Greetings, Chicas/Chicos..I pray all is well with everyone.
I must say, I apologize for not blogging as much lately as business and life in general has really picked up.
Now, with that being said, I wanted to create this post discussing the tips, trials and testimonies of my hair journey. As I read and re-read my blog and others, I have found that many of the tips that I apply through knowledge, other's blogger's pages, youtube and just plain ole trial and error, they all look similar to many other natural's journey, so I really just want to share what has worked for me and what hasn't...Hope you enjoy!
THE TIPS THAT DID NOT WORK:
- Applying or Spritzing my hair with water or any water based spray or moisturizer WITHOUT sealing in the moisture with a natural butter or oil. When I first began my journey, I would keep a spray bottle on my and just spritz my hair throughout the day. At first, it would feel awesome, but once it dried, I was like' what's going on??'..So, all day I was shaking a spritz bottle and spraying my hair like having curl activator and spraying a jheri curl..It wasn't until I got the hang of this thing, that I realized I needed to seal/lock the moisture in..Sheesh
- Daily Co-Washing..Yea, not the business. I thought that's what I needed to do, but it wasn't until I learned that over conditioning the hair can be damaging and definitely not allowing the hair to dry thoroughly can cause breakage due to the weight of constant wet hair on the strands..So, I changed my routine to co-washing once per week and clarifyng/shampooing monthly.
- Using products with synthetic or plastic ingredients. Use of these products always made my hair feel crappy, especially once I stopped using them, ie: Eco Styler, Herbal Essence.
- Applying oils, that penetrate the hair shaft, even to dry hair. While the oils such as Avocado, Coconut and Cold Pressed Olive Oil do penetrate the hair shaft, they did not make my hair feel moisturized, I still needed to first, moisturize my hair with water, the truest moisturizer. When I did apply them to dry hair, it felt greasy and not moisturized. Though they are EXCELLENT when applied in products that are water based for hydration and nourishment.
- Using Heat to stretch the hair. I have used heat twice (once fully and once only on my front area for blog purposes) during my journey and that was at month 4..I didn't care too much for it and soon returned to my natural kinks and coils.
- Wash and Go's...I really don't like them at all. The hair is always wet and well, let's me just say they are not for me. I'm not a fan of applying gel (whether natural or not) to my overall head of hair, too heavy. I found that it also dries my hair out whenever I have done them.
- Indulging in too many products. I know it can be tempting to gravitate towards the latest greatest product, but what I found is that many of the naturals who have healthy great hair are very loyal to the products that they have, that work. Since really mastering my regimen, I have been extremely faithful in the products that I use (which will always be 100% natural) and they have yielded excellent results. Ive become a huge believer in that. I'm not a product junky in any form of fashion, humph, but I do love earrings, sheesh.
- Just listening to others without researching and learning truly what my hair loves and what works for me..
- Using a towel to dry my hair. Towels cause too much friction thereby aiding in the 'frizzie's'.
THE TIPS THAT WORKED OK..
- Henna..Henna really didn't not make my hair feel any sort of way..Now this can be a bit tricky, because at the time, I didn't understand that henna is for strengthening and not necessarily for conditioning. I just heard that henna is great for conditioning, so I used it and when I didn't feel as though my hair was oober soft from the henna, I viewed it as 'overrated'. It wasn't until I truly understood Ayurvedic treatments that I understood what henna's benefits really are..And now, because I understand what it is..I love it!!
- Aloe Vera Gel as a styling gel..Sorry, this one was just super OK..I prefer flaxseed gel instead or just using pure Castor Oil to lay my edges down, if I even focus on them at all.
THE TIPS THAT WORKED!!
- Understanding that water is the truest moisturizer. Understanding that a product that has no H20 cannot be considered a 'moisturizing' product. Understanding that butter and oil based products are wonderful for sealing/locking in moisture, but do not moisturize.
- Clarifying before continuously building product upon product upon product. This is why shampooing is essentially a must. Products such as Bentonite Clay, Terressentials Earth Wash, Dudu Osum Black Soap shampoo or shampoo bars from Bobeam are wonderful for aiding in removing product buildup.
- Incorporating Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV rinses or pre poos are a wonderful way of removing product buildup, mineral buildup, bacteria and fungi, most of which are found in tap water. ACV is wonderful at closing the cuticle. When the cuticle is open, it allows dirt, excessive water and bacteria to buildup in the hair, ACV helps to close this thereby protecting the hair and minimizing dryness and frizz.
- Steering clear of any or all synthetic ingredients (mineral oils, petroleum, sulfates, silicones, parabens, synthetic fragrances, synthetic alcohols)
- Incorporating water into my daily diet or getting my proper water intake through fruits and veggies..
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Understanding the porosity of my hair, which is of low porosity. With low porosity hair, it's best to cleanse with cleansers with a slightly high pH, such as Bentonite Clay (8.3 ph) or Dudu Osum Black Soap Shampoo (pH 8.0 +) which helps to lift the cuticle. Also, the use of heat when conditioning, such as with a steamer or heat cap, again, to help lift the cuticle and properly infuse moisture. Of course, I never want to leave the cuticle lifted, so I do use my Natty ACV Hair and Scalp Mist to help close the cuticle, minimize frizz and help hair minimize dryness.
- Sealing my ends properly. I learned this technique from Urban Bush Babes . First, drench the ends with water, soak up the excess water with a paper towel, apply a heavy butter such as shea, mango, cupuacu, I use my Natty Butter (it has all of the beneficial butters and oils) or castor oil, then protecting the ends by pinning them up and tucked away or protecting them in a satin bonnet. Since the ends are the oldest part of the hair, they are the most fragile and can make or break the hair.
- Trimming my ends when needed. When my ends are dry and unruly and do not bounce back once hydrated, I know it's time to snip snip so no further damage can occur.
- The use of NO HEAT. Of course, this could possibly change in the future, but for now, I am happy go lucky with my thick coarse kinky hair.
- Moisturizing and Protecting my hair at night. When needed, I spritz my hair with a little water or apply a water based product, most likely my Natty Moist or Natty ACV Hair and Scalp Mist, then seal in the moisture with my Natty Butter, cover with a satin bonnet or simply sleep on my satin pillow.
- Documenting my growth. There were many days when I felt as though my hair wasn't growing, but when I looked back on the pictures accumulated throughout the months, I noticed the growth. I finally understood that, 'hmmmm, I look at myself daily so I will not always see the growth'.
- Henna..Like I stated earlier, this is a confusing one because it actually strengthens the hair and is an excellent ingredient for anti breakage.
- Incorporating Ayurvedic herbs and oils into my regimen..Can I just say, 'WOW'..I love them. They promote hair growth and healthy scalp.
- Washing my hair while in twists or plaits. Less breakage and stress. Less re-tangling. Less waste of water (using Naptural85 method)
- Using my Natty products. Because I understand what my hair needs and enjoys, I created products that work well for my hair as well as my family (3 of who have very fine curly textures).
- Reading, reading, researching and testing.
- Detangling and Pre Pooing the hair before cleansing while hair is wet and slippery with conditioner.
- Using a microfiber or t-shirt to dry my hair.
- Hot Oil treatments are the best!!
- PATIENCE..PATIENCE..PATIENCE..and LOVE
Remember, you are the best person to know your hair. Do your research and learn from those who practice healthy hair tips and have HEALTHY hair growth.
Happy Healthy Growing!!
My 30 month growth: