Here is my hair regimen. I will update it in order to keep it as simple as possible for me.
My Hair Type (according to Andre's Hair Type System) is:
4a/4b Thick, kinky, wavy Mostly 4b with some 4a on top
I use a no-lye relaxer
I still haven’t measured my hair length.My Regimen:
I’m so happy to have a regimen at all – before coming to the hair boards, I didn’t pay attention to my hair and was literally frying it away using my blow dryer, hot comb and curling iron. I got tired of seeing broken pieces of hair in the sink and on the floor after I blowdried and straightened my relaxed hair. I washed every 7 days which I thought was good enough. But my hair wasn’t getting any longer and certainly not healthier. A whole year had gone by and my hair was shorter than when the year started and a lot thinner, almost see-through. I realized I needed help and since I don’t trust salon stylists, I started searching on the Internet for good haircare boards. I fell in love with EZBOARD Relaxed Hair board and then found my home at longhaircareforum.com.
The keys I learned was the importance of moisture, especially for the ends, and for me - no heat. I threw my blowdryer and hot comb away (they were old anyway). I got on the bun challenge and wore my hair in a bun (or French Twist) from July, 2003 until January, 2004. During those months, I noticed my hair regaining its natural thickness and it was full of body and always had softness and moisture. I was always touching my hair, which I never did before. I started loving and appreciating my hair for the first time.
I also eat a vegetarian diet, lots of veggies (raw & steamed), eggs, soy products like tofu, Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP), soy & almond cheeses, tamari, lots of raw almonds, peanuts and sunflower seeds. I drink lots of water every day – about 10 eight ounce glasses. In November, 2005, I added whey protein to my regimen and I experienced some growth spurts in just a few weeks. I only used 1 scoop (18 grams) for one smoothie each day and I learned from a nutritionist that two scoops each day is okay. More than that can be too much protein, especially when eating other protein sources. I'm going to try two scoops (I prefer this in my smoothies so two smoothies daily) starting February, 2006 and see what happens.
I take a tablespoon of flaxseed oil daily, usually in my salads. My daily vitamins include: one tablespoon of brewer’s yeast, 1000 mg of vitamin C, zinc lozenges, iron, grapeseed extract, spirulina, 1000 mcg of B-12. I have MSM and biotin but I haven’t taken them in 8 months or so. When I did take them it was once in a while - I kept forgetting about them for some reason. As of March 22, 2004 I added drinking carrot juice to my regimen each day. As of February 3, 2006, I learned (from Sylver2) that drinking water with lemon juice squeezed in it increases hair growth! I know lemon water keeps the body very healthy and keeps the immune system high. She had phenomenal hair growth in 2005 so I will add this to my regimen.
My regimen is very simple, but a little time consuming in my opinion. I’m always looking for ways to cut the time down.
I've self-relaxed with a regular strength, no-lye relaxer for many years now. Since 2003, I decided to stretch out my relaxer touch-ups as far as I can without breakage. For me, this is 13 weeks. My hair loves it when I stretch relaxing out - it's much stronger and healthier looking. My hair is texturized since I relax only 10 minutes rather than the recommended 25 minutes (for my relaxer) for coarse hair.
• I wash and deep condition every 3 days. Washing more often than every 7 days has made a remarkable difference in my hair. I prefer washing my hair before going to bed so it can airdry during the night.
• After washing, I generously apply Humectress on my hair and comb through with a wide tooth comb. Then I put on a plastic cap to deep condition for 30-45 minutes .
• I rinse out my conditioner (Humectress) under the shower and detangle my hair at the same time using a wide tooth comb along with the force of the water. My detangling only takes about 3-5 minutes. I stand under the water and rinse a little longer before getting out.
• Next I apply Headress leave-in and comb through. It really detangles exceptionally well but by that time, my hair is already detangled from the Humectress.
• I apply Constant Care for Ends on my hair ends to seal in the moisture or Protective Healthy Ends.
• Then I apply some Aveda Anti-Humectant Pomade to all of my hair to seal in the moisture and keep my hair from reverting in the humidity. It also adds some shine to my hair (which Headress does not do). This Aveda product is really good at keeping moisture locked in my hair.
• I section my hair into 4 to 5 ponytails with Scunci cloth covered seamless bands (Scunci Hair Hosiery) , pre-soaked or sprayed with olive oil to prevent any breakage.
• I may use just a little more Aveda pomade on the ponytails right before rolling each ponytail up on large and extra large magnetic rollers (2 '" and 3" rollers).
