Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Access to Air Promotes Hair Growth

I don't know about you, but this sleep cap with the holes in it is what I grew up wearing at night.  The emphasis is on the air flow to the scalp.

Now, consider the fact that we always envy women who can go to bed without "tying" their hair up.  They get maximum air flow to their scalp.

To further support my conclusion that the scalp's access to air flow promotes hair growth - I have a client who started with me seven years ago who had a "baldness pattern" where she had a little afro in the back of her head, but  no hair in the front.  Over the years, we kept her in wigs for corporate job purposes.  What we found was that the wigs that allowed more air flow seemed to promote more hair growth as far as thickening was concerned.  The healthy hair in the back seemed to spawn additional hair to continue growing from the back to the front.  So within six years, she actually had enough hair to braid cornrows from the front to the back of her head.  This was a huge accomplishment.  Now, that it is seven years later, she is comfortable wearing a baseball cap and showcasing her long cornrows in the back in her downtime. Her hair had finally grown enough to help her feel normal enough to go in public without a wig. This was a huge milestone.  I was so happy that she was happy.  There are still some areas of her scalp that are "smoothed over" and  shiny and will probably never grow another hair, but to look in the mirror and to see hair all over her head brought her joy.  I was proud that I made this journey with her.

So what is my message to everyone:  If your headscarf that you sleep in does not allow airflow, then you may be causing your hair to thin.

Think about it, have you ever let down a sweaty ponytail that had been in that ponytail for three days or even a whole week?  The scalp sometimes smells rancid right?  The sweat which is moisture, the thickness of the ponytail can compact heat, and we are always shedding cells which is "food" for bacteria growth.

So just like sweaty feet and any other sweaty body part that does not get enough air flow - bacteria or fungus can grow or suffocate the scalp and hair follicles without proper airflow.

Consider a real silk scarf which are usually dry clean only care or a sleep cap that allows airflow through it.  Those satin polyester scarves and bonnets do not allow air through them if there are no holes in them.

I even had to discontinue wearing my extra wide headband at night because my scalp area that I slept on seemed to feel a little sticky.  After a few days of sleeping free of any headwraps of any sort, my scalp felt more normal and healthier.  No stickiness and more volume.

For those who need to save their hairstyles at night, use several roller pins to anchor your style down and sleep on a satin pillow cover.

Let's try to give all the headwraps a rest!  You should be able to see a difference in one week.  If not, at least within two weeks, you should see and feel a difference.  Keep me posted.

Update:  I just purchased this "slumber cap" from RiteAid Drugstore for $3.79 USD plus tax.  It is ConAir brand.  So yes, these sleep or slumber caps still are being made.  Yay!!! They came in pink, white, and blue colors.


  1. I sweat a lot at night. Where can I get one of these sleep caps? Also are you saying that sleeping in an all silk scarf is better for your hair?

  2. Hi Chenoe123! You and many others had the exact same question - I found the slumber cap with the eyelets in the health/beauty aisle in the drugstore. I updated this post with a picture as well. Also,silk scarves work well because real silk breathes; therefore, allowing air to flow through. The laundry care may be simpler for the slumber cap versus the silk scarf because of size and material.

  3. Emails from readers like this one from Melanie keep me inspired. Melanie wrote: Hello Ms. Blocker,

    The next time you are in Socal, can you post or email. I tend to do my own hair because the last few times I tried a "hairdresser" I ended up losing my hair.

    In short, I'm pretty sure the last one used super relaxer on my fine hair when I clearly requested Affirm normal (I even had a tub in the car--in case). With the hairdresser, I had burning (they were heavy handed), breakage and split ends after she trimmed. I left the house with hair below my shoulders and within weeks had breakage so bad that there was barely enough to braid for tracks. When I relax my own, no burning or even tingling. A friend's mother that is a hairdresser said that she thinks they used super relaxer. Unfortunately, she is in IL.

    I have followed your blog for about a year and you really care about healthy hair. I followed your tip about not tying my hair down at night and my edges are filling in. So, if you are in town, I would like a consultation.

    Thank you,