I’ve been so busy with work, but I’m back! I planned on writing this once summer break first came around but here I am 😊 This will be one of my longer posts, but I hope you guys enjoy it! I’ll be sharing what I used to do to my hair versus what I do now, the protective styles I use while away at school, and also my plan for the summer to help with my hair’s growth! I’ll also include some tips from my natural hair frenzy friend Amber (@__ambuhh).
My hair used to be so long, yet thin before college. I used to get perms in middle school, and one day decided to transition to natural hair. Did I consider the big chop? Sometimes. I could never get myself to do it because 1) my patience is veeerrryyy low and 2) I don’t think short natural styles look right on me sadly. Around my freshman year of college, I would wear sew-ins with minimal leave out. Although these are very common and considered a protective style to some, my hair tended to break off because of its constant usage. I always wanted to try something different, but I couldn’t see myself looking right with any other protective styling. Being three hours away from home didn’t help either. I didn’t really trust any of the women on campus with my hair so I would go home when I needed to get my hair done, which I wasn’t that consistent with because distance became a problem and school sometimes got in the way of me going home.
Sometime in November 2015, I got my natural hair cut and styled. Here’s a pic of what that looked like. I was going for a slanted bob or whatever you’d like to call it! I really loved this hairstyle. I kept it for about a month or two, then suddenly my hair all seemed to look the same length. During 2015-2016 I had so many different styles. I wore my natural hair for about 4 months but of course I got tired of it. Then, I went straight back to weave! For the guys reading, women love weave because:
- you can put heat on weave all you want and not your natural hair, which if you do can cause heat damage
- its more versatile if you don’t have long hair
- its a protective style
The list goes on. Weave, if you maintain it and can be consistent, CAN help your hair grow. I tried braids, crochet braid protective styling, and then for the first time, tried wigs (June 2016)… which I fell in love with! It was hard finding a good wig even though I wasn’t so educated on them. My first stop was the hair store by my house. I got a brown bob wig that had blonde highlights all through it. This was my very first wig and I loved it. The only downfall about this wig was that it wasn’t a full lace wig where it would give me more room to part, and the insufficient parting space made it look less natural. It lasted for about 2 months and then started to get old and I started to hate the way it looked. Throughout the summer, I more interested in wigs and decided to educate myself more with Youtube videos (Youtube will become your best friend when you want to learn something on your own). Along my Youtube binge watch, I stumbled on videos that explained how to make your own wigs and tried to do that. Once I got the hang of wigs and became more educated, it became my protective hairstyle throughout college.
PROTECTIVE STYLING THROUGH COLLEGE
Once my sophomore year hit, I wore a curly wig I made(August 2016). Which was also the first wig I made and I have to say, I was proud with how it turned out. I did a lot of research on what weave to use and considering I don’t wear my weaves longer than 2 months, I didn’t want to buy super expensive hair. I also didn’t want to use expensive weave considering it was my first hand-made wig. So I went with an Aliexpress brand. Aliexpress does sell some nice quality weaves but I do say, DO YOUR RESEARCH. You can also search Youtube for Aliexpress hair reviews. I’ve heard some terrible horror stories with buying weaves/extensions from Aliexpress. On a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being top quality, I’d give this brand a 7. Reasons being the curls came out amazing but the shedding got crazy after 2 months. These aren’t the best examples, but here’s some pics. (If you need more info on this hair, comment below!)
After a few months, I did another wig with straight hair from Aliexpress. On a scale from 1 to 10, this hair would definitely be an 8 but the frontal was definitely a 6. The hair straightened so well, but when washed, the frontal became wavy. I wasn;t so fond of that considering I ordered straight hair. Here’s some pics.
UNDER THE WIG
Now unfortunately, I can’t braid to the scalp. I’ve tried billions of times but I just can’t get the hang of it. Braiding to the scalp is the preferred way to maintain your hair under a wig, but if you’re like me then a method I would recommend is twists.
What you need: shampoo & conditioner, leave-in conditioner, a wide tooth shower comb or hair pick, hair clips, bobby pins, and a towel 😊 I’d also like to add that during the school year (9 months), I choose not to put any type of heat to my hair.
*shampoo every 3 weeks; condition every 2 weeks
- While showering, wash your hair thoroughly with your choice of shampoo 2-3 times. I use Pantene Curl Perfection.
- Lather your hair with conditioner.
- Part your hair into four sections and secure the sections with hair clips.
- Detangle your hair with a wide tooth shower comb or hair pick.
