My Hair Growth & Retention Journey
Over the last three months, I have made a few simple changes to my hair care routine. Recently I noticed a dramatic difference in the moisture and length retention of my tresses, which I believe to be a direct result of the few changes I chose to implement. The changes and improvements have been noticeable so much so that compliments have spilled over from my husband to my mother (every time she sees me, she asks if that’s my hair) to friends at church who have begun asking me what’s my secret. Though I am currently on a mission to see how long my natural hair can grow, that was not my focus when I adapted my routine. My goal was genuinely to be gentler to my strands and scalp while seeking a safer yet budget-friendly hair regime.
Here are a few of the simple things I implemented that you can try in your hair care routine.
1. Clay Cleanses & Black Soap
One of the main things I have done within the last three months was eliminating shampoo from my regime. I am in no way denouncing the use of shampoo. However, I found it challenging to find shampoos that I was comfortable with yet affordable. Being more comfortable with shampoos that were sulfate and chemical-free somehow equated to having to spend a little more on shampoos than I would like to. After researching the best ways to cleanse my scalp and remove product build-up from my hair strands, I opted to experiment with clay masks and black soap. Clays are said to contain properties that aid in extracting toxins and removing of impurities, which are the only things you want to be removed from your hair on a wash day. The last thing you want to do is irritate your scalp with harsh chemicals and strip your hair strands of essential oils. The bonus to using clay cleansers is, most clays are safe enough to use on our face, so on my wash days, my clay mask often extends to a facial treatment, which is always a bonus!
On the days I feel to treat my hair to something different, I turn to the trusty African black soap. I usually purchase a palm-sized block of black soap, which gives me a few months (close to 10 months) of use, given that I only use this as part of my wash routine once every six weeks or so. I would advise when buying black soap that you purchase it from a reliable source such as your local herb shop. African black soap is said to have antifungal and antibacterial properties that allow you to safely clean your hair and scalp, which is the perfect environment to encourage hair growth.
Alternating these products during my wash days, every 2 – 3 weeks has worked magic for my hair.
2. No Combs: Finger Detangling
Another practice I removed from my hair care regime is the daily or frequent use of combs. I know this sounds crazy, it did to me at one time, but it appears to be working well towards my hair length retention. I keep my hair in simple protective styles and usually take it down on a wash day. After cleansing my hair, applying products, and finger detangling, I would do a thorough comb through. This would typically be the only time I comb my hair until my next wash day, in another 2 – 3 weeks. In between wash days, I would often sit, while watching a TV show or YouTube video, and patiently finger detangle my hair before returning it to a protective style. My protective style of choice has been twist-outs as they are generally quick, require low manipulation, and are quite versatile. The less harsh, pulling, and tugging our hair strands receive allows for reduced occurrences of breaking since tangles are treated more gently. Depending on the density of your hair, this may or may not be a practical option for you, but even if you are not able to reduce comb use to my frequency, test your hair to see what works for you. It’s worth a shot!
3. Products! Products! Products!
In the earlier days of my natural hair journey, I was one of those who loved experimenting with products, creams, and jellies; you name it I’ve tried it. Along the way, I had the experience of many of the high end and high priced products do absolutely nothing for my hair. Now to find what works for you requires some experimenting; however, it isn’t that difficult, and it doesn’t require you adding another room just for product storage. This is one instance when the QUALITY of the products you use way supersedes the QUANTITY of products you own. Please don’t fall into the ‘natural hair products’ hype. The main things you would need in your hair care routine are moisture retainers. This can be narrowed down to a great leave-in conditioner or hair cream and some quality sealant (oil or butter). I try to ensure that I stick to a product line that is free of chemicals, mineral oils, and too many ingredients that I cannot pronounce.
My Crown of Curls was a fantastic discovery for me, and I have been using the entire line in my hair for the past three months. I believe these products have been one of the main contributors to my hair growth. After a good wash day and detangle, I usually sit with damp hair and add the following, in this order:
These products typically make finger combing followed by one thorough comb through smooth and manageable.
All of the steps combined over the last three months have contributed to such a noticeable difference to the overall health of my hair. I hope my simple, affordable tips will help you somewhere along your natural hair journey, or maybe inspire you to explore what may work for your mane.
Feel free to share any tips or tricks you may have below, and be sure you check out the amazing product line at My Crown of Curls and share with us what you purchased.
Till next time…