Sunday, September 9, 2012

Feature: The regimen that created Hip Length Relaxed Hair

I heard it said many times that in order to get where we want to be, we should learn from those who have gotten there.  Well today, I'm really excited to share with you someone who has taken her hair journey beyond brastrap, mid-back and now is making her way to hip length.  Miss "HairRoots" has been so gracious in sharing her regimen, her successes and what she learned along the way with us.  Let's pay close attention so we can gather up the glimpses of wisdom that contributed to her beautiful head of hair.

Tell us a little about your hair? 
My hair tyepe is 3C (from what I'm told), I'm not really sure.  I am relaxed and I recently started stretching between my relaxers because my ends were getting very thin.  My last stretch was from March 10, 2012 to August 26, 2012 (24 weeks). I did this to regain the thickness I lost from relaxing too often (every 8 weeks). I still have a long way to go, my hair is not as thick as I want it to be, especially my ends. So I started a new stretch this time my goal is 28 weeks.  Another thing I started doing is texlaxing by adding oils.  Both of these techniques have helped improve the health of my hair.




What is your current length?  How long did it take to get there?
I am currently hip length. I can't exactly pinpoint how long it took me to get here because I have been growing it out for what seems like forever and I didn't know it was considered a journey.  Thinking back to bra strap length, I would say it was about 10 years ago and that includes a lot of trims along the way.


How often do you touch up, which relaxer do you use?
I use design essentials (time release). I have been using this relaxer for over 20 years. I love it because the time release allows me to apply the product into my hair longer without the worry of over processing. I recently started adding oil to my perm in order to texlax my hair. I'm doing this to promote length and thickness.

(26 weeks post ready for her touch-up)
Share a little of your daily and nightly regimen.
I start off my regimen at night, planning for the upcoming day.  
Night Regimen: I moisturize and seal my hair. I part my hair into 4 sections and apply my moisture cream and sealing oil.  Then I braid each section and cover with a satin scarf and bonnet.  
Morning Regimen: I take off my scarf and put a small amount of oil on my fingertips while I unbraid to prevent frizz as I finger comb my braid out.
Weekly Regimen: Deep condition/co-wash once a week with a steamer or heating cap. I use a clarifying shampoo at the beginning of each month to get rid of any build-up.  I keep it as simple as possible.

(sectioned into 4 parts similar to her nightly routine before moisturizing, sealing and braiding)

Tell us more about your weekly wash day routine?
Weekly, I wash my hair with a moisturizing conditioner. Next I use ORS replenishing, Giovanni deep moisture, or Macadamia natural oil masque as a deep conditioner and I sit under either a hooded drier or steamer for an hour.  Once a month I clarify and follow with a deep conditioning treatment.

How often do you wear your hair out versus protective styling?
I wear a braidout 100% of the time until I reach 18 weeks post and the remaining 6 weeks I wear protective styles. Mainly buns.




Do you use heat? If so, how often?
I never use heat. The only source of heat I use is a steamer or hooded drier. The last time I used heat was about 10 years ago, I have not used a blow drier or flat iron since.



What is your secret to retention, How do you maintain moisture and manage breakage?
I noticed that since I stopped using heat, there was much less breakage, it seemed [that heat usage] put an extra strain on my hair. I also keep my hairstyling to a bare minimum (low manipulation) and I only detangle my hair 1-2 times a week. As far as moisture, I moisturize, seal and wrap my hair (with scarf) every night no matter how tired I may be.

Do you do anything internally to promote healthy hair?
I take vitamins daily, these include "hair, skin and nails" vitamins and garlic supplements to reduce shedding.


Have you experienced setbacks along the way?
Before the birth of my second child I had issues with flimsy ends and constant breakage because I was relaxing and applying dyes and excess amounts of heat.  With my second pregnancy, I did a year long stretch continuously braiding my hair hair into 2 french braids. After getting a relaxer, I began monitoring my growth and doing braidouts with a leave in conditioner and olive oil, my regimen was much simpler, however I began relaxing again every 8-10 weeks.  As my hair began to grow longer, I wanted to focus on the thickness. Now I stretch no less than 24 weeks and this process has shown major improvement to my thickness.

A wealthy stranger offers you $1 million dollars to help her create healthy hair like yours, how do you do it?
Most importantly, I would need to eliminate all flat irons, curlers, and blow dryers.  Health is also very important, they would need to instill daily vitamins and water.  Protective styles would be ideal to minimize breakage, so don't try to be extra cute during the retention of length phase.  I would also need to make sure they deep condition weekly, moisturize and seal daily. Not to mention trimming dead ends after relaxing.

You're stranded on a desert island and can only have 3 hair related items with you, what do you choose and why? 
My three staples that I could not go without are clean water, argan moisturizing conditioner and Jamaican castor oil all to combine for daily/nightly moisturizing concontion. I also use these for co-washing and sealing my hair.


 Looking at your entire regimen, your products, ect, what do you think are the most powerful contributors to your results and why?
No one product has been a sole contributor to my growth because I am somewhat of a product junkie.  Plus I believe the most important factor was the reduction of heat.  However I do have to give a major props to my relaxer Design Essentials.  I must say as well that I use and do not abuse my relaxer.  I have learned how to take advantage of it's function.  I think the major issue I had was my abuse of the product. I now give my hair breaks between relaxers so it can breathe.

