I have been getting a few questions on how I grew my hair from above neck length to the length I am at now and I usually share my regimen and offer some tips.
I was going through some old posts and came across this one which I think will be helpful to some.
Damaged to Healthy
Whether your hair is short, long, relaxed or natural..the main concern should be the health of your hair.
In my eyes, good hair means to have healthy hair so if your hair is damaged...you need to work on repairing the damage first and foremost.
Here are a few tips to get your hair healthy and keeping it healthy. One thing you have to remember is that it doesn't happen over night but after a few months you should see much improvement.
Cut off any dead, damaged, split ends- I prefer to cut hair when its completely straight and dry. This is where you see the true length and state of the hair
Take some time and do a search and destroy method over your whole head of hair- This is where you examine the long and short strands of your hair and cut off any split ends you see.
Wash Day(once a week or every other week)
Shampoo your Hair- by clarifying or washing your hair, you are removing any residue and products from hair. This is giving you a clean slate to start from.
Deep Condition- If you hair is extremely elastic and damaged..I suggest you start of with a protein treatment. For serious cases of Damaged hair..Aphogee has a 2 step Protein Treatment that I heard works wonders. The first step is the hard protein then the next step is the balancing moisture. Or you can whip up an egg into your favorite conditioner, apply and leave on hair for 15-20 minutes and follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner. If your hair is just really dry, then do a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment.
Always apply a Leave-in Conditioner- This is to ensure your hair dries with moisture locked in your strands and a good leave-in will help combat frizziness
Cut back from Direct Heat such as blow-dryers and flat-irons- Try drying hair with a roller set, a wet wrap if your hair is freshly relaxed and detangled properly or air-drying
Day to Day Maintenance
Moisturize your strands when you feel you need to- I do this daily...but some people do every other day or 3 times a week. Remember, dry hair will cause breakage and split ends. You need to keep your hair moisturized at all times
Seal with Oil- I always use a natural oil such as coconut, jojoba, grapeseed or castor oil(which is really thick sometimes too thick) to seal in the moisturizer I apply to my hair. Some people use a grease to seal in moisture. Because Grease does not moisturize hair it can be used as a sealant. It's your preference. As long as your hair feels moisturized through out the day and you see no damage...do what works for you
Always wrap hair at night with a Silk/Satin Scarf- Cotton can be drying to the hair and can cause unwanted breakage and split ends so by using a satin/silk scarf you will be able to retain moisture better
Take up Protective Styling- Wigs, Weave, Braids, Buns and so forth help protect the hair (especially your ends) from mechanical and environmental damage. Just make sure you still take care of your hair when your in protective styles and always remember to be gentle
Health- Healthy Hair starts from the inside
Take a Multi-Vitamin every day- We sometimes don't get the needed vitamins from the foods we eat. A multi-vitamin will keep your body in check
Drink Plenty of Water- I try to drink 2 liters a day. We all know water is good for us...try up your water intake.
Don't forget about your Yearly Physicals- Self Explanatory. A healthy body produces healthy hair. A lot of women have low iron levels for example, this is a big cause in hair breakage, your doctor will be able to detect this and provide medication/pills/vitamins(whatever) to fix it.
Exercise- Whether this is once a week or 3 times a week Like I said a healthy body produces healthy hair and can also stimulate blood to your scalp
Don't Stress!!!!- Stress is a leading cause of hair loss. Find a way to combat stress. Pick up a book and read, meditate, take walks, talk to a friend, go out dancing..just don't stress too much.
Stretch your Relaxers- If you are relaxed. The less chemical treatments the better. If you usually relax every 6 weeks, try to bump it up to 8 or 10. This will help prevent overlapping/over processing.
Research- There are many resources for black hair care now-a-days. Use your due diligence and research issues you may have and suggestions to fix it
Stick to What Works Best - Many people suffer set-backs when they try new things that they don't even need. If what your doing seems to work well for you, stick with it. Consistency is Key!