Why isn't my hair growing?
So I've noticed that since the last lot of kinky twists I did my hair hasn't been growing at it's normal rate. It isn't breaking any more but it's definitely not growing as quickly as before. This is both annoying and frustrating. But it is my fault....
The Kinky Twist Saga
The last time I did kinky twists, last month, my ends suffered. It was meant to be a way of protective styling my hair so that I could focus on school work and not have to worry about doing my hair everyday but I became neglectful and didn't do the things I knew I should be doing; spraying it with water, moisturising my scalp, deep conditioning etc. I got lazy. Very lazy. I guess I kind of took the process for granted. Seeing how much my hair had grown in the past thanks to the twists made me a little complacent this time. My ends started to stick out of the twists and rather than moisturise or re-twist them, I ignored them until they were so dry they were practically crumbling away. I didn't spray my hair with water daily and, I didn't put a silk scarf over my pillow to protect my edges either. These are things I would normally do. My ends were frizzy, frazzled, and rough. When it became unbearable, I did start to re-twist them, however I realised then that the damage was already done and a few days later I ended up taking them out. Check out the video below to see how I took out and re-twisted them. You can also see just how bad the tips were. I'm not exaggerating. They were really bad...
Now that the twists have been out for a few weeks I've been doing everything I can to re-gain the moisture and softness I lost. It's not really working. Well, it probably is, but I'm yet to see satisfactory results and it's a little disheartening. I'm co-washing 1-2 times a week (I'm going to cut down to once a week I think) and deep conditioning with a steam cap once a week. I'm spraying my hair with water every night and applying a leave in conditioner too/moisturiser too. Hopefully if I'm patient I will see the desired effects on my hair in a few weeks. The ends are still quite brittle and may just need a trim now. I've noticed that my hair tangles more than before too. This may change once the ends have been snipped off. Obviously, when my hair is freshly washed it shrinks and this can create the illusion that your hair isn't growing, so I've kept that in mind. But even stretched I feel like my hair should be slightly longer than it is now.
Frizz, Curly Girl, Growth
I am determined to fix things. My hair was growing at a pretty decent rate before, and I want to get back on track. This means being a little more diligent with my hair care regimen and selective with the products I use. I stopped protective styling at night for a while. I've reverted back to my old routine of twisting or braiding my hair at night before covering it with a satin bonnet or a silk scarf. It's a little more time-consuming but if it helps, I'll do it. I've started using castor oil on my edges which were thinning slightly as the kinky twists were WAY too tight at the front. I've also whipped up a Shea butter, cocoa butter, almond oil and olive oil mix that I use sometimes at night as a moisturiser.
Another pressing issue with my hair is the frizziness! My hair is VERY curly but also VERY frizzy. It's annoying and makes it more prone to tangling and dryness; both big NO NOs when you're on a hair growth journey, so I started researching solutions to my frizz problem. I stumbled across 'The Curly Girl Method', I'd heard of it before but never really looked into it.
Here's a proper explanation of this hair care method: The Curly Girl Method
The gist of it is this:
- Stop using sulphate shampoos
- Rinse with cool water
- Switch from brushing to (wide tooth) combing [With conditioner in your hair]
- Trim every 6 months
- Switch to silicone free products [Silicones provide more slip on your hair, but many can only be washed out using a sulphate shampoo. So if you're cutting out sulphates, you have to cut out silicones]
I've done one last sulphate shampoo to cleanse my hair and now I'm switching to sulphate free. I've also found silicone free conditioners and leave ins, and of course I still have my whipped Shea butter mix :) The shea moisture deep treatment masque is still my deep conditioner and styling cream. I love the way it makes my hair feel. Really really soft. Hopefully I can get back on track now and I will be able to see more progress and growth. My diet hasn't been great recently either; not enough water, not enough vitamins, not enough fruit, not enough vegetables and these are all contributing factors. My workout regime has started again too. So I'm basically back to looking after myself, my body and my hair. I hope it works! I know it will, but I hope it works quickly.
I'll make sure I keep you posted!