Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Breakage: Problem Areas Will Always Remain Problem Areas
I wanted to clarify this definition of breaking versus shedding before I discuss "Habitual problem areas." Some of us have areas of our hair that decade after decade, we get the same "line of breakage." It could be seasonal. It could be stress, but I often associate stress with shedding versus breakage.
So for me, my problem area is a vertical line on the right side of the back of my head. It does NOT shed, but decades after decades, I have grown that back hair out countless times, and one day, countless times, it just break off in a straight line about two inches long in a column. Of course, I had relaxed hair when I had this habitual problem so I assumed that with natural hair that this "problem line" would not be a problem any longer. Wrong. Last year and this year about the same timeframe, I feel that I have some breakage where hair has pulled away from the larger locs.
I think that I have narrowed it down to the cold weather and the resistance of the curl pattern in that area. Some people have cowlicks to form in various odd places in the head. However, I do not believe that I have a cowlick, but I do believe that my diameter of my curl pattern in that narrow two inch long area is less than an eighth of an inch. As I stated in a previous article on this blog, locs should be formed in the size of the diameter of the curl pattern for that area unless you make the loc smaller than the diameter of the curl pattern. Smaller is fine, but larger locs force the smaller diameter curl patterns to pull away from the loc.
Since the rest of my locs are fine, I may try to oil that area more to assist in the freeform. I have not lost any actual locs in that area, but I have washed my locs more often as well as skipped hydration sprays because I wanted to hold my style longer. Actually, I have been in cloud nine over my waves and volume in my loc styling, but it comes with a price. As spring and summer is around the corner, I have some ideas about wash and go styling that will showcase my length, but I will have to let it air dry. So warmer weather is safer to allow hair to airdry without getting sick.
Anyway, initially, I felt like my "problem area" was a minor set back, but now, after really dealing with the reality that I do not have the same curl pattern all over my head, I am okay with it. It really works to my advantage because my right side has the micro-Sisterlocks sizing in the front anyway, and they easily tuck behind my ear, and I do not have extra bulk in the back behind my ear because that little problem area. So although, we all want perfection with our hair, we sometimes have to continue thinking outside the box. "Work with the loc" versus "working the loc."
This philosophy works for me and my hair and my loc circumstances. I will of course apply some of these core principles in my loctician practice. My findings are designed to assist in self-assessment of one's own hair. Ultimately, your hair is your hair. Learn it and partner with it. Until next time . . .