Today marks day 3 of my HAIR CARE CHALLENGE! I have challenged myself to give overall better treatment towards my hair. After looking at some pictures ranging from a year ago to the present, I realized that my hair has not retained almost any length in about a year, and I thought to myself WOW this has to be impossible (and disheartening). After going natural in April of 2008 and doing my BC (big chop) in August of 2008, I just knew my hair was going to sprout like crazy, and it did… at first. But, after my hair grew back to about shoulder length, I decided “well, since I’m natural now, I can do anything with my hair”. I decided to go blonde… not like honey blonde but like BLEACH BLONDE! Shame on me. I soon came to the realization that while I was re-dying my roots once a month (meaning my hair was growing plenty) the color was breaking off my hair at the ends. Little by little my hair began falling apart and breaking. The blonde had COMPLETELY stripped my hair, and not only was the color damaging it, but I wasn’t doing any type of regular deep condition to treat it. On top of everything, I was going to my Dominican hair salon almost every 2 weeks. Let’s just say: color + heat – condition = DISASTER!
On Saturday, I thought about it and said to myself, I treat my body right… I feed it right, I exercise and I use quality products on my skin… why am I not invested in my hair like I should be? So, I vowed to myself I would treat my hair just as good as I treat every other part of my body. I am doing a HAIR CHALLENGE to give better care to my tresses and see how long I can go without using heat on my hair. No matter if your hair is natural or relaxed – heat is DEF a killer regardless! Once your hair grows out of your scalp it is dead, it is up to you to treat it right and nurse it so that it can retain length and continue to be healthy and beautiful.
Recently my thing has been henna. I have literally become obsessed with it! I have been trying to get into a regimen of doing certain things to strengthen and condition my hair. Henna is a great thing that adds strength, condition and shine to natural hair. It is a plant called Lawsonia inermis that is ground up and used as a natural (chemical free) dye for hair and skin. It has been used for over 5,000 years in other countries in Africa and the Middle East. I’ve henna’d twice thus far and plan on starting out doing it twice weekly. After a month, I will move to about once a week. I’ll keep you posted on the results of that through a short documentary I’m putting together!
Last Friday, I went on a complete shopping spree of hair products that have been recommended to me via various natural hair sites. All are good for African American hair of course but these are specifically designed with the natural curl girlies in mind. Below is a list of what I have tried and my review on how they worked with my hair type (mix of 4a/4b).
- Giovanni 50/50 Shampoo – This is a clarifying shampoo that is perfect for keeping moisture in hair while still managing to get the gunk and build-up out. After I henna’d I used this to make sure all of the henna was out. It was pretty good on keeping my hair soft while still cleansing my scalp. I only shampoo bi-weekly so this will be my go-to for now. This can be purchased from Target, Whole Foods or Vitamin Shoppe.
- Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Conditioner – I decided to get this conditioner instead of the 50/50 because I’m big on tea tree products. It did feel great but the results aren’t as nice as I thought they would be, not sure if this is ideal for OUR hair. This too can be found at Target, Whole Foods or Vitamin Shoppe.
- Yes to Carrots Conditioner -- YES!!! I am in love with this. This conditioner is packed full of Beta-Carotene and tons of veggie juices that your hair will soak up. I use this as my daily conditioner as well as a deep treat conditioner and detangler and it works wonders for all 3. It made my curls bouncy and shiny and didn’t weigh them down. Highly recommend this product! I found mine at Target but it can be also purchased at Walgreens.
- Aussie Moist Conditioner – Second runner up, this also made my hair feel soft and gave it life. While in the shower I did a mix of this and the Yes to Carrots to detangle and I loved it. It smells lovely too. Find this at most drug and grocery stores.
Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose Conditioner -- I read some reviews on this prior to purchasing and I actually meant to get Aubrey Organics White Camellia. I used this as a deep treat and sat under the dryer for 45 minutes with it in my hair. The smell is STRONG as all the reviews stated and it was just “okay” for my hair. People mentioned it’s for people with finer hair, which I can see is definitely true. Will probably try to White Camellia instead. Can be found at Whole Foods or Vitamin Shoppe.
- Jane Carter Wrap and Roll – Now, I usually don’t do anything with my hair after I condition other than coconut oil but this was a pretty good product. If you are looking for something to define or hold your curls... this is for you. Find this at Target, Whole Foods or Vitamin Shoppe.
For natural oil I use Organic Coconut Oil, which can be found at Whole Foods. This has become my life line for avoiding dry winter skin as well as a great sealant which is used after you deep treat to seal moisture in your hair and keep the weather from negatively affecting it. Also try avoiding any products with parabens, petroleum, beeswax, candela wax and silicones. Everything says “organic” nowadays so try going to stores mentioned above for FDA certified organic products.
What are your favorite products? How long can you go without heat on your hair? CHALLENGE YOURSELF to treat your hair better and give it the condition and care that it needs… You will thank yourself later! :)