Hair

Week 3: My Old Hair Care Routine vs My New Hair Care Routine (Part 2)

Okay, so I won’t be needing the wide tooth comb, or any comb, anytime soon but I’m looking forward to when I do! Week three and counting…So I previously was talking about my routine, my old bad habits, the things I want to do going forward, the so-called rules of good hair and also the new techniques and terms that I have learnt. To that end, I will pick up where I left off.

PRE-POOING

Pre-pooing is that weird thing that seems pointless but it really does have a point. When you wash your hair, no matter what you use, shampoo, conditioner, moisturising shampoo etc. you will strip away some, if not all the moisture in your hair. As I understand pre-pooing, the step before washing (pre-shampoo), you are creating a barrier so not all of the moisture is lost. So how do you do it? Basically you slather oil on your hair like it’s going out of fashion, leave it on for a while and then wash as normal.

What was I doing before?

I did not do anything before washing.Why would I? I’d just be washing whatever I put on off!

What I do now?

I definitely pre-poo now. It does still seem like an unnatural step to me but so many people preach about how good it is, how it’s helped them in their hair growth journey that I’d be silly to not do it. My oil of choice for pre-pooing is coconut oil. I have been slathering it on in very large amounts, wearing a plastic cap, wrapping a scarf around that and then leaving it in overnight, washing out the next day. This week, I will start warming the oil first because I think warm oil will penetrate the hair shaft better. Beware of the dripping oil though. This is definitely an issue I have found with pre-pooing and deep conditioning, oil dripping down my face and neck while it is processing. To combat this, I usually put a towel on my pillow and try my best to use a moderate amount of oil, rather than using a whole pot everytime I do it. Moderation.

NO HEAT

Using heat is damaging to hair, we all know this. Luckily, I am not one to use heat very often, at least not anymore. There are ways to get your hair straighter without those potentially damaging straighteners by stretching it through various methods such as threading, banding, twists and tension blowdrying (using a hairdryer on a low heat on hair that is under tension). There are also safe ways to use heat on hair but we will cross that bridge when that bridge has enough hair to bother using heat on.

What was I doing before?

I didn’t use it often but I do love my hairdryer with its built-in afro pick attachment, it combs, dries and straightens my hair all at the same time. I do see now that this is probably not very good for my hair, especially if I am using it to detangle knots as I comb. I own some straighteners but I do not even remember the last time I used them. Maybe my technique wasn’t very good but I always felt like my roots were a little bushy due to me not wanting to get too close to my scalp and my hair was quite stiff in shape. I definitely am happier with just blowdrying. I won’t miss using heat so this is an easy step for me to achieve.

What do I do now?

I am not using heat at the moment and I don’t foresee the need to anytime soon. The only heat I will come into contact with is warm water and the heat generated from wearing a plastic cap on my head, hardly hot enough to trouble my follicles.

FINGER DETANGLE

Combs are the devil, at least I think that’s the message people are trying to send. Okay, that is possibly over exaggerating but you definitely need to consider the type of comb being used. Widetooth combs better mimic your fingers going through your hair but finger detangling is best. It is definitely time-consuming but you can tackle individual knots gently and it does help when it comes to being more thorough if you have the time and patience. It’s best to section your hair and systematically work your way through, undoing or snipping knots as you come to them.

What was I doing before?

Raking a widetooth comb through my hair and yanking at knots until they gave in and snapped out of my head. I did at least only comb my hair when it was damp, during or after a shower. Apparently, hair is stronger when damp.

What do I do now?

The only finger detangling going on at the moment is on my kids and they respond to it much better than seeing a comb or a tangle teezer. I think I may have traumatised my eldest when it comes to combs. When I first started looking after her hair I used my Mum’s technique of “It-Hurts-You-May-Cry-But-You-Will-Sit-Down-And-Suffer-Until-I-Finish.” I thought tangle teezers where the answer until my daughter’s hair texture started to change and then it was just as useless and painful as a comb. Now I finger detangle,  it does take a very long time but if their hair goes into braids straight away, it makes hair care for the week so much easier. With regards to myself, I think it will be a little while before I need to worry about it.

PROTECTIVE STYLE

So you’ve washed your hair the right way, detangled and want to style your hair. Put it in a protective style so you’re not touching your hair constantly or watching as your perfectly detangled hair knots before your eyes. A protective style can be as simple as cornrows, two strand twists or as time-consuming as microbraids or a weave.

What was I doing before?

I suppose I was protective styling by accident. I used to have my hair in extensions a lot. I love extensions because they give me that length that I’ve never had but more importantly for me, they let me experiment with colour. When I say experiment, I mean add blue or purple, pretty much my permanent go to colours. My main problem was leaving them in too long, I think this is a major contributor to ruining my edges, and not looking after my own hair properly while they were in the extensions.

What do I do now?

My choices are somewhat limited, don’t you think? I’m not sure how long it will be until I can protective style again, hopefully within the next 6 months. I was liking two strand twists before I chopped as they are pretty simple to put in and look really good. I am not sure how they will look on fairly short hair. I saw my sister doing finger coils which looked really nice but that process was long!

SLEEP ON SATIN

The cotton pillowcases we usually sleep on are a moisture stealing culprit. Sleeping on satin, whether it is a pillowcase or scarf helps retain that moisture and can help preserve your hairstyle overnight.

What was I doing before?

From a young age I have had scarves to wear at night but I don’t think a single one was silk or satin. They did help preserve my hairstyles but they were probably making my hair very dry. Although I did wear scarves at night and in recent years have worn them during the day when I couldn’t be bothered to do my hair as a fashion statement, I don’t think until recently I have properly understood the benefit of them.

What do I do now?

Well, upon learning that sleeping on satin or silk was a good thing to do, I rushed onto eBay, which is my go to for pretty much anything, and bought a load of 100% satin scarves. I waited patiently as they travelled from China. They arrived and the labels said “Polyester, Satin Feel” and similar sorts of descriptions. I panicked because I didn’t know if this was okay. What had I bought? From searches on Google, I came to the conclusion I’d be alright. Satin seems to be a catch-all term for a production method rather than an actual material and most satin products (pillowcase, sheets, scarves etc.) are polyester.

So in conclusion, I need to actually take care of my hair. That means I need to remember that it is there and that while it is there, it deserves some attention and love. I am on my way to reaching my goal, no matter how far off that actually is, and I now have some knowledge of the right things to do. At the end of this long and difficult beautiful and worthwhile journey, I will have the long, strong, natural hair that is ALL MINE growing out of the top of my head.

Let’s keep growing.

xx Lee xx

Comments welcome below (Is there anything I can do better? Tips you can share? Correct me if I’m wrong, please!

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