Are you suffering from dry, damaged hair? Many people I know would love to jump on the healthy hair care bandwagon but they don't know where to start. Their life styles don't accommodate learning how to do protective styling because many are afraid of the way they may look without their weaves, wigs, pieces and so forth, or they may not have the money. I write this post to tell you that there is a place to start, and these other things will fall into place.
Aside from abolishing the tension one may place on their strands from weaves and ponytails, here are a few tips that may help you to get you started on a healthier hair life. Remember that this is not the tell-all guide but just a reference point on where and how to begin!
*Moisture is the key. Set a few minute aside to moisturize your hair. Just a few spritzes of a watery solution, like Aveeno Leave in Conditioner, will supply that punch of much needed daily moisture.
* Don't style your hair in a dry state unless it's already detangled- even then, little spritzes or a moisturizer with water as one of the main ingredients will do. Otherwise, be sure to spritz the hair to get rid of that dry brittle feeling. Let the spritz sit for at least 30 seconds before proceeding.
These next 4 treatments I mention will help tremendously, but remember that they mean nothing if you are still using constant tension, HEAT, and combing your hair while it's dry and brittle-the breakage will always exceed the growth and you will always feel like you aren't getting anywhere- if you you are alive, then your hair is growing, no mater what kind of hair you have- remember that! So let's retain length by decreasing the amount of hair we lose during daily maintenance.
Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV rinse.
I start here only because it's the most easiest to do and to remember. The lowered pH of an ACV rinse will close your cuticles and help your hair to retain moisture, since the hair likes to be on the acidic side. I usually do an acv as my very last step, no matter what I do. I take an applicator squirt bottle ( from Sally's) into the shower with me and after I do my final co wash, I squirt this rinse all over my head and let it sit for about a minute while gently massaging the scalp. It's usually cold because it is stored in the refrigerator, but I will also leave it in the shower. You must remember to use cool water ( NOT COLD) to rinse the hair. This step will continue to close the cuticle. Rinsing with hot water will open up the hair shaft again. Constant opening and closing of the hair shaft leads to damage, hygral fatigue and porous hair. ( tweak the mixture of need be- if your hair is had after, add less ACV.. Start out with the recommended amount or a bit more, before you try less).
Most Hair that is damaged is DRY. There is definitely a moisture-protein balance that needs to be maintained, but most problems stem from too little moisture. So this is where I start.
Any deep moisturizing conditioner will do. Many that are not deep will say to leave it in for 2-5 mins. These conditioners have larger molecules that only coat the hair shaft and do not penetrate it. so leaving it on for a longer time may not help curb the damage. Look for moisturizing deep conditioners that say to leave it in for a longer period of time- they contain smaller molecules. This is just a rule of thumb as there are other great deep conditioners that do not say it can be left on for an extended time. I also add honey, organic castor oil ( not the jamaican black castor oil which I am allergic to) and vegetable glycerin which helps to make it more moisturizing. Remember to wash your hair at least once a week and to ALWAYS deep condition afterwards. Hair needs a healthy, clean scalp in order to absorb the proper amount of nutrients and to thrive.
Black Tea Rinse.
A BTR will reduce shedding in it's tracks. It may not cure it right away, but it will HELP. Just boil about a cup of FILTERED water and let 8-12 tea bags steep overnight. Use the rinse to pour over the head and let sit for 20 mins or until the hair is dry. Your hair can be shampooed, rinsed, or cowashed just before doing this rinse. After the BTR has dried or sat for 20 minutes, do not rinse out. Continue with your moisturizing deep conditioner
No matter what you use, the gel or the juice, aloe will dramatically decrease shedding and improve hair health within the first use. Whether using this as a spritz mixed with oils and filtered water, or as a kimmaytube leave in, your hair will definitely thank you. You can also add a bit to whatever spritz you're currently use. I recommend using a brand like Lilly Of The Desert that needs to be refrigerated, not the drug store brands that are targeted for use after sun exposure and contain lots of other ingredients.
To sum it up:
Apple Cider Vinegar- $4
Deep Conditioner ~$8
Black Tea ~ $1 at dollar store
So under $20 you can jump start your hair growth. I will reiterate it again: This is just a guide to get you started. So the techniques mentioned above, coupled with low manipulation and low tension hair styles will allow you to shed less and retain more length. These are just my opinions, research, and what has worked for me. Please feel free to listen to your own hair and modify the treatments to suit your own hair needs!
Moisture Based Deep Conditioners:
Elasta QP DPR-11
Elucence Moisture Balance conditioner
Motions Moisture Plus Conditioner
Kenra Deep Penetrating Moisturizing Conditioner
Herbal Essences Replenishing Conditioner
Silk Elements MegaSilk Moisturizing Treatment
Silk Elements Mega Cholesterol Conditioning Treatment
AtOne Botanicals Reconstructor
Creme of Nature Nourishing Conditioner
Creme of Nature Moisture Extreme Conditioner
Joico Moisture Recovery
Pantene Relaxed & Natural Breakage Defense Mask
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Mask
Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner
Aveda Dry Remedy Conditioner
Miss Keys 10 en 1
Queen Helene Cholesterol
Redken All Soft
Paul Mitchell Super Charged Moisturizer
Deep Brilliance Moisture
Biolage Ultra Hydrating Balm
Lustrasilks Shea Butter and Aloe Vera Cholesterol's
Hydratherma Naturals Moisture Boosting, Deep Conditioning Treatment
Alter Ego Garlic Treatment
Bed Head's Moisture Maniac
Ion Color Defense Hydrating Moisture Treatment
Frederick fekkai's shea butter moisturizing conditioner
Abba Pure Moisture Conditioner
Abba Pure Color Protect Conditioner
*These are from thairlista.com
Kimmaytube Leave In
2T Aloe Vera Juice or Gel (I use Lilly of The desert
2T of a Leave in of your choice ( I use Salon Grafix conditioning clenaser)
2t of a Heavy Oil ( I use Olive Oil)
2tof a Lighter Oil ( I use almond oil or grapeseed oil)