Sunday, July 31, 2011

Got Dryness and Tangles?

Two of biggest problems I have with stretching my relaxer are dryness and tangles. I know that the dryness is because of the texture of the new growth. Let me explain. Sebum is the oily waxy substance that is produced by sebaceous glands. These glands are found in abundance on the scalp and are connected with the hair follicles in a way that allows for the sebum to lubricate the hair. It is easier for sebum to make it way from the root down the hair shaft on straight hair textures as opposed to curly or kinky textures. This is because on curly or kinky hair textures, the sebum has to travel around the curves, bends and corners of the hair shaft which is more difficult than travelling a straight path. This is why curly and kinky hair textures tend to be naturally drier than straight hair.

So the more new growth I have, the more difficult it is for sebum to travel from my roots down my hair shaft. Of course, regular moisturizing and sealing will combat this problem. [Note: Also be sure to drink at least the recommended amount of water each day because that promotes supple and lush hair.] But I do notice that even with moisturizing and sealing my hair, it tends to be drier than usual towards the end of my stretch.

Also since dry hair equals breakage, towards the end of my stretch I normally try to wear low manipulation styles that do not call for combing or brushing my hair to keep unnecessary breakage at bay which leads me to my next topic which is tangles. I've noticed for me low manipulation styles with a lot of new growth can promote tangling of my roots because I am not combing through the curly/kinky new growth and the strands are starting to become intertwined with each other.

When I notice my hair is tangled, I don't try to detangle it while it's dry. I will wash my hair with a detangling shampoo followed by a good conditioner or I'll do a co-wash with a conditioner that has a lot of slip.  Then in the shower with the conditioner in my hair, I will slowly detangle small sections at a time. Once I've finished, I will put my head under the shower water and run the wide-tooth comb through my hair again from roots to ends to make sure it if fully detangled.

If I do not notice tangles until I have already washed and conditioned my hair and am out of the shower, I will use a product that works wonders on tangles. It is the Mane 'n Tail detangler shown below. This stuff melts through my tangles when I find myself having to detangle out of the shower.

The biggest thing you must remember with tangles is to have PATIENCE. If you don't, you'll end of losing more hair than necessary trying to detangle. Happy hair growing :)

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