Sunday, 3 April 2011
How to get long hair..
So currently I'm wearing a Brazilian 33F blonde light wave/pomegranate scented weave as a protective style. Ok, bad joke. But my hair IS in extensions, long kinky twists that strangely enough people seem to think might possibly be my real hair?? My white friends, I'm not so surprised that they can't tell the difference (Is it just me who get's slightly more hair love from my white co-d's?), but really, black folk?? You should know your Remy 1B Marley braid from the ordinary 'fro.
Anyway, this post isn't about how to detect temporary fakery. Have you ever been bored of your hair?? I've had extensions proably about 4 times in my whole life, and they usually stay in for 4 weeks maximum. I get bored. The front starts getting frizzy. I miss playing in my curls and nappy coils and whatnot. I hate the fact that I have to do the trade between clean hair or neat looking twists.
How to get long hair = Some degree of hair boredom (in my humble opinion).
Black hair is beautiful, but one of it's disadvantages which other hair types don't deal with as much, is that ii can't be worn out all the time (from what I've found) without some degree of breakage.
People usually ask me, 'how did you get your hair to grow so long?' and they're waiting for a magic product or method, but there really isn't one unfortunately.
Steps to long hair:
1) Don't be obsessed with getting long hair. Seriously. Stop. Think. Is your life really that bad with shorter hair? Healthy hair is more important than long hair.
2) Start from the inside out. I've been Vegan/ Vegetarian my whole life. I think it's great..your skin and hair will thankyou for it. Get lots of protein, (nuts, beans, good wholesome protein :-)), drink loads of water, exercise (slaps own wrist) fruit, veggies, wholegrains (brown rice, wholeweat bread etc).
3) Step away from the comb. Step away. Read my post on combing/brushing (Anti- Comb Coalition). Combing or brushing too often and too harshly damages hair, causes split ends and generally snaps off those ends you're trying so hard to hang on to.
4) Start using more natural products in your hair. They DO NOT have to be expensive, although I do have some pricey stuff in my product arsenal.. Castor Oil, Olive oil, Coconut Oil, and plain old water are your friends.if you want to go for more pricey stuff, there are loads of good natural hair companies. Some ones that I've tried and like are : Beemine, Afrocenchix, Anita Grant, Oyin handmade and Hairveda.
5) Moisture, moisture, moisture. In other words, water. Black women have been scared of water for faaaar too long. I spray my hair with water, then put on a leave in or moisturiser, then seal with castor oil.Water is your friend. If possible, try and use distilled or filtered water in your spray bottle, as hard water can be harsh on the hair.
6) Trim your ends. It might sound like an oxymoron, but split ends travel up the hair shaft leading to more breakage. Just get rid of them. It will grow back, promise :-). I trim my hair myself ( I have an abject fear of black hairdressers) and I make sure I use sharp hairdressing scissors. Blunt scissors will give you more split ends.
7) Protect your hair at night. I sleep on a silk/ satin pillowcase because I hate tying my head up, but if you don't mind doing thathen go for it. Satin scarf £1.99 from any black hair shop.
8) Wash your hair. Healthy hair= Clean hair. If you use harsh shampoos then washing your hair often isn't a good idea, but if you're using natural shampoos then washing your hair at least oce a week is cool. Or you can Co-wash in between washes, which I'll do a post on soon.
9) Protective styling.Leaving your hair out in an afro all the time will mean that although your hair grows, the ends will be more prone to damage so you won't see the growth as much as you would like.
Protective styles are: Twists, Canerows, Plaits/ braids, Buns, extensions and potentially weaves. The problem with extensions and weaves is that they can damage the edges of your hair leading to traction alopecia. I'm sure we all know someone with damaged edges, it ain't cool.
10) No heat! (or limited heat). Blowdryers, Straighteners etc are not your friend! Use at your own risk.After washing your hair, section it and braid or twist it, and allow it to airdry. If you must, must, blowdry, use a low heat, and allow your hair to air dry for some time before you actually blowdry.
11) Treat your hair gently. We have a habit of thinking our hair is really strong, but despite the fact that afro hair looks resilient, it's so, so, fragile, so handle with care.
That's all I can think of for now..if anyone has any tips of their own, questions, or ideas for future blog posts..then comment!. Peace, Love and Hair Grease folks xxx