Tamika Fletcher is the co-owner of Natural Resources Salon, a chemical free hair salon in Houston, TX. The salon specializes in natural hair care, organic products and the treatment of hair loss among adults and children. Tamika is a strong advocate on environmental awareness and client education and hopes to inspire others to work toward “green” lifestyle choices while making smart beauty decisions.
While I would love to share with you some of my tips on general, natural hair styling and products- I think it’s important that there is a voice among the “naturalistas” that speaks to the often neglected subject of hair loss. It’s a real and (in some cases) preventable dilemma, with current estimates of over 70 million adults and children suffering from hair loss in this country alone. The following are my 7 tips for maintaining that beautiful crown of head, without compromising your day to day look.
1. Avoid Tension to the Hairline
Styles to avoid include any style that puts tension on the hairline. Try to avoid wetting your hair daily and slicking it back with gel. The hairline is the easiest area of the scalp to cause permanent damage due to styling.
2. Always Condition & Moisturize
Use conditioner after every shampoo. The two competing textures (dry hair and conditioned hair) will cause hair to tangle if not properly conditioned. Natural moisture helps to keep scalp and hair soft and healthy. I know that when we are still wearing a relaxer, that too much oil will weigh down the hair- but natural hair needs extra attention. Using light-weight, natural oils will also help to avoid tangles when combing, thus preventing breakage.
3. Avoid Tight Braids, Ponytails and Bonding Glues
Keep in mind when choosing your style that damage from bonding glues or tight braids can lead to permanent damage and hair loss. For children, avoid rubber bands, “ball” holders and make sure to remove ponytails prior to bedtime and cover the hair.
4. Avoid Improper Hair Extensions
Often people will attempt to hide the hair loss with the use of extensions/weaves, assuming it will aid in hair growth. Yet, because those styles have to be fastened to the scalp with bonding glues or braided, it causes further damage, leading to possible traction alopecia. Extensions should not be worn over a 2-3 month period on fragile or over-processed hair.
5. Avoid Excess Heat
Women who use “hot combs” or high heat to straighten hair can create scarring alopecia, making it difficult for hair to regrow. Using high heat more than once a week will break down the cuticle layer of hair, leaving hair brittle and thin. For those transitioning their hair, excess heat can also lead to permanently straightening new growth.
6. Avoid Chemical Treatments
Prolonged use (10-20 consecutive years) of chemicals can cause gradual hair loss. Be cautious not to overuse chemicals by dying the hair often and relaxing hair more than recommended, including “spot perming,” which can also cause thinning, shedding, and overall hair loss.
7. Consider High Blood Pressure
Over half of my clients that have high blood pressure and/or taking medication for high blood pressure have hair loss in the crown. As a result, the hair can become softer than normal and easier to break. Speak to your physician about the medication you’re taking to determine if hair loss is a side effect.
For more information about Natural Resources Salon, please visit www.naturalresourcessalon.com. Watch this video to see Tamika sharing her tips on protective styling and hair loss prevention: