“Over the past 3 years of my HHJ I have struggled to incorporate and be consistent with my henna gloss treatments and growth aides. I have therefore taken a look at my regimen to see how I can schedule these in effectively.”
Over the past 12 weeks I have been trialling my schedule which I plan to use going forward for the next 12 months. The details of the schedule are as follows:
Relaxer Stretches (Tex-laxing): At 12 Weeks Post
For the next few months I will be reducing my stretches to 12 weeks. I can stretch for longer i.e. 16+ weeks but I feel that sometimes this is not the healthiest thing for my hair due to increased shedding which in turn leads to an increase in tangles and subsequently thinning.
If I moisturise properly then breakage isn’t too much of an issue although it does happen in some areas at times but it’s nothing too alarming or widespread.
I think that a shorter stretch will be beneficial for a number of reasons and it will help me to develop a hair schedule which allows me to fit in everything that I need to do to my hair during a stretch.
Therefore, as part of my schedule I will be texlaxing at 12 weeks post for the next 12 months, assessing this at the 6 month mark to see if it is working out well for my hair.
Adore Colour Rinses: Zero Days Post
So far I have been very impressed with the effect of colour rinses on my hair. I have been using them for just over a year and during this time the ability of my hair to retain moisture has been much improved. Also, my hair has more strength, looks darker, is shinier and of course my wisdom (grey) hairs are covered up.
Therefore, as part of my schedule I will continue to do a colour rinse on relaxer days which is zero days post.
Trimming & Dusting: Zero to 7 Days Post
Sometimes I trim/dust on or just after relaxer day. Going forward I will make a special effort to trim/dust every relaxer day or at least within the first 7 days following my relaxer. I prefer to trim/dust my hair when it has been straightened in some way and as I do not often use my flat iron or roller set I don’t always get around to trimming or dusting when I should.
Going forward I will try to either roller set and saran wrap on relaxer day and if this is not possible, flat iron my air dried hair the following day so I can trim the ends off effectively.
Therefore, as part of my schedule I will dust be I will trim/dust within the first 7 days of my relaxer.
N.B. Depending on the state of my ends after my protective style I may dust the ends lightly at this point in order to minimise tangles.
Henna Gloss Treatments: At 5 Weeks Post
The ideal scenario would be for me to be able to do a henna gloss treatment every month.
Unfortunately with relaxing, colouring and wearing my hair in long term protective styles I have realised that it just isn’t possible for me to achieve this ideal.
Henna shouldn’t be used 2 weeks before or less than two weeks after a relaxer as it can affect the results of the relaxer. This means that there is a full month surrounding my relaxer when I cannot use henna. I also don’t like the thought of adding a colour rinse to hair that has recently been henna’d just incase there are any issues with the two reacting in a bad way [i.e. my hair melting and falling out!] I use body art quality (BAQ) henna from a reputable source (Tesco) and brand (Ayuuri) but I think it’s better to be safe than sorry.
I also discovered that mixing the henna with coconut milk worked well for my hair so from now on my basic mixture will be the same as used for my henna gloss in January:
1 x box of Ayuuri henna power
2 x tablespoons of Ayuuri amla powder
2 x tablespoons of EVCO
1 x tablespoon of EVOO
1 x small tin of coconut milk
1 x strong cup of tea (black, green or peppermint)
2 x tablespoons of honey
During this stretch I have realised that the opportune time to do my henna gloss treatment is at week 5 during my wash day prior to installing my long term protective style. This works out perfectly as it then gives me added strength needed for the braiding part of the install and also an extended period of time between henna, relaxer and colour rinse.
Therefore, as part of my schedule I will be doing my henna gloss treatment every three months at 5 weeks post.
