The most vivid memory from primary school for me was learning about photosynthesis. I remember we did an experiment with three of the same plants, where we would plant them in the same sized pot, water them on the same day at the same time, but let the plants grow within different circumstances. One was to be put in the cupboard, the second next to the window, and the other without soil. It was clear that the plant by the window grew the healthiest, leaves were green, the bud was bright, and it stood tall and alive. The seed with no soil did not grow at all, and the seed inside the cupboard grew the tallest as it was stretching to look for the light, but the stem was brown, the plant was withered and weak, and did not have the buoyancy and health of the plant near the window.
So why am I telling my readers this? Interestingly, I have found during my hair journey that hair seems to grow in the exact same way.
By this I mean, when hair is out, natural (all yours), regularly watered (washed), and gets a good amount of sunlight, then your hair would be able to flourish the best, and exude the most health. Hair that is pulled out of the scalp will not continue to grow as the scalp or hair root is necessary to give hair nutrients. But the most fascinating phase for me, is if your hair is constantly out of sunlight, that yes it grows, and maybe even at a faster rate, but how healthy is it really growing?
Examples of hair out of sunlight would be when you have hair extensions or weave where there is only false hair visible, wigs, braids, cornrows etc. Now ladies, I am not saying that you should never ever have false hair. I am a huge fan of braids, will possibly have false hair when I get married, but I feel it is more when false hair is a constant, so your natural hair barely ever sees the light of day.
I have found in the past that when I take my hair out of cornrows, or braids, my hair is weaker and when I comb it my hair seems to come out in clumps. It remains this way for maybe a few weeks after, then gradually gets back to its normal state. Interestingly, I have found that I am not the only girl who seems to find these side effects after braiding, cornrowing and weaving their hair. I have sought for years to see if there was any data or experiments conducted to back up what I have found for my hair, and I have found quite a lot backing my theory to be true. Hair Doctor Mirmirani says that braids, weaves and extensions can cause brittleness, breaking and shedding, but she doesn’t state why.
But either way, one thing I would urge all my hair extension lovers to do, is think back to the last time your hair was in fully out of sunlight for a good period of time, then think about what it was like when you took it out and gave it a comb or brush. If your hair reacts similarly to mine, then perhaps next time your hair feels like it is too much, or it is damaged and you think to “give your hair a break” by putting it away for a while, maybe consider other alternatives first. Maybe your hair could do with a good treatment, a change of products to tackle your hair issues as they are in the present, it could sometimes be as simple as a good trim to revitalise your hair shaft.
As stated previously, I am in no way saying that it should never be done. Just a hopefully an encouraging post to help my fellow hair lovers to view hair differently.
In case you are interested in reading about other things that could damage hair, have a read of the rest of dr Mirmirani’s piece on hair: http://www.m.webmd.com/healthy-beauty/features/8-ways-youre-damaging-your-hair
Thank you for reading