Why is my Hair Not Growing Series: Episode 4 Retaining your length


Hii,

In this episode we’re going to talk about getting rid of those hair issues and retaining your length. We do a lot of things wrong when it comes to caring for our hair, whether its natural, relaxed, under a weave or in a jheri curl.

Detangling

If the various mothers in my life taught me one thing it was: you better comb all them kinks and naps out of your hair girl, or it’ll break off. Here in Nigeria it’s like a threat; relax your hair every 4 weeks or it will break off, use the smallest comb to make sure every hair is detangled or it will break off, sleep with a hairnet on or it will break off! I think the number one reason why all the ladies who ask me for advice have length retention issues is because they don’t detangle efficiently for their hair. There is no one size fits all to detangling and you have to figure out how detangled you need your hair to be and how you’re going to get it to that stage.

Products

Products and their ingredients are something I don’t really talk about. I didn’t think they were that important at the start of my journey, but now I have recognised the superiority of the natural ingredients over the synthetic ones. Now, i’m not saying go and burn all your shop bought products and bathe in rain water (lol), but i’m saying a lot of companies fill their products with crap and claim to have the best ingredients. meanwhile it’s filled with skin irritants like sulphates, cheap fillers like mineral oil and suspected carcinogens like parabens. Before you buy anything from now on, please look at your ingredients list. Even if you understand zilch, it’s best to at least know whats in your products (including things you might be allergic to). In addition, companies claim to have ‘olive oil’, ‘argan oil’ and ‘jojoba oil’ in their product, but you only see it way down the ingredients list, meaning you’ve probably inhaled more of that product in the air than the amount currently in your bottle of product.

Styling and Manipulation

In African countries, we are very guilty of putting hair length over health. You see someone with armpit length hair, but about 3 inches of that length is stringy and see through. If you suggest a trim to that lady she’ll assume you’re a jealous enemy of her progress. Hairdressers mostly care about how something looks and not how its done. A hair dresser once started snipping the frizzy hairs from the corn rows she had just done, which were done with NO EXTENSIONS. I lost all of my front hair after a stylist fixed my weave too tightly to the braids underneath. A stylist started trying to RIP the knots out of my hair because she didn’t have the patience to detangle it properly. I understand arguing with hairdressers just adds to the struggle, but allowing them to do what they do can cause us lengthy setbacks.

Another thing is we tend to manipulate our hair way too much. A hairstyle should not need to be adjusted multiple times in the day, I don’t even believe in retwisting hair at night any more because I found that the curl pattern the next morning looked better when it was more slept in. An out style for me usually lasts 3 days with definition and after that it can only be salvaged by a puff, updo or retwisting. You should aim to only manipulate your hair twice a week excluding putting on scarves and accessories etc.

Heat

We love to blow dry our hair and tend to do so before any major style but heat is so bad for your hair. I’ve never been one for hair science, but if you think of how it feels when your burn yourself with a straightener or have the dryer on one spot too long and you can imagine how your poor hair feels. Heat basically denatures the proteins in your hair and breaks them down. This causes your hair to be more fragile, lose its curl pattern and be less co-operative with your styling regime. Blow drying and straightening isnt too harmful once in a while, but you need to make sure you have a heat protectant and do the heat styling at a low temperature. It’s also best to have your hair in a really healthy state before any heat styling.

These are the main things to consider when trying to gradually increase the health of your hair, and now onto some health hair practices you should try and begin to ensure your hair stays healthy.

Washing

If you live in a humid climate like I do then i’m just gonna say it straight. Wash your hair woman (or man)! Even if you live in an air-conditioned world the humidity is going to get to you even a little bit, and I can’t believe people will go months without washing just to preserve a style. It happens frequently here, and frankly I would like to see it stop. You NEED to wash your hair as often as logistically possible, but by no means should you not wash your hair at all for more than a month. Whichever method of washing you choose, you need to get all of the oils, stylers and other gunk out of your hair so your scalp can be clean and fresh and so your products can be effective.

Treatments

Some people think treatments are for special things like birthdays and weddings, when really they should be more every other wash than every year. Protein treatments, deep conditioning, henna et al are all things you should do on a regular basis. Obviously not all will work for you and thats ok, but at least one of them will, and I think it’s necessary to give your hair an extra boost when you can. Something as small as adding a few oils to your regular conditioner and leaving it on for 20 mins can have a positive impact.

Protective styles and protection

Protective styles are kept in for longer periods of time than out styles are enable you to manipulate your hair less often. If, when you have a protective style in, you find yourself still manipulating your hair daily, you ain’t protecting nothing. A protective style can be anything from a week long updo, to a 6 week long weave.

Other things we many not know to do is protecting the hair, night scarves are an obvious example of this, but others are hats to protect from the sun and wind and hairband to protect your ends from you clothes.

This post was long!! But I hope you started to see what your regimen may be lacking, and you’ve picked up tips on how to make it better! This is the end of the theory part of the series for now! The next element I will be focusing on is an ask me segment where you can ask me any questions pertaning to any issues you may be having with your hair, and i’ll do my best to answer 😉 contact me at tnacurls@gmail.com for any questions you may have!!

EDIT: my email address is actually tnacurls@gmail.com my bad!!!

