Ladies, I have a dilemma. It's probably not that serious, but in my mind it is. So here we go....
I've been growing my locs for I think to be 8 years now (note that I started right after a big chop). I already know that everybody doesn't have the same growth retention for their hair because of texture, health, lifestyle, etc. To the point, I used to wash and retwist my hair every two weeks and for whatever reason I just thought my hair wasn't growing. It was a mix between me seeing other lovely loc ladies with longer hair than me and some of them saying, "it's not good to wash your hair so much, you'll dry it out." So about a year a go I slowly started transitioning from washing my hair bi weekly to almost going three months without washing it, and this is when i started doing my hair myself. Now I really feel like my hair has stopped growing, if anything, some locs are getting thinner. I stopped putting products in my hair daily because it just felt greasy and nasty and I eventually decided I didn't need to unless I was doing tight updo's. I've been trimming my ends not only because it look cleaner but also because I've been told it helps retain length. But now it just seems like cutting the ends is keeping my hair the same length =[
So I guess this is more of an opinion topic than a request for advice, but both are appreciated. Should I try going back to washing my hair bi weekly? And are there any other tips you can give me that would help me take better care of my hair too?
You may want to go to a professional and let them assess your hair. As you mentioned in your post, hair growth is more about what's happening internally, than just the external nature of things. Like you, I've found that there are periods of slow growth, however, I also have my growin' seasons — namely, winter and summer.
My personal hair routine is not very routine. I wash my hair anywhere from once a month to once every two months in the winter. In the summer, it tends to be every two to three weeks. This cycle depends on how often I workout and where (inside vs. outside).
Products: I use Taliyah Waajid's shampoo/conditioner/moisturizer for kids on my hair, the new Tresame Split Remedy conditioner, and a hot oil treatment of coconut oil. I leave the coconut oil on for about 10 minutes, then rinse it out w/ warm water, then run cold water over my hair for 20 seconds. This closes the hair cuticle, trapping the good stuff I've put in it and leaving it closer to its natural pH level. This is my hair routine because my hair tends to be extremely dry, no matter how much water I drink. I switch up shampoos between summer and winter, usually using a shampoo (sand conditioner) like Jane Carter or whatever I find that seems to have ingredients that don't harm my hair.I twist my hair w/ Taliah Waajid's Tight Hold Lock It Up.
Professionals Have It
Once a season, I let a professional stylist wash, condition and style my hair, just so they can tell me what's up. I like hair color, but my locs were getting thinner where the color was applied. The stylist told me what I needed to do in order to nurse my hair back to health.
I tend to switch between braided styles and just letting it go loose. Usually, I do my own hair and leave it in bantu knots for a few days until it dries. Then, I take it out of bantu knots and it's curly. The curls fall and I wear it like that for a while. Sometimes I remember to tie it up, other times I don't. I can tell my hair is in better shape overall (health and style) when I do tie it at night.
I hope this helps.