everything I've learned about growing, maintaining, styling, and loving long hair


oil vs water

Years ago, when I first began my hair journey, I quickly discovered that some of the widely accepted and practiced methods for growing long healthy straight hair did NOT work for me at all.  In fact, sometimes it made it worse.  One of those practices is stretching the time between washes (as in, don’t get your hair wet in the shower) so the natural oils will have a chance to soak in.  Another is to apply oil to the ends of the hair where the natural oils never get a chance to reach.  I tried this for a few months.  It made my hair look and feel awful.  What I hadn’t yet learned was that curly hair is generally dehydrated by nature, and that my hair actually NEEDED the water I had been depriving it of in the shower.  I do try to shampoo only once a week or less, and I use a gentle shampoo, to keep from stripping away all the natural oils on my scalp and hair.  But I still get it wet, even when I don’t wash it.  Doing this improved the health significantly.

This article does a good job of explaining why.

Written by Jonathan Torch, owner of Curly Hair Solutions

At the base of every hair on every human, there is a gland that secretes a waxy material called sebum. The sebum is essential for supplying nutritious minerals to the follicle that moisturize and protect the skin and hair. The sebum has a tiny molecular weight that allows for deeper penetration and absorption of these minerals without blocking or clogging any other pores and cuticles – and to make it even better, the sebum evaporates without any residue.

When it comes to oils and our hair, we have had quite a long track record of using them! All around the world, humans have been using and bathing in oils; to try and replenish the missing moisture that preserves youthful glow and energy. Cleopatra, the infamous Queen of Egypt, was constantly in search of a more miraculous oil to preserve her beauty. The more exotic the oil, the bigger the price tag, and therefore, the more in demand it was. It was seen and believed to be cosmetic elixir.

To this day, oils are still extremely popular in hair care and therapy. Sales of oil-based products continue to grow every year, as more and more exotic and potent oils enter the beauty industry – and it`s completely understandable, as the benefits of oil on hair are so easy to notice. In particular, the look and feel of soft, shiny, and supple hair is most appealing to everybody who uses oils.

When I started to focus on naturally curly hair as my specialty, it became increasingly obvious to me that while oils make the exterior of hair look beautiful, there is a tremendous difference in the quality of the hair when comparing oil-based products and water-based products. My focus was on the end results: Style Management is incredibly easier to have when there is absolutely no silicone or oils coating the hair. Water is the healthiest moisturizer in the world – it is what makes up our atmosphere, it is what our bodies are made of, and it is an integral part of the hair. Water is essential to life, and hair automatically responds as a natural moisture magnet – it sucks up all the moisture it can, particularly when water is involved.

By understanding this common-sense fact, it became obvious that eliminating oils from the styling process makes it far easier to moisturize and style hair. Oil and water do not mix. While they both have their proper roles and benefits, they are very far apart in what they do. Oils act as a lubricator, cosmetically softening – and weighing down – the hair. When there`s a coating surrounding the hair, it becomes very difficult for each hair to group with other hairs to make a beautiful curl or a ringlet. Because of this effect, any movement to the hair causes flyaway hairs, essentially encouraging frizz. On the other hand, water fills the hair cuticle, encouraging grouping and joining of each hair, and this automatically creates a frizz-free curl. Water works every time in every scenario of curl formation in all weather conditions – and it`s the most natural thing I could base my products on.

length update

Here’s the latest pic of my hair.


IMG_7733aAfter taking this photo, I realized that there’s not enough contrast to see the ends very well.  So I took another one wearing a white robe.

You know, it really is a good idea to take pics every so often.  So many times I start thinking that I’m not making any progress, and then I look back and realize I really am!  All this time I’ve been thinking about how much my hair has suffered the past year during this total lack of attention.

Then I compare it to this pic, —> taken about a year and a half before.  My hair looked pretty sad back then.  Much better now, in spite of everything.

The roots have flattened out quite a bit and I’m not getting as much volume.  Part of that is lack of trying, but a lot is due to the length weighing it down.  Even when I put out a lot of effort to get volume at the top like I used to have, it just doesn’t happen.

post-pregnancy update

As far as my hair is concerned, I have good news and bad news.

The bad news is that I’ve allowed myself to settle into the terrible damaging habit of wearing the same hair style every day (and even at night).  I recently began noticing the results of that – lots of broken hairs around my hairline.  I’m trying to break that habit before I do some serious damage.  Also, because I’m wearing my hair up 95% of the time these days, my curls aren’t looking so great.  Which makes me just put it up again because it looks bad.  Ah, the vicious circle………

The good news is my shedding is drastically reduced!  During my pregnancy (especially the first trimester) I was shedding by the handfuls.  With each wash, I would end up with a wad of hair that looked like large mouse.  Now, I can literally count the hairs!  Like an average of 5 or 6 hairs come out with each wash.  That’s crazy!  I’ve never had so little fall-out!  I hope my body is building back all the thickness I lost during pregnancy.

From the bit of research I did online, I found that I’m in the minority concerning the hair loss.  Most women will experience thicker healthier hair due to increased estrogen, then will experience a massive fall-out after delivery when the hormones go back to their non-pregnant levels.  Some sources suggested hair loss during pregnancy may be a result of morning sickness not allowing you to get sufficient vitamins and nutrition.  Other sources said it could be a thyroid issue.  I experienced both of these.  (my doctor believes I may have pregnancy-induced hypothyroidism)  So I guess that could explain it?

baby loves my hair

I had my hair in 2 braids.  He grabbed them while I was leaning over him talking to him.  He was trying to eat the braids and the curly ends were tickling his face. :)



it’s a boy!


quick update

IMG_7301bJust looked at my blog and thought, “Wow!  Has it really been that long?”  I’ll be 40 weeks pregnant tomorrow, so yeah…. it’s been that long.  I had several ideas of things to post about and every intention of doing so, but this pregnancy has really drained my energy!  I haven’t forgotten about this blog or decided to stop posting, I’ve just needed to focus my efforts on other areas and conserve my energy for more important things.  I hope to get my health back in order after I have the baby and be able to return to a more normal lifestyle.

As I said in my last post, my hair has suffered simply because I don’t feel like messing with it.  The last half of the pregnancy has been better, but still not my usual routine.  It’s been so long that I almost feel like I’ve unintentionally created a new routine.  I think it will be difficult for me to get back to where I was before.  But that’s my goal.

Don’t give up on me!  I have things I want to post about and questions from you girls that I haven’t had a chance to address.  I will do my best to get to it soon.  In the mean time, thanks for stopping by and continuing to send new people my way!

new photo

Took a preggie pic today.  Thought I’d share it since it shows my hair pretty well too.  Hennaed and flat ironed 4 days ago.

I admit, I’ve been extremely lax in my hair care since I got pregnant.  I went through a phase of about 2 months (at least) where I really didn’t care what I looked like.  I felt that bad.  Putting on makeup, fixing my hair, painting my toenails, lotioning after a shower…. all things that I normally am very particular about, a thing of the past.  There was even a period where I didn’t even put gel on my hair after I showered!  If I wasn’t going anywhere, what was the point?  Too much trouble. lol

My hair was badly in need of a DT but I couldn’t seem to gather the energy.  I was also badly in need of touching up the henna, it had grown out at least 6 inches.  I’ve been feeling much better the past couple of weeks and finally got around to doing both.  My hair felt so dry that I was afraid to henna without first doing the DT.  I was afraid it would be too harsh on the ends.  I decided to try coconut oil this time.  I’m really pleased with the results!  I hennaed a couple days after, also with good results.  It feels good to be getting back into the swing of things.



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