Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Feature | From neck length, to set back to a glorious come back!

I was innocently scrolling through my Instagram feed one day when I stumbled upon an inspiring progress pic depicting an unfortunate setback on one side and a victorious comeback on the other.  Immediately, I reached out to her to share her story with us.  Candice, the writer at HealthyHairDiary graciously obliged.  So let's learn from her journey as she's made huge strides from her humble beginnings of neck length hair to the thick, gorgeous hair she enjoys today.

Tell us everything about your hair ?
I am not a big believer in hair typing but if I have to choose I would say 4C is the closest to my hair type. My hair is texlaxed, has high porosity and is of a high density with fine strands. It is now 3 years and 3 months since I’ve been on my hair journey and I’m currently grazing Bra Strap Length.

What's your relaxer regimen?
I self-relax and I’m currently trying short stretches (12 weeks). My relaxer of choice is the Affirm FiberGuard Conditioning Relaxer System in mild strength. When I first started my hair journey I used the no lye version but now I use the lye version.

We'd love to hear about your hair journey, when did you begin and what was your starting length?
I started my hair journey in April 2012 with neck length hair. 
Starting Length
In 2011 I dyed my hair at the salon I used to frequent, instead of getting the temporary hair colour I ask for they put a permanent hair color in my hair. Soon my hair started breaking like crazy and I had to constantly cut my hair for it look presentable. After months of frustration and trying everything I knew back then, 2012 met me with jacked up shoulder length hair so I decided to do some research on transitioning to natural which led me to blogs and forums with ladies both relaxed and natural with long healthy hair. After doing months of research I decided to do a big chop and give my telaxed hair journey a try for 2 years.

Despite having setbacks I decided to stick to relaxing
2 year + 2 months into her journey
What's your current routine? 
My hair is usually in a protective style on a daily basis, most times either in a bun or under a wig. I no longer need to moisturize and seal daily, I only do it 2-3 times per week now. At nights I cover my hair with a satin hair wrap followed by a satin bonnet and I also sleep on a satin pillow case. I shampoo and deep condition my hair weekly and I always incorporate protein, either in the form of my deep conditioner or my leave-in. I do a hard protein, Aphogee Two-Step, before every touch-up. 

If you had to attribute your current length to one or two factors, what would they be?
Consistency and Patience. You have to be consistent with your regimen to see results and hair only grows on average ½ inch per month, you won’t go from shoulder length to mid-back length in a few months so you also have to be patient.

Recently you shared a pic of how you overcame a setback.  Can you tell us the following:
When did the setback first begin? 
My last setback happened in November 2014, I went to the salon on my birthday to get my hair deep conditioned and roller set, I wanted my hair straightened without the use of direct heat which didn’t even happen. I still had to flat iron my hair because the roller set looked a hot mess.

What do you think was the root cause?
The root cause of my setback was the bad detangling technique used by the stylist. I constantly begged her to detangle each section from the ends up but she continually started from the middle ripping through my hair anyways.  

What did you do to address it? Did you change your regimen?
I didn’t do anything drastic; I just got stricter with my regimen e.g. I deep conditioned no matter how late it was (sometimes after midnight) just so that I don’t miss my weekly deep conditioning sessions and I also trimmed more often for the first few months, every two weeks or so to help get rid of those awful looking ends.

How long until you started seeing results?
Since I wanted to hold on to some of my length I chose to trim away the damage little by little instead of cutting it all at once so it took months before I started seeing results.
Glorious come back April 2015
I’m not where I want to be yet but I’m getting there.

What tips do you have for others experiencing a similar setback?
My tips would be to get rid of the damaged ends, they have to go whether we like it or not, little by little or all at once, there’s no right or wrong way when it comes to that since it’s your hair and your journey. Also be consistent with your regimen and protect your ends at all cost.

Do you ever deal with breakage?  What's your strategy?
Yes, I deal with breakage not matter how gentle I am with my hair. I don’t believe that anyone could be 100% breakage free, some breakage is inevitable and as long as my breakage is very little in comparison to my shedding I’m not concerned. 

How to you maintain such strong, healthy ends?
I maintain my ends by trimming with every touch-up.

Do you support hair growth with nutrition? If so how?
Despite my weakness for sweets I make healthy food choices most of the time, not just for my hair but for overall health. A healthy body is essential for healthy hair growth.

Do you have any additional strategies to promote growth?
I take a multi-vitamin and a B Complex when I remember but it’s not specifically for hair growth. 

Do you work out, if so, what do you do with your hair during workouts?
I am not very consistent in this aspect of my life, it has been a struggle for years, but I am a somewhat active person, I do fun things like hiking, biking, roller skating, etc. For the past three weeks I’ve been working out with a group four days a week. I use one of those days to deep condition while I work out, I simply apply my deep conditioner, two plastic conditioning caps, two stocking caps and a hat. The other days I work out or when I do fun activities my hair is in a bun or pinned up. 

If someone struggling with their hair journey comes to you for advice, what would you tell them?
I would tell them to take a good look at their regimen, make sure they are not skipping important steps or taking short cuts, alternatively they also need to make sure that they are not doing too much. I would also tell them to pay attention to the products that they are using, ingredients is important, expensive does not necessarily mean good and vice versa. Consistency is another thing I would look at.

Your three most important hair essentials that you'd need if you were trapped on a desert island:

What are your future hair goals? And what will you do to achieve them?
I am taking this hair journey one step at a time; my aim at this moment is to regain some thickness and make it to full bra-strap length by the end of this year. I intend to achieve this by being consistent with my regimen. 

Any final words of wisdom?
If I can do it so can you. Do lots of research if you’re new to starting your hair journey. Set realistic goals and don’t give up or get discouraged, nothing worth having comes easy and of course you are never alone so reach out to the other ladies. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s and don’t jump on every bandwagon either. Be patient, stay consistent and always remember it’s a journey not a race. 

Find Candice online and follow her hair journey: 

Instagram: @healthyhairdiary

Twitter: HealthHairDiary
  1. what a great feature, will definitely check out her blog. Her hair is beautiful, and I love the reminder to be consistent with our hair regimens.

  2. Such great advice and amazing hair! Her ends look perfect! Keep it up and thank you so much for posting.

  3. Great feature, Candice has beautiful hair.

  4. I saw her picture on Instagram and I was shocked and encouraged!! Amazing Hair Candice.

  5. Thanks ladies, and thanks again Nadege for the feature!

  6. Great feature! She was be-au-tiful hair

  7. Check out my blog venusvegan.wordpress.com. I am a new vegan with relaxed hair. I'm glad that process worked for u. Do you know of any great cruelty-free products?