Its been a little while since my last hair update. Somehow, I’ve found myself at 6 months post relaxer again despite saying over and over that stretching this long probably isn’t the best for my hair. Unfortunately, my schedule meant I kept pushing it further and further back. However going forward, I am determined to reduce the length of my stretch to 4 months…..okay maybe 5 months
I wanted to share pictures of my hair at this stage, to show that, its not easy and its not pretty. It’s the usual things I complain about, the tangles and matting, the fact that wash day becomes a major chore, constantly fighting dryness and because I have so much volume at my roots, my ends look rather thin and damaged in comparison.
I took the pictures in this post about a week after washing. I was supposed to put it in box braids (with no extensions) day or two after washing but couldn’t because life happened. I had moisturised and detangled my hair about an hour before taking the pictures and I could already feel it beginning to clump and matt a little which you can see in one of the pictures below.
When I have a lot of new growth, my hair tends to matt quite badly if I wear it loose for a few days. And when I say loose, I mean in a bun or faux bob style, I wouldn’t dare wear it down or completely loose because I know I’d probably end up with locked hair and a trip to the barbers. I have to be very thorough and gentle when detangling, which with so much new growth, can be ridiculously time consuming, frustrating and frankly, it is not practical for my lifestyle and work load.
Hair with a lot of new growth is very fragile and must be treated with extreme care to avoid breakage. Also, day to day manipulation should be avoided when deep into a stretch. And this is WHY I need wigs to help me get through my stretches. I simply refuse to spend so much time on my hair daily. When my hair is in box braids under my wigs, I can focus on moisturising and sealing and because my hair is confined within the box braids, it no longer tangles. However, I still spend good time and care detangling when I eventually undo the box braids to wash my hair. I don’t enjoy wash days at all when I am deep into my stretch, but I suppose I only wash once in two weeks so it’s not too bad.
So yes, this post is a major rant or vent of how much I don’t like stretching excessively. Sorry 😊 How long was your longest stretch? Were you able to manage it well and avoid breakage? Share your tops for getting through your relaxer stretches.
My next post will be an educative one about drying your hair. Micro fibre versus towels versus t shirts and how to use them correctly. Its going to be a good post.
See you soon
Learn | Change | Grow
I receive a lot of emails from ladies who tell me they have been caring for their hair for months or years but they are still experiencing a lot of breakage and they have been at the same length for years.
I also notice that when on a hair journey, we often complete length checks every few months to see how long our hair has grown. We often use length alone to judge the success of our hair journey but how do we know if the health (lustre, body, strength and quality) of our hair is improving?
In both scenarios above, what we should be doing is checking how healthy our hair and scalp really is.
Why you should do it
A hair health check will show :
- The quality of your hair cuticle
- Issues with your scalp and follicles such as clogging, dryness, inflammation etc
- Evidence of heat damage
- Split ends
- Fractured hair shaft and other hair shaft disorders
These are not always visible to the human eye and seeing them with the help of a Trichoscope ( hair microscope) will help to flag up what may be lacking in your hair care regimen or adjustments you should make to your practices or product use so that you experience less damage and breakage and maximise your hair growth potential.
A hair health check will also help to identify lifestyle, medical or hereditary factors which may be affecting your hair and scalp. Identifying what issues there may be is the first step to preventing further damage, reducing and eventually reversing the hair loss where possible.
How The service Works
The service is a three-stage process which includes:
- a microscopic examination of your scalp, hair follicles and hair stands
- collection of information about the internal and external factors that may affect your scalp health and hair growth such as your medical history, hereditary factors, lifestyle and hair care practices.
- a report on the findings of the analysis and 6 annotated microscopic pictures of your hair and scalp. Hair care recommendations to improve the health of your scalp and hair Further tests with your doctor will be recommended if necessary
Location: Hairitage Salon, 2nd Floor Lennox Mall, Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1. This service is not available online.
Booking: Bookings must be made in advance. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 09082474331 for further enquiries and to make a booking
Learn | Change | Grow
Our hair is different from that of other races in so many ways. For our hair to thrive, we have to be intentional in our approach to caring of it. The fact is that the structure or shape of our hair strands makes it more susceptible or easy to damage. In other words, we can’t get away with as much of the damaging hair styling practices that ladies of other races do. Especially with heat and chemical processes like colouring and perms/relaxers.
I was going to write a detailed post about the difference between afro textured and Caucasian/Asian hair and realised that I wrote a rather good one (if I may say so myself) a few years ago. I strongly recommend that you read it, if you haven’t already. It will help you understand your hair a lot better. To read the post click here.
What I would like to add with this short update are actual images which compare the shape of our hair strands with that of other races. In my first post, I drew the images (which you can see above) to illustrate the point. Now that I have my Trichoscope, I compared a few strands of my own hair with hair from one of my wigs made with Asian hair. The key difference in shape is that Asian and Causcasian hair tends to be more circular and thicker or robust whilst afro hair tends to have a more oval flattened shape. You will notice this in the image above and the pictures below.
The impact of this difference in shape is very important and significant. Again please read the first post, there is so much to learn from it.
My next post will be a hair update, I haven’t done one in such a while. I better get on with my wash day so I have material for the post.
See you soon.
Learn | Change | Grow
I’am smiling as I type this because of all the ladies who have visited and met me at the salon who have asked, “haba, why have you stopped blogging?”
If you are reading this, you know I said I’d be back. Ladies, the reality is that I am pulled in so many directions and sometimes it becomes a lil difficult to do it all. I will always blog, it may not be as often as I’d like but this is home. So sooner or later I’ll always be back. Mushiness over ……. and on with today’s blog post which is a product review/comparison of the old and new formula of Motions Moisture Plus Conditioner.
