By Tasha Swearingen of NaturallyCurly
Last week, I took my girls for a haircut with my stylist. They were excited as it was the first time I let someone other than myself cut their hair! As I sat in a chair behind my stylist, talking with her and my girls together, one of my daughters was immensely fascinated with my hair. So fascinated, in fact, that she kept trying to touch my hair. Oddly enough, my girls took turns at playing in my hair! As they did this, I kept chastising them with “Please don’t touch my hair! You’re going to make it frizz!”
Avoiding the frizzies is one good reason you shouldn’t touch your hair too much, but it’s not the only reason. Did you know you could damage your hair by touching it too much? Having your hands in your hair too much can lead to a bad habit known as hands-in-hair-syndrome (HIHS).
Probably one of the worst effects of toying with your curls is that you actually ruin their look. When my daughters had their hands in my hair, I hadn’t done anything much to it that morning besides wash it and coat it with my favorite leave-in conditioner. So it was pretty much “naked” in the sense that it wasn’t protected. As it was, it was beginning to frizz a little, but we weren’t going anywhere else so I didn’t really mind. However, the fact that it had no gel in it or anything meant it was especially susceptible to frizzing. If you don’t typically use any styling products and you have a hard time keeping your hands out of your hair, you’re practically asking for frizzies!
In addition to keeping their own hands at bay, many curlies find themselves dodging the hands of others. While it’s extremely rude for people to put their hands in your hair without even asking, some people do it anyway before you can stop them. Others have at least a twinge of decency and will ask before touching, but when you say “No,” they may act offended. Oh well, they’ll just have to be offended if that’s how they choose to feel. Of course, you’re under no obligation to explain to people why you don’t want them touching your hair.
More Harm Than Help
With your hands in your hair, it’s tempting to being playing with and twisting your curls. This may seem like a harmless habit, but it’s not! In fact, you can cause your curls to break off, with damage worse than split ends. Do you ever have your hands in your hair, twist it, and notice that you pull your hands away with a few strands wrapped around it? If so, you’ve already experienced this kind of breakage.
How to Treat HIHS
If you find yourself always touching twirling and running your hand through your curls whenever they’re free, there are a few things you can do to help keep your hands from destroying your curls.
A lot of times, the danger is when you are sitting at home watching television or reading or any other activity that doesn’t require two hands. You may find yourself absentmindedly twirling and tugging on your curls. One way to avoid this is to whip your curls into a loose braid or bun so that it’s out of the way. You can do a hairstyle like this if you struggle with putting your hands in your hair during the day, or you can just put it up when you get home. If you pineapple your hair at night you can go ahead and do so right when you come home to avoid touching your hair before bed.
Don’t be afraid to go as far as picking up a new hobby to protect your precious curls. If you are interested in DIY and crafty things, you could take up knitting or crocheting that you can work on while you need something to keep your hands busy. The result will be great homemade gifts and happy undisturbed curls!
Set aside limited time to play with your hair, try new hairstyles and bond with your texture. Seriously! Especially if you have just recently embraced your texture, your curls are something new to you, and when you put your hands in it, you’re getting to know it. When you’re deliberate about knowing your curls, you may still want to touch them a lot because you just like the way they feel, but they won’t be so new to you. Then, when some of their “newness” is gone, you may be less likely to touch your curls so often.
Whenever you do touch your curls, however, be very gently with them. Remember that you could be damaging them if you’re not careful.