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Here are some of the questions I get asked the most, and what my answers have been. This way you can get your answers immediately, without having to wait on me. And you never know, you might find answers to a few questions you didn't even know you had yet.

*This is still a work in progress. I'm continuing to add many more questions, and we are still ironing out a few quirks. But we wanted to make this available as soon as possible.

There are several ways to choose the question(s) you'd like answered:




... or you can ...

 


... or you can ...

 
 
Question:
I use a relaxer and my hair isn't growing. Is my hair damaged?
Answer:
Brace yourself—this is a long answer. I have the worst time just giving a yes or no answer without explaining why I feel the way I do. And when it comes to hair, I have to be totally honest.

Okay, about the relaxer: Relaxers all use some form of chemical that is similar in strength to oven cleaners, Draino, or depilatories. As long as you use them, your hair will be damaged. I hate to sound harsh, but I am not going to lie to you. I found this out the hard way. I kept using those chemicals and wondering why my hair wouldn't grow and looked so horrible. Unless your hair is more coarse than mine (like Asian hair has thicker strands than African-American type hair, so it can take harsh chemicals and do just fine), these chemicals destroy your hair.Even if you only use them once. The damage is done.

There is no reason you can't have really long hair like I do. It's just a matter of learning to care for it without damaging it anymore. I strongly believe any hair can grow to any length, so long as the person is healthy. What keeps tightly curled hair from growing long is damage. Very curly hair like ours is way way more fragile than straighter hair, so it can be hurt easily. Unfortunately, we are raised to feel that the only way we can take care of our hair is in damaging ways. This causes our hair to break off, and then we think our hair doesn't grow. It really is growing, it's just being broken and damaged at the same rate it's growing. If your hair is breaking off at your shoulders, that means it is being damaged. The only way to get it to grow longer is to find out what is damaging it, and stop doing it completely. Things like dry combing our hair, combing it roughly, treating it roughly, any heat, and chemicals will cause breakage. Even if you stop all of those things but one, because our hair is so fragile, it will still break.

If your hair is damaged, the damaged parts will always be damaged. Chemicals, blow drying, combing roughly, or combing your curls when they are dry causes damage. Unfortunately, once your hair has been damaged, the damaged part will continue to split and break, even after you solve the problem. So all you can do is keep trimming until all the damaged parts are gone. And if you stopped the damage, at some point, you will see that your hair isn't splitting any more. Then you don't need to trim until you see split ends again (which means there's still damage being done). Back in the old days when I was relaxing my hair, my hair was so damaged that it broke off before my ends had a chance to split! I tried every product under the sun to stop my permed hair from breaking, and nothing worked. Now that I'm not damaging my hair anymore, I don't get split ends or breakage. Because of this, I don't trim my hair anymore.

I hate to say it, but there is nothing that can "repair" hair once it's damaged. Legally, cosmetics companies(including those that make conditioners) can say anything they want on the bottle of product and don't have to prove anything. The only place they have to tell the truth is with the ingredients. This doesn't mean there aren't some great products out there that help smooth, condition, moisturize and tame our hair. I can't recommend any deep conditioners, because all they are are re-packaged basic conditioners that they charge lots more money for, and put in a smaller package. Plus, they don't do anything that regular conditioners do, which is to smooth and condition your hair. But they can't "fix" anything, no matter what they say. The only thing that helps our hair grow is to stop damaging it.

My techniques work best when there is a natural curl still in your hair. It might not work on your hair with the chemicals. It will work on your natural hair. If you still have some wave in your hair, this may still work a bit. If you're thinking about growing out your hair, you can often put it in a few braids or a bunch of two-strand twists after washing so both textures of your hair will look more alike. You can check this out on the Growing It Out page. Then when it grows out, you can do the techniques on the rest of the site.


However, if you are wanting help keeping your hair straight, I am the last person to ask. When I tried to wear my hair straight back when I was a teenager, it broke apart and was short and crunchy and miserable all the time. However, if you are interested in growing out all the chemicals, and embracing your natural curls, this site can help you.
 

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