I have been on a mission to re-gain the health back into my hair so I’ve “enhanced” my regimen to help speed up the process. I became really lazy with my hair, ended up dying it (twice!) and not taking care of it properly so I ended with LOTS of breakage, dryness and even *gasps*….hair loss!! It was pretty bad and I know the road to recovery may be long but when I saw hair falling out my head, I knew I had to make a change…. *sigh*
With that said, here’s what I currently do…
Depending on my schedule, the day or a few hours before I wash, I will heavily coat my hair with an oil and allow it to sit in my hair. This helps infuse moisture into my hair and softens it. It makes detangling a lot easier and reduces that amount of moisture lost when washing.
Wash Days (Once a week usually on a Sunday or Saturday when I have a good amount of time)
- Clarification – Depending on how dirty my scalp is, I may begin the “wash day” by spraying my scalp with organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) from a spritzer bottle. This helps clarify my scalp and get rid of excessive build-up. It also helps restore my scalp to a normal pH level.
- Deep Condition - I section my hair into about 6 sections and do a deep conditioning treatment (I switch it up every week) for at least 30 mins. After this, I do a quick finger detangle since the hair has softened from the deep conditioner
- Shampoo - I wash my hair with shampoo, focusing on my scalp to get rid of product building, sebum (oil), dandruff, etc. I want to make sure I leave a well-circulated, healthy environment for my hair to grow! I wash each section one at a time to avoid creating a mess of tangles
- Treatment OR Rinse-Out Conditioner (depends on if I have time or if I’m feeling lazy lol). When doing a treatment, I leave in on under a plastic cap for a few hours with a towel wrapped around my head. If doing a rinse-out, I will leave it in for the duration of my shower.
I wear a twist-out or bantu knot-out 99% of the time because I have a lot of curl shrinkage and twists help elongate my curls. I am not a big “protective style” gal because I 1) am not that creative lol 2) feel that I protect my hair well enough at night and seal my ends like crazy so it has worked for me. On occasion, I may do an updo, slicked back bun or some type of random free-style do.
Wash-n-go’s….I don’t really like the “wet” feeling or drying time of wash-n-go’s BUT I do wear them sometimes if I am pressed for time or in the summer when the warm weather helps dry my hair faster. If I do a wash-n-go, I will most likely use a diffuser as well. I also get a lot of shrinkage with WNG’s and feel that my hair doesn’t stay as moisturized as when I wear twist-outs. Maybe I just haven’t discovered the right product for me yet…
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
I make sure I put moisture in my hair at least 2x a week. My hair is low porosity so I don’t need to moisturize every day since it takes my hair longer to absorb products. When I twist up my hair for twist-outs, I use my water/aloe juice spray mixture and a moisturizer. When I un-twist my twists, I coat my hands with a light oil to provide some lubrication in the process of un-twisting to keep my hair from frizzing and to distribute the oil through the length of my hair.
Seal your ends! ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS seal your ends! You have no idea how essential this is in retaining length. The sad part is, I had been natural for almost 7 years and JUST started doing it last year (wonder how long my hair would be had I known years ago SMH…whatever lol). I like to use a thick pomade or shea based butter to do this. You’ll know your ends are sealed when the curls “clump” together on the ends.
I always sleep with satin/silky scarf (cotton will suck the moisture out of your hair and cause breakage, not good). I recently stopped wearing a bonnet because it was rubbing my edges and stunting the growth. I now just loosely tie a scarf that is long enough in the back to cover all my hair.
I detangle as much as possible using my fingers almost every time I style my hair so I am constantly “detangling as I go” so I have fewer tangles, all the time. After I wash, deep condition, etc. I will do a heavier detangling session with my fingers and then I will sometimes go over it again with a denman brush. The goal is to always keep my hair as detangled as much as possible. Since I have done this, I have seen a drastic decrease in shed hair and breakage! #FTW!
Over the last couple of years I noticed an increase in shed hair, looking back, I realize it had to have been stressed induced mixed with not taking proper care of my hair. So to aid in growing my hair back, I’ve been doing a few things that have been amazing:
- Ayuverdic Powder Treatments— This has been a god send. I do these treatments at least 3 times a month. Almost all ayurvedic powders aid with scalp issues, strengthen the roots of your hair (reduce shed) and aide with hair loss. These are overall AMAZING for my scalp. I don’t think I will ever stop doing these treatments.
- Essential Oil Mixture—: I do this mostly in the winter when the weather is really dry, otherwise my scalp is too oily. I massage a mixture of jojoba/castor/grapeseed oil (carrier oils) and rosemary, lavender, cedarwood and myrtle oils (essential oils). These oils are known to remedy alopecia. I do this 2-3 a week and make sure I wash my hair at least once a week to not get a lot of oil build-up
- Aloe Vera Gel— I love this one, I apply AV gel to my scalp (mostly on my crown area). This is a natural astringent which helps clarify and pH balance my scalp. It is known to remedy hair loss.
Since I’ve been doing these treatments, my hair has drastically begun to grow back! I have little, fine baby hairs all over my head (where the lost hairs fell from). It’s really funny when I touch my hair, it’s like I have a mini TWA under all my longer hair lol so it feels like my roots are much thicker than the rest of my hair. I am fine with it, it isn’t noticeable unless you part my hair and separate the short hairs from the long. Eventually the fine hairs will thicken up and even out as I trim the longer pieces. I am happy again :o)
I love scalp massages. I try to massage my scalp every time I do something to my hair whether is prepping to twist my hair up for the night or untwisting my hair in the morning. I massage while washing, while conditioning or when I’m bored and just sitting watching TV. Sometimes I will use a light oil mixture of essential and carrier oils if my scalp is feeling a bit dry or tender, other than that, I just message the natural oil my scalp secretes. This really helps with blood circulation which will promote growth. I use only the pads of my fingers (not my nails) and work my fingers in a light kneading motion all around my head, especially the crown of my head where my scalp tends to be the most tender.
I trim my hair when they are in wet twists and the ends start looking scraggly. I try to get my hair blown out/straightened and trimmed at least 2 times a year. In the past, each time I trim at least 1-2 inches off.
The last time I got a trim, my hair was so damaged (I had dyed my hair two times; anxiously waiting for it to grow out ugh) that I had to get my hair cut into layers. The layers look nice when my hair is straight but it just doesn’t make for the best shape when my hair is curly. Anxiously waiting for them to grow out…I am hoping that on my “mission to healthy hair”, I will not have to trim my hair as much… since I began my “Mission for healthy Hair” and have been religiously sealing my ends, I have not had to trim my hair nearly as much as I used! I am so proud of myself! Just showing your hair a little more love, paying attention to what it likes, really makes all the difference. Lesson learned = don’t slack off lol
I take a supplement of biotin. Nothing fancy, just the kind you can get from Target, it’s 5,000 mcg. I take a pill every day. This aids in the health (not growth) of my hair. Healthy hair will grow :o)