Going through hard times sucks, but something that seems not to suck as much, is going through hard times as a group. Every time you start anything, you are bound to at least go through some sort of a setback and something that helped us go through them was the fact that we have each other!
So as a new sort of series, we will start hosting “SOS Dielleci”- where we will share a setback/worry any of you pronounced in the comments and we will try to help you, as well as if we went through anything, we will share our story (with photos for good laughs) on how we overcame them, given the fact that things are easier when shared.
For our first post, we will talk about one of the issues of any hair journey, which is excessive breakage! Many of you have commented that you have this problem and you worry that it is affecting your hair growth. Luckily excessive hair breakage is something that I went through (which I consider the biggest setback in my hair journey) and I was able to overcome it, so I will share a bit of my story and then follow up on helping you!
Hope this helps:
In the beginning of my hair journey, I will say around the fourth month (after the first time I relaxed my hair in my hair journey) I started to see excessive breakage. Excessive breakage for me meant that every time I touched my hair I would see very short strands of hair in my hands or in the comb, as well as on my clothes, my pillow case and my scarf. I did not know what I was doing wrong, so I just kept doing my routine, but after about 2 weeks, any length that I retained in the 4 months that I was in the journey was gone and then some!
I remember I was still living by myself in London at that time and I called Ci crying (I know, but I am not afraid to tell you, I cried over hair) saying that my hair was gone and that I was over this hair journey. I still remember Ci saying that I was overreacting and then I showed her this picture below and she literally couldn’t say anything to make me feel better (lol!)
So I quickly googled my butt off for weeks until finally, I figured out what happened; now I can tell you how I fixed it. So any of you going through this, take a break, cry about it if you need and let’s go!
Short strands, basically strands that are shorter than your length (a way to see if it’s breakage and not shedding is to look at the start of the strand, if there is no white bulb which is the root of the hair, then it is breakage) everywhere that your hair touches, be it your hands, clothes, pillows, scarfs, hats, combs, etc.
There are many causes of hair breakage, the most common is dryness of the hair due to not taking care of your hair with treatments, improper relaxing as well as not taking care of your new growth when stretching, too much heat or harsh manipulation such as, too tight braids or over-combing your hair.
Since I was on a hair journey full on by then, my cause was not any of the above since I stopped doing all that. Actually, what I was experiencing was protein overload. Protein overload is when you do too many protein treatments (such as treatments with Keratin, egg, mayonnaise, bananas) and your hair can’t take so much (since our hair is made out of protein, too much of it makes it so strong that it actually breaks off since there is no elasticity). Due to the coarseness of my hair, I actually have quite a lot of protein in my strands already so I was doing protein treatments more than I needed. In order to check if you have protein overload is to feel your strands, if they feel very hard, almost with a texture like hay, you most likely have protein overload.
For the common causes for breakage, the cure is to start hydrating your hair with treatments and moisturising and sealing, properly relaxing your hair and making sure your new growth when stretching, is properly hydrated by doing things such as spritzing a moisturiser directly on your new growth every 2 days, avoiding heat and not manipulating your hair as much- so in the case of braids making them looser and in the case of combing minimising combing to only your wash days, the rest of the days just use your fingers!
Now for my mistake which is protein overload, cut back on your protein treatments to about once a month. Make sure that any other time, the treatments and products you put in your hair have little to no protein (check the ingredient list).
However, if you are in my drastic situation you need more drastic measures. In my case, I started by first starting with my hair fresh by washing it with a sulphate shampoo and then following it with a hydrating (zero protein) treatment. Then after, every 2 days I would put a non-protein conditioner on my hair (my choice was our fave Hello Hydration) and with a shower cap I would leave it on my hair for about 1 hour and then wash it off. It took about 2 weeks of doing that for my hair not to feel like hay and from then on, I just stay away from hard protein treatments except for when I am about to relax and when I relax (click here to see why).
Hope you like our new series and most importantly you understand you are not alone in your setbacks; you have just gained 3 new sisters, and we are here not only to help you out, but to share with you, our past and new experiences, no matter how embarrassing they are, and how we overcame them (or are working on overcoming them).
Now comment down below any SOS requests you would like for us to talk about next or any questions you may still have from this one (such as being more thorough on the other reasons for hair breakage).
Also don’t forget that setbacks/problems that we are willing to discuss don’t have to only be hair related, comment down below (or through email if you are shy) any other area that we also talk about in this blog (university life, living abroad, makeup, self-esteem, family,finances, love, etc.) and we will do our best to answer your SOS!
Hopefully this was helpful to you,