In the past couple of months, my hair has really seen some MAJOR growth! Lately, it has been taking forever to dry my hair, and I just couldn’t figure out why. My regimen hadn’t really changed much, so I knew that wasn’t the cause. It’s still hot out here in Louisiana, so it has nothing to do with the weather. Then, I finally realized that because my hair had grown so much, and become so thick, it required extra drying time (almost twice as much as it used to!). Today, my hair is a comfortable APL (arm pit length; I say comfortable because I dont have to pull it till my head hurts or the hair is completely taught to reach it. I just gently pull and it stretches there with little effort). It feels like just yesterday I was an inch or two away from reaching this goal. I took some time to reflect on the things that I was doing differently to possibly cause this and I came up with this hopefully helpful list:
1 – I combine my deep conditioning with steaming for extra moisture.
This is the most drastic change to my regimen. Before a couple of months ago, my deep conditioning routine consisted of letting the conditioner sit in my hair for about an hour. It did the right job on my hair, but I dont think the same effects were had on my scalp. I believe the steam helps to open the pores in my scalp and allow better penetration of oils and other conditioner ingredients., which definitely helps with growth.
2 – I have more PATIENCE.
Hair growth isn’t as important to me now as it was in the past, although it’s still important. I feel like I’m getting to the comfort stage in my natural hair journey. What i mean by that is I don’t necessarily feel insecure about my hair anymore. During my transitioning and newly natural stages, a bad hair day was a big deal because it took a lot of time and effort to fix, and I wasn’t used to styling natural hair, so my creative edge wasn’t sharp. Now, a bad hair day can be transformed into a magical updo-because my hair is longer, I can get more creative with styles-or covered up by intricate head wrap designs developed only with practice and inspiration. My point is that my comfort with my hair length and condition caused me to stop worrying about short term goals. Once I stopped thinking about it, all these gains just started popping out of nowhere.
3 – I shampoo AT LEAST once a week.
I have changed my regimen from alternating washing and cowashing once a week to washing once a week AND cowashing once a week (I used to cleanse my scalp once a week, now I cleanse my scalp twice a week). I thoroughly massage my scalp during wash days, which increases the blood circulation and promotes growth. I do this with both shampoo and cowash conditioner. I have not changed any of my products, though. I still stay away from sulfates and use bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar to clarify every month.
4 – I have started to eat healthier.
My fiancé and I have recently subscribed to Blue Apron, a food delivery service. They provide us with three healthy meals to cook a week. Don’t get it twisted, I cooked before Blue Apron, but the meals I would cook weren’t even as half as healthy as the Blue Apron meals. Often times, if we ran out of food to cook, we would just eat fast food. Blue Apron makes sure that we don’t run out because they ship on the same day every week. They have me eating more fruits and vegetables, which is great for my hair and the rest of my body. I generally feel a lot better, too!
5 – I massage my scalp every other day with growth-stimulating oils.
I have made a point to start massaging my scalp with oils again. I currently use a combination of JBCO, tea tree oil, rosemary oil, and vitamin E oil. I combine this with some water in a spray bottle and concentrate on my scalp. Once my scalp is semi-saturated, I massage it for a few minutes. Here is more info on the oils that I use and why.
6 – I use a comb to detangle my hair more than I detangle with my fingers.
I despise using combs because I can never find the proper products to detangle with outside the shower. They collect dust with my other unused hair tools. I always finger detangle inside the shower, but I have been doing a lot of rod sets and they require super detangled hair. I spent some time looking for leave-in conditioners to detangle with and stumbled upon Shea Moisture Extra Moisture Detangler and As I Am Leave-In Conditioner. They both helped a great deal with combing through my hair. As far as conditioners, I discovered 4Naturals Detangling Conditioner at the New Orleans Natural Hair Expo this July, and I mix it into all my detangling conditioner recipes. It works like MAGIC! But limited successful products isn’t the only reason I hate combs. The more I was using combs and brushes to detangle my hair, the thinner my hair felt. I knew that it was caused by the absence of shed hair, but I thought there could be some breakage due to it. And there was, but very little. I know this because some of the hairs on the comb were significantly shorter than others, indicating breakage. But, is this a price worth paying for? It is no doubt that finger detangling is safer for preventing breakage, but the more frequently I detangled with my comb, the less time I spend detangling my hair altogether. Because my hair was consistently tangle-free, I had less amount of tangles to remove the next time, whereas, with finger detangling, you may miss a spot or two. Also, it’s harder for me to detangle my roots with my fingers, which leads to them becoming super tangles at times.
And that about wraps up what’s new in my hair regimen! Thanks for reading! I hope I can help you find some inspiration to help you grow your luscious mane as long and thick as you want it! Let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions in the comments below!
To see my opinion on water-washing vs. cowashing vs. shampooing for hair growth, click here.
For more natural hair advice, click here.