THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
My Wash Day Steps:
This is how I wash my hair in the shower. Takes a lot of time and patience, few salons can offer this service currently. It sometimes takes 3 hours from washing to roller setting (because of about 2 hours of deep conditioning without heat). I have braids currently but I do not skip any of these steps except detangling and roller setting (obviously..lol) . Good thing you don’t have to stay in the shower all through!!
Step 1: Dampen hair with water - I use a spray bottle to do this and I add a few drops of Aloe Vera Juice to the water if my hair is very tangled. I sometimes pre-poo overnight when my hair feels dry prior to wash day.
Step 2: Section hair into 4 parts – This helps with getting products I will use afterwards into my hair easily and helps to prevent tangles and knots from forming.
Step 3: Apply deep conditioner - I apply my deep conditioner section by section and carefully from root to tips of my hair strands. I mix it with coconut oil. I use my protein deep conditioner bi-weekly but use my moisture conditioner every week. I also use my homemade masks instead of store bought ones sometimes.
Step 4: Detangle – I detangle each section after applying deep conditioner. First with my fingers, and then with a wide tooth comb gently from tip to root. This can take up to 30 minutes or more. Be patient.
Step 5: Leave deep conditioner on for about 15-20 minutes or more - I always leave it in no less than 1 hour. You need to cover your head with a shower cap to trap in heat and use a hooded dryer if you have one available.
Step 6: Rinse out deep conditioner. Rinse out in sections. Do not gather hair on top of head, or ruffle it anyhow as this can cause knots, tangles, tears and breakage. Handle hair carefully and gently.
Step 7: Shampoo hair - I lather only once when I use a shampoo that has sulphates, but twice when I use a sulphate free shampoo. This is to prevent the chemicals from stripping my hair of its natural oils.
Step 8: Rinse shampoo out carefully - Do this in sections gently.
Step 9: Add conditioner to hair – Leave on for a few minutes and detangle while rinsing it out. I rinse clean hair with cool water to close the hairs cuticles if I was using warm water earlier. I do an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse every 6 weeks.
Step 10: Finishing - Dry hair. I use an old T-shirt to dry my hair. I wrap the t-shirt on hair for about 30 minutes to absorb excess water. I section hair into 4, apply leave-ins and leave to air dry. Use a heat protectant if using heat (I do not use heat) and style as desired.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Being on a hair journey may not be easy in the beginning as it requires a lot of research, product trials, change in certain habits and practices, getting your stylist or hairdresser on board (which can be challenging) if you don’t want to take care of your hair yourself, and lots of time, consistency and patience.
Everyone’s hair grows!! However, hair growth differs from one person to the other but on average; hair grows at ½ inch per month. That’s 6 inches a year! Damage and breakage may give the perception that your hair isn’t growing when it is actually growing at the roots but is breaking off at the ends.
There are so many things we do to our hair that may cause it to become weak, unhealthy, damaged and eventually break off. Below are some of the most common improper hair care practices that when stopped can lead one to grow out their hair healthy and long.
· Frequent and incorrect application of chemical relaxers: It is important to stretch relaxers beyond 8 weeks and to apply the relaxer to the new growth only.
· Lack of moisture: Keep your scalp and hair clean by washing hair at least once a week, for normal hair and twice a week for dry hair with a gentle shampoo and conditioner. It is best to use a sulphate-free shampoo or one that lathers less. You can wash with a conditioner in-between weekly washes as it is less stripping on your hair. Be sure to moisturise and seal your hair at least twice a day!! Protein and moisture treatments are also needed to strengthen and restore the hair. This is popularly referred to as steaming or deep conditioning. Protein treatments help to strengthen the hair and must be done on relaxed hair at least twice a month to put back protein lost during the relaxing process.
· Rough handling: Frequent manipulation; excessive combing and brushing without care. It is best to comb your hair less during the week and detangle hair gently with your hands. Always use a wide tooth comb if you must comb your hair and handle your hair gently. One way to prevent excessive manipulation of hair is to wear protective styles.
· Excessive use of heat: We use heat to straighten our curly or coily hair with flatirons, curlers and blow dryers. If you must use heat for a straighter style, use a heat protectant on your hair to avoid overheating or even burning your hair. Otherwise opt for a hooded dryer with low or cool setting after roller setting.
· Reluctance to trim damaged and split ends: Both natural and relaxed hair may develop split ends when handled badly, combed or brushed excessively or when too much heat is used on it. Split ends if not trimmed quickly move up your hair strands and cause more damage. To prevent these split ends from moving up your strands, trim your ends regularly to keep them clean and free from knots and tangles. How often you trim and how you cut would totally be based on the condition of your hair.
· Poor health and nutrition: Taking care of our hair may be important but our top priority should be to take care of our body. Health in our body will definitely result in health in our hair!! Eat well-balanced diets which should include high quality protein foods and vegetables, and drink a lot of water. A lot of water!! Exercising at least twice a week is also very beneficial.