Simi

X

Advertisements

Why is my Hair Not Growing Series: Episode 3 Beginning the journey


wimhng
Hi guys, this is the third episode in the WIMYNG series. This one is about hair regimens/ journals and what could be causing your hair to break off.

I wrote about creating a hair regimen in some posts I did ages ago Creating a Regimen and Creating a Regimen II In these two posts you can really get a good idea of what it is to have a routine. Some things I didn’t mention in those posts are actual ready methods that you can tweak to suit your lifestyle, because I didn’t want to speak for your hair. However, I think I have a good formula for you to follow:

Start off with cleansing/clarifying (note: if you’re co-washing you can skip to the next step). You could use a shampoo, ayurvedic herbs or a cleansing/normal conditioner for this step. As I am following the max hydration method, I use a conditioner/baking soda mix.

Next off condition/ detangle, this is the step where you could deep condition/ protein condition or which ever type of treatment you like to add to your hair eg clay and henna. If i’m planning to wash my hair in the morning I do a deep condition over night otherwise I deep condition until I can be bothered to rinse it out/I finish my chores. In my current regimen this is is where I condition, then deep condition and then do a clay rinse. This part is where you can really run wild and discover all sorts of new ways to give your hair that extra oomph!

image
Temi has henna on her hair

Then comes the moisturise and seal. Since I do mhm I use my conditioner as a leave in and seal with gel for a wash n go or with oil for a set style like a twist out. There are many methods of sealing LOC, LOG, LCO, LCOC etc its up to you to find out which work for you. Sometimes the method you choose may be reflective of the current products that you have on hand, So its always good to have a bit of knowledge of different methods in case you find your self stranded with just water and some groceries, lol.

This is where hair journaling comes in. Once you decide that you’re about to do something to your hair you could write down all the products you have used and write in as much detail as you like about how your hair reacted to the products you used in the combination you used them in. Sooner or later you’ll find a pattern. Maybe your hair feels drier when Glycerin is nearer the top of the ingredient list. Maybe you shed more when you use gel, and maybe you see flakes if you mix certain products together. It’s up to you to put in the work, how much do you want your hair to be healthy?

Now i’ll briefly touch on some reasons why your hair is breaking briefly before we get deep into them in the next episode.

For my own self while I was relaxed and since I have been natural these have been the biggest stealers of my length:

  • Being scissor happy (over-trimming)
  • hair being dry
  • not moisturising enough
  • being lazy
  • not detangling (thoroughly) enough
  • detangling too much
  • not protective styling
  • overmanipulation
  • leaving protective styles in too long
  • too much tension in styles
  • too much heat

And the list goes on….so many ways to lose length!! In the next episode i’ll show you how to negate all of these issues. and some health hair care practices you need in your life.

Till next time!

Simi

X

Why is my Hair Not Growing Series: Episode 2 Keeping Your Length


wimhng

Hi guys, and welcome to the second episode of the series, keeping your length. In the first episode, we discussed taking control of your hair by accepting that your hair is growing. In this episode, we’re going to address why it looks as if your hair isn’t growing.

Now the reason why it looks as if your hair isn’t growing is that its breaking off at the same rate or faster than your rate of growth. This gives the illusion that your hair isn’t growing. The only way to combat this breakage is to find the reason why your hair is breaking and fix it.

Saying it is one thing, actually finding the culprit is another thing entirely! It could be a range or combination of a lot of things; dryness, detangling, over manipulation, not enough protective styling etc.I have two ways of finding out what your possible hair demons are, one is to have a hair journal the other is creating and sticking to a hair regimen.

A hair journal simply documents what you do to your hair, styles, products, methods and even the way your hair feels, everything you do is documented in it. The second is to have a hair regimen, now almost everyone on a healthy hair journey has a regimen of some sort. In simple terms a hair regimen is like a projection of what you are going to be doing to your hair on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

One of these methods focuses on what you’re going to do in future, which takes the pressure off you because you already know what you’re going to do. This makes you more likely to be patient and actually enjoy what yuo’re doing to your hair. The other focusses on the past, this is also important because your memory isn’t as good as you think it is. Did you really use a coconut oil/jojoba oil mix for that banging twistout? Or was it a shea butter/castor oil base? Yeah, I thought so, you don’t remember, writing all of that down eliminates the need to remember anything except where you kept the journal (tip: don’t lose the journal).

So thats all for this episode, in the next episode we discuss the effect that certain factors could have on your length retention and hair journalling and regimens in detail (video should be up later this week).

Simi

X

Why is my Hair Not Growing Series: Episode 1 Your Hair is Growing


 

Official Icon of this series
Official Icon of this series 😉

 

Welcome to  my new series called ‘Why  is my Hair Not Growing’. It will focus on major issues faced by the typical Nigerian woman with natural (and relaxed hair). More and more people have decided to go natural in Nigeria especially in Lagos, but after being taken in by the glorious manes of our American and British counterparts, they have found that maybe the grass isn’t greener on the natural side.

 

People who have been natural the same time as me and even longer than me, come to me complaining that their hair should at the very least be my length and, best case scenario, be a good few inches longer. Now i’m not saying that I have all the answers, but i’m certain I have at least one or two. Going natural should only be the beginning of the story, but some have taken that to be the first and only step to achieving healthy and lengthy hair.
Continue reading