NIGERIAN HAIR: IS LONG HAIR GENETIC? PART 2

By Hadassah Agbaps - March 24, 2014

Hi people, what's been on?

The geek is back again and today we'll be answering the question....."why is my hair still eyelash length after two years?"

Ready?

Let's go!

So we've established that in two years the average 'Nigerian' hair should be shoulder length and in 4-5 years whipping in the wind and falling down to our waist......
Okay....yeah....in theory, that's what it should be........but most times it's not.

but why....



Have you heard of nature vs. nurture?
Nature gives us the ability to grow our hair but it is nurture (care) that helps us maintain the length that we grew out. That's the difference between Rapunzel and ........er......Rapunzo (the Nigerian counterpart). Rapunzel treated her hair like gold.

Here's an experiment to try out....

Dye completely a lock of hair in a discrete location of your head.
Then notice how long it takes for your dark roots to show.
If it never shows up ...then you're probably right.....hair doesn't grow.
 If it does show....then hair does grow!

Now measure approximately how long your hair is 2 months after. This gives you an idea of your growth rate in two months.

If you are relaxed, then you are familiar with 'retouching', abi?
That is a clear indication that your hair is growing.
That's nature at work, right there!

So now we've figured out that bit, how do you nurture your hair to retain the length that nature is trying so hard to give!

1. Use the right hair care methods for your hair type.
2. Use the right products for your hair type.
3. Use the right hair care tools for your hair type.

Methods, Products and Tools.

The purpose of this blog is to share my experiences and tips for growing healthy long natural hair in Nigeria. These tips are also useful if you are texlaxed or relaxed. Almost every post sheds light on proper hair care for length retention. I'll summarise the main points below.

- To begin your journey, trim off damaged hair using a sharp scissors for hair.

- Brushes and close toothed combs damage Afro textured hair most especially if your hair is fine. Use wide toothed combs only.

- Hair is fragile when wet so handle carefully and avoid styling wet hair. If your hair is natural, it's easier to detangle your hair when wet than dry. To avoid damaging the hair in this state, apply a conditioner or oil to dry hair, then cover up for 10mins before detangling.

- Detangle hair in manageable sections combing from tips to root.

- Avoid using heated appliances as much as possible. Allow hair to air dry as much as possible istead of using blow dryers or hair dryers. Flat ironing regularly is not in your hair's best interest.

- Do not use harsh chemicals on your hair. Avoid dyes containing peroxides and increase the time between relaxer touch ups. Do not relax hair and dye on the same day. If your hair is relaxed, do not dye your hair blonde. It lifts the hair several shades more than your already chemically treated strands can handle.

- Never wear a style that puts stress on your roots just because you want the hair to look 'neat'. No tight ponytails, weaves, braid extensions, twists etc. Emphasis on tight!

- Use hair safe accessories. Metal clips, ponytail holders with metals, rubber bands etc should be avoided as much as possible. Always remember that should your hair get caught in a hair piece, cut the hair piece not your hair!

- Avoid yoyo dieting ! Today it's one special slimming herb, tomorrow it's dry fasting, next tomorrow it's liquid diet....It wrecks havoc on your hair growth cycle. If your body isn't getting enough nutrition, your hair isn't either....and skinny and bald is NOT a good look!

- Be familiar with ingredients in your styling products. I really don't like making rules about what ingredients to avoid in a product because people's hair has different needs and some may respond better to one product than others. So if a product gives you the result you are looking for, don't fix what didn't break....
 However for optimum hair health, there are really ingredients your hair will thank you if you avoid. Here is a general list.

In shampoos, avoid products containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate as they can be drying causing your hair to feel hard and stripped. Some companies try to mitigate this drying effect by adding oils and humecants. Rule of the thumb is, if you finish shampooing your hair and it feels hard to touch, is crunchy, tangles up easily ...in short feel like a scouring pad, then it's time to switch to sulfate free shampoos.

In conditioners, avoid products containing paraffinum liquidum, petrolatum. Some people don't respond well to silicones so they need to avoid products containing dimethicones, trimethicones, cyclomethicones.
If a conditioner makes your hair look and feel waxy, it's time to switch it up.

In leave in treatments like hair butters, moisturisers, leave in conditioners avoid products containing petrolatum, mineral oil, paraffinum liquidum, listed silicones , Alcohol , Isopropyl (SD-40),
If it does not contain 'water' or 'aqua' as the first ingredient, then what you bought is not a moisturiser and in Nigeria especially during harmattan season, you need a moisturiser.

In gels avoid drying alcohols, propylene glycol.

Happy hair growing!

Live Beautifully.Naturally.
Hadassah.

P.S. There's absolutely no evidence supporting the claim that Nigerian weather doesn't support hair growth. In fact, hair has been observed to grown slightly faster in warmer temperatures than in colder temperatures. The difference in growth rate is not even really significant.





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