Growth & Retention

How Over Manipulation of Natural Hair Causes Breakage

big sexy bun
Buns are my go to protective style!

Natural hair is fragile by nature. Fine natural hair is even more fragile. That’s why when it comes to “handling” your hair, you must be gentle.

Manipulation is necessary to care for, maintain and style your hair but over manipulation will cause breakage. If your goal is to grow your hair to the longest length possible, you can not over manipulate your strands. Continuing to do so on your natural hair will cause breakage and the sad part is it’s avoidable.

Now, for full disclosure.

While I have been able to maintain length on my fine natural hair, there would be a lot more retaining if I could keep my hands out of my hair! I have been so guilty of styling playing in my hair way too much. You probably are too if you just can’t get enough of your natural hair #Guilty

One of the ways you can defeat this “hand in hair syndrome” (hash tag HIHS) is to utilize protective styling.

Protective Styling to Prevent Breakage

Protective styling is grossly under rated in the natural hair community. Some people don’t put that much stock in it. However, it’s proven to help with length retention time and time again.

Protective styling doesn’t have to be difficult either. You can do simple styles that don’t require much manipulation. For those of us with fine natural hair, the best protective styles are easy to do and should be kept in for about a week vs protective styling for weeks on end.

In the video below by KaShEeRaLaTaSh on Youtube, a timeless protective style is shared. You can put your hair up in a way that it can be maintained for over a week if done right:

As you can see, it may take a little time to twist all of the pieces in the bun but once they are twisted and secured, all that’s needed to maintain the style is to tie your hair down at night.

This article was originally published in 2012 and has been updated to provide additional information.

Michelle Smith
Michelle is a Christian special needs mom residing in the NYC area who shares useful tips to grow and maintain fine natural hair. She's a published author and Creator of Fine Natural Hair and Faith, inspiring others with faith for living along side knowledge on how to care for their "crown."

10 Comment

  1. Such an awesome tutorial! Thanks so much for posting! Does she have fine natural hair as well? From here, I believe she does but I’m not entirely certain.

    1. I know right. I like how she made the individual twists. I’m not going to do it this weekend but next. I’m actually straightening my hair tomorrow!

  2. I have my hair in a bun but I do take it down at night to let my scalp breath. I do like my scalp massages with my favorite Jane Carter scalp oil 2-3x a week. I also like to moisturize and seal my ends every night. The hairstyle in the video is cute.

    1. I imagine she does some sort of misting of the hair and a scalp massage without taking out the twists.

    1. Mini twists take forever to do! I am going to definitely do this style in a week or so though. But tomorrow……STRAIGHTENING!

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