Kindly refer to some of my articles on Bella Naija if you have not done so already, I provide some excellent tips in my articles here and here.

TONKA, xoxo

"And he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in your weakness". Therefore most gladly I would rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me". - The Holy Bible, 2 Cor 12:9 (NKJV)

Monday, 6 February 2017

My Relaxer Update + Trimming My Hair

Hello everyone, I am so happy to be sharing my relaxer update. I got my hair texlaxed on Monday, 30th January, 2017. I was able to stretch this particular relaxer for 14 weeks (normally I texlax at the 12 week mark). I can attribute that to my Wura’s Secret Braids Wig which I wore consistently for about 6-7 weeks before getting my hair texlaxed. I know for a fact that without that wig I would not have been able to stretch my hair for as long and as I did. I even feel like I could have stretched for much longer if I wanted to. I found that having my hair in corn rows underneath the wig made my hair less tangled – even at 14 weeks post. I am definitely going to make sure that I wear wigs especially towards the end of my stretch to minimise breakage and tangling.

Anyway I got my hair texlaxed using the Crème of Nature Argan Oil Relaxer I am beginning to think that I may switch to the ORS Olive Oil Relaxer. However I am not too sure yet, my hair seems to like the ORS Relaxer but my scalp not so much. Also I think I am more prone to getting burns with the ORS Relaxer. The only reason I am considering using the ORS Relaxer is that I think it works better for my hair. Anyway I will make up my mind and definitely share my subsequent results/findings if I do decide to go back to the ORS relaxer.

The Night before going to the salon to get my hair texlaxed, I spent time detangling my hair after having it in corn rows for a long period of time underneath the wig. For the detangling process I used only my Wura’s Secret Hair Growth Oil because I felt like if I used a cream or conditioner or anything like that it would make the detangling process more difficult. So I detangled section by section and plaited each section after I was done detangling. I initially had six cornrows done and by the time I was through with detangling I had twelve plaits as I had taken out the corn crows one section at a time divided it in two sections and then detangled. I got to the salon with the 12 plaits still in my hair because I was not about to risk my hair tangling all over again (although I was itching to wear my hair in all its voluminous braid out glory, I knew the pain would not be worth it).

At the salon, the relaxer was applied to my new growth only and as per usual I told the stylist to only put the relaxer on my edges towards the very end. The stylist also applied conditioner to the rest of my hair to prevent any relaxer from getting on my hair when it was being rinsed off. After the processing time was through, the relaxer was first rinsed out. Then my hair was washed twice with the Crème of Nature Neutralizing Shampoo that comes in the relaxer kit. After that I deep conditioned with a steamer for 20 minutes with a mix of Shea Moisture Yucca & Plantain Conditioner, Wura’s Secret Deep Conditioner and Elasta QP Conditioner.

The conditioner was rinsed out and I feel like I did not experience a lot of breakage throughout the texlax process. The stylist applied some Wura’s Secret Hair Growth Oil to my scalp and Wura’s  Secret Hair Moisturiser and ORS Serum (heat protectant) to my hair and then proceeded to blow dry my hair. I would have liked to blow dry it straight but after the blow dry I still had a lot of texture left in my hair which I decided to rock anyway.

After the blow drying was done she sealed my hair with some shea butter, which made my hair feel divine. She also gave me a slight trim. However when I got home I realised that I did not like how my ends were looking so I decided to take matters into my own hands to cut my hair straight across.

I felt there was no way I could get the blunt cut I sought on my own so I decided to enlist the help of hubby to cut my hair. I was very scared and so was he, but I made up my mind that he would do it as I did not want to have to go back to the salon. I showed him several pictures so he would see what I wanted. I prepared my mind for the worst thing that could happen and he proceeded to give me the best trim ever. It was blunt – straight across just how I like it and I feel like I did not loose too much length. After the trim I felt so happy/relieved as no one wants straggly ends and there is really no point in hanging on to ends that just have to go.

Here is a comparison picture so you can see the difference between the awesome trim and the former uneven ends. I will let you all know how I intend to care for my hair before my next relaxer. One thing is certain I need to take care of my ends properly (I feel like I neglected them during this stretch). I would be making sure to implement some of the things I mentioned in this post here during this stretch.

What have you all been up to hair wise? If you have any questions or comments do share and I will be glad to respond.

TONKA, xoxo

"The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something.Don't wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope". - Barack Obama