So, there are some habits I cultivated early in my “not so serious healthy hair journey” that really helped me even when I didn’t know what I was doing and I intend to share them. They are easy to cultivate and inexpensive. And inasmuch as they are easy to cultivate, they are also easy to forget with the growing wealth of information out there on the internet. But I assure you, with these simple habits, just like me, you should soon begin to notice a difference, not just in length but in the overall health of your hair!
DETANGLING WITH A SEAMLESS WIDE TOOTH COMB
Early enough I learnt that even your styling tools can cause breakage. The snags and rough areas can cause your strands some damage leading to breakage and splitting. Imagine what I did when I learnt that even my comb might be breaking my hair (what betrayal!)… well I took a file and filed down any seam along the teeth of my combs (lol)… but now you can find seamless wide tooth combs from a lot of online healthy natural hair stores. Be sure to specify that you want a seamless one.
BONUS TIP: if you’re finding it difficult to detangle another reason might be your method. Start from your ends (the tips of your hair) and work your way up till you reach the roots, by this time it should be easier.
MOISTURIZING AND SEALING
Believe me my life changed for the better the moment I learnt about the importance of moisturizing and sealing. I stared to notice my hair stopped looking dull, started having some degree of shine and “body” to it and I retrained more length. For best results moisturize with water and and your favorite natural oil in a spray bottle or with a water based leave in conditioner (they always have aqua in the ingredients) and don’t forget to seal with either a heavy oil (e.g. castor oil) or a light oil followed with a cream or butter.
SLEEPING WITH A SATIN/ SILK PILLOW CASE/SCARF / BONNET
These saved my edges! I say these because I’ve tried every one of them and they worked when it came to preserving the moisture in my hair and saving my edges. And till now I use a satin pillowcase and a satin scarf just for extra reinforcement, but sincerely you only really need one. A scarf can fall off so a satin bonnet or a satin pillowcase will do the trick.
The reason why there is so much emphasis on satin or silk is because these don’t have the tendency to absorb the moisture in your hair and therefore will not rob you of the moisture you are trying to retain unlike your cotton pillow case or hair net!. Overall this habit will help you reduce friction between your hair and your bed or pillowcase, prevent your strands from drying out and becoming brittle which usually leads to breakage or split ends.
Remember those lies they must have told us as black girls when we were young? That you shouldn’t let water touch your hair! Or you shouldn’t be washing your hair too much! Or not washing your hair will make it grow! Or leaving your hair to be very dirty will help your relaxer or touch ups… eww…. Lol…how on earth did we believe these lies and many more.. lol.
Turns out you should wash your hair. Maybe not every day because that may now lead to drying the hair of its natural oils. But a clean scalp will allow for growth. Getting rid of all that product you might have piled on your hair and scalp during the week will prevent dull and dry hair. Not washing your hair will keep the products piling on your and scalp resulting in dry hair and subsequently breakage! You can follow with a deep condition to restore moisture to the hair or moisture-protein balance in general
You know how you do something over and over again just because you think it’s right or know it’s but one day you find out you’ve been doing it all wrong the whole time. Yeah that’s how I felt when I learnt about t-shirt drying or drying with a microfiber towel instead of the normal towel.
Using a microfiber towel (these are quite easy to find now since a lot of people are becoming more aware) or a cotton t-shirt to dry your hair is that trick that crowns all your efforts after a wash day. Unlike your normal cotton towel with frays, threads and large fibers, This easy tip helps to smoothen the cuticle of your hair, thereby promoting that shiny result and preventing annoying tangles that would have made you spend the whole time detangling.
NOTE: even after you must have squeezed out excess moisture, Use the cotton t-shirt to pat your hair and squeezed moisture, try not to rub… pat instead.
6. STRETCHING MY RELAXER OR TOUCH UPS (for the relaxed and texlaxed in the house!
I was touching up every 6wks, then I increased to 8wks, then 10wks then 12wks.
I noticed giving significant stretches between my relaxer not only helped me retain more length, but the density of my hair was like wow!.. so if you want thicker hair, the best thing is to stretch your relaxers. If you were doing touch ups every 2wks, maybe its time to do 4wks and if you wer doing 6wks, maybe you’re ready for 10 weeks. And if you are already doing 10wks, well bravo! Lets take it ro 14wks shall we?
7. INSTALLING PROTECTIVE STYLES AND LOW MANIPULATION STYLES
Like the names imply they are hairstyles that ultimately protect your hair and or ends of your hair. So whether its braids, wigs, a sew-in, or a pony tail, just make sure its not too tight and uncomfortable so you don’t lose the hair along your edges and nape line.
NOTE: try not to neglect your hair when they are in protective or low manipulation styles. You can clean your scalp with baby wipes and oil it from time to time (hey! Don’t use spirit or any alcohol based products as these breakdown the natural occurring oils or oils you must have put in the scalp or the hair). You can use a leave in conditioner to maintain moisture during these style periods.
HOPE THIS WAS VERY HELPFUL.
COME BACK SOON.