If you remember this awesome post written by Funmi, our resident hair guru on She Loves The Finer Things, then you will be excited when I tell you that she's written another great post for us! :) Just so you know, I am currently 9 weeks post relaxer, I have been rocking my own hair (no weaves) and it is in the best state it has ever been since birth! Funmi has been one of the major influencers in my decision to invest time and effort in taking care of my own hair, so I would rather you hear from the master than from me the student....
|Source (Getty Images)|
Hairology 102 by Funmi
Hello Dear Readers :)
I hope the past few months since my last post have been spent taking good care our hair and giving it the attention it deserves. Since I talked about weekly hair care (pre-pooing, washing, deep conditioning, etc) in the last write-up, I am going to delve further by outlining daily hair care routines that should be carried out if you are serious about healthy and beautiful hair. These are explained in six easy steps below:
1. Moisturise: This is definitely one of the most beneficial ways to care for your hair. As the name implies, it involves putting back moisture lost from your hair strands either through dust or wind in the environment, wearing head gear, and so on. Moisture is good for your hair because it makes it softer (especially your new growth), and it reduces tangling and knots in your hair which could lead to breakage and hair loss.
Some people choose to moisturize daily, while some are okay with moisturizing 2 or 3 times in a week. It is always good to know what exactly works for your hair and stick to that. For example -
When my hair is newly relaxed, I notice that I can moisturize every other day and my hair is still always smooth and easy to comb through. When it gets to about 3 to 4 weeks and the new growth starts showing, then I have to moisturise daily for my hair to continue being manageable.
When moisturising, I apply it in either vertical or horizontal lines across my whole hair. This way I ensure that practically every strand of hair is included in the pampering process. I apply directly to my new growth (which needs the most moisture because it is still in a curly and natural state), and to the ends of my hair as well. Some of the moisturisers which I have used and work well with my hair are Luster’s S Curl “No Drip” Activator Moisturiser, Darcy’s Botanicals’ Coconut Lemongrass Transitioning Creme, and Organics by Africa’s Best Shea Butter & Tea – Tree Oil Moisturiser.
|Darcy’s Botanicals’ Coconut Lemongrass Transitioning Creme|
I personally preferred moisturisers that come in a spray bottle because it makes application easy for me; I hold and spray directly to my hair and massage it in with my other hand. I also look out for ingredients such as Aqua and/or Glycerin (these ingredients are best known for providing a great deal of moisture), and also vitamins, herbal or natural ingredients like vitamin e, coconut oil, shea butter, tea-tree oil, etc. If you however happen to find a moisturiser you absolutely love and isn’t in a spray bottle, you can mix your moisturiser with water into any empty spray bottle, shake the mixture well and voila, you’re good to go!
2. Seal: After moisturising your hair, leaving it just like that would leave with dry hair in less than no time. To counter the loss of moisture, oils are used to seal in moisture into the hair shaft. This way, your hair remains adequately moisturised, with the added benefit of shiny hair due to the oil. I use 100% natural oils like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, argan/moroccan oil, sweet almond oil, etc. These oils are light enough to be used for everyday use without causing hair to be lumped together or feel weighed down. I also like to use pre-packaged oil mixes occasionally such as Organics by Africa’s Best Growth & Strengthening Oil Therapy and African Pride’s Olive Miracle Olive Miracle Anti-Breakage Formula. When using thicker oils like castor oil and Jamaican black castor oil, I normally mix them with one of the lighter oils before applying it to my hair. To seal your hair, apply little oil and rub palms together. Then apply it over the surface of your hair and the ends of your hair.
|Jamaican Black Castor Oil|
3. Hair growth treatments: This step is optional, depending on what exactly your hair needs are or what goals you are trying to achieve. It is however advised if you suffer from severe hair loss or are actively trying to grow your hair. I have always had problem with my hair edges as they have gradually thinned out over the years. This was due to constant pulling of the hair in the form of tight braids, Ghana weaving and also relaxing only the front of my hair so it would look sleek. Little did I know I was killing my hair softly. Knowledge, as they say is power. Now I have seen the light and I know better! Please don’t get me wrong; braids and Ghana weaving are not bad in themselves as they work for certain people. But like I said earlier, it is good to know your hair and what works for you. My hair is the exact opposite of thick and is as light as feather, so I have learnt to adjust my hair styles accordingly.
