18 July 2010

My Hair Regimen (07/2010)

...Of sorts

Form 2006-2009 I focused mainly on wearing protective styles (braids, wigs, weaves) and keeping my ends tucked away almost all the time. And while they do serve their purpose (got me to Mid-back length), I never got to enjoy my hair much... usually for about 1 week or less in between styles I would wear my hair out. I was in protective styles for weeks, even months at a time. Every part of my regi was scheduled (moisturizing, pre-pooing, trimming). It became a chore of sorts and even when I got bored and frustrated I would muddle through for the sake of whatever hair board challenges I was participating in at the time. In the end I had longer hair but the braids, weaves and even the constant friction of my scarf on my edges; reeked havoc on my hair. I was always trimming to even-out and thicken my ends. So for 2010 and onwards, I decided I wanted a "do-over"and did a major cut from mid-back length to between arm-pit length and below shoulder blades. I will be implementing most of the healthy hair practices that I've picked up over the years. But  most importantly; I vowed to ALWAYS ENJOY MY HAIR at each and every stage throughout my journey as that is the only regret I have of the first 4 years.

So enough of this gibber jabber!...

  • Co-wash every 2 days (2x week)
  • Deep condition once a week
  • Protein treatments every 2 weeks with 1 egg white
  • Light wash with diluted shampoo once a week
  • Porosity Control conditioner once a week after shampooing and DCing
  • Clarify with baking soda as needed (about once a month, as well as before & after wearing my hair straight)
  • I use light conditioners  as my leave-in/moisturizer
  • Trim when I feel my hair needs it (use to be every 3 months or so but trying to cut back)
  • I wear my hair in what I call Wash-Stretch-N-Go style 1-2 times a week. Other days I wear a loose pony, twist-outs, braid-outs, pigtails (around the house) etc. I just make sure my hair is in some kind of stretched style.
  • I straighten when I feel like it and I never wear it straight for more than 1 week without shampooing
  • Eat right for the most part and try to remember to drink water 
  • Supplements: Currently GNC's Multi Oil & Liquid B-complex, MSM (usually also take a daily multi and protein shakes but haven't for a while now)
  • I would say exercise but that's usually in the cooler months when for some reason I go on these crazy "health- nut kicks"
And that's basically what I do. But I will break it down some more for those that like to be very specific...

I try not to go more than 3 days between washes/ co-washes because by that time my hair and scalp starts to feel dirty. I usually do a conditioner wash 2x a week and shampoo my scalp with diluted shampoo once a week to get rid of build-up as I tend to leave conditioners in as well has use styling gels. I do not apply shampoo to the length of  my hair, whatever runs off my scalp to my hair I gently squeeze it through the length and that's enough to get it clean without stripping and drying my hair out. For weekly shampoo washes I really don't have a specific brand. One rule I follow when buying shampoos is to either look for moisturizing poos or poos for color-treated hair has they are  less harsh on my strands. Currently I have Silk Elements Moisturizing shampoo and Suave Color Care in rotation. For Clarifying follow up shampooing with a baking soda rinse.

I use the Denman D3 and comb from ends- roots working in 3-4 sections. I also use the force of the water from my shower-head and my fingers to make the job easier and cover each section with a handful of conditioner. This only takes me about 3-5 mins since I now de-tangle every wash. When I was going a whole week or 2 between combing it use to be a half and hour or more task with a lot of ripping due to frustration from knots.

Deep Conditioning treatments:
For weekly DC treatments I currently use Silk Elements Megasilk Olive Moisturizing Treatment or Silk Elements MegaSilk Intense Conditioning Mayonnaise. I let this sit on my hair for about 7- 10 mins covered with a plastic cap. (I just bought Aussie 3 Minute Miracle and will be trying that out soon)

Egg Treatments:
I beat the egg white until its foamy then apply to my dry hair in sections. I let it sit until it's completely dry (the hair gets hard just like using "hard-core" protein treatments like Aphogee  .  After it hardens I rinse thoroughly with cool water (warm water cooks the egg and it's hard to wash out after that) then shampoo and follow up with moisturizing deep conditioner

Oiling and Moisturize:
For moisturizing I always leave some conditioner in my hair. I use  a mix of natural organic oils on my edges before I cover it at nights. My mix currently consists of: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, but usually changes bases on what oils I have available. On the days that I don't wash, I scrunch a few drops of BB Growth Oil in my hair focusing on the ends. I don't apply anything to my scalp unless I'm doing some sort of pre-shampoo treatment.

Pre-Poo Treatments:
pre-pooing I use Organic Coconut Oil. (The Natural Haven Guide To Using Coconut Oil)

 Basically what I do is: allow my hair to air-dry most of the way then use a blow-dryer on warm and cool air to finish drying  while gently stretching sections of my hair with my hand. This allows me to wear my hair lose without scarifying  length.

OLD REGIMEN: some of what I was doing before

  • Constant protective styles
  • No combing for 2 weeks straight
  • Washing in braids
  • Weekly ACV rinse
  • Weekly DC
  • Moisturize daily and seal with oil
  • Always pre-poo
  • NO-poo (baking soda washes only)
  • Avoid cones
  • Baggy
And a whole lot more! Frankly all of that became tiring and too much of a chore. Yeah, I still do most of those thing; the difference is that now I listen to my hair and do the necessary treatments it needs instead of whats on my calendar. Right now I'm more focused on wearing my hair how I want when I want but still keeping it as healthy as I possible can in the simplest way :D 

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Thanks for reading. I'd love to know what your thoughts are on this topic! :)