Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Growing My Nape

"Today I received a comment on the My HAIR section of my blog.  Initially I was going to write a whole rambling reply but thought I should save the rambling for a post.  Thanks for the comment MK !"

My nape has been such a challenge for me to grow and maintain and it still causes me trouble almost 3 years into my HHJ!!!

My nape is far from perfect but it has come along nicely since 2007-2009 when I experienced wide scale breakage and the hair literally wouldn't stay on my head!

I think the problems started when I fell in love with 'flowy' flat ironed poker straight hair and quite frankly, I just didn't moisturise my hair enough in an attempt to keep my hair from being weighed down and as a result, my nape suffered the brunt of my neglect.

I can definitely say that the following things contributed to my nape growing and being less prone breakage:

Moisture, moisture and more MOISTURE!!  
My hair loves moisture but my nape craves a good moisturing and thrives when it is constantly kept happy with great products such as the ones from the Bee Mine range.

I'm consistently moisturise twice or three times a day, even if I don't moisturise all my hair I always make sure my nape gets some care and attention.  This is especially relevant when it comes to deep conditioning.

My nape gets such good treatment because I know it is a problem area for me and gets super dry, keeping on top of moisturising keeps the hair on top of my head!

Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Adding JBCO (or regular castor oil) to my regimen really made a massive difference to both the look and feel of my nape area. I won't say it's necessarily thicker, but it is way more supple and soft.

I also use extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO) or extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) on my nape as all of these oils contribute to softness.

Reducing Tension 
I rarely apply tension to my hair and this is especially so when it comes to caring for my nape.  Even when I wear my hair in a bun as pictured here, my hair is not tightly pulled back, I don't use a brush my hair just looks smooth due to the assistance of JBCO and flattening with a scarf.  If I wear my hair in a bun, I take out my pony tail holder [I use a headband which is doubled up and then applied to my hair lightly in order to keep hair together and then secure the ends with one bobby pin] when I get home and replace it with just a hair grip.

In addition, my braid pattern for crochet braids take into account the fragility of my nape hair so I always do a horizontal braid at my nape [and add a little bit of extension hair to protect my own hair in this section] with all the other braids running from my hairline backwards.  I have noticed in the past that if I braid my hair going all the way back (hairline to nape) the final section of the braid which is resting on my nape becomes loose - I have realised that this looseness is actually caused by my hair breaking.

If I were to get long 'Patra style' braids again for a holiday, I would braid a small horizontal braid at my nape in order to protect it.  The long extension hair will hide it and best of all, my hair will thank me for it!

Reducing Friction 
I wear scarves around my neck.  In fact, it's fair to say that I wear scarves around my neck ALOT!

I wear scarves in the winter, spring, autumn and even in the summer!  They are kinda like my 30's security blanket.

Of the reasons for this is because I am always cold and I also think that a scarf scarves add a little something extra to an outfit.  Now this works well for me warmth and style wise, but for my hair it is a different story.

Scarves in their nature hang around your neck and your neck is about the closest thing on your body to your NAPE!

The friction from scarves and collars can reek havoc on your nape area.  I am constantly pushing mine downwards.  What makes it worse is that I tend to wear cotton scarves, not silk so I am always super conscious of anything touching my nape area.  I am sure if I stopped wearing scarves and clothes with collars (which is not likely to happen anytime soon!) I would have a lovely long nape but it's just a step too far and nothing will part me from my scarves.  Sorry nape!

That said, I do always wear a satin or silk scarf on my hair at night and always make sure that my nape is first moisturised and the second covered completely by the scarf.  This is my trade off for my daily scarf flaunting antics!


I believe that texlaxing has also helped me retain the hair that has regrown in my nape area.  The hair in this area grows in very tightly coiled and is thinner than the hair on the rest of my head.  It is also very dry.

Texlaxing has helped by making the difference in texture between the processed/relaxed hair and the new growth less stark and therefore the hair is more resilient to breakage.

Below are a few pictures of my nape dating from today through to a few months after the start of my HHJ in 2010.  (Please excuse the state of my hair today, I was halfway through trying out an experiment of spritzing my roots with a mixture of black tea, aloe vera juice and EVOO.)

My Nape - TOP LEFT:  [Taken today] 12.03.13, TOP RIGHT:  17.12.11, BOTTOM LEFT:  03.02.11, BOTTOM RIGHT:  16.09.10

I think I have typed the word 'nape' about 70 times in this post - sorry about that!

Ciao 4 Now



  1. Aw thanks so much hun, i know time flies.. And me too, i was actually planning on chopping at 20 months OR when my hair is long enough to put inna pony tail :) and i love ur advice, i dont have this problem but i use similar methods to orevent ever getting that problem x

  2. @Yolandaas


    Your hair does look great! You have such a cute curl pattern - I bet you're wondering why you didn't transition years ago...


  3. I recently shaved my nape because it was driving me crazy! I will try to be as consistent as you are because your results are amazing!

  4. @loica12

    I totally understand you taking such a drastic step!!!

    I tried so many things over the years when I was going to the salon in order to get my nape to grow. I cut it all down to one length in an attempt to curb the breakage.

    I hope that you shaving your nape and being consistent with caring for it helps you to grow your out.

    I pretty much have to treat it like a different head of hair which makes sense as the texture and density is so different from the other textures on my head.

    Thanks for commenting!


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