I’m celebrating my 2nd hairnniversary this month, I don’t quite remember the exact date but I do know that I went fully natural sometime in August 2013 after transitioning for a while. Let’s not start that whole discussion about Big Chop versus Transitioning because I don’t have that energy today.
Anyways, I did a length check, and I have 8 inches of growth! Not bad at all I think, even better is the strength and shine that my hair has. I experience very little breakage and my hair is quite soft, so since I can’t throw a party to celebrate, I decided to share my top 3 tips for retaining length, and getting a healthy head of hair. Here they are…..!
I seriously cannot overemphasize the benefits of well moisturized hair. Hair just loves moisture, and vice versa. I discovered that since I decided to keep up with my weekly Deep Conditioning, my hair became much more friendly. My routine is really simple, I part the hair into 4 or 5 sections, apply whatever mix I’m using for that day, a favourite is a Shea Butter base with any nice oils I have on hand, (usually Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Avocado Oil and Coconut Oil) and wear a plastic bag for at least an hour, or even all day if I’m not going anywhere. I then wash with a rich handmade shampoo bar, and go my merry way. It’s really simple, but it works, and I find that I usually don’t have to do very much in between DCs besides a nice spritz with my water+oils mix every few days.
This is essential for hair strength, and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t do Protein Treatments often enough. There are many different recipes for this, but again, I choose to keep things simple. I whisk an egg with Coconut Oil and Avocado Oil, and leave it in for some time just like the Deep Conditioning process. What are the benefits you ask? Well, for one thing, hair is basically protein, and this protein is constantly under attack from all of the stuff we take our hair through on a daily basis, like heat styling and using certain products, which result in weakening hair. Replenishing our protein levels is the best way to keep up hair strength and vibrancy.
This very important point is a big one. A lot of us have many small habits that affect our hair negatively, and we don’t even know it. I’ll try to look at the most common ones here.
- Hand in hair syndrome: Yes, your hair is pretty, and that style you finally got right is on point, and I understand the way your fingers can just keep going into your hair of their own accord, but what actually happens as this is going on?
- Your hair gets tangled with all the strands being rubbed together
- You get fairy knots which go on to create friction against other strands
- The friction causes you to lose strands and length
- Solution? Stop playing with your hair.
- Sleeping naked: Not you now; your hair. I get that we don’t like to look like old ladies with hair all wrapped up and stuff, but your strands need protection. A lot of movement goes on while we sleep, and this tends to create tension and tangles which can be a right mess in the morning. Keeping your hair protected through the night also keeps it all in one place and preserves your styles too. There are lots of really pretty head wraps that would make you look cool while you snooze!
- Handling: I have seen some people comb their hair as if they are fighting with it. I mean sometimes, I actually wince when I see some stuff, and I just want to give some people a hug and chat. Your hair is your friend. You’re both in this beauty struggle together in the same team; there’s no need to get violent. Proper combing technique is to begin at the ends and progress towards the roots. Somehow, we tend to do it the other way, and this results in all the tangles getting jammed at the ends, and even more tugging which yields a huge ball of hair on your
comb and the floor. I like to say that hair is fragile and should be treated like delicate lace; you know, the way you would treat your wedding gown for instance. For real, if you love your hair, treat it with love!
- Styling: I remember how I used to see some styles and try to force my hair to carry them. It almost always ended badly. It is important to know what styles work for your hair type and length, and stick with them. Our hair is so versatile that with a little creativity, one style can be modified in so many ways that you can get several remixes out of it, so there’s no need to do so much manipulating that things fall apart.
We have come to the end of the hairnniversary post, and I hope someone will find one or two things to help them achieve greater length retention with less stress. I will do a post soon about my hair journey so that we can compare notes. xo!