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View Full Version : Benign Neglect....good for hair ?



RileyJane
February 15th, 2013, 07:05 AM
Lately I feel like I have zero time during the day, and I noticed that my hair care has flown out the window. I still comb it and detangle gently once a day (if i remember) and I'm still wearing it up everyday in protective updos, but any extra oiling, deep treatments and even some s&d... completely out of my mind! Do you think that benign neglect like this in the long run a good idea? I plan to have more time in about 4 more months, but I'm also trying to plan in my deep treatments now(not really working) Or am I just hurting my hair by not doing everything possible? ...Just curious :o

ladyfey
February 15th, 2013, 07:14 AM
I think it is the best way to go, it is what I do and I am at midcalf length. I think alot of people overthink the hair growing. Though maybe all the work really does help some people.

MegaMystery
February 15th, 2013, 07:18 AM
I'd say it depends on your hair. Since you're combing it every day, you can see how it feels. If it feels dryer than usual or anything else out of the ordinary, you might have to make some changes. I really don't think you can go wrong with wearing protective updos and forgetting about it. So just do whatever feels right :)

RileyJane
February 15th, 2013, 07:19 AM
Alright :) I've just never gone sooo long not really paying attention to it XD

katiebeans
February 15th, 2013, 08:47 AM
I agree with MegaMystery, it depends on your hair. I'd like to hear about experiances from other people though.

My best friend is obsessive over growing her hair, and it is really counter-productive. She won't let go of "trimming the ends so your hair grows quicker." Plus, when you are checking your hair for growth three times a day, it is going to feel like a slow process! Maybe I'll have a chat with her about benign neglect :)

In2wishin
February 15th, 2013, 08:51 AM
Another "neglectful" person here. Like others, I feel it does depend on your hair. If your hair needs repair, it probably isn't the best thing but if your hair is in generally good condition it can be very good to leave it alone most of the time.

ladylowtide
February 15th, 2013, 10:34 AM
I used to have a laborious hair care routine including hennaing frequently, and some oiling. My hair has never grown faster than when I have done the least with it. Now I CWC once every 6-7 days. And most of the time it is up in spin pin bun/buns. Or in a couple ponytail holders down the length. My hair is a lot happier now that I don't fun with it all the time. I probably only brush it every 3 days or so. Its never looked better.

Madora
February 15th, 2013, 10:51 AM
Benign neglect works for me. But I do detangle every day, and of course brush every day too. My hair is always up and braided and washed once a month. S and Ding when needed is a good thing too.

lazuliblue
February 15th, 2013, 11:31 AM
I just brush mine every day, wash it a few times a week with normal shampoo and conditioner.....and that's about it! It's grown over 7 inches in 10 months so I must be doing something right.

Oh, and I had one trim last year of about an inch to even out my grown-out pixie.

HairFaerie
February 15th, 2013, 11:37 AM
I really think it all depends on the condition of your hair. If your hair isn't really dry and damaged and is in good shape in general, it should be fine.
People who have really dry/damaged hair or hair that tangles easily or other special situations, it might not be such a good idea. They might need extra treatments/more combing or brushing, etc.
As long as you are doing basic maintenance on it - go for it! :)

torrilin
February 15th, 2013, 12:07 PM
Neglect is when you don't do things that are necessary.

Benign neglect is when you do just what's needed, and nothing more.

Regular detangling is good. Human hair naturally forms mats or dreadlocks when tangles are left to fester, tho the speed will vary depending on your hair type. On my hair, somewhere in the once a day to once a week range (depending on the exact protective style I've been wearing) is about right. I usually lean more towards once a day than once a week since my hair is long enough that even 2 days worth of shed hairs is the size of a small animal :P.

Regular washing is good. For me, that means roughly once a week. Depending on your hair type and activities, it can mean daily washing, no washing ever and anything in between.

Regular use of conditioner or oil is good. Please note that your natural sebum *is* an oil, and it's often very good for your hair. For me, every day or two it's a good idea to give my hair a bit of conditioner, but it's not a huge deal if I forget. The less often my hair gets hit with detergent, the less of a problem it is to forget conditioner.