Protective Styling: From 5 - 9/10 Weeks Post
I have decided that I will go into a long term protective style during every relaxer stretch. This isn’t something new, long term protective styles have been a tried and tested part of my regimen for the past year and a half since I first learned how to install kinky twists. I have decided that I will give the kinky twists a wide berth this year and not install them at all in an attempt to see if I can thicken up my strands. To be honest, the amount of hair I lost during my last kinky twist take down has put me off them. Don’t get me wrong, in terms of styling possibilities and the way they look in general, they are my preferred protective style but the length of time it takes to install and de-install them is something that I could do with having a break from.
For me, crochet braids are definitely the way to go. They are super easy and quick to install, they cause little to no breakage [I have only experienced breakage once in crochet braids when I installed them at 4 weeks post and had installed a set and taken them out a few days later and redid them the following day. I don’t think the breakage was down to the crochet braids, I think it was down to the manipulation of my hair] and the take down is significantly quicker than taking down individual twists.
They are also really easy to keep moisturised and in the summer this is even easier as I can just pop my head under the shower for a few seconds, seal and go. My hair is then kept constantly moisturised. I have found that my hair grows a lot when it’s in cornrows so this is probably the perfect protective style for me. I also like the fact that I am not constrained by the type of hair that I can use for crochet braids. In the past 12 months I have used afro kinky hair, Aftress Water Wave, straight Kanekalon hair and Freetress Bohemien. They really are very versatile.
Therefore, as part of my schedule I will install a long term protective style at 5 weeks post and leave in for 4-5 weeks maximum.
Growth Aides: From Weeks 2 to 9/10
I noticed that haven’t been consistently applying growth aides since my trial of MN. Like the henna gloss treatments I have found it difficult to incorporate these into my regimen as there are a number of things I need to consider when applying these to my hair.
a) You shouldn’t really apply sulphur to your hair less than 2 weeks post or 2 weeks prior to your relaxer as the sulphur could interact with the chemicals in the relaxer and cause your relaxer not to take properly. I am also afraid of their being an adverse reaction so I steer clear of sulphur prior to relaxer days – period.
b) When trying a new growth aide it is adviseable not to do so when you are in a long term protective style as any adverse reaction such as an increase in shedding could go unnoticed until you take down your protective style.
c) They generally stink!!!
Taking the above into account, I think I have found a way to regularly incorporate a growth aide into my regimen.
I have previously used Bee Mine Growth Serum with Sulphur and although the smell isn’t great it is way better than some of the stinky stuff I have put in my hair in the past! I have also used Wild Growth Oil which has proved to work well for me and has an odour which I have discovered I can live with. In addition to the claims of stimulating/assisting growth, both of these oils provide a noticeable softening effect of my new growth and do not cause me to have an increase in my normal amount of shedding, so using them is a win win if I opt to regularly use either of these during my stretches going forward. My plan is to apply lightly every other day to my scalp and hairline.
Therefore, I will as part of my schedule use growth aides from 2 weeks post through to 10 weeks post.
Hair Recuperation: From Weeks 10 to 12
The worst part of the schedule for me is the period of time between taking out a long term protective style and either installing a new one [which I usually do the week following take down] or relaxing [which I usually do two weeks following take down]. Usually after taking out my protective style and the wash day that follows I am usually gagging for either straighter hair with no pesky tangly newgrowth or just to get my hair hidden away again.
During this time, I concentrate on upping the moisture in my hair by moisturising at least twice a day using spritz, cream moisturiser then sealing. I also strengthen my strands by upping the protein in my deep conditioner and leave ins. I will normally bun or wear my lace wig in order to keep manipulation of my strands to a minimum.
Therefore, as part of my schedule I will continue to leave two weeks post protective style take down before I relax my hair and start the process off once more.
I know this was a long post, but it was useful for me to get this info down all in one place.
I ‘m not normally one to stick to a schedule for my hair but it’s the only way I could see that I could incorporate the henna, growth aides and protective styles in without going for long periods of time between them. Of course, this schedule is not set in stone, I will always listen to my hair and if it starts acting up and not liking this schedule I will change things up accordingly.
Ciao 4 Now