There are many ideas about going natural that circulate throughout the community. One great myth is that natural hair is a low to no maintenance “style” to wear. This could not be any further from the truth!
Neglecting one’s hair is the easiest and fasted way to permanent hair loss!
There are several ways that hair can be neglected:
Under Washing. Sometimes we can be neglectful in cleansing the hair. Hair needs to be washed at least one time a week or no less than twice a month. While hair can be wet more frequently, it doesn’t need shampoo every time. Not washing the hair on a regular basis can cause hair to be greasy, the scalp to be flaky and an odor could present itself.
Not Conditioning. While heavy cream conditions aren’t necessary every time you cleanse your hair and scalp, some type of conditioning is needed for the hair to maintain its softness and strength. Using a daily leave in conditioner helps replenish the hair without weighing it down or adding to build up in the hair.
Avoiding Trims. While some people do not swear by trimming, it is sometimes necessary for split ends and heavily shedding hair. It is a common practice to encourage a trim every 6-8 weeks, but it is not a rule adopted by everyone. Still avoiding trimming when you know that your hair is damaged and shedding terrible, is a form of neglect. You may buy Aphogee treatments or special deep conditioner, but those work to build up hair strands and add sheen that lasts a period of time before you will see the same split ends again. So again, special conditioners don’t fix split ends, but they mask them for a while, and if you don’t continue with conditioning treatments, you may lose more hair than you would like to.
Refreshing Weaves or Extensions. They are called protective styles because they hide the fragile ends of the hair and gives the hair a rest from everyday combing, brushing and manipulating. But there is such a thing as going overboard, by wearing a weave or extensions too long, too tight or too often. Ignoring the effects of wearing weaves and extensions, especially for a prolonged period of time is considered neglect. This also lends to other problems like not washing the hair while it is in extensions. When the hair isn’t washed underneath weaves or within extensions, it can become musty, scaly, flaky, and develop temporary scalp conditions like dandruff or even psoriasis.
Wearing extensions for too long can cause the hair to matte up and/or lock. Then the hair must be untangled which can take hours sometimes or even cut off because the task is too complicated for some to complete.
Wearing weaves or extensions that are too tight can be a form of neglect if you don’t immediately remedy the issue. Any hair that is pulled too tight and causes noticeable discomfort, even if it isn’t pain, can lead to common issues like itchy bumps around the edges of the hair that can become infected or traction Alopecia caused by tension and/or stress on the hair.
Wearing extensions or weaves too often can cause hair loss especially if you wear the same style repeatedly like cornrows, kinky twists or box braids. Some areas of the head can be more sensitive to stress than others and it is not uncommon for whole braids to fall off or hair to come off when braids are removed. Many people suffer with several small patches of baldness due to the wearing of braids. This is evident in little girls as well who have their hair sectioned in the same section over and over. Over time, you may notice that a part is wider and wider, this could be due to thinning or possibly hair loss.
For those with locs, going too long without retwisting the roots or latching them can lead to thinning locs, locs loss and loc joining that is tedious to reverse and repair.
If you have seen yourself in this, it may be time to change certain patterns before permanent hair loss leaves you bound to unwanted feelings about your own hair.