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Tuesday
Nov152011

Dear Quotidianlight: Broken Loose Hair at Base of Locs

Dear Quotidianlight is a new feature of Loc'd Glory. If you have a question about your locs or dreadlocks email it to maya@locdglory.com if your question is selected, I will answer it in the blog!


Dear Quotidianlight,

My locs are almost 4 years old, but within that 4 years i've had this issue happen to me 2 times. the first row of my locs at the front of my head (only the first row) is always way frizzier than the rest, because the hair is separating from the loc, making it way thinner and also causing the locs themselves to not stay parted correctly. my hair isn't thinning, it just doesn't seem to be growing much in the very front. so now the first row of locs are thinner than the others from the root to about 1/2 inch down, and the hair surrounding them is a puff that's pretty short. when i re-twist them, they're nice and neat and the hair does twist back into the loc (which i have to remake the parts for), but after a few days, sure enough the loose hairs around my first row of locs separate and the top of my head is looking like a thick, frizzy mess while the other locs for the most part are neat and in place, looking good.

the first time this happened to me, i secured the roots of the locs and the flyaway hair with silver rings, and it helped alot. the rings are now loc'd into my hair too, which i don't mind (i wear alot of jewelry in my locs). the hair twisted into the locs and grew as regular. now it's been about 2 years and the problem is happening again.

this issue doesn't happen to any other locs...just the first row from ear to ear. what is causing this issue? is this normal?


My first thoughts when reading your question was hormonal hair breakage. If you hair stopped growing you would see actual hair loss as the hair moves through its growth cycle without being replaced by new hair. This sounds like classic hormonal hair breakage and after a follow up email, I confirmed that the questioner had a new baby and is breast feeding.

Many people don't realize that the hormonal hair changes that often occur during pregnancy continue after birth and often don't resolve until about 6 months after weaning your child. This occurs for two main reasons. First the hormonal changes actually shorten the hair growth cycle and they shrink the follicles producing finer more easily broken hair. If you add any sort of nutritional deficiency, hair dryness, heavy manipulation or other hormonal disorders, this can become a hair disaster.

The most important thing you can do for your hair is be extremely gentle to your roots. That means, infrequent twisting, good quality conditioning shampoo and Conditioner, soft non-pulling bonnets at bed. I wouldn't wear any tight styles or non-silk head bands at this time. But silk headbands can hide a lot of frizz. You also want to make sure your diet is optimal because any nutritional deficiencies will cause your body to pull nutrients that normally maintain your skin and hair, in order to feed your baby. Eat lots of multi colored vegetables and healthy fats including (olive, avocado, coconut, red palm etc). Lastly, if your locs are in a blunt cut or fairly long, you may want to do a 45 degree cut to take some weight off your roots. Removing weight and more gentle manipulation should prevent more breakage. In short... your hair will not look "neat."

The hair that is already broken will not begin to stay in your locs well until it is long enough to reach the loc'd portion of your locs. For example, My locs naturally start locing about 3-4 inches from my scalp. Any hair that is less than about 5 inches can be twisted around but it isn't going to mesh into my locs. Twisting just stresses the fragile hair and makes your roots "appear" neat but it doesn't loc your roots. Only optimal treatment and time will do that. If your locs do not begin to look better after weaning or you had problems getting pregnant, suspect PCOS, thyroid problems or any other hormonal disorders see a doctor. Proper medical treatment can resolve the underlying issues and halt hair breakage. Be aware that your texture change perminantly, so reassess your maintenance after your hair stops breaking.

Babies change our entire outlook on life, love and ourselves. Maybe your baby is trying to tell you something. A little frizz is a wonderful price to pay for a healthy beautiful child. Dig deep, enjoy this time and don't forget those scarves. Here is a link to wasijiru, she hand dyes and hems gorgeous silk scarves that are extremely gentle & soft to the hair .

 

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