First thing first, Aussie Moist is my current go to moisture conditioner as I discussed in this post. I often advise ladies in locations where some of their fave brands may be hard to find, to have a back up product in case they aren’t able to find/buy their staple products. I have two back up moisture conditioners I use to deep condition my hair, Herbal Essence Hello Hydration and Motions Moisture Plus.
The old version of Motions Moisture Plus seemed to work quite well for my hair but I was never happy with the ingredients and tried many alternatives with better ingredients but none kept my hair as happy ( smoother, easier to detangle, softer) as the motions. All that changed when I tried and fell in love with Aussie Moist. So why am I talking about Motions? Because the stash of Aussie Moist I brought back from the UK is finished and I haven’t had the time to go hunting for some here in Lagos. I walked into my beauty supply store and picked up a bottle of the new motions instead……… and I am very happy with it to say the least.
In this review I will discuss the ingredients, consistency and the effects the new fomula had on my hair in comparison to the old one.
The thing that irked me the most about the old formula was the high quantity of mineral oil it contained. Mineral oil isn’t a high quality ingredient. It add no real value to conditioners and does not enrichen a conditioner the way many natural botanical oils do.
The new motions Moisture plus contains no mineral oil and such a rich mix of natural ingredients which are listed very high up the list ( meaning there are high quantities of them in the conditioner). Some of the botanical oils and butters contained in the new formula includes Soybean oil, shea butter, argan oil, olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, etc. Although it is a moisture conditioner, it also contains a small amount of hydrolyzed proteins which helps hair fibres retain moisture ingredients for longer.
I am not saying this new formula has a perfect list on ingredients, but it certainly has a much better quality of ingredients that are beneficial to hair.
Consistency of the Product
The old formula was thicker and took some effort before sinking or seeping into my hair. I noticed that it usually required heat for about 10 minutes via my soft hood drier before my hair began to absorb the product.
The new formula on the other hand is much thinner but it’s not overly watery or too runny. The first time I applied it to my hair I was shocked because it disappeared, I mean I couldn’t see a thick layer of conditioner sitting on top of my hair fibres, nooooooo, it sank right into my hair fibres with zero heat. This had me thinking “okay – come through Motions…come through”
Effects on My Hair
I was pleased with how my hair felt when I rinsed it out. My hair definitely felt softer than when I used the old formula. I however still prefer how soft and perfect the Aussie Moist Makes my hair feel. So whilst the new Motions Moisture Plus is not my main or go-to conditioner, I am very happy to keep using it as a back-up and don’t have to feel bad about putting a poor quality product in my hair. And most importantly I feel happier about readers trying and using it IF it works on their hair.
My next post is a science based, very educative post about the structure of afro hair fibres in comparison to Caucasian and Asian hair types, the implications of our hair’s shape and why it is a major factor in how we treat our hair if we want it to be healthy. I am already working on it so see you soon.
This post is a short one but it is long overdue. To all my consultation clients, thank you for keeping me super busy. I will always find time (somehow) to update Hairducation even though it may not as often as I’d like. I am making efforts to improve my work-work balance (I don’t have much of a social life right now) . For now, my uploading of posts here will be sporadic. So please do keep checking in for new posts and if you are new to Hairducation, there are loads of posts you can catch -up on.
So on with todays post which is about common mistakes ladies make when protective styling with their natural (relaxed and virgin) hair. It’s great to see more and more ladies rock their real hair in either its virgin or relaxed state however I have noticed a few mistakes that can lead to thinning, damage and breakage.
The most common errors are…..
- Not hiding the ends
One of the main aims of a protective style is to hide/tuck your ends so that the moisture in your hair does not evaporate excessively. It also ensures your ends do not rub against your clothes or upholstery. Whether it is a bun or goddess braids, try to have your ends well hidden or tucked in.
- Making the style super tight
I see so many ladies with ponytails, buns, puffs, wigs and cornrows under wigs etc that are super sleek and super tight. I wont lie, it can look really cute when a protective style is hella sleek but there should be a balance between sleekness and safety.
There is a mistaken view that only braids, weaves or other extensions hair styles cause traction alopecia. Styles created with your own hair can do that too. If you can feel your temples being pulled tightly……. or you feel blood rush to your head when you undo the hair or take off the wig or hair band ………or you cant turn and bend you neck comfortably …….or have had the ponytail “facelife”….it is too tight.
- Using a lot of gel and hard brushes daily
A continuation from the hella sleek mistake in the point above is the laid for the gods mistake. Using a lot of gel and hard brushes on your delicate edges on a daily basis will result in thinning of your hairline and damage to the hair fibres. It is okay to use a natural gel or non drying gel and a soft brush from time to time.
Some ladies may have a hairline that can tolerate daily stress to their hairline. Some of us, like myself, certainly do not.
- Parting or bunning in the same spot
If you have a go-to protective style that requires a part, try to alternate the pattern of the style so that you are not always parting in the exact same spot over the years. Doing so will result in the hairs in that area being manipulated more often than other areas. This will often result in small amounts of breakage which over time will make the hairs in those areas shorter.
If you are a lady who loves buns and ponytails, move the location of your bun or ponytail to avoid causing stress on a particular spot.
- Using pins and bands that are defective or damaged and snag and tear your hair. I think this one is self-explanatory.
As promised, a short and sweet post. My next few posts will be educatative product reviews and a microcsopic comparison between afro textured hair and Caucasian and Asian hair.
As always, I’ll work hard on making the posts worthwhile so see you soon.
Learn | Change | Grow