What advice do you have for women on their journey who what to create results like you?
Be patient, set your goals and stick to them. Don't give up.



**Nadege's notes:**

Relaxer Stretching
I'm so freaking excited to have a nearly hip length relaxed head on the blog.  I've taken some notes on her reggie that I'd like to share with you all.  First off, did you notice how long she stretches?  Right now I go about 4 months and I know that if I were able to get to six months, my thickness and length retention would be on a whole 'notha level!  I've gotta try to see if I can extend my stretch to five months at least.  Maybe one day, I can enter the big leagues and successfully stretch for six months at a time.

Low Manipulation
Do you remember my post on hair lessons we can learn from naturals?  One practice that I think is super beneficial is the daily twistout.  HairRoots' daily braidouts are very similar to the twistout.  It's very low manipulation and low maintenance.  No combs are involved when we braid(twist) out.  We pretty much leave our hair alone.  Low manipulation is a critical component of retention and HairRoots knows this.

 Nutrition
In my last post on daily habits that promote healthy hair, I mentioned taking vitamins as one of the actions.   "Why would someone with nearly hip length hair need to take a hair, skin and nails supplement?"  The better question to ask is "if a woman with hip length hair thinks it's important to supplement her diet, why don't I?"

Deep Conditioning
One thing that captured me was how long HairRoots sat under the dryer to deep condition.  I thought to myself, "I sit under the dryer for at least an hour when I rollerset, why would I invest at least the same amount of time under the dryer when I deep condition?" So I'm making the commitment to allow for more deep conditioning time whenever I use heat.





  1. Wow, her hair is breathtaking! Great feature!

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  2. Learnt a few tips I'll be practicing.

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  3. These are great tips! So excited to see relaxed hair get love, too. Can't wait to implement some of these.

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  4. So inspiring. Her haircare regimen is so simple yet it yields amazing length retention. Ten years??? Why am I rushing? I should just be patient and enjoy the journey. Her hair is full at hip length. I hope to get here one day.

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  5. What stuck out to me was that she NEVER uses direct heat!*inspired*

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  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I just washed my hair yesterday and I had a lot of shedding as a matter of fact I have been trying to decrease my shedding. This post was so appropriate for me to see and read at this time.

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  7. OMG! No heat styling tools. I definitely commend her. I don't think I can give them up. lol But who knows....maybe, one day.

    Very inspiring post!

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  8. She is so right about the heat tools. It does cause extra stress on the hair. Her hair is very inspirational.

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  9. Hello ladies, this is HairRoots, I hope i can inspire you along your relaxed hair journey. It was definitely my pleasure to be featured. I've learn to be patient and focused on my present hair needs whether it be 1 or 24 weeks post relaxer. It changes from week to week as my new growth comes in. Change doesn't happen overnight or even over months. Trial and error is a part of the journey, so enjoy the ride. I must say I turned a corner when i stopped applying direct heat. Remember your hair grows from the roots so take care of your ends.

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  10. I think its important to note what is missing from her regimen, I saw no mention of protein treatments (maybe she does use them but just did not mention it). One thing we seem to forget in our quest for length is genetics! Some people just have naturally stronger hair than others. Perhaps HairRoots doesn't use protein treatments because she doesn't need them. We all know stretching relaxers and reducing (eliminating) use of heat tools improves strength (and elasticity) in relaxed hair, but if hair is naturally (genetically) strong then implementing these steps will all but eliminate breakage, (stronger hair) less breakage--> greater length. I've also observed that less coarse textures (3a & b's) seem to have an "easier" time with length retention, my personal theory is the finer the texture the more sebum can travel down the shaft and that is the best moisture/sealant of all. Sorry to hijack the post! :)

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  11. Amazing Feature -- gorgeous hair with a simple yet effective regimen.

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  12. Hey I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award , nice blog also

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  13. Hi MsT! No need to apologize, all views are welcomed here. I understand your point about varying textures but when I look closely at Hairroots' regimen (without bringing into consideration her texture) I would say that she works diligently to achieve her results. Six month relaxer stretches, no heat AT ALL, vitamins/garlic every day, steam deep conditioning for an hour each week, low manipulation styling, no combing. This, to me, sound like someone who is intentional about their hair care not like someone who has it easy. I'm a 4C and I can't say I'm as disciplined in my regimen as she is. Plus it took her over a decade to go from brastrap to hip length. If any of us took on a regimen like hers for over 10 years, we'd probably have amazing length as well.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Completely Amazing Hair!!

    I started my hhj back in January 2011 and i'm not even APL yet. I am deligent in taking care of my hair by being faithful with doing thinks like;

    Washing and DC weekly
    moisturizing and sealing daily
    Low direct Heat, less than five times a year.
    Taking vitamins religiously.
    Eating well
    protective style everyday
    sleep with satin/silk head wraps


    Mind you I started off at neck length and have purposely been slowly cutting off my thin over processed ends, I have about an inch left before they're completely gone.