• I tie up my rolled up hair in a satin scarf and put a silk oversized bonnet over it. Then I let it airdry overnight. I now have two ION hairdryers, one hard bonnet and one soft bonnet. If I'm in a hurry to dry my hair, I will use one of these with the cool setting only. It takes about 3 hours to dry this way.
• The next day my hair is a little bit damp and if I want to wear it in a bun, I’ll put it in a bun with a silk scrunchie and let it finish drying that way. Or I’ll smooth it up into a French Twist. If I want to wear it down in a braid out, I’ll braid it in 4 braids for about 1 to 1 ½ hours. By the way, as of June, 2004 I have pictures of my hair braided up which some ladies thought was a pretty style in itself. Now I wear it this way too with accessories! After braiding my hair for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, my hair is usually dry. I just unravel the braids, moisturize my ends and I’m ready to go. If I have a lot of new growth, I’ll tie my loose hair down for about 20 minutes in a silk or satin scarf. It really reduces the poufiness so my hair lies flatter against my head. Or, if the new growth is very dense, I'll just keep it braided up and add hair jewelry or flowers.
• One thing I don’t do is comb my airdried hair until my next wash. I’ve learned that’s a way to lose a lot of hair through breakage. I use my fingers to comb and my hands to smooth.
I was introduced in January, 2006 to Neutrogena Moisturizer Silk Touch by a beautiful, ultra long-haired Diva on the Internet. Just a little adds so much moisture to my hair. I then put a silk or satin scarf on immediately afterwards. I'm now using this as I box braid my hair for a braidout. It works very well!
In January, 2006 I was also introduced to an older product, Luster's Pink Hair Glosser which has many essential oils and other good hair oils in it. I use this as my finishing touch and my hair is so shiny. It's non-greasy and has no alcohol, smells good too! Thanks to another beautiful, long-haired Diva!
This regimen so far has allowed my hair to retain length as it grows and to recover my natural thickness. My hair always has lots of swing and body and shine. I have no problems with tangles or shedding at all. I love my hair!Hair Products:
Nexxus Botanoil Shampoo (it’s made especially for relaxed or color treated hair)
Nexxus Humectress Moisturizing Conditioner (this is my must-have conditioner; it works wonders on my hair)
Nexxus Keraphix (a perfect protein recontstructer for my hair)
Nexxus Headress Leave- In Conditioner (I LOVE this leave-in! It detangles, moisturizes and it smells great!)
Biolage Leave-In Conditioner (I love this one too for detangling – I sometimes will alternate this with Headress. Biolage leaves more shine.)
Aveda Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade (I’ve learned how to use this correctly to prevent my hair from reverting too much during humid days)
Luster's Pink Hair Glosser (no alcohol in this one and great shine with many natural oils!)
Suave Clarifying Shampoo (I use this only if I need remove any build-up, which is rrarely. It costs only 99 cents and works very gently and very well!).
Neutrogena T Moisturizer Silk Touch (just a little adds much moisture! I then put a silk or satin scarf on right after applying.)
Constant Care for Ends (I still have this from the Wanakee site, called HairOil now at hairoil.com. It consistently works great on moisturizing my hair ends. It lasts a long time for me when I keep it in the fridge.)
Protectiv Healthy Ends (I like this product to moisturize my ends when I run out of Constant Care for Ends. )
Jojoba, Rosemary, Lavender essential oils (I use a few drops of these together to massage my scalp an hour or so before washing. I buy mine at the health food store or online at www.iherb.com
Wide tooth seamless comb - best for detangling my hair
Good Hair Days pins – so much better than bobby pins! It has a great grip and will not pull the hair out. I love these pins!
Silk and satin scarves – I rely on these to keep my hair from rubbing on anything while asleep and for smoothing down my edges and/or puffy hair, like new growth hair.
Satin pillowcase – in case my scarves slip off
Large and extra large magnetic rollers - to rollerset my hair while airdrying
Long metal duckbill clips – for magnetic rollers
Caruso Steam Rollers (I love how it puts moisture into my hair and it's no heat! I'm still experimenting with rolling techniques. So far, I really like making waves and spirals with these rollers)
Silk flowers, hair sticks, silk ribbons, barrettes and hair jewelry – I now love wearing something pretty in my hair – more so when I’m wearing buns, a French Twist and now my new braided style. It really looks so pretty and feminine and I always get compliments.