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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?


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I  have. It's also opened my eyes to how rough I can be with my hair! My plan was to keep my hair in a gentle protective style for 5 days, and then take down, do a light blowdry, and put back up, but I've extended that to 6 days. I've also started trimming my nails because I noticed that they snag on my hair quite a bit. I need to put up some progress pics. I think I've gained about half an inch since the start of the challenge. Now the challenge is to hold onto it!
My hair is definitely growing. I am trying to keep it moisturized and as happy as possible. I keep the hair protected (usually flat twist updos) 3-5 days a week and let it breathe the other days. I have terrible hand in hair syndrome, so this is a good compromise for me. Since the challenge started, my hair has grown and is definitely healthier.

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.

BEAUTIFUL!!!! I gotta get my length check pics up! Thanks for the inspiration!

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


This pic was taken August 24, 2011

Wow this is awesome!!! The growth is really obvious! What was your regimen again?
I shampoo every 3, sometimes 4 weeks and prepoo with amla oil before every other wash. I deep condition with every wash, apply a leave-in, seal with EVOO, and put my hair into a protective style until the next wash. Some of the protective styles that I do are mini twists, I did mini braids once, twisted updos, and wigs. For this protective style challenge, I started off with mini braids for the first 2 weeks, then I have been wearing big box braids underneath a wig for the rest of the challenge. I rarely wear my hair out and mostly protective style due to laziness. I also moisturize and seal every few days and henna about every 6 weeks. I also don't use alot of products. Right now, I am using Shea Moisture shampoo until it's all gone and then will be using Tresemme Naturals shampoo & conditioner, I use Silk Elements Cholesterol as a deep conditioner, Herbal Essence's LTR leave-in, Organic Root Stimulator Very Rich Moisturizer, EVOO to seal, amla oil, henna, And IC Fantasia Ice Pomade. That's it, very simple.
Well, my last protective style I had in were the two stranded twists (currently rocking Bantu knot out). My hair has definitely gotten much longer and stronger! I always clip the ends, at least 3-4 weeks (I'm doing long term transition) and when I cut it, its like the hair wasn't even cut in the first place, lol.


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