Anyways, I digress. Prior to my healthy hair journey, I had used numerous “miracle” creams and pomades promising growth of temple and nape areas. Needless to say I didn’t see any improvements. However after carrying out my research and reading what hair bloggers and hair information websites were saying about Jamaican black castor oil, I knew I just had to try it. I did try it and I haven’t looked back ever since. I apply it to my hair edges every night before I go to bed and I also include it as part of my pre-poo treatment.
Other hair growth treatments that I use are Hair Trigger Explosive Growth Elixir with Cayenne Pepper and Organic’s Hair Energizer Hair Growth Booster with Pro Vitamin-B5. I apply them not only to my edges but also to my hair scalp across the whole of my hair. The online hair world has been raving about Hair Trigger and its unique blend of ingredients (Avocado, Castor & Jojoba Oils, Cayenne Pepper, Garlic, Onion, Biotin, Black tea, and so on). It is a 100% natural and contains no alcohols or chemicals. Each of the ingredients included have also been directly linked to increasing hair growth and reducing hair shedding. Now imagine bringing all these ingredients together in one bottle and adorning your hair with it…you cannot go wrong. I use my hair trigger every other day and my hair is reaping the benefits (watch out for before and after hair pictures in my next post).
|Hair Trigger Explosive Growth Elixir (Source: www.hairtriggergrowthelixir.|
4. Vitamins: In my opinion, taking vitamins is only required if you suffer from severe hair loss or are actively trying to grow your hair. Also, you would not also need vitamins if you are able to sustain a healthy diet which covers the major food groups and a sufficient about of nutrients and vitamins. However, for those who do not fall within any of these categories, taking vitamins specifically targeted to growing and maintaining healthy hair is a good option. Biotin, a vitamin B complex, has been shown to be an active ingredient in supporting hair growth. Some brands of Biotin which I have tried are NOW Foods and Natrol. Some cases of side effects associated with taking biotins including skin rash, acne breakouts, nausea etc. It is therefore advised to start off with a small dosage and gradually increase to a higher dosage if no adverse side effects are reported. All in one vitamins such as Vitamin B complex and Multivitamins (for healthy hair, skin & nails) can also be taken. Popular brands of multivitamins include Perfectil for hair, skin & nails and GNC Ultra Nourish hair. The advantage of taking multivitamins is that in addition to containing biotin, other vitamins beneficial to hair growth are also included (vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B-6, C, E, MSM, Folic Acid, and so on).
|GNC Ultra Nourish Hair Dietary Supplement|
5. Protective styles: As the name implies, this refers to any and every style that allows you protect your hair and prevent breakage. Protective styles are not limited to wigs and weave-ons. Packing your hair up in a bun, doing a high updo, chignons, french braids, french twists and twistbacks are also forms of protective styling. The idea behind protective styling is to ensure your hair ends are fully tucked away and not rubbing against your clothes. Also, it involves doing a hair style that would not require constant combing and/or brushing. Below are pictures of some protective styles that are mentioned in this post. If you are interested in experimenting with any of these styles, there are loads of you tube videos by hair bloggers which show step by step breakdowns of how to achieve these looks.
|Kerry Washington in a high up-do <3|
6. Wrapping: This is usually the final step in a daily hair care routine. It pays to ensure that your hair is fully tucked and packed away for the night. You could choose to pack your hair in a loose ponytail, or wrap your hair around your head and secure with hair pins. Irrespective of how you pack your hair, the important point to note is to cover your hair with a silk/satin scarf, a satin bonnet or sleep with a satin pillowcase. Satin is more advisable as against cotton, due to the fact that it helps your hair retain moisture and does not dry out your hair as cotton material tends to, thereby leading to less breakage and better length retention.
Where to buy
A lot of hair products listed above (moisturisers, hair oils, satin bonnets, multivitamins, and so on) are available in Hair stores, Pharmacies and Supermarkets such as Shoprite, Casabella, Medplus, Health Plus and Park n Shop. If you are looking to buy these products online, the Sizzelle E-store (www.sizzelle.com)has loads of these from different brands. Delivery is also superfast and cash on delivery option is available. This store has been a god-send as they stock international products that were not previously sold in Nigeria.
If you are in the US or UK, you would find them on Amazon (www.amazon.com or www.amazon.co.uk), Pak Cosmetics (www.pakcosmetics.com), the Coconut Lemongrass Transitioning Creme on www.darcysbotanicals.com and Hair Trigger on www.hairtriggergrowthelixir.
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 email@example.com.