This challenge is about using protective styling to promote healthy hair in all areas including increased moisture retention, length retention and increased hair strength. We are half way through this challenge and I wanted to know if anyone has seen improvement in any area. Let's share our improvements to encourage not only each other, but also ourselves.
I'll go first. When I took down the last protective style I wore before this current one, I noticed an increase in the length of my hair.I still need to work on retaining moisture and building the overall strength of my hair but I will celebrate the progress I've made so far.
What improvements have you noticed with your hair?
So, checking in with progress pictures. I don't have the 'before' pictures handy so this isn't a full checkin (lol) but what I will say is that I've realized a couple things throughout this journey;
1. Sealing is KEY. Having dry/brittle hair in a protective style, in my opinion, can be bad as doing no protective style at all. My hair was dry at one point, and when I took it down to re-do the style it was breaking all over the place. Now I make sure to seal thoroughly, shingling in my water, leave-in conditioner (CURLS Milkshake) and oil (castor) when I put in my protective styles.
2. My hair needs to stay in for at least 2 weeks at a time. I was initially doing 5 days at a time, but I just wasn't retaining as much length as I knew I could. Apparently the take down process (of washing, deep conditioning, light blowdry, then re-doing the style) was just too much manipulation. So now I only handle my hair 2 weeks at a time.
3. My hair is EXTREMELY fragile and fine. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a totally different breed of naturals (lol) because my hair is just not very strong. It's beautiful, but not strong. So here is a picture of my hair. I'm fishing around in my photo files for a back view comparison.
I have seen growth since being on this protective style challenge. It looks like I have gained about an inch in almost 2 months, which is right where I should be. I have had consistent growth since doing the big chop in November 2010. Back then my hair was 5 inches and now it is 9 1/2 inches long. But, I do need to add that I have also had a trim of about a 1/2 inch and I have also had breakage. I actually think it is impossible to not have any breakage. IDK, maybe my hair grows a little more than a 1/2 inch per month. It is kinky as all get out, but my strands are thick. Anyway, here are the pics.
This pic was taken on July 8, 2011