As promised here are details of what I’ve been doing with my hair this past year and my length check. I feel the need to put a disclaimer right here to say what I’m about to share is by no means spectacular, just a few simple tips that can go a long way. I can already tell this blog entry will be a tad bit lengthy so I’m planning on splitting it into three different posts; Hair Care, Wash Day Routine and Products I’ve been using to save people the monotony of reading for what would seem like forever.
My hair care routine hasn’t changed at all this past year.This was a huge concern for me when I first realised I was expecting. I always imagined I’d have to get a style with more longevity like braids to avoid having to wash my hair every 2 weeks, but I couldn’t imagine sitting down for hours on end trying to undo the braids after having them in for a while then having to wash my hair. So I stuck to doing what I knew best and kept going with my twists. Along with sticking to my protective style, here are a few other principles I stuck to that I believe helped with length retention not just in past year but throughout my natural hair journey.
- Protective style: Having my hair in a protective style (twists) helped with giving my hair a break. Every couple of weeks I would wash my hair in sections and seal my hair with some oil as I twisted it back up again while wet. It wasn’t fancy or glamorous but it worked for me. If you’re too tired to fuss with your hair daily or struggling to stay on top of hair care routines, protective styles might be the way to go.
- Low manipulation: Having my hair in a protective style meant that my hair was very rarely out. I was quite lazy even for special occasions, too tired to let my fro out. The thought of adding extra time to de-tangling or having to sort my hair out at the end of the day before bed was enough to make me weak in the knees. So that option was out, way out, sleep won that battle. However my hair did reap the rewards, I wasn’t tagging and pulling on my hair into a bun, detangling constantly or laying and slaying my hair with heating tools and hair products, which meant that my hair did what it wanted to do.
- Hydration: Being pregnant I loved drinking water, I could easily go through 4-5 pints of just water a day. This definitely helped keep me hydrated and I noticed that my hair and skin improved to. I noticed that I had less hair breakage between washes and my hair didn’t feel brittle. Along with keeping up with the internal hydration, I made sure I stayed on top of hydrating my hair to by using tones of conditioner when detanlging my hair and sealing my hair with an oil after a wash to help retain moisture in my hair. Natural hair loves water! Having a water bottle to spritz your hair during detangling or when it seems really dry can come in handy. I recycled an old product bottle to save on having to buy one.
- De-tangled Hair: This is probably the only thing that changed in my routine. I’m a believer of keeping hair de-tangled because it means less breakage, less manipulation and better length retention. This is the reason I would have my hair in twists because my hair would stay relatively tangle free until it was time to wash it again. Hair undoubtedly sheds, detangling it means you can get rid of hair that could potentially snag your ends or roots. I used to finger detangle my hair, because this was extremely gentle on my hair however it would take a good chunk out of my day. I reverted to using a big tooth comb, slowly starting at the ends and working my way to the roots on conditioned hair. I still have a disdain for combs but I’ve developed a ‘love-hate’ relationship with mine. Any tool I can use to cut my detangling time in half is okay in my books, insert wink, as long as I’m gentle, sensible and the health of my hair isn’t at cost.
- Vitamins: I’d probably say that I was both the healthiest and unhealthiest I’ve ever been while pregnant, those cravings are no joke. Eating healthy definitely played a part in the health of my hair as well as having antenatal tablets which gave me a vital boost of nutrients. My hair did have a healthy shine and felt stronger, though this did change from one trimester to the next . It did make me wonder about whether hair vitamins do play a part in having healthier stronger hair. There’s a host of articles both for and against hair vitamins, I was generally always sceptical of them. After all I’d managed to get and retain my length before taking antenatal tablets. However I noticed a lot of post-partum shedding and breakage after having my daughter; I had momentarily stopped taking my antenatal tablets, and boy was there a difference. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about cutting my hair. I was shedding so much hair I felt that cutting it would be the only option, washing it was taking way too long to manage with a baby. I made a hair appointment and ended up straightening it instead. Needless to say for now, while I’m still nursing, I’m definitely back on my antenatal vitamins.
TIP: Don’t leave your hair in a protective style for too long, as this can cause more damage than good. Make sure you have points in between where your hair gets re-moisturised.
So there you have it, I hope this helpful. I can’t wait to share more on my hair wash routine and products I’ve been using. But for now I think this post has been long enough. Here are a few pictures of my very brave hair straightening experience; the last time I had heat to my hair was exactly a year ago. I don’t tend to make a habit of blow drying and straightening it. I’m hoping having had it straightened and trimmed will make it more manageable on wash day.
With Luv xxx