    I'm patient because I enjoy doing my hair and watching it do amazing things it has never done before. I happen to believe that my hair will grow to BSL, MBL even Hip length if I want it to. 10 years is a long time so I don't think it was easy for hairroots at all, seems to me that she faced big challenges just as many of has and will. Keep up the good work! Nadege, you too...your hair looks amazing!!

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  15. Beautiful hair! It's pretty thick considering that she didn't start texlaxing until recently.

    I have to say that her stretches are probably a major reason why she has finally escaped BSL. It puts me in mind of Robin from Grow Afro Hair Long. I think she also used to do 6 month stretches until she got to WL.

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  16. Hello Mrs T, Thank you for your comment: I just wanted to state that the products I mentioned in my regiment contain a sufficient amount of protein in the ingredients for my hair type. However other hair types may need more added protein treatment. I found that adding too much protein to my regiment caused dryness to my ends. My philosophy to retain length and thickness, is it takes motivation, trial and error, and patients. Regardless of your hair type each individual has to find what works best for them. We all have the same goal and that's for stronger, healthier hair. My journey has been a long and hard one. But very satisfying. Thanks again, Hairroots.

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  17. Hello Mrs T,
    Thank you for your comment: I just wanted to state that the products i mentioned in my regiment contain a sufficient amount of protein in the ingredients for my hair type. However other hair types may need more added protein treatment. i found that adding too much protein to my regiment caused dryness to my ends. My philosophy to retain length and thickness, is it takes motivation, trial and error, and patients. Regardless of your hair type each individual has to find what works best for them. We all have the same goal and that's for stronger, healthier hair. My journey has been a long and hard one but very satisfying. Thanks again, Hairroots.

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  18. Mrs T,
    Thank you for your comment: I just wanted to state that the products i mentioned in my regiment contain a sufficient amount of protein in the ingredients for my hair type. However other hair types may need more added protein treatment. i found that adding too much protein to my regiment caused dryness to my ends. My philosophy to retain length and thickness, is it takes motivation, trial and error, and patients. Regardless of your hair type each individual has to find what works best for them. We all have the same goal and that's for stronger, healthier hair. My journey has been a long and hard one but very satisfying. Thanks again, Hairroots.

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  19. I'm already there *mind over matter* :)

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  20. Hi! im 16 and i just started relaxing my hair after 2 years and the end result is nothing like yours. its still kinda frizzy but a lot easier to manage. your hair seems to have a lot of movement and weight to it. How do i get my hair like yours?!?

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    1. Hi Shelley, sorry it took me forever to respond. I didn't see your question the last time I was on. I would suggest that you stretch in between relaxers as long as possible and make sure to deep condition your hair at least once a week. No direct heat.

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  21. This was a great post! Thanks, Nadege. I would love to interview HairRoots for MyBlackTresses.com. I'm relaxed as well and love learning new tips from other relaxed women. I take advice from naturals who always encourage me to go natural, but I really enjoy my relaxed tresses. Thank you for keeping us informed.

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  22. Thank you fr the blog! I am a newbie to hair regimen. I spoilt my hair due to lack of knowledge:-(, but I am hopeful. I have dry ends and am 3 weeks post relaxer...a type 4c hair..the most brittle is what I have. My hair is only ear length, but for me, healthy hair is what I am persuing for now.

    I moisturise with Mizani soufflé hair dress and coconut oil as a sealant. I do this DAILY. I co-wash 2x a week and will DC every second week. As I said, I am a newbie, this is what I hv done so far for 3 weeks.

    Please advise me on a winter regimen as I plan to relax my hair in February2014. I would like to weave during winter, and need to know how to care for mu hair in a weave without damaging it again.
    If u can, plz reply on my personal email nozimeindl@gmail.com

    Thank you again for this blog, I now have hope.
    God bless!

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  23. I just read a post on the safe use of heat for 'sealing' the hair strand. Now, i'm reading here that you haven't used heat in ten years?! I'm a bit lost here. -- How does this match up?

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  24. Hi Anon- this post is a feature. I wrote the post of safely using heat. HairRoots hasn't used heat in over 10 years on her hair.

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  25. This is really great and nice sharing.So informative and fantastic post .Like : 1960 hairstyles

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  26. Hi hairoots,how do you grow your edges.my hairline seems to be running away from me.....

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  27. Hi deedee, i do a scalp massage every other night with a oil mixture of JBCO and EVOO it seems to help slowly but surely. I hope it helps you as well.

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  28. Hi HairRoots,

    Apologies if someone has already asked but how to do you carry out the hair stretch. I recently relaxed after being 3years natural, I have 4C hair and usually within about 6weeks of relaxing the regrowth is growing out and my hair starts to break. Do you have any advice?

    Thanks

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  29. Your hair style looks so pretty . I would love to try one . Thanks to share this post .
    Hair tools

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  30. I Love Long Hair and Thanks For Sharing Grate Tip's.

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  31. I transitioning, but I still find inspiration from this article: Finally a non "20-30 something" with hip length hair. I was beginning to think it was impossible for someone over 40!

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  32. What type of garlic pills do you take to help with the shedding?!!

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