- If you choose to deep condition, leave the conditioner in your hair for about 20 minutes while you take your shower. Next, just wash the conditioner out and towel dry.
- Once out the shower, use leave-in conditioner (I use Suave Professionals Keratin Heat Defense Leave-in Conditioner) or some type of curl enhancer to bring extra moisture to your hair.
- This part is simple. I wont tell you how to part your hair for this or how small your twists should be but I do say, the smaller the twist the better your hair will lay flat under your wig. Simply part your hair into small section and start twisting two strand twists all through your hair.
- Next, bobby pin the twists down to your head as flat as possible.
- Repeat these instructions every two weeks exempting the usage of shampoo, although on the third week use it.
In between those two weeks I used coconut oil, jojoba oil, and other oils to moisturize my hair.
RESULTS | SUMMER 2017 HAIR GROWTH REGIMEN
I wish I planned accordingly for this blog post. Maybe I’d have better pictures to feature 🤦🏾♀️ but here’s how lengthy my hair has gotten by using my protective styling through a whole year of college! This photo was taken hours after I got my first silk press for the summer. I’m so happy at how far I’ve came. Before my sophomore year I vowed to not put any heat to my hair whatsoever and I stuck to it! During the first week of summer break, I decided to come up with my own hair growth regimen. Here’s my plan:
I wear protective styling throughout the school year and focus more on my natural hair during the summer by getting silk presses every two weeks and a trim every month. Between every two weeks, I won’t put any heat onto my hair until I go to the salon and get it professionally done. This way, I can really work with my natural hair stylist to focus on the strength and growth of hair. So far I’ve gotten two silk presses and have seen significant STRENGTH in my hair. My curls are so much more bouncier than before. For the growth aspect, I’ve come up with my own growth oil concoction which you can also make on your own!
I went to my local beauty supply store and created this. You can use whatever oils you want but here’s what I bought:
- an applicator bottle
- coconut oil
- Jamaican black castor oil
- vitamin E oil
- olive oil
- argon oil
Now, all you have to do is put it all into the applicator bottle! EASY! I put a few drops onto my scalp before I wrap my hair for bed every two nights, just so that my hair doesn’t get so sticky and drenched by the oil considering my hair is straight. This works amazing, especially when you don’t want to pay money for hot oil treatments or don’t necessarily like having a thousand oils and not knowing what to do with them. You can also use this for your own hot oil treatment. To end this post, here’s some tips and tricks from my friend Amber!
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR HEALTHY HAIR BY AMBER
- Drink lots of water!!!
- Stay away from the flat iron
- Protective styles with out putting heat on your hair
- Oil you scalp at every other night before bed with preferably a natural oil (coconut oil or Jamaican black castor oil)
- Another oil is the main choice growth oil which is a bit pricey but worth it.
- Oil your ends, they are the most important part of your hair, just as important as the new growth!!!!
WRAPPING YOUR HAIR AT NIGHT
- Oil your hair and maybe out a little leave in conditioner on your hair
- Take a SATIN hair tie and wrap it around your hair once so the hair is sitting on the top of your head
- Wrap your hair with a SATIN scarf/bonnet or make sure to sleep on a satin pillowcase
Overnight Twist Out/Braid Out
- Take your favorite styling cream ( personally a little leave in conditioner or the curl enhancing smoothie works the best )
- Part your hair neatly and braid or twist in as many as you want. ( big braids can cause wavy hair while the smaller the braids and the more you concentrate as moisturize a section the more defined your curls will be in the morning
- Lastly still wrap your hair with a satin scarf or bonnet or sleep on a satin pillowcase
AMBER’S FAV PRODUCTS/TOOLS
- Organic coconut oil
- Olive oil eco styler gel
- Gorilla snot edge control
- Aussie moist conditioner (as a leave in! And it’s super cheap!)
- curl enhancing smoothie by SheaMoisture
- Jamaican black castor oil leave in conditioner by SheaMoisture
- Denman brush
- Tangle teaser
- Wide tooth combs
- Boar bristle brush
- My fingers( for finger combing 😊)
If you got to this point, thanks for reading all of the way through! I know it was a lot to read but there’s definitely some good information in here. Make sure to hit up my dear friend for more natural hair care tips and you can always contact me on any inquiries with my wigs! By the way, I heard the Eco Styler company has come out with a new gel with FLAXSEEDS! I’ll be buying this soon and doing a review on it! Thanks for tuning in! Until next time…