Understanding Your Hair

No matter what stage of the curly hair transition you are in, it is always hard to understand your hair. It changes in accordance to the products we use, the weather conditions, our diet and who our stylist is.

Styling your hair

Yes, the YouTube community has grown tremendously with the amount of people sharing their personal hair care tips on how to grow, repair and maintain your hair. But not everything that is shared by these people applies to YOUR hair. A good example is the first time I tried to do a Bantu Knot out; it was a disaster. I have 3B/3C hair and although the person in the tutorial had similar texture to mine, the style still didn’t turn out the same. It doesn’t mean that I can’t do Bantu Knots on my hair, it probably means I need to find a different method than hers.

Finding the problems

The easiest way to identify the problems your hair has (that you may or may not like) is to give it a wash and let it dry without putting any products in it. I haven’t done this in a while, but the first time I decided to do it I realized my hair was extremely dry, which is because I have low porosity. If you’re not familiar with this term, it simply means my hair has difficulty holding moisture. I think this is very common for people who have 3b/3c hair but just be aware that not all products will solve this problem and sometimes, the shampoo you’re using can be the root of the problem.

Once your hair is fully dry, you can see the sections that are extremely dry and the ones that need a bit less moisture. You can also identify the parts of your hair that curl less or more than others. In my case, I’ve always thought that the left side of my hair grew shorter than my right. When I let my hair dry naturally without any products I realized it was because the left side of my hair curls more than the right. This is why dry cutting is important. Unlike straight hair, curly hair has different curl patterns and the tightness and lenght of each individual curl can change based on what you do to your hair. Since for many years I cut my hair while it was straight, there is a possibility that humidity always caused it to look uneven. Also, if you cut your hair while it’s in its naturally curly state, you can avoid having your hair look like a Christmas tree.

Once you have an understanding of the problems, you can begin to shop around for products. This is a trial and error process, it always helps to buy sample sizes or the smallest size that way you wont leave a product in the cabinet that you will never use again.

*Note: Keep in mind that all products have an expiration date (usually 12 months) and it’s usually listed in the back of the bottle by the barcode. It is a good idea to label the products with the month and year you purchased them on to dispose of them properly.

Effects of hair dye

When I dyed my hair blonde, my curls stretched much more than they used to, which caused me to have less volume when air drying. This is why for the most part I tried to dry my hair using a diffuser but it took a toll on its health.

I decided to dye my hair back to its original color but the damage was already done. I already know the way my hair feels and looks when it’s healthy and I know that whenever I do something out of my usual routine it starts to break and feel different.

Hair cut or Repair?

When I dyed my hair back to black, I kept switching products trying to find the one set that will just help the breakage stop. My hair was still stretching and my curls were always breaking and overall the dryness was worst than ever.

I started by buying a hair steamer to help add moisture to my hair. That wasn’t stopping the shedding, so I began to cut my hair little by little, eliminating the problem areas and adding in moisture. This didn’t stop the shedding either, so I began to read more on other methods to stop it. Eventually I came across protein treatments, and while it did stop the shedding ,my hair was left with a lot of gaps making it look uneven and less full. This is when I had enough evidence to convince my mom to just cut it.

I have never had short hair but it is a length I’ve always wanted to try. I did this haircut with my hair straightened because the problem areas were more visible. I was also tired of having layers and just really wanted to start over. Once my mother cut the problem areas off, she realized I was right and that my hair now looked a lot healthier. At the end of all this, I realized that it is more expensive to fix damaged hair than it is to grow it.

Going forward

I will still continue to do protein treatments and deep condition twice a week. Eventually, I will also use Hennah since it previously did wonders restoring moisture.

Here is the current protein treatment that I am using which I purchased from Target (you can also find it on eBay). This is the new formula, I have never tried the old formula but I’ve read it works just as well with a few more steps.

Aphogee Hair Strengthening kit

There are only two steps to this treatment:

  1. After your hair has been washed and towel dried, apply the first bottle (1) evenly all over your hair, leave it on for 5-10 minutes (depending on you hair’s thickness). I usually put on a hair cap while I wait.
  2. After rinsing off the first treatment with warm water, use a generous amount of (2) which adds moisture back into your hair. I usually rinse with warm water prior to applying this to leave the pores of my hair open allowing the moisture to go in deeper.
  3. Rinse off with cool water.

*Optional: follow up with a deep conditioner. I use the Aussie 3-minute miracle, it is very inexpensive and I have been using it for years. It can also be used while you’re washing your hair in the shower leaving it very soft and silky.

Last but not least, style as usual, this is my end result.

What methods do you use to restore moisture and stop shedding?

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