Below are my second-pass responses to the questions in the Longhaircareforum.com thread “Hair Plans for 2017 “What Did You Learn in 2016.”
What did you learn about your hair this year?
Too much to list, but some of the major things are that:
- MOISTURIZING: I learned that my hair can get and stay moisturized: The secret is to moisturize it when very wet and to do a little more than the LOC or LCO. It’s better for me to think “WS-L-MSjO” (explained below).
- MOISTURIZING: I learned that when my hair has a good/right amount of protein, THEN moisturizing works: Komaza Care Protein Hair Strengthener transformed my hair and is the bizness.
- PROTECTING: I learned that when my hair is medium length, the [styling x protection] interaction works out so great: A highly gelled and safely banded low-hanging ponytail hardly tangles for me. And putting a band on the end of the ponytail at night and covering the hair with silk completely preserves the style and keeps tangling at bay. Restyling/refreshing is a breeze. The style lasts for days and days and days with very minimal manipulation and with easy access to scalp and ends and edge care.
- DETANGLING/COMBING: I learned that under the right conditions, I can glide a brush and comb through my hair: With my hair saturated first with conditioner (or Soultanicals Hair Glide) then water, a Wet Brush and the Kent 16t seamless comb glide on through my hair if there are no huge knots.
- BAD: I learned that my hair cannot deal with something in the SM Superfruit Masque. That product is to be avoided at ALL costs.
What worked and what didn’t?
- Works: Preventing tangling by having the hair dry in a STRETCHED (read “elongated” and not necessarily “straightened”) state. Then when additionally small hair sections are sealed or gelled before drying, this all together makes detangling a BREEZE.
- Works: The “Funnel Method” of detangling on damp, detangler-saturated hair at the sink. Using a Wet Brush and the Kent 16t seamless, two-in one course and fine -toothed comb. (Having a flairosol bottle nearby for adding water as needed.)
- Works: For longer-lasting moisturization, instead of L-O-C or L-C-O, my naturally highly porous hair requires a little more, namely WS-L-MSjO. That’s (1) water saturation, (2) leave-in conditioner (on hair’s shaft only because NetWurks custard goes on the hair’s end), and (3) a mixture of a curl-enhancing moisturizer, styler (gel or twisting butter), and jojoba oil. This is a variant of the LCO, basically.
- Works: Working in sections! (detangling, cleansing, rinsing, applying product, etc.)
- Works: For wash-and-go’s, Onicia Muller’s tension “wash-and-go” method here is ah-mazing for my hair, as opposed to the typical “wash, rake in product, and go method.” The latter for me results in serious tangling, the frequent detangling of which results in ends damage and eventually length loss.
- Works: Customizing and personalizing the max hydration method
What was your biggest improvement with your hair?
Tie: (1) detangling and (1) moisture-protein balance. In third place, nailing down an effective regimen and styling routine.
Yes. In November, 2 inches needed to be trimmed due to split ends (got hair blow dried for the trim at a salon).
I believe the cause of damage (beyond the expected, natural amount of splitting) could be one or both of the following: (1) before deciding to learn to do my own hair this year, I frequently went to stylists, and they would rip through my hair with combs, yielding lots of hair loss/snapping/breakage; and possibly (2) too frequent and/or two thorough detangling on top of my not properly understanding the need to keep my hair stretched. I get it now, and I’ve been addressing these issues with great improvement/progress.
What products will you continue using?
A host of Jakeala’s (Etsy.com) products; trialing 22nd Century Natural Woman and The Mane Choice Ancient Egyptian line; plus . . .
- Holy grail: Shea Moisture High Porosity Moisture Seal Masque
- Staple: Komaza Care Protein Hair Strengthener
- Staple (holy grail?): Soultanicals Slip-N-Slide Hair Glide
- Staples: Jakeala’s (on Etsy.com) shampoo bars and conditioner bars
- Staple: DevaCurl Decadence One Condition
- Staples: NetWurks spray and custard
- Staple: DevaCurl Ultra Defining gel (especially for the ends when mixed with NetWurks custard)
- Staple: Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker
- Staples: castor oil, coconut oil, vegetable glycerin, jojoba oil
- Staple: clay (e.g., rhassoul, bentonite)
- Staple: Shea Moisture Clear Start Shampoo (chelates and clarifies yet not harsh-feeling for my hair; has been discontinued)
- “Emergency” moisturizer: Oyin Hair Dew
- “Emergency” products to address dryness and related breakage: Joico shampoo, conditioner, and moisture balm treatment
Which products will you dump?
Once they run out, most everything else in my stash besides select refresher sprays, select DCs, and my protective style care products.
What are your hair plans/goals for next year?
- Maintain luscious ends
- DIY textured hair clip-ins protective styling project
- To learn how to do and then master an awesome African thread-out. Note: Particularly helpful YouTube tutorials are here (SUPER clear, “explain-it-to-my-like-I’m-in-kindergarten” demo using easily seen green and black yarn as teaching tools), here (nice results!), and here (using two threads per section for easy knot-tying at the ends).
- Develop a DIY detangler to match or surpass Soultanicals Hair Glide. (Will start out with trying LavishlyNatural’s Fenugreek Smoothie, treating it as a “base,” and seeing what adding marshmallow root, maybe a little dissolved-in-water MSM, etc. does.)
- Invest in my hair’s healthy by purchasing healthy and/or organic foods and supplements and so forth instead of putting money toward trialing a lot of products and tools. The plan for limiting product purchasing is to recognize that a regimen needs to be trialed for awhile, to select a short list of products I’m excited about for good reason, and to have another use for the money 🙂 . The limit-product-purchases plan:
- January: Design, trial, and hone a Jakeala-centric max hydration method hair care regimen
- February: Design, trial, and hone a 22nd Century Natural woman -centric max hydration method hair care regimen
- March: Design, trial, and hone a The Mane Choice Ancient Egyptian line -centric max hydration method hair care regimen
- April: Participate in Use Up The Stash and use my January-March hair care notes to decide on an optimal product combination to trial and hone for April and onward.
- April/May – December: Keep the mind freed from concerns about product purchasing/trialing/assessing and stick with now tested and true product combinations. Continue to keep hair elongated, do protective styling consistently, and take consistent care of ends, scalp, and edges. Enjoy and learn from my chosen challenge threads. 🙂
Just that I’m ever so grateful for my hair, for help, for all I’ve learned, for progress, for access and means to obtain tools and products, and for my health. 🙂