I know that in the afro hair community “how to wash afro hair” is a topic that has been debating on for centuries. I believe its up to most people to examine and determine the right technique for them, however, I would like to bust some myths regarding how to or how not to wash your hair.
Hair grows better when it’s dirty.
This has to be one of the worst (and grossest) black hair care growth promoting myths out there. The only thing not washing your hair ever did was leave your scalp itchy and smelling musty. It also makes your hair so stiff that it can’t be styled and has absolutely no movement.
Hair grows best when it’s clean and moisturized.
Washing your hair is one of the best things you can do for it for lots of reasons.
- It cleans it thoroughly so you hair has life and movement (plus smell good too).
- It gets rid of gunk, buildup and product residues so your products will keep on working (a film over the hair prevents conditioners and treatments from penetrating the strands).
- Water is the only thing that adds moisture to your hair. Washing regularly lets your hair get this much needed hydration boost.
- It sets the stage for what is probably the most important step in hair care which is conditioning.
One of the big secrets of black hair care growth enhancement is washing and deep conditioning often. Don’t let this myth keep you from having the kind of hair you want.
Trimming makes hair grow faster.
Trimming your hair makes it shorter…period. What you do to the ends of your hair has absolutely nothing to do with what happens at the roots. To be perfectly clear, trimming does not make your hair grow faster, never has and never will.
Trimming makes hair ends healthier so length accumulates faster.
The real truth behind hair trimming is what it does for the health of your hair.
- Prevents split ends from traveling up the length of the hair.
- Removes ‘dead’ ends (all hair is dead of course) and damage allowing your hair to get longer because it’s healthier.
- Keeps ends strong and resistant to breakage.
- Gives hair ends new life and lets them hold a style better.
The key to accumulating length with trimming is to cut less hair than what grows out. That way your ends stay healthy, your hair looks great and over time you’ll see the inches start to add up.
Personally, my hair is quite light in terms of weight and colour, so when I over wash and over oil it, it looks dead and greasy. So my stylist at YANA Hair Sanctuary recommended that I wash it thoroughly every three weeks, and wash it lightly in the mid week; use an oil based spritz spray instead of a moisturizer and allow as much hair between the strands when blow drying. I find that since I have my hair out most of the time, its much lighter, less greasy and more flowy, so see if it works for you and let me know :- )
P.s it might help to go to a stylist first, so they can thoroughly induct you on how to maintain your hair in the long term. I will try and post a tutorial video this weekend if that helps ;-)
I also came across this article on the Guardian which talks about this further:
“Washing your hair for three minutes will help ensure its long-term health”
according to trichologist Frank Cunningham.
“Wash your hair for less time and you risk leaving in much of the shampoo, which can give you a flaky scalp.”
Before you turn on the shower, brush your hair with a wide-tooth comb to prevent tangles; then wet your hair, and apply shampoo.
“Use a clawlike movement, rather than a flat hand,” Cunningham says, “and if your hair’s long, don’t apply the shampoo directly to the ends – lift the length of the hair and squeeze the crown so that the shampoo flows down to it.”
Once you’ve rinsed out the shampoo, it’s time to apply conditioner – but, Cunningham warns, “don’t apply the conditioner to the roots – only to the ends – and make sure you don’t rub your hair. That can cause splitting.”
Then rinse your hair until the water runs clear, and comb out any tangles using the same wide-tooth comb – never a plastic brush. “If you saw a brush under a microscope,” Cunningham says, “you’d see that its bristles act like a saw. You really have to watch what you’re doing, especially with long hair. I always tell my clients that they should treat long hair as they would a silk blouse – extremely carefully.”