Yay! It is Lesson 4. HAPPY NEW YEAR! We made it 🙂 How have you been? My church (the Redeemed Christian Church of God) is currently on 100 Days Fasting & Prayers. I thought it would be scary but currently getting use to it. His Grace has been sufficient! Sometimes you do not know you can even attempt to do something until you try. If you are also partaking in the fast feel free to give suggestions of simple and fast meals to break with. May God’s protective power be upon you and may you experience growth and greatness this year like never before. Ummm **snap** back to this post.
As you probably already know I have had my hands full. What I never mentioned was the negative side effect it had as I neglected my hair for over 3 months! Oh Lord, I am pained (Yes even I have hair blocks like everyone else). It was not my intention but it has cost me a lot of hair (I am still trying to figure out balancing my schedule to fit my hair routine or rather a routine to fit my busy schedule). For the first time I went to the salon here in the UK since my September 2009 hair journey and she chopped off the remaining dead ends from my hair disaster. I just kept saying out loud it will grow out bigger and better! *oh boy, serious self-motivation* I mean last time I posted my hair straightened some months ago it was just below bra strap length at the back. Well, now it just above my bra strap * tear drop * Prior to this visit I had already chopped off about 4 inches of hair but my ends were so choppy! As you already know my main hair goal is to have healthy long hair and the health of it takes precedence over the length. So, now that I have recovered from the heartbreak & I am nurturing my hair again we are going back to the basics!! You are blessed because you get to learn from my own errors and mishaps!!! That way you do not have to go through the same thing or at least you know you are not alone in your hair journey 🙂
Before I became busy & sonsequently negligent with my hair (even till date) people always ask me about the steps I take to grow my hair? Quite frankly my hair regimen plays a huge role but you can summarise it into 6 steps:
6) Growth – By Applying Length Retention Techniques
Lesson 4 will not be complete without a diagram. You know I love diagrams and the steps are further explained fully below.
STEP 1 DETANGLE
– Reduce stress on hair by using my fingers or wide toothcombs.
– Followed by a tangle teezer brush during my pre-poo process (conditioning – linked to step 3). Using a detangling brush is an optional step for some people but I like the feel of my hair after using my tangle teezer.
I was successful with step 1 because I never really had the need to detangle thoroughly other than washdays. I never used to leave my hair free and always slept with it in big braids if I happened to rock it in its free state.
STEP 2 CLEANSE
– Decreased manipulation by loosely braiding/twisting my hair into 6.
– Braiding loosely reduces likelihood of using tools like brushes & combs (having in mind I detangle before washing)
Cleansing (washing hair) reduces product build up and tangles. Referring back to this post on my hair regimen you will remember I prefer low manipulation techniques. In my head it equates to reduction of breakage from hair handling. If you would like to learn more about hair regimens check out ‘Lesson 3: Hair Regimen 101’ and more specifically the one focused on me ‘my hair regimen’.
STEP 3 CONDITION
– Though afro hair is fragile when wet, it is flexible & more pliable when wet.
– Conditioning phase is a great time to comb the hair
– You can find more information in the post on my pre-poo treatment
I condition my twisted hair after washing off my pre-poo treatment (deep condition) for about 5 minutes or less as the hair is already deep conditioned. I make use of leave in conditioners and my choice is dependent on the state/style my hair is placed before the next wash day.
STEP 4 MOISTURISE
– Soften & make hair pliable
– Keeping your hair moist makes hair more manageable to prevent hair from getting dry & brittle which will in turn reduce breakage.
I remember using the broomstick/toothpick analogy. Snap a broomstick when dry it is very easy but soak it in water and try again it does not snap so easily. Moisturising does not just mean creams but can be as simple as me spraying water on my hair lightly then sealing with oil which I do more when I have braids (more details in ‘my hair regimen’ post).
STEP 5 PROTECT
– This is the process of shielding your hair from the elements.
– Environmental hazards – sun rays, wind, oxidizing chemicals like chlorine (think swimming pool) & mineral-heavy hard water
– To understand this better check out my post titled ‘Lesson 2: Hair GROWTH, Hair RETENTION & Hair DAMAGE!’
If you are like me and you live in a country with hard water you could use an in-shower filter (they make for bath tubs as well). This will reduce chlorine and minerals. Reduced minerals also reduce product build up.
STEP 6 GROWTH
– Protective styling and style is key here (we have touched on this in ‘Lesson 3: Hair Regimen 101’)
– Plan to reduce damage to the scale structure of the hair
– HAIR RETENTION is essential for this step. As you reduce damage to your hair and consciously retain new growth, you will get longer hair.
– Created and adapted my healthy hair routine. Find out what works for you.
– For inspiration on and knowledge on hair routines check out the posts I have made reference too.
Now that we have reminded ourselves on the steps that made my hair journey a success. Let’s say I will not become over-confident, comfortable and take for granted my current achievement. A big lesson learned. Consistency is key. Until next time.
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