Four Things Your Hairdresser Is Not Telling You

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Oh! Why does my hair keep falling out, all these spilt ends, breakages, dryness and the dullness? Should I just do the big chop or should I wait for a while?

As a woman I know you’ve been in this dilemma before, if not, relax because soon enough, you will. I used to gothrough this headache until I chanced upon some useful tips and tricks that really helped me. Here, let me share with you what I found.

I started growing my hair in 2016 and it’s been three years already, you’re guessing by now I have long hair which is at least below my neckline to my shoulder. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you dear; my hair is still on my neckline. In January 2019, I started a quest for a healthy and long hair. So, I did some research on hair and the information I gathered blew my mind. There were so many things my hairdresser was doing wrong;I got so angry, 3 years of not properly caring for my hair. Such a waste of time, energy and money. But hey, maybe, just maybe, it’s probably not her fault, truth be told, most hairdressers in Ghana are not properly trained. But I was still upset,I nearly did the big chop, later, I decided to use the information I gathered to revive my hair. So far, so good, there have been lots of improvement and for a very long time now, I can feel and see my hair growing. Since I’m not a selfish woman and I always got a sister’s back, I have decided to share with you some things your hairdresser need to do to your hair in order to make and keep it healthy.

Did you know, your hairdresser needs to test the type of hair you have in order to know which product best suits it? There are mainly four types of hair– straight (type 1), wavy (type 2), curly (type 3) and kinky hair (type 4). Straight hair reflects the most sheen and strong as compared to the others. Straight hair is very hard to damage, and difficult to curl. It is also the oiliest.Wavy hair has a texture and sheen between straight and curly hair and is likely to become fizzy. Curly hair is known to have an ‘S’ or ‘Z’ shape. This type of hair is usually voluminous, climate dependent, and damage prone. Kinky hair on the other hand features a tightly coiled curl pattern which is often very fragile with a high density. This type of hair shrinks when wet because it has fewer cuticle layers than the other hair types due to this; it is more susceptible to damage. Most Africans have this type of hair. I say most because some of us have relaxed our hair. Relaxed hair is basically a wavy, curly or kinky hair that has been straightened through the application of a hair relaxer.

Speaking of relaxed hair, did you know if you have a sensitive scalp and hair, you need to use a no-lye relaxer because its effect is mild?

I know your hairdresser has told you that the lye relaxer is more effective than the no- lye relaxer. And that is so true but they forget to include that it is also harsh on the scalp. This is why if you have a sensitive scalp and you can’t join the ‘natural hair gang’ because your hair is difficult to manage;it is advisable to use a no-lye relaxer due to its mildness. Everything in this world comes with advantages and disadvantages and one disadvantage of a no-lye relaxer is the calcium in the product which causes dryness and dullness of hairbut there is a solution, and that is; washing your hair with a chelating shampoo. Chelating shampoo removes harsh minerals that cause dryness and damage to the hair. This is good for no-lye relaxer users due to the calcium it leaves in the hair.

Did you also know that there are three different types of hair conditioner namely traditional, leave-in and deep conditioner and each has different application methods and purposes?

That’s right! When conditioning the hair with a traditional conditioner, the conditioner must be left in the hair for at least three minutes before detangling. This allows it to work its magic of softening and adding moisture to the hair. Extra moisture won’t hurt that is why leave-in conditioner is massaged into the hair after washing off the traditional conditioner.Unlike a traditional conditioner that you rinse out after a couple of minutes, a leave-in conditioner stays in the hair until the next washing.  Remember leave-in conditioner is applied on damp hair and not wet hair. The last type of conditioning which most of us don’t do is deep conditioning. For a healthy hair, it is good to deep condition your hair once every four to six weeks. This treatment heals and restores the hair.

Did you know that too much heat breaks and damages the hair and causes dryness?

Most of us sit under the dryer for several minutes and your hairdresser will still tell you “wait small, it’s not dry yet”; so stressful and annoying right?  Another thing I still don’t understand is why most hairdressers when blow drying hair, they place the blow dryer so close to the hair. I’m no expert but we all know what too much heat does to the body and skin. It dehydrates it, yes, no wonder I discovered too much heat damages the keratin protein that gives your hair strength and moisture. This causes the hair to break, which is why it is advisable to use less heat on the hair. For those of you who usually use styling tools such as flat and curling iron should use a heat protectant in order to reduce the damage.

There are so many things that we don’t know about our hair and most of our hairdressers are also not helping us to achieve our dream hair. My advice to you is that, if truly you want a healthy hair, then research on your hair type and what product is best for it before you visit the hair salon again.

 

PATIENCE OWUSU-ANSAH

Ghana Institute of Journalism

 

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