My Winter Regimen and Monthly Length Check

Since mastering how to manage my hair I have gotten way more organized. I try to create a regimen seasonally to cater to my hair’s needs and goals. I also try to keeps things simple to ensure health and promote growth. Last year my hair grew from ear to neck length. This year my goal is to grow my hair to APL which is about 10 inches in the back when straightened, which is about shoulder length curly. Shrinkage is not a big deal to me.

Currently my hair’s length is 9 inches in back, 7.4 inches on the side, and 5 inches in back. December 2010 my hair was cut into a bob with the longest in front and shortest an upside down “U” shape in back. The front of my hair has always seemed to have grown fastest and compared to last months measurements (7.5, 6.5, 3.5) its seems that it really does. On average hair grows .5 inches a month so in order to retain length you have to protect the ends. They are the oldest which require the most moisture and gentle care.  Some say hair grows slower in winter and with age. Some also say hair grows faster in warm months. I have to research this more but I plan to track my hair monthly to see what the case is for me. My hair grew approximately 1.5 inches in the front and back and .9 of an inch on the side. I said approximately because I think I may have measured incorrectly last month.

My Winter Regimen

Before Straightening and Trim:

  • Clarifying Shampoo
  • Protein Treatment
  • Moisturizing Deep Treatment

After Straightening:

  • Heat Protecting Serum
  • Penetrating and Heat Protecting Oils

2-4 Weeks after Straightening:

  • Sulfate/Silcone-free Shampoo
  • Protein Deep Condition

Curly Hair:

  • Clarifying Shampoo monthly
  • Deep Condition weekly (alternating between protein and moisturizing)
  • Gentle Shampoo (sulfate free/silicone-free), Ayurvedic Mask, or ACV Rinse  weekly
  • Cleansing/Detangling Conditioner 2-4 times a week
  • Detangle w/ Shower Comb and Denman Brush followed by fine tooth comb
  • Moisturizing Leave In
  • Creamy or Buttery Styler
  • Oil or Butter Sealant
  • Essential Oil Scalp Massages as needed or as Pre-Shampoo

Styles:

  • Pinned Up, Banana Clip, Ponytail, Occasionally Loose when straight
  • Twistouts, French Braids, Protective Styles (wigs or  weaves), silky turban or hat (satin bonnet underneath) when curly

Sleeping:

  • Satin Bonnet or Silk Scarf
  • Satin Pillowcases

Other:

  • monthly length checks
  • pictures of length check after trim and return to curly
  • occasional henna treatments
  • trims every 12 weeks – 90 days

You can see what products I use in my previous post of my staples. What works for my hair and my hair type may not work for you. However you can use this as an outline to create your regimen and choose products appropriate for the needs of your hair. The most important thing is making sure your hair is moisturized and measures are taken to retain length if growth is your goal. When you focus on growth and obsessing over other people’s hair you tend to lose touch with reality and in my experience it usually ends up with a hair cut or overdue trim which could have been avoided. Love and learn the hair you have, the results will lead to happy and healthy hair!

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What is your winter regimen? What goals do you have for your hair this year?

Updates, Updates and More Updates!

Hey curls!!!!

If you follow me on twitter (@SuiteAngelique or @DiamondsCurls) then you know I was on a hunt for a new stylist. There is nothing wrong with my old one but I was on a budget and the location of my current stylist is one reason why her prices are a bit higher. All that said I decided to stick with what I know since she was the last person to cut my hair, which brings me to the cut. I know you are thinking cut….yes I said cut.  Fall of 2010 my hair started shedding like crazy. Instead of going to a doc I tried various home remedies to find nothing was working. My hair got to the longest ever in a wash and go style the last thing on my mind was a cut. Well after my hair thinned out and I had no edges there was no choice. It’s nothing worse than holding on to thin see through hair. So December 2010 I had it cut into a short bob. I also went to the doctor and found out my iron levels were really low and taking a couple of iron pills a day was the solution.

The pills kicked in and new hair was growing. You can sort of see the little sprouts of hair less than an inch growing in around my edges. It was too thin to do any curly styles so after a week I washed my hair, flat twisted it, and wore a half wig from January to May. I kept it uber moisterized with Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Butter cream and the Amla and Olive Heavy Cream. Those products are the same, just different consistencies. My inner PJ just had to have both. As my hair grew back it was thicker and tighter curls than before and I think that was because of the Qhemet and iron pills.

During the summer I was fed up with the wigs. Threw them away and started playing around with different curly styles. I love pomps whether my hair is straight or curly so similar to my pomp and banana clip style I had a pomp and two french braids. I finally had a bit of hangtime even though I kept the ends tucked to protect them from the elements. I also wore my little tam/beret out too with a satin bonnet underneath it.

 

I tend to stick with one style until I wear it out so I decided to switch it up. After one more cut in June 2011 to even things out wearing curly styles had more success for me. After I copied a style from Syesha Mercado. I know you remeber her from American Idol.

I simple did a wash n go with the trusty Eco Styler gel and bobby pinned my hair up. This style worked perfect because the longest part of my hair was the front and the sides were long enough too. The back of my hair was originally cut into an upside down U shape but that was nothing a glob of gel couldn’t hold in place.

December came and I was overdue for a trim. No matter how hard you try wearing wash and go’s is no good for your ends. I had single strand knots and spilt ends all over. My new super thick hair was so hard to detangle even with a shower comb. So I went in for a trim and couldn’t believe how much my hair had grown. Even my stylist, Melanie was asking what I was using and what vitamins I was taking.

 

I measured my hair before and after my trim and I was in shock. There was no change. This is why I love Melanie, she understands that trim does not mean cut. She also uses the best products. She shampooed me with Elucence. She also gives the best scalp massages asking if it itches when she is done which she knows is not possible. She used Kenra’s Moisturizing conditioner and sat me under the dryer for 20 minutes or so, used One and  Only Argan Oil Treatment and Biosilk Silk Therapy to blow me out and flat-ironed. She only used ceramics without me even asking! My hair was super silky to the point it looked and felt relaxed.

Over three weeks later my hair is still holding up. Normally I can’t go longer than a week with out have the itchies and flakes. I kept my hair moisturized with Chi Silk Infusion if I felt like my hair was going to poof and if I decided to bump my ends with my flat iron. I also used avocado (my new fav) and grape seed oil which are both great heat protectants with smoke points at 450°. I used coconut oil with lavender essential oil and massaged it on my scalp and edges whenever they felt dry.

I did flat-iron my hair prior to a random mini photo shoot in the snow. My hair looked great either way. I wasn’t weighed down and very few flakes. (my hair only flakes when it’s straight…weird I know)

As of my last length check December 23, 2011 my hair was 7.5 inches in the front, 6.5 inches on the side, and 3.5 inches in back. This Saturday is my next monthly length check and it looks like my hair is on track for  .5 inch increase. I’m usually too lazy to track my hair growth every month but this year I am just to prove a point that healthy hair grows. I also plan to only were my hair in stretched styles this year because I still have a few random single knots and only the front is long enough for search and destroy sessions.

Well there you have it, my official long over due update. Stay tuned for this month’s length check. I will be washing my hair tonight for a curly hair shoot. I am going to attempt a bantu twist out and pin it up the same as the Syesha look or a cute turban/scarf look.

XOXO and Fab Curls!