S.O.S: My hair is not growing

“Long hair, don’t care” That’s what they say (What does it mean though?)

A few months ago, I noticed that my hair was not growing…at least that is what I thought. My hair was (and still is) thick and very difficult to detangle. Besides, the shrinkage is real…I think that my hair shrinks by 50 percent.

I decided to analyze my hair care routine and guess what? My routine was not promoting growth, it was promoting breakage instead. My new routine not makes my hair grow; it makes my hair much healthier. You are curious now, huh? I am not going to let you wait, read more about my hair care routine…

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1. The magical oils

Castor oil, Rosemary-mint oil, Amla oil, these oils are going to be your best friends until you finally reach your hair length goal.

In the past, I only used castor oil. I noticed some growth; however, my hair became so thick! Of course, having some volume is awesome…but, it makes the detangling process very difficult. Luckily, Caressa told me that I have to mix castor oil with another oil in order to avoid this.

2. Protective styling

As I mentioned earlier, type 4 hair has less natural protection than other hair types. Therefore, it requires us to do some protective or low manipulation styling. Sundays are my wash days, I close my wash routine with either braiding my hair or applying flexi rods.

 3. Drink lots of water

Why? Water is not only healthy; it is the key to shiny and moisturized hair. So try to drink 2 liters water a day and this helps you hair to stay OK.

 4. Finger detangling

At the beginning of the detangling process, you should detangle your curls carefully with your fingers. The chances of breaking your hair are considerably smaller than detangling your hair with a comb. However, if you have some huge knots it is better to use a comb.

5. Scalp massage

Massaging your scalp stimulates hair growth, because it helps the blood circulation to your scalp. Besides, repeatedly massaging your scalp improves the shape of your hair. Two minutes a day is enough, you can do it at any moment: when watching television, when trying to relax during work or right before pre-poo!

 

Xoxo Whitney

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How to: take care of 4a hair type

Taking care of my hair has been a struggle in 2014. Well, I think I had to get to know my hair…I have made so many mistakes, such as: following Youtubers who had a different hair texture, frequently changing hair products (actually confusing my hair) and dying my hair with harsh chemicals.

My hair type is both 3c and 4a. Hair type 4 is probably the hair texture, which requires extra care; since it is more fragile than any other hair types. This texture has less cuticle layers, which means that it has less natural protection.

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Avoid chemicals

You should use products which consist of  natural ingredients. Sheamoisture and Miss Jessie’s offer great products.

 “Girl, that really does not work for me!”

Switching from chemical based products to natural products will cause a temporary shock to your hair. You need to give your hair the chance to adjust to the new products. Once your curls are used to the ingredients of the new products, you will notice that your hair will become healthier.

(It takes at least a month for my curls to adjust to new hair care products)

Henna

If you want to dye your hair, you could best apply red henna on your hair. Why? Red (!) henna does not consist of any chemicals. This powder gives your hair shine; makes it stronger; temporarily makes your hair texture less heavy, which leads to less battles with your comb (less breakage)


Hair routine

I wash my hair one time a week. If you wash your hair frequently, you are actually manipulating your hair which means more breakage and less growth. I used to wash my hair two – three times a week. Consequently, there was lots of breakage and I could not retain length.

Before washing my hair, I pre-poo my hair. Basically, I apply Alma oil on my hair and I finger detangle my curls. After an hour I start my wash routine (using natural hair products). After shampooing my hair, I deep condition my hair for at least one hour. Lastly, I apply a conditioner in my hair in order to facilitate the detangling process.

Protective styling

Protective styling is a must! As I mentioned earlier, hair type 4 has fewer cuticle layers, consequently there is less natural protection. Thus, it is up to you to take measures in order to protect your hair against weather circumstances, breakage etcetera.

My favorite protective styling? Flexi rods. We shared a video on our YOUtube channel in which Caressa explains how she applies flexi rods on her hair. I will share my version, very soon! But you can get an idea from the picture below.

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Night routines

During the evening, I usually apply jojoba oil to my hair. This makes my hair very soft and shiny. Thereafter, I stick my hair in a pineapple bun and voila!

However, it really depends on how my hair looks. If it is frizzy I will either braid my hair or wrap my curls around flexi rods. As I mentioned earlier, I try to not manipulate my hair in order to give it the chance to grow, to reduce breakage and lessen frizz.

Whitneyy

Do you want to share your own tips? Comment below!

Xoxo Whitney

Video: How to prepare and apply henna

Check out my video which explains how to prepare and apply henna on your hair.
Thumbs up if you like it.

A couple of months ago, Caressa shared the effects of henna on her hair (type 3a/3b). But will it be as effective on 3c and 4a type of hair?

I decided to give it a try, because my hair really needs some help when it comes to damage recovery. I was not able to go out of my house without arriving at work with lots of frizz on my hair (But maybe I was worrying too much about frizz).  But there were more things which encouraged me to do the henna treatment:

    • My hair was incredibly brittle
    • My hair was lustreless
    • The texture of my hair was incredibly heavy. Consequently, I was spending at least an hour in the bathroom detangling my hair (Changes of breakage were high)
    • I wanted to color my hair, without applying chemicals

So what were the main advantages for me?

    • I was able to color my hair, without adding chemicals. My hair is now dark brownish
    • The texture of my hair slightly reduced, making my curls manageable
    • I have less frizz

What were the disadvantages of henna treatment to me?

    • Washing the henna out was hell. I wasted lots of products, because it was almost impossible to wash the grains of the mixture out of my hair.
    • The result was slightly beyond expectations, I was relying on it to solve my frizz problems
  • My bathroom was a mess afterwards; it was a pain in the ass to clean it up.

This is my selfie of the morning after the treatment:

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Heatless Curls: Curlformers

I’ve been trying out different kind of hairstyles lately that don’t require any straightening iron or curling iron. The first thing I started out with were Curlformers, which I will write about now. How to achieve heatless curls with flexi-rods, click here.

 

Curlformers come in different sizes and packages. I have the styling kit for extra long hair up to 55 cm (22″). The package comes with 40 extra long & wide curlformers and two hooks. They can be used on any type of hair but the curlier your hair, the longer the style lasts.

 

DSCN0718 Curlformers on my sister’s hair who is currently transitioning.

 

I always do my curlsformers on freshly washed hair with a leave in conditioner and a styling gel. I install the curlformers on damp hair, rather than soaking wet. By applying enough styling gel, the curls come out very shiny and not frizzy.

 

First, I inserted the hook in the curlformer and take a small section of hair. I applied some gel to the section of hair and secure the hook with the opening facing up onto the section of hair. I slide the curlformer a bit over the hair and gently pull the hook at the end. The curlformer bounces up on its own after taking the hook out.

 

The curlformer application is much more time consuming than Flexi-Rods, but is is very easy once you get the hang of it. They are much more comfortable than the Flexi-Rods and I usually always sleep with my curlformers and take them out the next morning, but it is also possible to sit under a hooded dryer.

 

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L: after taking out the curlformers. R: After seperating the curls for more volume

 

Besides wash n go’s, this is one of my favorite hairstyles, but the curlformers are more expensive than Flexi-Rods, so I would recommend going for flexi rods, if you are not going to  use curlformers a lot of times. In the Netherlands, they can be bought in some beauty supply stores in Amsterdam or online at Curly Emporium.

 

X Caressa