How I am wearing my hair today – my new low maintenance natural hairstyle

After recognizing that I needed to spend more time nurturing my hair from the inside out, I decided that I wanted to care for my hair without heat.  I felt that this would be the best way to help my hair recover (see my previous post for details).  After a lot of trial and error, I have come up with a low maintenance natural way to care for my hair.  Basically I am defining the curls in my hair and wearing my hair in this state in between washes.  I like this method because it leaves my hair really soft, and once I do it, all I to do maintain it is tie up my hair at night with a couple of silk scarves. When I get up, I take off the scarves, pull on my hair a little bit to arrange it, and I’m good to go. My favorite hair accessory to wear with this style is a simple fabric headband.

My method is still a work in progress, but what I am doing is the following:

Part A:

In the shower:

  1. Shampoo my hair with Northwest Scents™ shampoo.
  2. Cleanse and detangle with Northwest Scents™ Keratin and Silk Curl Cleansing Cream.

Get out of the shower and apply Northwest Scents™ conditioner liberally to my hair to seal in moisture.

Divide my hair into four sections, braid each section, and let the hair dry.

Part B:

After my hair has dried then I:

  1. Unbraid a section of hair.
  2. Apply Northwest Scents™ hair oil liberally to that section of hair.
  3. Separate that section of hair into smaller sections.
  4. On each smaller section I apply additional Northwest Scents™ hair oil, then I apply Northwest Scents™ hair gel. I rake the gel through the hair until it straightens out partially.  I then twist the section.

I repeat the above four steps until I have finished all of my hair. Then I let the hair air dry and I take the twists down. I then carefully separate the twists, and I am done.

I have been experimenting with this method for a few months and I like the fact that it keeps my hair soft and it is easy to maintain between washes.

In the photo above, I dampened my fingertips with a teeny bit of water and applied that water to the sections of hair in between applying the oil and the gel (Part B after applying the oil in step 4).  What that did was use less gel and create a fluffier hairstyle.  When I didn’t apply the teeny bit of water to the sections of hair I got more definition.

The products that I have used are available in a sample kit (it is called the curl defining sample kit) for anyone who wants to try them.

Advertisements

Question about my hair routine

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 was in the house, 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.

Natural Black Hair Care Tip – Dealing With Knots

prepress2.jpg

This is a photo of my natural hair right before I press it. It tends to knot at the ends and it takes work to deal with the knots. But working out the knots helps to preserve hair length, so it is something I’ve decided to take the time to do. I’ve decided that there are three ways to deal with knots: 1) Decide it if is a knot in the first place. Sometimes the kinks feel like knots, but actually aren’t. 2) If it is a knot, try to work it out using hair oil or a thin needle. When I encounter a knot I try to gently unloosen it. When my hair is moisturized it is easy to remove knots that aren’t too tight. Sometimes I take a thin pin and put it in the center of the knot and gently unloosen it. 3) If the knot is unworkable, remove as many hairs as possible from the knot, and then cut the knot out. I try to work the knot down to one or two hairs and then if it is joining two hairs together, I cut it off. I hate this last option, but sometimes it has to be done.

My hair was breaking off and I didn’t even know it

Even though I liked wearing my hair natural, I didn’t realize that I was damaging it until one day (sometime around 1998) when a relative asked to see how long my hair was. She took my hair down, and as she looked through it she started saying very loudly “Your hair is broken, your hair is broken!!!” I was quite devastated because my hair had been doing quite nicely the last time I checked. But she alerted me to the fact that it was quite broken in the middle. Not knowing what to do, I decided not to do anything. I didn’t realize it, but the combination of me wearing my hair natural, brushing it, pulling it back into a scrunchie and a twist, and experimenting with ineffective hair care products, was causing my hair to break off. The most damage was at the crown of my head where my hair is the most coarse.

As time went on I did notice that the hair around my face had begun to thin out to the point where I could see my scalp when I brushed my hair back. Also, the hair at the crown of my head always seemed much shorter than the rest of my hair. I would laugh it off and keep going. The straw that broke the camel’s back was one day in church when a lady saw me in the bathroom and told me that my hair was thinning around my hairline and that I should be careful. It was true! It wasn’t just something that I noticed, it was noticeable to others. My hair was falling out and breaking off and I didn’t know what to do. I had always had thick hair as a young girl, but that was no more. I cried that day.