I have been natural for 8 years. I kept my hair in braids for the first year while it grew out, abused it for the next 6 years and embarked on my ‘natural hair journey’ 9 months ago. The turnaround point was realising that my hair could get longer. It did not have to stop at any length. Then came the question: if new hair was growing from the roots, why was there no change in the overall length? Once I learned that I was missing the critical element of length retention, I was determined to prove to myself (and anyone else who cared to hear about it) that I could make changes to my hair routine and achieve longer length. This was my ultimate goal. Along the way, I decided to also try to achieve more thickness. There was no shortcut to the process and, trust me, I looked for one. Before my hair could start to show any improvement, it had to become healthier. This meant firstly recovering from the 6 years of dryness, excessive heat, neglect and damage.
My new regimen consisted of:
- Finger detangling and no longer using combs;
- Moisturising daily using water or water-based spray;
- Using natural products while avoiding products with sulphates and parabens; and
- Co-washing and deep conditioning weekly, making sure to avoid shampoos.
Fortunately for me, I saw changes within the first month. Doing a length check at the beginning of the new regimen and again a month later was the greatest motivator. I knew that everything I had read and seen online was true. I knew that it worked! By the second month, I could clearly see the changes in my hair. The shedding and breakage had reduced significantly, the curls were more defined and my elasticity (shrinkage) had increased. I was learning as I went and made changes to my regimen depending on my goals. I was willing to try different products (mostly DIY mixtures made in my kitchen) using pure and natural products. It’s great to see the increase in natural hair brands in pharmacies and beauty stores, but I never buy anything until I thoroughly check the ingredients.
My natural hair journey continues and I am loving the story that is still being written. See the more detailed account of my Natural Hair Story on my YouTube channel by clicking here or using the link (https://youtu.be/7ymqPyD0drU).