I'm really excited about sharing this post today. From the moment LHCF member, "pre_medicalrulz," shared pics of her progress in our email communications, I just knew she had to be featured on the blog. Not too long ago, I wrote a post about caring for the hair while protective styling under weaves/wigs. That entry was inspired by several emails I'd received from readers who struggled to retain length with protective styling with extensions. I'm happy to say that miss "pre_med" was doing just fine with her length retaining strategy. Her only concern was regarding her ends which seemed to struggle more than the rest of her hair. We talked about doing a blunt cut trim before her next install as a possible solution to her concern. By the time she shared her next update with me I was elated! Then she contacted me to share her most recent update and I knew for sure that I had to share her story with the world.
1. What is your hair type? I am a 4 something, possibly a B.
4. Please share your regimen. What do you do daily, and weekly, to care for your hair?
Daily: Moisturize with Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter. Seal with any oils. I recently started using Organix Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum as a sealant. Nightly: it's under a bonnet in a loose bun or several plaits. I'm either under wigs or a lose bun throughout the day.
Weekly: I deep condition every week. Sometimes I use shampoo weekly as well but mostly wash with conditioner only. I deep condition no less than an hour and a half. My wash/conditioner/protein products are all Nexxus products. I also do weekly protein treatments. My hair can stand it.
How often do you wear your hair out vs. protective styling? I rarely, rarely wear my hair out. I will wear it out all day on the day I wash or all day on a fresh relaxer but that's about it. Even on special occasions it's in a high bun
5. You've made some huge progress with your hair journey. What do you attribute most to your success?
Protective styles has given me great length retention. If I never protective styled I believe my hair would not have shown fast progress in 4 month spans as it did. But I can only speak for myself. I also believe protein and moisture balance was 2nd in command. Without this balance, I would have had so many set backs.
I use to have set backs with the front of my hair and end up needing to take off 2 inches or so.
I stopped wearing stocking caps solely under my wigs and started using satin durags as a base. I also laid off the half wigs and started wearing full coverage wigs. That way all my hair is tucked away safely.
8. How are you able to maintain such thickness overall?
Honestly, I haven't been doing anything special on purpose for the thickness. However I have noticed if you lay off the heat (curling irons, flat irons), air dry all the time, and stretch your relaxers at LEAST longer than 12 weeks; thickness happen on its own. For some people at least.
9. Looking back at your journey so far, is there anything you would do differently? or wish you would have done sooner?
Absolutely. I started my journey a little over a year ago and I wish when I first started that I was confident enough to start off with a fresh cut. I tried to start my progress on weak ends and 8 months within my journey I showed no signs of retention until I chopped 2 inches of the weak ends off. After that, it was retention after retention after retention.
10. Someone is reading this right now who's about to start her hair journey. What advice would you give her?
You have to try things out for yourself and then stick to what works. Simply pay attention to the way your hair responds to certain products. It will tell you what works and does not work. In the beginning keep it simple and basic; daily moisturizer, moisture shampoo, moisture deep conditioner, protein conditioner/treatment and oils. And please do as much research before you start your journey. You want progress not set backs. Ask questions and reach out to people who are also on a hair journey for support and advice.
11. Do you do anything additionally to support your hair? (nutrition, vitamins, exercise)?
I do not take hair vitamins nor exercise excessively. However, I still believe for many people these things play an important part in overall hair growth and health. I recommend people use what they need. If hair vitamins give a person a boost in overall health, then I think that person should continue to consume hair vitamins.
Don't quit. In the beginning you'll expect fast results but just be patient. Just don't quit. It's so worth it.
I just love looking at pics of Pre-med's hair and, the way she's going, she'll be waist length in no time at all. Here are the takeaways I got from her sharing that I'm reminded of:
- Deep Condition, Deep Condition, Deep Condition!
- If you are serious about retention, protective styling and low manipulation is the answer.
- One of the first steps to a healthy hair journey may just be a proper trimming. Lately, I've been paying close attention to the women I see, when I'm out at about, who have thick hair. One commonality that I can tell, is that they have blunt, or will trimmed ends, 98% of the time. That is too much of a coincidence for me to ignore.
(latest update: Waist Length "Yay!")I love sharing features and I hope to share many more inspirational hair journeys with you all. If anyone would like to share their journey and progress on the blog, be sure to contact me so we can make it happen!