Tell us about your hair. What is your current length and texture.My hair is texlaxed and is a little bit past waist length.
My natural texture is mixture of 4b and 4c.The longest my hair was before my hair journey was grazing armpit length.
How long have your been on your hair journey? What sparked it?
I’ve been on a hair journey for 4 years and 4 months. I started in on October 17 2009 to be exact. I went through a phase when my hair was breaking badly. What I found most frustrating was that I did not know why. I didn’t know how to care for my hair and only had various black hair myths as a guide. I visited a Trichologist who wanted me to start using some topical treatments but warned that growing facial hair was a side effect of the products. I decided not to use the products. A few months after, a friend told me about black ladies on YouTube with crazy long hair, I decided to see the videos for myself and became soooooo hooked. I was inspired to start my own hair journey and here I am today.
How do you care for your hair on a daily basis?
My daily hair regimen is very simple, I moisturize and seal once a day, finger detangle if necessary, put my hair in a bun, sleep with a satin scarf and that’s it.
|Lade's hair in box braids (would love to see it in a braidout)|
Tell us about your weekly wash day routine.
I texlax my hair every 20 weeks. For the first ten weeks after I texlax my wash day routine is as follows shampoo once a week ( I always wash my hair in box braids because my hair tangles a lot when I wash it loose). deep condition once a week ( protein and moisture conditioners mixed together), apply my leave ins, detangle and air dry, moisturize and seal, put hair in a bun or a protective up-do style. From weeks 11 to 19, I start my wig regimen Hair kept in 20 box braids under u-part wigs Clean scalp once a week with baby wipes, yes, baby wipes!!! Oil scalp lightly once a week with JBCO mixed peppermint and rosemary oils. Mist the box braids lightly every morning with braids spray or Elasta QP feels like silk. Moisturize and seal twice a week. Massage scalp 3 or so times a week. After 3 weeks I unravel the braids to remove shed hairs, then I put my hair back in 10 large box braids. I shampoo, deep condition, unravel each braid to apply leave ins, detangle and blow dry on cool air. I put hair back in 20 box braids and wear my wigs. I realise this is a long wash day but it is what works for me and its only once every 3 weeks so its not too bad.
How often do you relax? What is your touch up process? How often do you trim?
I texlax my hair twice or at most three times a year. I tend to stretch for at least 5 months, and I recently ended a 6 month stretch. I self texlax at home. I shampoo and protein condition my hair about 4 days before I texlax. On texlax day I part my hair into 5 sections, protect my scalp and previously relaxed hair with JBCO. I mix 2 spoons of olive oil in the relaxer to weaken it. Applying the relaxer and smoothing takes me 18 minutes max. I neutralize at least three times. Deep condition and blow dry.
I usually trim whenever I texlax and dust my ends as and when necessary.
You seem to do a great job at stretching your relaxer, what is your secret?
Thank you. I love stretching and believe my hair is better for it. My (not so secret)secret to successful stretching is wigs. My hair can become really difficult and time consuming when I am stretching so I use wigs to keep manipulation to a minimum and reduce the time spent on detangling and battling two different textures. I have discussed my wig regimen above. Wigs make stretching by hair a breeze.
How do you deal with the issues that come with long term stretching?
By having a game plan for my stretches. As I mentioned above I strategically use wigs to help me stretch. Because my hair is hidden deep into my stretch, I reduce manipulation, tangling and find it easier to access my roots to keep it moisturised. Please see my wig regimen above.
|Neck length to Waist Length|
Tell us your retention secret.
I believe that protective styling, protein and moisture balancing and moisturising and sealing are the keys to retention for me. Luckily for me I love buns so I am more than happy to wear them majority of the time. I also have loads of fun wearing wigs whilst protecting my hair at the same time. I see it as a win win situation.
Any setbacks in your journey?
