Black Women Can Have Long Healthy Hair Too

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Hair Care Journey I posted a photo of my hair on Black Planet’s Facebook page to promote a conversation around hair. My face was not visible, just the back of my hair so I could show the state of my tresses. I was in awe (and even disappointed) by some remarks that I must not be Black (I am) or that I am biracial (I’m not) or have ‘Indian in my blood’ (I don’t) because simply put our hair can’t grow that long. It reminded me of a comment a friend of mine made many years ago when I removed my weave and shared with her my goal to finally grow my shoulder-length hair to nice, long length. To that she immediately replied, “If you’ve never had long hair, you never will.” I almost believed her because her sister is a professional, certified stylist so I assumed she was speaking factually. Thankfully, I didn’t let her statement deter me from trying.

In 2004, I pulled the glued in tracks out of my hair for the last time. After years of gluing 12 inches of Milky Way (color 2B) along my roots, my hair was limp and very unhealthy. My ends were split and uneven. Frequent overcoloring had also left my hair dry. First, I took out a camera and captured a good before picture. Secondly, I packed away my blow dryer and curling irons. If I could go just one month without heat, maybe I would see some results. Over the next few weeks, I washed my hair in the morning, sectioned my hair and carefully applied a leave-in conditioner from root to end. I pulled it into a bun and went to work. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t even attractive but I couldn’t bear the idea of applying heat to my broken hair. Each month, I would let my hair down, take a photo for my hair journal, and put it back up. After a few months, the results were visible. My hair was finally growing. I was giving it the moisture it had been craving while it was buried under tracks of hair. Neglected. Abandoned. Abused.

In the evening, I pulled a shower cap over my head to contain the moisture before tying a scarf around my hair. In the morning, it was soft and fluffy. The more I took care of my hair, the more I was rewarded with not just length, but thickness.

I continued to introduce new products to my hair regimen over the years and even tried hair growth pills (I’ll share more about that later). Now, I’ve nailed down my regimen to a simple routine to maintain my healthy hair which I’ve shared below.

1.      Rinse and lather with shampoo and protein conditioner

2.      Separate hair into 4 sections and apply a wheat germ conditioning treatment from root to tip. With a shower cap on sit under the dryer for 30 minutes.

3.      Rinse

4.      Apply leave in conditioner

5.      With a shower cap sit under a hood dryer for 15-20 minutes

6.      Let wet hair air dry until it’s soft and fluffy

7.      Section hair into small two inch pieces and flat iron or curl

8.      With finger, roll hair into finger curls and pin with a metallic hair pin to retain curl until the entire head is done.

Now that I’ve shared my hair care regimen, I’d love to read yours.

Share your Hair Photos with me in the Motions group on BlackPlanet. Join the group and submit your photos along with a brief caption of your techniques.

Is Relaxing Your Hair A Celebration Of Black History?

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