I have been asked by some people to do some haircare posts in the past. However, I'm rubbish at haircare and only starting to learn the ropes myself. But because I love y'all so much, I went a-seeking a hair guru, if you would like to call it that.
Our guest post today is written by the lovely Funmi who is a hair product junkie and is currently embarking on a healthy hair journey. She's joined as a permanent contributor on She Loves The Finer Things so please welcome her guys :-).
Hairology 101 by Funmi
I recently became a hair obsessed freak and would like to use this post to share some of the many things I have learnt about caring for relaxed hair. I do not claim to be a hair expert or have the most beautiful locks of hair in the world. However, I do know that reading loads of beauty magazines, online hair care forums and blogs have greatly enlightened me, and I hope this post would be a step in the right direction for those looking to commence a healthy hair journey.
I began my healthy hair journey about six months ago. Up until then, I had never been one of those girls whose hair made you green with envy. On the contrary, I always had lifeless hair that was barely there, neither long or short. The first change I made was in the way I wash my hair, which is explained in the 7 step process below. Yes I know 7 steps seem way extreme and bordering on neurotic, but trust me it’s not! J By the time you read the benefits of each step, you would agree with me that this is necessary if you want luscious silky hair that will be the perfect crowning glory to your pretty self.
Pre-poo: “Pre-poo” stands for Pre-shampoo and as the name implies, this is the step that is done before shampooing your hair. I like to do a hot-oil treatment at this stage. Some people prefer making a hair mixture with pure African shea butter, any oil or your choice and a conditioner (particularly for dry hair that requires moisture). Basically, your hair treatment should be suited to your hair type and needs at that point in time. I use different oils such as 100% pure coconut oil, African Pride’s Olive Miracle (rich in extra virgin olive oil), Organics Carrot tea-tree oil therapy by Africa’s best, 100% pure grapeseed oil, 100% pure sweet almond oil, etc. It has been said that 100% pure oils are most effective for the hair; I like to have a mix of pure and mixed oils though. These oils offer different benefits such as rejuvenating lifeless hair, stimulating hair scalp and aiding growth, stopping breakage and split ends, and moisturising dry scalps.
I usually do a mix of 3 to 4 oils, alternating between the oils to ensure I reap the collective benefits of my oil collection. I warm the mixture of oils in the microwave for just a minute, and apply the oils first to my hair scalp and then the hair ends. I cover my hair with a conditioning cap and leave the oils in my hair overnight. You can however leave it on your hair for a few hours, depends on what is convenient for you.
Shampoo: I am sure everyone knows the basic step in shampooing your hair. The most important thing is to ensure that your hair is clean and no shampoo residue is left in your hair. I normally wash my hair in 2 or 3 cycles, depending on how dirty my hair is from product build-up. I also ensure I scrub my scalp thoroughly and not the surface of my hair. I use a moisturising/smoothing shampoo weekly, and a clarifying shampoo once every 6 weeks. A clarifying shampoo is more intense than a regular shampoo, and should be used less frequently when you want a thorough scalp cleaning.
I use shampoos that contain natural products (like shea butter, aloe vera, olive oil, yoghurt protein, etc) that are good for the hair. These products include Herbal Essences Fresh Balance Clarifying Shampoo, Organix’s Smoothing Shea Butter Shampoo and Organic Root Stimulator’s Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo.
Tea Rinse: This step was one of the best discoveries I made during my rigorous hair search. It can be done using black or green tea. After shampooing, I put 2 or 3 tea bags in a bowl of warm water and let the tea brew for a bit. Then I slowly pour the tea mixture on my hair, ensuring it gets to my scalp and my hair ends. I wait for about 3 minutes then I rinse out the tea completely. Tea Rinses are done to help reduce shedding, stop breakage and make hair thicker. Your hair literally feels very stiff after a black tea rinse, which is why I prefer doing a green tea rinse.
Since I incorporated this stage into my wash routine, I have seen a tremendous improvement in the amount of hair shedding. The best part of it is that it is an easy to find product in the kitchen. I use Tesco Green Tea with Lemon. Lemon has a high concentration of nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B, and phosphorousadded hair benefits such as strengthening the hair and preventing hair loss. It also gives your hair a fruity and lovely scent. Any other brand green tea with lemon will work great too.
Protein Treatment: I carry out this step once every 4 weeks, or when I feel my hair requires it. Any good hair stylist recommends a protein treatment as the first step in combatting hair breakage. This is because protein helps your hair grow thick and healthy, and is particularly advised for people with chemically treated/relaxed hair, or hair that is constantly exposed to heat.
I use Organics Cholesterol Tea-Tree Oil by Africa’s Best because it contains proteins as well as natural herbal and botanical extracts. I’m a strong believer of using natural products for hair and skin treatments; I actually intend on mixing this treatment with raw eggs, mayonnaise and olive oil for my next wash. I massage the treatment into my scalp and hair ends, cover my hair with my cap and leave on my hair for 30 minutes.
Deep Condition: I deep condition weekly after every wash in order to impart moisture into my hair. Lack of moisture and dryness would lead to hair breakage and hair loss. Combatting this by regular deep conditioning ensures that your hair has the adequate moisture it needs and is able to grow effectively. If you do not have the time to carry out any of the above steps, try and do this particular step weekly for just a month and see the difference in your hair. A trial will convince you!
I use Organics Olive Oil Deep Conditioner by Africa’s Best. It is formulated with extra virgin olive oil and promises a higher level of conditioning and moisturising, as well as strengthening damaged, over-processed and weak hair. I apply this on my hair and cover with a conditioning cap. I usually leave it on my hair for 2 hours. This is because I always had a dry scalp, which led to dandruff in the past. I have noticed that keeping my hair moisturised has really helped to reduce breakage, and I am able to retain my hair length in my bid to grow my hair longer.
Treatments: When I finally wash out the deep conditioner from my hair, I wrap a towel around my hair and leave it on for about 30 minutes. I do not comb through my hair or apply my leave –in treatments immediately after washing. This is because hair is at its weakest point when it is wet, and running a comb through wet hair would result in more breakage than when your hair is less wet.
After waiting 30 minutes, I apply Motions’ Nourish Leave in Conditioner. It contains a blend of vitamin E and silk proteins which strengthen and protect the hair. I also use Motions’ Critical Protection and Repair (CPR) Anti-Breakage Hair Lotion. It contains vitamin E and aloe extract, which helps prevent breakage and reduce hair dryness. Lastly, I apply Organic’s Hair Energizer Hair Growth Booster with Pro Vitamin-B5 to my hair scalp. It is an intense DHT Blocker treatment which is used to repair damaged hair, boost strong healthy hair, and prevent hair loss & thinning. DHT is an acronym for Di-Hydro-Testosterone, the hormone that inhibits blood supply to hair follicles and results in hair loss. The role of DHT blockers is to suppress the formation of DHT and make the dormant hair follicles active for healthier hair growth.
Drying: After applying my treatments, I leave my air to dry naturally and do not use a hair dryer. Heat is one of the main causes of hair loss and breakage, and I have been trying to reduce the amount of heat I expose to my hair.
Where To Buy
In Nigeria, Casabella Beauty in The Palms/Ikeja City Mall/Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall stock a wide variety of hair products. Blush Beauty Salon at 1388 Tiamiyu Savage, VI is pretty well stocked too! To buy hair oils online check out vanityoils.blogspot.com.
Well, that’s all folks! Thanks for reading and good luck as you proceed on your journey to healthy hair.
Funmi is a young lady determined to grow her hair to bra-strap length in two years. She will be documenting parts of this journey and any great products she discovers along her way on this blog. If you have any questions, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.