The amount of neglect that's benign has changed for me over the years. As a child I was a daily washer, so in my teen years my scalp acted very oily. I gradually worked my way down to less and less frequent washes as I've realized that my skin is quite dry all over. Gradually here is I started getting gentler on my skin at around age 19 or 20, and I'm 35 now... So we're talking a very long and slow process. Growing hair is an exercise in patience anyway, so it's not like we have to hurry to get the "perfect" balance between caring and not caring for our hair.

hanne jensen
February 15th, 2013, 12:49 PM
I find that the more I fiddle and twiddle with my hair, the more it breaks. The more I ignore it, the more it grows. I wash and condition my hair 2x weekly, no deep conditioning or masks, just get the stuff clean and a dabo of conditioner to help detangle. Air dry and put my hair up while slightly damp. I smack my hair up in about 30 seconds after detangling every morning. In the evening, take it down, a light detangling and make my night braid. I don't even use a mirror. And, my hair is growing like a weed.

Hopefully in 4 months time when you have more time for your hair you'll have a Holy Moly, where did all that come from moment.

jacqueline101
February 15th, 2013, 12:55 PM
I do it too. I detangle wear it up monistst and wash every two weeks.Ive gotten to where I can wash every two weeks.

silverthread
February 15th, 2013, 05:02 PM
Maybe I should try benign neglect. I don't think I'm too far from it anyway. Wash and condition every 4-6 days, air dry, loose braids or buns. But, I brush and comb daily. Is that too much fussing? I don't have split ends.....

Helix
February 15th, 2013, 05:47 PM
You'd better believe it. I'd trimmed back to BSL, (getting rid of layers), last October and aside from wash days, I've been wigging it ever since. Partly b/c it's winter and mostly b/c I'm lazy when it comes to my hair so I do the bare minimum - wash, condition, oil the ends, braid it and forget about it until the next wash day.

Anyway, last night I was washing my hair and it occurred to me that I hadn't done a length check since last year. So I stretched my hair, (Type 4 hair shrinks a lot), and found out I only need about 3 more inches until I'm waist length and I'm a little excited. Kay, maybe more than a little.

Suffice it to say that benign neglect works better than anything I've ever tried.

silverthread
February 15th, 2013, 06:33 PM
Based on torrllin and helix responses, sounds like I'm almost there. I think if anything, I should just stop fussing and obsessing with it. I've gained a lot of thickness since joining LHC, now I'd like to just let it grow.

ravenreed
February 15th, 2013, 06:44 PM
My hair does much better when I pamper it and trim regularly. Otherwise it gets dry and tangly.

GrowingGlory
February 15th, 2013, 09:50 PM
My hair is content with shampoo and a comb. I also finger comb it.

Natalia
February 15th, 2013, 10:38 PM
Benign neglect works great for me. WO in the evening, maybe some monoi on my ends, comb in the morning, then toss up in a bun and ignore till i WO it again. I shampoo or CO when needed bbb once in a while but other than that i mainly ignore it. Its fun to notice a big jump in growth because youve been ignoriong it for months :)

ghost
February 15th, 2013, 11:04 PM
The first time I actively decided to grow my hair long, I was in elementary school It grew to my waist by the time I was 11, and because I was a kid it was *all* benign neglect. I didn't even put it up except for ballet and PE. I did like braids, but mostly I just wore my hair down.
I think benign neglect is great for hair that is really healthy to begin with. I could never do it now, my hair type changed completely after puberty (from 1a/b to 2b/c!), and is also much more dry.

rowie
February 18th, 2013, 01:21 AM
Benign neglect I think is great if you don't want to think about the growth of your hair. But, as long as you continue to do what's right for your own hair and at the same time ignore it, then go for it. I know I do!

Mesmerise
February 18th, 2013, 01:35 AM
Honestly, I think it's fine if all you do is wash occasionally, detangle and wear it up a lot! My hair probably wouldn't have a single split end if that's all I ever did to it :D. As long as you're not doing actively damaging stuff to your hair, and your hair is reasonably resilient, I think benign neglect is very viable. (I guess some people with very delicate hair may need to treat their hair extra well, but with my own hair, which is pretty average F/M thickness hair, it's never had any damage except what I did to it through heat, bleach, perming/straightening, or dye).

