Articles, Loc Care & Styles

Dealing with Hand in Hair Syndrome

Who else has hand in hair syndrome? Part of the reason I decided to loc my hair was because I was tired of constantly messing with it. Unfortunately, having locs has not stopped this issue. I constantly smooth down my hair and re-twist any loose strands from my previous wash.

For me, I believe it’s partly a nervous/boredom habit. If I’m nervously worrying about something, I’ll smooth out my hair. If I’m bored or my hands aren’t occupied, they’ll be in my hair – almost as a reflex. Sometimes it can be a perfection issue – not wanting even one strand to be out of place. Also, locs are incredibly soft, and that’s reason enough!

I do think there is a positive side of where this stems from as well. I think a lot of this habit comes from the human nature to create. Humans have always made things with our hands. From the first kindling of fire to the skyscrapers of today, we’ve always put are hands to good use.

Whatever the explanation is, having our hands in our hair a little too much can have negative consequences.

  1. The constant tugging and pulling puts stress on your roots. Constantly pulling on your hair can cause it to be more prone to falling out. I think it’s a particularly bad issue for those who have locs as you are tugging on the same area over and over again. 
  2. It can break the ends of your hair. I can definitely attest to this. When I twirl my hair I tend to pull out any single strand knots or split ends on my ends. I think this ends up being a cycle where the constant pulling leaves the hair more prone to knots and split ends that I inevitably feel the need to pull out.
  3. Your hands are dirty. It’s best to avoid spread food and dirt particles from your hands to your hair on a consistent basis.
  4. Your hair carries particles as well. While not as dirty as your hands, your hair still traps debris in it. It’s just a fact of life. The air is filled with dust particles and the wind blows them into your hair. On top of that there is cell turnover from your scalp. Thus, it is best to try and avoid touching your hair unless you are washing it. This is important because otherwise the debris will fall from your hair onto your face, which can contribute to acne.
Source Dead skin cells play a part in acne formation. 

I am still dealing with this, so I’m probably not the best person to give advice, but I’m going to try to anyway.

  1. Notice when it’s happening and remove your hands. It’s as simple as that. Don’t feel bad about it either. It’s a habit you’ve had for a while, so it’ll take a while to stop. Notice it and remove your hands.
  2. Occupy your hands with something else. Typically when I’m twirling my hair I’m idly watching TV or reading. I’ve been trying to write more, so if I’m on my computer, I’ll bring up a word document and get to typing up something. Below is a non-exhaustive list of habits to take up to avoid hand in hair syndrome.



Using a stress ball



Source Some cute stress balls.
  1. Cover your hair with a silk cap at night and/or wear styles where your hair is tied up during the day.
  2. Go out and do something. When you’re riding your bike, playing an instrument or rock climbing, you are probably not playing with your hair. Of course we can’t always be doing something active, but when you’re not, you can refer to some of the other ideas.

Alright, that’s it. Let me know if this has been helpful for anyone and what you guys do! And of course, if this habit seems more on the unbearable side for you, don’t feel shy about visiting a doctor.



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