Hair care is nuanced, and while we might approach the task with the best intentions, it might be worth checking how we do so. So if you're still sleeping in conditioner overnight or unsure what makes a hairstyle truly protective, we've debunked five common misconceptions we can all benefit from putting to rest. No one enjoys choosing violence against their hair, right?
Trimmed Ends Promote Hair Growth
Let's start with possibly the widest misconception when it comes to hair. Trimming ends can promote a fuller, more healthy look but does not assist with hair growth. Hair strands grow out of the follicle found on the scalp, not on from ends. On average, checking in every six months to see if you need a trim should keep you from going scissor happy. Focus on scalp care to create the best environment for hair growth.
All Low Manipulation Styles Are Protective Styles
Unfortunately, low manipulation styles, while helpful in reducing time spent touching your strands, are not always protective styles. The reverse is true, however. A protective hairstyle offers three things: easy access for regular washing, low tension, and low manipulation. A typical low manipulation style, like braids, checks only one of the three components. Other than loose plaits or a back bun, only a headwrap safely tuck hair away after styling protecting both edges and ends.
Combing is the Best Detangling Tool Post Braids
Ah, the joy and chaos of braid removals. After several weeks of having your hair tucked away, freeing your curls from their Kanekalon bondage is only a few seconds away. When tempted to take a comb to your newly released hair, pump the brakes a little. It's possible to tangle and pull healthy hair out while plowing through tangles and shed hair. Instead, remove the braid, separate hair roots to release buildup, then carefully finger detangle while shampooing.
Sleeping in Conditioner Overnight Boosts Effectiveness
Repeat after me: I will save all errands for after my hair care regimen. In hindsight, most would agree the act of sleeping in conditioner is more an act of convenience than intention. In theory, running an errand during the twenty-minute window of a conditioner's effectiveness always seems like a good idea. But 10 hours later, while returning home with a bag full of groceries clutched under one arm and your mail and two packages in the other, leaving out with a plastic bag under your headwrap, didn't end the way you hoped. Besides beauty products having a maximum efficiency window (more time applied does not equal more effectiveness), sleeping in conditioner exposes your hair to prime conditions for mold and bacteria to grow. Skip the biological threat next time and chill at home for 20-40 mins.
Dry Hair Needs Moisture, Solely.
This myth is only partially correct. Dry or brittle hair is characterized by strands having difficulty slipping past each other while detangling. With kinky hair, misting water adds moisture, reducing shrinkage, and helping only half of the battle. Think about it, when it's humid outside, hair frizzes, and it ruins your style. Oils and butters lubricate and smooth strands providing the slip needed to keep hair moisturized and full.