Mesmerise
February 18th, 2013, 01:38 AM
Maybe I should try benign neglect. I don't think I'm too far from it anyway. Wash and condition every 4-6 days, air dry, loose braids or buns. But, I brush and comb daily. Is that too much fussing? I don't have split ends.....

That sounds like benign neglect to me ;).

My definition is pretty much just washing/conditioning when necessarily, detangling when it needs it, and putting it up! For me, that means washing every second day, and I comb it (or Tangle Teeze it) when I get out of the shower. I also give it a brush through with the TT before bed (and sometimes braid it). Detangling is super easy for me, as it rarely tangles at all... so it's literally like 10 seconds!

Alexblue
February 19th, 2013, 10:57 AM
When I first joined LHC I had a fair bit of damage and my hair benefited from the extra attention in terms of clarifying, daily oiling, DTs, and monthly dusting. But within 4-6 months benign neglect took over :) Now that my hair is healthier I ignore it most weeks. I still go over once a month to check there are no split ends creeping up, but I have noticed hardly any for many months now so neglect works for me.

One caveat, benign neglect is great but take your time when you comb and style your hair each morning. I know I'm guilty from time to time of rushing in the AM and detangling too quickly causing breakage. For me, taking the extra minute or two to slow down is more beneficial than oiling and DTs.

In2wishin
February 19th, 2013, 11:10 AM
One caveat, benign neglect is great but take your time when you comb and style your hair each morning. I know I'm guilty from time to time of rushing in the AM and detangling too quickly causing breakage. For me, taking the extra minute or two to slow down is more beneficial than oiling and DTs.

Excellent point! Thank you for the reminder :)

rowie
February 19th, 2013, 11:16 AM
I like to do benign neglect but with care. Meaning I take care of my hair by just doing all the care i've learned in LHC without thinking about it whilst avoiding to pay attention to the growth of my hair. Benign neglect is good if you already practice a lot of TLC to your hair.:)

StellaKatherine
March 6th, 2013, 11:29 AM
Haven't been posting for some time now :) I got married last year in jun and for the wedding i wanted my hair to grow as long as possible and it was close to my hip bone lenght. I was stressing about my hair a LOT and was doing lots and lots of taking care but after the wedding i cut about 15-20 cm off , all the dry ends away so that i can start with healthier hair. And after that i honestly just leave it be. I wash it 1-2 times a week, oil it sometimes and sometimes not. Honestly haven't been thinking of it much after cutting it and it seems to grow well and so far i haven't seen a single double hair ( cutted hair last august ). I do brush and detangle my hair everyday ( that is something i learn from granny, EVERYDAY brush my hair ). But now it is spring time again and i noticing myself thinking of my hair once again hehe So i just might do something extra this week.

Intransigentia
March 6th, 2013, 01:57 PM
Another longtime-no-see poster chiming in - since I've largely drifted away from LHC for other interests, I've gone to benign neglect with my hair too. I comb it twice/day - before I bun it for the day and before I braid it for bed. Wash 2 - 3 times/week with whatever shampoo and conditioner is on hand. And srsly that's it. Still growing at the same average 1/2"/month, shiny and very few splits.

starry
March 7th, 2013, 03:11 AM
( I haven't posted in a while either :) ) I've been concerned about brushing my hair too much and I have this all natural shampoo and conditioner which doesn't leave my hair clean for longer than a day and a night.. so Im having to wash it often. I think I am going to start being more benignly neglectful now as my hair is layered shoulder length and I don't feel like I need it to be longer, like,now, thus paying it more attention.

embee
March 7th, 2013, 10:20 AM
Benign neglect is how I grew my hair to the length it is now. I hadn't time to mess around, hadn't money for cuts and trims and such, so I just pulled it back and put it up - with regular brushing/combing and washing. And one day I noticed it seemed long. I measured a fallen hair and it was 36 inches, I about fell over. :) Kept on with Benign neglect and one day after washing I noticed I could sit on it, just barely. Whooot! :D

lapushka
March 7th, 2013, 11:17 AM
Benign neglect is how I grew my hair to the length it is now. I hadn't time to mess around, hadn't money for cuts and trims and such, so I just pulled it back and put it up - with regular brushing/combing and washing. And one day I noticed it seemed long. I measured a fallen hair and it was 36 inches, I about fell over. :) Kept on with Benign neglect and one day after washing I noticed I could sit on it, just barely. Whooot! :D

:agree: Benign neglect, for me, is the way to g(r)ow. Haha. Seriously, it is, though. I went from APL to between hip & TBL in a flash it seems, just by leaving it mostly alone (just having it washed, conditioned, and in an updo 6 days out of 7).

