Let me start off this post by saying your hair journey literally never ends. Just when you think you’ve found your holy grail products/techniques- you figure out something better. Or maybe the opposite: you struggle for years trying to master one thing and one day you figure out what you’ve been doing wrong. Everyone’s journey is not the same and everyone will learn different things at different times. It is up to you to be open to new things and techniques constantly. My ability to not be afraid to mess up trying new things is the reason I am so confident in my hair care regime today.
I wanted to write this article in correlation with my “Hair Chat” video today because as I am tracking the growth and health of my hair I must say that I am at my peak. My hair has never been as strong, defined, or long as it is at this point in my journey. Because of this I feel the need to share some things that I believe have gotten me to this point.
1. Allowing my “hair mistakes” to become my “hair lessons”
Going natural is almost like driving blind. Your whole life you have been used to straight hair that is not as nearly as hard to maintain. You have no idea what your natural hair is really like so you literally have to learn as you go. With that being said- your “set backs” (like color or heat damage) should always be seen as learning experiences. As I am slowly (but surely) approaching my 5th year natural, I realize that all the bumps in the road are the reasons I have the confidence in my hair that I do now. Don’t be afraid to dye your hair because you have no idea how it will react unless you try it. You have no idea how different you hair may or may not be with or without color. Personally, when I first went natural I refrained from dying for a while. Therefore, I was able to see how my hair was completely dye free in its natural state. When I finally decided to dye it- there was a huge difference. And if I do say so myself; I was doing everything right in terms of taking care of it while it was color treated. Despite that I noticed that my hair was still a lot less resilient to manipulation and broke very easily. Now that I am at a point where I know how different my hair is when it is dyed compared to when it is not- I appreciate the experience because I was able to learn so much about my hair.
2. Heat is Heat. No Matter How You Apply It.
One thing a lot of people don’t realize is that sitting under the dryer can cause minor heat damage just as blow drying or straightening. Think about what a hooded dryer does for a second. It literally dries the hair shaft with constant direct heat. When your hair is being dried like that it shrinks the cuticle because it pulls all the moisture (the water) straight out of the hair. That is the real reason why heat isn’t good for the hair. Air drying is a lot safer just because you are allowing the water to dry in the hair on it’s own. I used to sit under this really weird blow-up hooded dryer almost every night to dry my twist out. At the time I didn’t think it was doing any damage to my hair. When I learned more about heat and what it really does to the hair I stopped sitting under the dryer and began to ONLY air dry; and the health/strength my of hair changed drastically. The same thing goes for blow dryers and flat irons (which are obviously even worse). Heat isn’t “bad” because it damages curls. Heat is bad because it damages the cuticle. When the hair cuticle is damaged it makes the very hard for the hair to retain moisture. When the hair can’t retain moisture it can’t hold it’s shape. This is what can then cause loss in curl definition. Oh and BTW: if you have type 4 hair like myself our hair cuticle is already naturally very fine and fragile. Soooooooo if you’re apply excessive heat you’re just making a problem that we have naturally 10x worse :)
3. Wash N’ Go’s Are My Life
Would you believe me if I said I used to hate my wash n’ go? I used to think that my curls were too tight and “ugly” (ha) so I used to wear twist out’s 24/7. Because I kept running away from my wash n’ go I never really took the time to try to master it. I don’t know exactly when I started the process of trying products to get my best wash n’ go but I must say- I’m glad that I did. This is one of those “I wish I knew then what I know now” situations. Twist out's used to cause A LOT of my hair to break off on wash day. I used to think that I just naturally had excessive shedding so I didn’t think it was a problem (what a retard). When I say my hair used a break a lot…. I would detangle my hair and I would have clumps of hair falling out. However some people are the complete opposite. Some people can detangle their hair very
easily from a twist out. When I started to wear my wash n’ go more often I started to realize how less my hair would break as I was detangling on wash day. Detangling my hair was 10x easier when washing from a wash n’ go. My hair would also dry out a lot more from a twist out than it would from a wash n’ go. Needless to say I’ve started wearing my wash n’ go more often and my hair has gotten so thick! I don’t have nearly as much shedding as I used to and places in my hair that used to thin out from doing twist outs all the time are now thicker than ever. Find your go-to style and stick to it. Your hair will appreciate the consistency.
4. My Hair LOVES Red Pimento Oil & Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Jamaican black castor oil is one of those things that I used to run away from as a beginning natural because my hair was always so fine; and I thought castor oil would be way too thick. Thank god I decided to give it a try. I started applying castor oil to my hair for almost everything: for my edges, hot oil treatments, deep conditioning cocktails, and even just as a moisturizer for my twist outs. My hair thanked me in return with crazy thick new growth and 10x stronger hair. More recently I have started using the black castor oil in combination with the Red Pimento oil by Tropic Isles Living. I didn’t know what the heck red pimento oil was prior to me seeing it randomly online; but I read great reviews on it and I decided to give it a try. I didn’t want to stop using the castor oil though because I knew it was working so well for me. So I combined the two oils and used them together the same ways I originally used the castor oil alone. The result? Healthy growing hair.
*I go into detail about the red pimento oil in the hair chat video*
5. Focusing On Health > Length = Unexpected Growth
If you follow me on snapchat (if not wyd: @purelykaice) then you saw the sneak peak of my length check where I compared the length of the back of my hair now to the length it was the last time I cut my hair in October. My hair grew over 9 inches in 7 months. Trust me when I say I was just as shocked as you by how much my hair as grown. I couldn’t believe it. “Big chopping” has always been my solution when dealing with any type of damaged hair (I did it 3 times in the past 4 years lol). So with that being said, I never really cared much for length. My focus was (and always will be) maintaining healthy hair. When you allow yourself to go through those short hair stages, mess up a few times, and do it again and so on; you will begin to understand what your hair likes and it will show it. You have to give yourself time to learn your hair before you can expect it to just start flourishing. Like I mentioned earlier, going natural is like driving blind. You won’t know anything until you just start trying stuff. Force yourself to not do length checks excessively. I recommend tracking your progress every 2-3 months. Focus on figuring out what your hair likes and what it doesn’t like and I promise you will be blown away by your growth eventually as well!
HAIR CHAT: Hairfinity & Hair Growth Oil Update + Length Check #4