What caused it and what did you learn? I had all the set backs a lady could have BEFORE I started my hair journey. I had experienced severe tangling, relaxers gone wrong, scissor happy stylists, self inflicted heat damage etc. By the time I started my hair journey I was so determined to get it right that I spent three months researching black hair care on blogs like Relaxed Hair Health, Hairlista, KISS and Youtube. I started my hair journey confident and clued up. I haven’t had a setback throughout my hair journey and I pray that it remains that way. Knowledge is a beautiful thing.
What do you do internally to support the health of your hair?
I try to eat right, drink water, exercise and all that good stuff. The truth is I fail majority of the time. I go through periods when I am tea total and then I fall off the wagon and find myself eating a sneaker bar at two in the morning. I am not proud of this especially because I know how great I feel when I take better care of myself. I sometimes wonder what my hair would be like if I was more consistent with a healthy lifestyle. I guess that’s a journey I need to start and stick with.
PS – I haven’t taken any hair care or multivitamin pills since starting my hair journey.
Do you work out? I so, how do your protect your hair?
I work out off and on ( yoga, pilates, body pump and legs, bum and tum). If I’m exercising at home, I simply cover my head with a scarf. If I’am at the gym I wear my hair in a bun and I try to avoid rubbing it excessively on the exercise mat.
If you could describe the top two or three things that contributed to your growth, what would they be?
I would say regular cleaning and scalp massages (a clean healthy scalp) stretching ( to prevent over processing) and texlaxing( to allow my hair to retain some of its natural elasticity)
If you could describe the top 2-3 things that contributed to your retention, what would they be?
I wish I could list two or three things but there six things that helps me with retention and I wouldn’t want to leave any of them out.
- Moisturizing and sealing regularly
- Protective styling
- Combing only on wash days
- Air drying
- Doing EVERTHING in sections
You are stranded on a desert island and can only take 3 hair related items with you, what are they and why?
Is it weird that I’ve always wanted someone to ask me that?
I would say Creame of Nature argan oil shampoo( cos its sulphate free and my hair loves it) ORS Replenishing Conditioner ( only because its moisture and protein balanced and my hair is okay with it) and Elasta QP Fells Like Silk H2 Leave in ( because it makes my hair feel perfect, like can’t stop touching it perfect) 15.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to achieve similar results as you but without the wig regimen?
Wigs are a major part of my hair regimen, however I would advise ladies who want to achieve the same retention without wigs to focus on the type of protective style they wear. I would say keep it simple. The less manipulation required to create your style, the better. Remember it's ok if your hair style isn't perfect. I love messy buns and so can create them without manipulating my hair too much. Also I would say avoid styling your hair every single day if possible. Sometimes I simply tie my scarf over an existing hair style and neaten it up the next day. Another tip I wold recommend that I know works great for me is combing only on wash days. I finger comb through the week. I must say that I don't rake my fingers through my hair when I finger comb. I simply detangle and use my fingers to pul/smooth my hair downwards very gently in sections. I hope that makes sense.
What's next for you on your hair journey?
I have reached my hair length and health goals, so going forward I am focusing on maintaining my hair at its current length. I think my ends are a bit on the thin side so I trimming them of gradually so I have thicker ends with time. I lived in England for over a decade and moved back to Nigeria about a year and half ago so I am doing my bit to promote healthy hair care in Nigeria via my blog, rehairducation.com.
Thank you so much for featuring and for inspiring me.
Actually, it is me who should thank Lade for sharing her story with us. These pics of her progress are beyond inspiring. Here are the main takeaways I got from her journey.
-Washing the hair in box braids to avoid tangles. I will definitely try this method next wash day.
-Cleaning scalp with baby wipes! This is something new that seems very promising. Especially for those who workout daily and sweat a lot but don't want to cowash every day.
-Do not neglect the hair while protective styling. Lade has a detailed regimen for her hair even while wearing wigs.
-Keep your regimen simple.
Please check out Lade's blog for more detail on her journey and to get "schooled" on healthy hair tips.