We have all experienced a bad hair day or even week. Sometimes, your hair may become unruly and decide to do its own thing. Sometimes it’s just some sections that decide to do their own thing. When your hair starts parting into sections, it can leave you worried and wondering what is causing this behavior. If this happens to be your problem, read on to discover some of the reasons why your hair separates into sections
Your hair may separate into sections due to its natural hair texture, repetitive styling, poor hair care routine, poor hair washing technique, or the presence of cowlicks.
Natural Hair Texture
Before we dive into the possible reasons why your hair separates into sections, let’s appreciate that natural hair tends to divide itself purely because it is natural. Some people naturally have hair that naturally separates into sections or clumps.
The curl pattern and shrinkage are some factors causing your hair to separate into sections. Natural hair is often curly or coiled, which in and of itself contribute to hair sectioning. For instance, if you have curly hair, you may have noticed varying degrees of curl tightness, which can cause your hair to clump together and separate into distinct sections based on curl patterns.
On the other hand, when natural hair shrinks as it dries or when exposed to humidity, it can separate into sections. The shrinkage often causes your hair to bunch up and form sections because as the curls and coils contract, they create a more compact appearance.
Hair density and porosity also affect whether or not your hair will separate into sections. In simple terms, hair density is basically the number of hair strands on your scalp. If you have high density, sections will become visible because there are more hair strands clumping together.
On the other hand, hair porosity is about your hair’s ability to absorb or retain moisture. Some people have low porosity hair, and others have high porosity hair. You can find out here if you have low-porosity hair.
If you have high porosity hair, it means that your hair absorbs moisture quickly. As a result, the hair strands are likely to swell and clump into sections. However, because low-porosity hair does not absorb moisture fast, separation is less defined in this type of hair.
If your hair’s separating into sections is simply due to your natural hair texture, then this will be a recurring problem. It will be something you are used to seeing on your hair. However, if this is a relatively new occurrence to you, read on to find other possible reasons why your hair is separating into sections.
The number one reason why your hair may be separating into sections is because you style it often. Usually, this issue will arise from styling the same style again and again.
When you make a habit of wearing the same hairstyle over and over, your hair learns to part itself in that manner. It’s like muscle memory, but with your hair, the more you lay down your hair in a particular fashion, the more it learns to part itself and fall that way.
For instance, if you usually divide your hair into four sections and braid twists or three-strand braids when staying at home, you may start to notice that your hair will automatically part itself into four sections.
In my case, I part my hair into two sections and do a pussycat style. Over time, I have noticed that my hair automatically separates itself into two sections. It splits in the middle. The hair usually separates when immediately washed or when left without a particular style.
Braiding, twisting, and even using hair rollers too often can result in separated sections when used frequently. Additionally, using clips or hair ties in specific areas of your hair can cause separation. I have noticed that styles such as twist-outs, braid-outs, or Bantu knots, which are meant to enhance the curl pattern, tend to create more noticeable sections. This is because you have to manipulate and set your hair in specific shapes.
Overall, frequently touching or brushing your hair can transfer oil and dirt from your hands or scalp onto the strands, making them greasy. Brushing your hair too much can also distribute the oils throughout the hair, causing sections to separate. Over-manipulation, chemical damage, heat damage, or weak hair are the culprits for hair separating into sections.
This cause is mostly for those with natural hair. If you don’t have natural hair, let’s find out the next possible reason why your hair separates into sections.
Poor Haircare Routine
If you have straight and light hair, you probably don’t have issues with your hair separating into sections. However, even if your hair is straight, the way that you choose to care for your hair can contribute to its propensity to separate into sections.
For instance, if you use products that are too heavy or greasy, you may have a problem. If the products are greasy or heavy, they will add weight to the hair causing it to separate.
Additionally, if the products have a drying effect or fail to moisturize your hair, they may end up causing it to separate into sections.
Similarly, if you use too many products or too much of any product, you will have problems with product build-up. When products build up, and you do not wash them out properly, they trap oil and dirt, which causes greasiness and sectioning of the hair.
Poor Hair Washing Technique
Hair washing should probably fall under the haircare routine, but I felt that I should address it on its own. How and when you wash your hair is important for hygiene and optimal hair care. For instance, if you wash your hair poorly or not often enough, it will affect how your hair appears.
Inadequate or infrequent washing of your hair can contribute to the build-up of oil and grease on the scalp and hair. If you don’t wash your hair regularly or use proper cleansing techniques, the excess sebum can accumulate, making your hair greasy and more prone to separating into sections.
Inadequate or infrequent washing of your hair can contribute to the build-up of oil and grease on the scalp and hair. When this happens, excess sebum can accumulate, making your hair greasy and more likely to separate into sections.
Even without hair products, the sebaceous glands in your scalp produce sebum, your body’s natural oil meant to moisturize the scalp and the hair. If you are one of the people who have very active sebaceous glands, your hair is often oily or moisturized in its natural form.
However, this also means that if you do not wash it properly or often, it will lead to excessive sebum build-up. When there is an excess of oil on the scalp, it can weigh down the hair, causing it to separate into sections.
Here is another reason why your hair may be separating into sections. So, if you have exhausted the above reasons, read on and see if we can diagnose you
You Have a Cowlick
This may sound strange, but according to CurlCentric, a cowlick is a section of hair that will stand up or stick out from the rest of the hair. They are stubborn parts that are difficult to conceal.
According to Merriam-Webster, cowlick hair is “a lock or bunch of hair that grows in a different direction from the rest of the hair and cannot be made to lie flat.”
The name cowlick is derived from the swirl on a calf after its mother licks it clean. If you have a cowlick, chances are you have had this whorl since you were a child. Cowlick is often seen in the middle of your head. However, it also occurs along the hairline, usually at the front, but some people have it at the back of their heads.
Research shows that cowlicks are genetically determined and can be clockwise or anticlockwise, with clockwise formats being the most common. Surprisingly, frontal cowlicks are more common among twins than those without twins.
If you have cowlicks, there is not much you can do to fix them, but you can learn styles that work for you. For instance, you can work with your stylist to find the right haircut and hair products for you. Better Not Younger provides a list of potential styles for those with cowlicks.
How to Stop Your Hair from Separating
If you are experiencing persistent hair separation and are wondering what you can do, here are some suggestions that might help.
- If your hair is separating due to hairstyle, try grouping it together, also called clumping. You can do this when your hair is wet. Apply your products and arrange your hair as you wish it to appear. After that, use the squish-to-condish method or the praying hands method to clamp together your hair sections. Do this throughout your head until you have the clumps you prefer. When doing this, make sure your hair is saturated with product.
- Make sure to wash your hair regularly but use a gentle, clarifying shampoo to effectively removes excess oil and build-up. Avoid harsh washing products that can have a drying effect on your hair.
- Stay away from heavy or greasy hair products and opt for lightweight, oil-free formulas. This way, products will not weigh down your hair, causing it to separate.
- Avoid touching or brushing your hair too frequently throughout the day. This also means avoiding using the same style repetitively. It also means avoiding heat styling, over-manipulation, and chemical damage.
- Consult with a dermatologist or trichologist if you have persistent issues with greasy hair, as they can provide personalized recommendations and advice.