Got a number of questions from a reader of this blog via email. I get quite a lot of them and I found it useful to address the issues here in case someone has the exact same question/s as the ones she asked. We are going to call her Gloria for now because I did not get permission to use her name.
So the mail starts like this:
Gloria: Hope you are keeping well, I was just watching your videos on the garlic treatment and on the TLH challenge – and I have a question for you- so right now I’m trying to keep as natural as I can because I’ve lost some hair before (around December 2013) and I just want my hair back! so my regimen looks like this. Every week (I try) to wash it Saturdays, usually if I can I use a mix of oil and water (olive oil, castor oil and coconut oil + glycerine) as a pre-poo, and wear a shower cap over and a woollen hat then I sleep and wash it out the next morning.
NSs: Your oils look fine. There is however no need for water for a pre-poo. If the hair is already saturated with water, the oils will not be able to penetrate. So try and leave the water out. I normally use one oil and essential oils. Any one of your oils will work just fine except for glycerine. It makes the hair to shrink more and you can minimise its use. Try and use one oil at a time for 3 consecutive washes and compare the results so you can find out which oil is best for your hair.
Gloria: Then I shampoo, condition (tressame) and I use another product for my ends, and sometimes use a final rinse of ACV water.
Gloria: I let it air dry and then use coconut oil before its completely dry and then I plait it – you know mabhanzi (African wool banding) just to get it a bit straight. the next morning I undo mabhanzi and seal with Shea butter. But sometimes it’s still a bit brittle.
NSs: Coconut oil as well should be used sparingly if applied on damp hair. I normally do the LOC method after washing. I first apply a leave-in conditioner then a tiny little bit of coconut oil before applying Shea butter. All this I do about 5 minutes after washing my hair so it will still be quite wet though not dripping wet. I also noticed that if I use wool to do mabhanzi on damp hair, when it dries, it is very brittle. So what I now do is do chunky twists or braids with my own hair. This has helped. Wool seems to be very drying to hair. So after doing the LOC, I do a final detangle with a wide toothed comb and then chunky twist and allow to air dry. Before it completely dries I undo the twists and re-twist or do flat twists which give me more stretch. When I undo the twists, my hair is soft and stretched maximum. Wool banding hair when it is damp for it to dry may lead to breakage as hair may stretch more when it is damp and when it dries, there is too much tension along the shaft leading to breakage. So if you need to band with wool, make sure the hair is relatively dry.
Gloria: During the week I might plait it again in the evenings and add a little more Shea butter for my ends, but that’s it really
NSs: That’s great. I do that as well. Sometimes I re-twist once or just wear it in updo styles when the twist out wears out. I also apply Shea butter when I do a mid week LOC session. You know the leave-in conditioner, oil and Shea butter as a cream thing and I am good until the next wash day.
How can I minimise manipulation? My hair is uneven in length, so I cannot even entertain having a twist out?
NSs: Do not worry about uneven length. Mine and many other people’s hair is uneven. To minimise manipulation, try updo styles that you can keep for two or more days if you cannot put your hair away in a protective style for longer. Pinned updo’s are good protective styles especially when the hair is tucked away. A tucked pony is also a good protective style as long as it is not too tight. Experiment and be creative on how to put your hair up while minimising manipulation to styling only once a day or in two days.
NSs: You can lightly spray it without getting it damp and maybe only do it when you are re-twisting or braiding. Just make sure that the spray is not too much, to make your hair damp. You can also lightly spritz it when it is in chunky twists or braids. Many people only wash their hair in chunky twists to reign in shrinkage associated with wet hair. So you could do the same. Put it in chunky twists then lightly spritz it once every two days or so. Spritzing with water without sealing the moisture will only lead to more dryness in your tresses. So every time you spritz your hair with water, try to seal the moisture with an oil or cream/butter. You can also include some oils and aloe vera juice into your spritzer if you cannot do the whole sealing thing. This will allow the water to stay on your hair for longer.
NSs: You can do a garlic treatment as a pre-poo by mixing it with your oil of choice. You can also alternate between a garlic treatment, an oil treatment and a protein treatment for maximum benefits to your hair. Combining a garlic treatment for the scalp and use another oil to pre-poo the ends of your hair is also a sure way to make sure your scalp is taken care of as well as the tips of your hair which tend to be more affected by dryness.
Wow, that was great. Being able to touch this and that on a hair regimen. Can you relate? Are you also not sure if you are doing the right thing? You can ask your question in the comments on this post and I will do my best to answer you. You can also book a private interview where I will look at your current regimen, the products you are using, coach you through best hair practices and build a regimen together with you that suits your particular needs and lifestyle. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Love your hair guys and it will be good to you. It is good hair after all.