Sunny_side_up
March 11th, 2013, 03:30 PM
For my hair indeed. Not had a trim since Dec '12 and wear it up most of the time (low slung double pony or claw clip). Mum cut it back then with nice sharp scissors, i dont notice splits- just had a quick look :) I am occupied with lots of other things. growths been good plus the drain isnt as blocked with hair thats good enough for me :)

Delila
March 11th, 2013, 05:07 PM
I haven't read all the replies, but for me, what's worked long term is to find a routine that leads to a happy (non-itchy) scalp and clean, non-tangly hair.

I take out my night braid in the morning, detangle, and either wash my hair or put it up for the day.

After washing, I let it air dry, then put it up.

At night, I take it down from the daytime style, detangle, and braid it.

That's pretty much it for me in terms of handling my hair.

Benign neglect, for me, is about doing what needs doing, which includes regular conditioning and detangling, and otherwise leaving my hair alone.

Oh, and it doesn't mean that I do anything neglectful to my hair, just that I make the choice to keep my routine fairly simple, since that's what works, and focus on what needs doing.

getoffmyskittle
March 11th, 2013, 05:33 PM
I haven't read all the replies, but for me, what's worked long term is to find a routine that leads to a happy (non-itchy) scalp and clean, non-tangly hair.

I take out my night braid in the morning, detangle, and either wash my hair or put it up for the day.

After washing, I let it air dry, then put it up.

At night, I take it down from the daytime style, detangle, and braid it.

That's pretty much it for me in terms of handling my hair.

Benign neglect, for me, is about doing what needs doing, which includes regular conditioning and detangling, and otherwise leaving my hair alone.

Oh, and it doesn't mean that I do anything neglectful to my hair, just that I make the choice to keep my routine fairly simple, since that's what works, and focus on what needs doing.

:agree:

Basically this. I barely even detangle it any more. I just let it do its thing and then get the tangles out when I wash it, with a lot of conditioner. Partly this is because I've discovered that my hair is curly and partly it's just because it's not too tangle-prone, so it's fine to only detangle once every few days.

Katleen
May 2nd, 2013, 05:53 AM
I haven't been on LHC for a while, been too busy with building a house and organising a move :-)
Also I found that finding another obsession (my nails), is giving my hair some rest...

So basically for the last few weeks/months, I wash and condition my hair about once every ten days, put it up with a hairstick or scrunchie, and whenever I remember, I might put some olive oil in, but that doesn't happen often. I had a party for my daughter this weekend, and jaws were dropping at the sight of my length :-)
I was quite suprised too, I've been obsessively growing from APL to BSL, and now I'm easily 1.5 inches past BSL without noticing!

Demi-Plum
May 2nd, 2013, 08:40 AM
Thank you for this post! I've been feeling the same way lately. I haven't really been using products in my hair because my hair had a freak out at the beginning of the year and I didn't know what to do with it. It got waxy and gross. I did ACV treatments with herbs and it ended up slightly lightening my hair and not doing a whole lot of help. I had to clarify so often I was afraid the ends would just break off. I basically started to "ignore it" and whatever needed to balance out balanced out. I quit using oils, deep treatments, ect because it was just no help and maybe even worse for my hair. It's all balanced out now, but I haven't really been doing much to it other than shampoo and conditioner (I wash my hair almost daily because I have thin/fine hair and it needs it). I clarify only when I feel it getting gross and matted/waxy. I just started adding a shine oil to it once again about a week or so ago. I really need to do a good S&D now though since I haven't done one in a while. It's just nice knowing that I'm not alone in the I've been kinda bad, but is it that bad? area!