This post was originally published 01/02/2015
So this post will probably be THEE longest post that I will write on this blog. I’m hoping that if I write it out once that I can just add on to it little by little as I give more tips. So the question that I get most often is: “What do you do to your hair?”
I’m going to answer but first we have to establish a few things:
1. ALL HAIR GROWS. Unless you have an underlying medical issue then your hair is most likely growing. So let’s not look at the issue as our hair isn’t growing, but the issue for most is that we aren’t retaining length. The reason that you might not see length retention is because of what happens to your hair after it’s out of your scalp. I don’t believe that you need a certain hair type for your hair to retain length……which takes me to……….
2. If you don’t believe that you can grow long hair then you most likely won’t. Why? I’ve learned that it’s been ingrained in a lot of women’s mind that hair length is determined by genetics. While hair thickness and hair type is certainly genetic, our length depends on how well you maintain your hair. I’ve noticed that a lot of women have just resolved that they will never be able to grow their hair beyond a certain length due to genetics. Every method will not work for every hair type BUT I believe (and have seen) that there are ways for every hair type to retain length.
3. In the words of Dave Ramsey: “I’m selling crock pots, not microwaves.” I don’t have any miracle products/magical pills/special ointments/Holy water/ancient rituals/ that will allow you to see instantaneous growth. Just good old fashioned tried and true methods with a lot of patience
Ok so now on to the regimen:
1. Your body needs water. So does your hair. Getting your hair wet is a GOOD thing lol. I shampoo my hair once a week (usually a Saturday)with a moisturizing shampoo. I currently don’t have any loyalty to a certain shampoo, I’ve used shampoos from the drug store and from the salon. I strongly recommend that you choose a MOISTURIZING shampoo within your budget, preferably sulfate free. Anyway while in the shower I saturate my hair under the running water first. Once my hair is fully saturated I apply shampoo to my hands and shampoo my hair twice. Each time that you shampoo your hair make sure you rinse all of the shampoo out thoroughly before shampooing again.
2. I deep condition my hair after EVERY shampoo. Here’s where it gets tricky: There are a million conditioners on the market but all of them are not deep conditioners, some are “instant” conditioners. A deep conditioner is one that is meant to penetrate your strands while an instant conditioner typically coats your strands. While in the process of growing your hair a deep conditioner is IMPERATIVE. I’m currently using Biolage Ultra Hydrating Conditioner by Matrix.
I apply this conditioner generously on my hair. I start by applying a generous amount to my ends first. Your ends are the oldest and most fragile part of your hair so you want to ensure that they stay moisturized. I then generously apply it throughout my hair, almost ensuring that every single strand is coated. Once the conditioner is applied I usually sit under my hair dryer for at least 30 minutes. If you don’t have a hair dryer then grab a plastic cap and allow your conditioner to sit for at least 30 minutes.
3. I rinse the conditioner thoroughly under warm water. Make sure all of the conditioner is out of your hair. Here’s where the second biggest place that hair breakage takes place: wet detangling. Now that you have rinsed the conditioner from your head your hair is in a very fragile state. You MUST NOT use rat tail combs or combs that have teeth close together like this to detangle:
I STRONGLY urge you to use a wide tooth plastic comb to detangle your hair.
So you’re probably thinking “Chile my hair is nappy! I can’t use those doll combs to detangle this here!” Trust me: just because your hair is coarse doesn’t mean that you treat it coarsely. Course hair still breaks! You must take your time and slowly detangle your hair in small sections starting from the bottom and working your way up. Use your fingers to remove large tangles and use the comb to remove the other tangles. Once each section is detangled then clip that section to the side while you work on other sections.
4. So now your hair is deep conditioned, detangled, and ready to be fried, dyed, and laid to the side…….right?! WRONG. Here is the MAIN place where hair retention is lost: Direct Heat. What’s direct heat? Blow dryers, flat irons, pressing combs, curling irons….all the fun stuff. Now you’re probably looking at my pictures like: “…but you’ve clearly used direct heat in these pics, Jos!” This is true BUT I use direct heat sparingly, no more than twice a month. Direct heat is very drying to the hair, even when using heat protectant and the best tools. The dryness leads to split ends…..split ends to breakage……breakage to a 2-3 inch trim. Sound familiar? The average head of hair typically grows half an inch per month. If you trim two inches off your head due to breakage then you’ve lost FOUR MONTHS of hair growth. This is one of the main reasons why people don’t grow their hair past a certain length: they’re stuck in this repeat cycle. So then if no direct heat what can I do?
At this point I have a few styling options: A roller set, a slick bun, a braid out….there are a ton more but those are my go-to options currently. I always apply a moisturizing leave in conditioner and some coconut oil while air drying my hair. I’m excited to give more details I’m future posts on how I achieve these looks but I’m the meantime this is the foundation of my regimen. Got questions or need clarity? Leave those comments below!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog, I appreciate you!!