I know I’ve been yanking a lot about hair lately, and trust me, I know…so don’t get fed up and thank you for sticking with me through it all.
From the featured Image on this post, you can see the difference between my hair in 2015 and in 2016 right? Totally. I didn’t realise the change until recently too. I mean, I know I started doing things much differently in 2016 as relates to my hair,
but I wasn’t really keeping track. Being that I have struggled with a stunted hair growth, breakages and dandruff in the past, I must say, a lot have changed lately, and I want to share allmy tips, secrets and routine with you. I already started with my post on how to prep your hair before protective styling.
I got so tired of how weak my hair have become, which inspired my research on how to grow my natural hair, relaxed or not. I saw a lady take off a weave-on one day at a salon and I couldn’t help complement how long her hair was. One thing you need to understand is, some people are just blessed to have natural long hair while others aren’t. Now for those who have to work their way through it, this is for you.
Tip #1: STOP RELAXING YOUR HAIR TO THE TIPS
Yeah right! I too didn’t know this before. Stop! Stop! Stop! It’s just like the saying, “sweet things are most times harmful.” I know how cute our African hair (especially 4Cs) look when we retouch it, but trust me, it does more harm than good. It causes hair weakness and breakage. That’s why most times when we park our hair, it feels so light and small. So if you want to maintain the strength and length of your hair, this is one tip to consider. A for me, I hammer it into the ears of any stylist that is retouching my hair to keep it to the roots. I don’t just stop there, I keep tabs on them to ensure they do so.
Tip #2: REDUCE THE NUMBER OF TIMES YOU APPLY RELAXER IN A YEAR
It’s highly prohibiting for you to apply relaxer more than three (3) time in a year. If you can go as low as just twice or once a year, good for you! This is highly recommended if you are still interested in growing your hair any longer. However note that, though your hair may be long and full, as soon as you stop treating it right, it will begin to show. I always had a stash of relaxer at home in the past, but since I changed my routine, relaxer is now the last thing on my shopping list, that is if it enters. In 2016, I think I have retouched my hair just twice…and that will be all for the year.
TIP #3: DO LOTS OF PROTECTIVE STYLING
YEEPEE!!!! You guys know I’m a sucker for protective styles. If I had known about them the past 5 years…hmmmm…anyway, yes! Protective styles are simply hairstyles that protect your hair from all forms of manipulations that inhibits growth or affect your hair negatively. Such manipulations include; constant combing, applying dry-based get, relaxing, bonding, etc. So far, I have focused more on crotchet braids, though I intend to look at other options from next year. You can also do twist outs, cornrows, weave-ons, wigs etc.
Usually, one should be able to wear protective styles for at least six weeks, depending on which style you choose. Styles like twist-outs and crotchet braids last quite long. Cornrows may need to be renewed constantly.
NOTE: Ghana weaving (as it is called in Nigeria) is not protective styling ooo…your baby hairs will be in big trouble, sooner or later. I recommend cornrows you start with your natural hair, not with a hair extensions (attachment).
TIP #4: INVEST IN WIGS
This is an essential part of hair growth in that, they come in handy on days you don’t want to make your hair or are not ready to go to the salon, but you don’t mind having a nice hair do too. Wigs come in different forms and style, from the minimal to the highly expensive glamorous ones. Make your choice. I have a couple of wigs too. They help limit how much I manipulate my hair when it’s not done. All I need is to braid my hair into a few cornrows, then I wear my wigs off and on, anytime I’m set to go out. Wigs are also interesting hairpiece as they are easy to put on and easily complete your look and it also gives a sense of having your favourite hairstyle with you to wear anytime you want.
TIP #5: WASH HAIR AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH
I hear lots of wash hair once a week…hmmmmm…let’s be real folks, who has that kind of time? I for one don’t. However, I’m certain that at least half of the female population will have time once in a month to wash their hair. This is also important because it will shock you to know that some people don’t wash their hair: and how you wash your hair also matters, which brings me to my next tip…
TIP#6: CONDITION! CONDITION! CONDITION!
This is the “HOLY-GRAIL” of your hair growth! Condition your hair each time you wash, you can even do it before (pre-poo) and after (steaming)…and with a product that is right for your hair. Discovering this aspect of hair treatment has really made me have a different value for and relationship with my hair. I can say, it has been one of my favourite things I did with and will continue to do to my hair.
TIP #7: TRIMMING
Throughout 2016, I trimmed my hair about twice. Apart from the growth aspect, I saw that my hair regain its strength. I love the way it feels now when I pack it into a ponytail. I also noticed I no longer have lots of breakage when I comb. Usually, I will throw the extra (broken) hair from the comb and trash it, but since this year, I look for hair to trash, and it’s either too small or there is none. Remember those ends that have gone through many relaxer applications and other treatments…the bad thing is, when they break, they pull and extra length and if possible other hairs with them, and you don’t want that.
TIP #8: APPLY LESS HEAT ON YOUR HAIR
Part of my hair revamping goals was to use less heat on my hair. When I’m not washing my hair myself, I go to the salon a few days ahead of the intended day of making my hair. That way, I’d let my hair air-dry. Too much heat reduces the moisture content of the hair, which in turn causes hair breakage. If you let your hair air-dry, you’d notice it remains soft and silky, even if you eventually straighten it. Even then, flat ironing is also a form of heat application and should also be reduced to the barest minimum.
So that’s about all of it. I hope you have learnt a thing or two. I encourage you to go ahead and do things differently and see the changes in a few months. I look forward to hearing your stories too!
If you have any suggestions or think I left anything out, feel free to drop your comments or email me.
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