If you want an easy way to contribute to your personal health and the health of your hair, add salmon to your diet. Salmon is one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are some of the most important substances you can eat to contribute to the health of your hair and your body. Omega 3 fatty acids have many benefits including contributing to blood circulation (which helps bring oxygen to the scalp nourishing hair follicles) and contributing to softer hair and skin. Not all fish is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. Some of the richest sources are wild caught salmon (as opposed to farm raised), sardines, and halibut.
One interesting observation that I have made during my hair journey is that many people are not as concerned about the foods they eat as they are about the products they use on their hair. While I think that the products you use on your hair are important, I believe that taking care of your body from the inside out is even more important. What good is long hair if the rest of you is suffering from poor health? In the near future, will be writing posts on healthy foods that also contribute to healthy hair.
One thing that I have learned in my journey to growing longer hair is to be patient. In the country where I live – the United States of America, most of us are used to having almost everything we want or need instantly. If we want to eat, we can go to a fast food restaurant and get a meal within minutes. If we want clothes we can go to the store and buy them instantly. If we want information about something, we can look it up on the internet and get a variety of answers (some good, some not so good) within minutes. But growing hair is one of the things that doesn’t work that way. Growing hair, takes time, and it takes patience. I’ve learned to slow down in my approach to taking care of my hair. Instead of rushing when I do it, I take my time.
The books Twelve Steps For Growing Black Hair and Natural Black Hair are now both available in iTunes, for the ipad, ipod touch, and iphone, as well as the Barnes and Noble Nook Bookstore. Books purchased in the nook bookstore can be downloaded to the nook, or with the free nook app, they can be downloaded to android devices, the ipad, iphone, ipod touch, pc, and mac. The books are available in print format as well. For more information visit these links:
Twelve Steps For Growing Black Hair
Natural Black Hair
We have a new product available for detangling natural Black and Afro Textured hair. The product is called Northwest Scents Detangling and Cleansing Cream. It feels like a conditioner, but you use it like a shampoo. It cleanses without leaving the hair “squeaky” and while the product is in your hair (it should be put into your hair when your hair is soaking wet during the washing process) you can gently comb through your hair with a wide tooth comb to detangle it.
For more about detangling please see my earlier post
If you have read some of my earlier posts on this blog, you know that I started out talking about my childhood in Nigeria and my recollections of the fancy hairstyles that I grew up accustomed to seeing on the heads of Nigerian women. Even though I don’t wear those styles now, I have always admired them for their beauty and artistry. As I was digging around on the internet, I found an online collection featuring some of the work of J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, the photographer who I talked about earlier on this blog. This online display is part of the Contemporary African Art Collection, which is a private collection that was created by a Italian named Jean Pigozzi.
The above photo, from the collection of Klara Kristina is licensed under a creative commons 2.0 license
Question: Can you please tell me your method of how you grew your hair, and how long it took, because i want to regrow my hair naturally, thank you.
Answer: Hi. My method began when I realized that the problem wasn’t that my hair wasn’t growing, it was breaking off. So instead of focusing on how to help it grow, because it was already growing, I decided to focus on how not to break off my hair. Then I started analyzing all of the things that I was doing to take care of my hair. I looked at how I washed it, styled it, what products I used on it, etc. I looked at whether or not my hair was breaking when I handled it, and I changed my routines to work with my hair so that it stopped breaking off.
For example, my old hair washing routine would be:
1. Take down hair
2. Wet hair, apply shampoo, scrub scalp, rinse
3. Repeat step 2
4. Apply conditioner, rinse
5. Towel dry, then comb through hair
Realizing that I needed to make some changes, I decided to look at the products I was using. I’ve never really been a product junkie. When I was younger I would use whatever my mother bought, then when I got married I used my husband’s brand (St. Ives), and later on I decided to go more natural, and started using a natural liquid castile soap as my shampoo. During this time I had noticed that my hair was never really soft, but I didn’t think about it too much. It wasn’t until I started really taking a look at my hair care practices, that I decided to change my method, and change my hair products. I tried different natural shampoos (Jason’s, Nature’s Gate) but none of them really worked out for me. So I formulated my own brand (Northwest Scents™) which has made the difference for me in how my hair feels and how easy it is to work with.
Then I looked at my hair washing and conditioning method. My old method caused hair breakage due to the type of shampoo I was using, and because I would comb through my hair after I was done washing and conditioning it. I discovered that the best time to comb through natural, textured black hair is when the hair is wet and has something it in that allows a comb to pass through easily (like a rich natural conditioner).
Now my hair washing routine is:
1. Take down hair
2. Section into braids.
3. Wet hair, and wash each braid individually.
4. Condition each braid individually.
5. While hair is still wet, in braids, and with conditioner in it, detangle each braid individually.
Even though my new routine is more work, it isn’t as much work as it looks like, and it is easier on my hair. This has resulted in reducing hair breakage, which has resulted in hair growth. I talk more about my routine, and other things that I do in my book – Twelve Steps For Growing Black Hair.
As far as a time frame, once I started using my new method, I saw a difference in 30 days. It wasn’t a huge difference, because hair only grows 1/4″ to 1/2″ a month. But I still saw a difference. I could tell that my hair was getting longer because I could see a little bit of growth. I also wasn’t loosing as much hair as before. It took longer to see a dramatic difference because I still had some things to change. I loosened up my hairstyle and I stopped using brushes. This has helped my hair to grow back along my hairline where I had lost some hair.
Question. I’ve got heat damaged ends that won’t revert. Do I just keep on pressing (lighter application of heat and heat protectants)or lay off the heat. I haven’t pressed in about 6 months and the new growth is killing me! Thx.
Answer: I would suggest that you trim the heat damaged ends off, if it is isn’t too much. If your main goal with pressing is to control your new growth, I suggest that you try moisturizing and detangling the new growth with a gentle shampoo and rich conditioner like the ones we offer at http://www.nwscents.com. If you want to try pressing again, use a much lower heat setting and be sure to use a heat protectant that doesn’t contain any kind of grain alcohol (which will be listed as SD-alcohol on the label) or other drying ingredients. I use hair oil, but you may prefer something different. Be sure to follow the tips that we have for pressing on this blog. Don’t make the objective of pressing your hair to have “pin-straight” hair. That is where many people end up damaging their hair. Use pressing as a way to gain more control over your hair. You can also control your hair in it’s naturally textured state with the right products. If you have any more questions, let me know. O. Franklin