Hair Handling: Protect your strands (1)

29 Oct

 Understanding ‘Catch&Pull’ and the importance of ‘Protective Styling’

Type 4, due to its coily nature will have the tendency to catch on fabrics and rough surfaces. Catching on and pulling will lead to the hair breaking up!  Repetitive catching on and pulling will lead to no length retention! Many of us have experienced going to bed without a scarf/ bonnet, with our hair not in protective style and waking up to find little coily bits of hair all over the place. Or even at some point hearing or feeling the little ‘snapping’ when the hair breaks.

Type 4 hair requires lower manipulation and low friction, especially when it is in its coily form, so the coils won’t snap. But one of the main key success point to retain length with Type 4 hair, is to reduce the risk of ‘snappage’ by keeping your hair ‘straightened,’ in the form of braids, twists, buns, box braids etc… The protective methods that aims at keeping coily hair ‘un-coily’ (straighten) are great to reduce risk ‘snappage’— except if they are done too tight and break the hair by exercising too much tensile force.

No more harsh grooming Ladies ! When you detangle your coils, please be gentle. The same way the coils can hook on fabric it will hook around the teeth of a comb. And fast, hard combing will rip the hair which is hooked on the comb. This is one of the reasons why most of us think our hair never grows ! We rip it off !

You want to avoid strand breakage to the maximum. And harsh grooming does cause strand breakage. You have no length retention when you break your strands on a regular basis.

If you are combing on dry hair, it is better done without tools, just with your fingers, to slowly remove your knots. With afro hair the comb gets stuck in the hair resulting in more damage and then more friction.

When afro hair is damp, friction decreases. When hair becomes very wet and water fills the spaces between the fibres, friction decreases as water acts as a lubricant. But, on chemically treated hair the water acts to hold the fibres together like a glue. This makes them difficult to separate and increases combing resistance or apparent friction. 

When combing on wet, damp hair (Best option ! As it allows to reduce friction, so the tool used can more easily glide in the hair), some start combing near the tip, other near the roots. It does not really matter, the most important is that you are gentle with your gesture, and do not rip through the knots and coils..Most YouTubers start at the tip and gradually go back up to the root. Your call ! But be gentle and apply some conditioner or moisturiser to facilitate the gliding and reducing the friction. It is advised to use a wide tooth comb. The smaller the teeth, the more ripping potential. The same advise would apply to the use a brush such as a Denman Brush.

Be wary of your Styling Accessories

Use looser styles if possible and try to avoid hair ties with metal pieces, as these can catch on and pull out hair (snatching it).

Comments are closed.