November 3, 2009

Me, My Hair and I: A Rags to Healthy Hair Story.

Me and my hair, facing the camera...

I'm the first to admit that I've tangled, torn up, ripped out, cut off, over-processed and not taken very good care of my hair in the past. And some of everything has been in it. Sun-in, permanent hair color, Kool-aid, semi-permanent hair color, rinses... ok, about the hair rinse, I still do that because I was starting to see grays, but a rinse is way less taxing on my hair than say permanent color. I've also had a myriad of hair styles. I've been super short, both by choice and against my will. I've worn weaves, I've had a "get-it-girl" remember those? You might have to be from New Orleans or the South to even know what that is. I've worn micro-braids, "dookie braids" and I do have a visual of myself wearing that dookie braid style looking like the "braided up pimp" himself, Mystikal, but you will never see that visual of me on this blog. EVER. It was the 90's!

Honestly, I really recently in the last few years just started to try and take better care of my hair. I had an episode a few years back where I had too many chemical treatments in my hair too close together and my hair suddenly came out in CLUMPS in my sink. Devastation is too mild a word to describe that whole hair loss situation. Then after that, wearing too many pony tails broke my hair off in the back to where the sides of my hair had length, but the very back of my hair was severely broken and short. THEN pulling my hair too tight in the front broke my hair along my hairline. It was like I couldn't win! So about 6 years ago, I cut my hair just under my ears in length to start over and try to grow it back healthy. I wanted to blog about it because I get asked a lot (lately) about what I'm doing to my hair [to make it grow] so I figured I'd put it in a blog post. And please keep in mind that this is what I've done for my hair. I don't want anyone to feel like I'm preaching at them to change their personal hair routine. Just letting you know what's worked for me, got it? Now, ready to hear it? Well here it goes:

One book that I read that made me shift the way I dealt with my hair is the book below. Ultra Black Hair Growth II. Now I realize that it sounds super cheesy to read a whole book on hair growth, but I'm telling you, I remember treating my hair differently after reading this book. I can't say that I still follow everything that she talks about in this book, but I still subscribe to a good bit of it. The book is not exactly a new edition, I actually ended up checking it out of my local library and reading it, but I added the link for you below if you wanna check it out for yourself.

Ok, onto my hair steps. First, I stopped doing chemical treatments on my own hair (relaxers) and started leaving that to a professional. For the last 4-5 years I've had my relaxers done at a salon. I get my hair relaxed 3-4 times a year which comes out to about quarterly and that's been my entire frequency of getting relaxers for the last 3-4 years. I've had the same hair stylist for the last 14 years outside of the 2 years I attended school in Los Angeles. And she and I only recently, like within the last couple years stopped arguing and fighting (about my hair). Thank God for small breakthroughs :)

Next is the heat factor, I've weened myself off heat so now I use it very minimally. The most heat I've done to my hair in the last few years has been under a dryer with a wet set, a deep condition or silk wrap. Blow dryers, curling irons and flat irons I hardly mess with at all. I keep a set of heated rollers that I got from Target and I use those on occasion, it's a much milder heat and much easier on my hair.

I wrap my hair nightly, and I try to do a deep condition every time I wash it. A protein conditioner is good, I also like Neutrogena's Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Mask. I've been using it ever since I saw it on Nichelle's blog, 55 Secret Street back in 2008. Love it. Absolutely does the trick on my hair. I've included the link to it on if you want to check it out for yourself below.

Now onto my hair grooming steps. I've literally had one "go to" hair grooming product since 2007 and that's Carol's Daughter Healthy Hair Butter. Shout out to Nichelle at 55 Secret Street again for posting on it because that's where I learned about it. I even purchased my very first jar of it from the Carol's Daughter flagship store in Harlem back in '07. Now when I tell you that my hair LOVES this stuff, I'm seriously not kidding. And the fragrance? Heavenly.

As far as trimming goes, I usually do it myself or when I can't see what I'm doing, my husband Ron has gotten pretty doggone good at it. I also like to take a Biotin supplement which is a B vitamin, B7 to be exact. Biotin has been known to support strong nails and healthy hair. Now If you've seen pics of me with my hands in the frame (my nails are seriously SHOT), then you know that I'm not using Biotin for my nails, lol. Biotin is a complete hair supplement for me.

Well that's about it. To summarize, I don't do at home chemical treatments, I rarely use heat, I try to limit wearing my hair in a ponytail or pulling it back off my hairline too tight, I do regular deep conditions, I make sure it's well hydrated and properly moisturized, I trim it regularly, I wrap it before I go to sleep and try to wear it in the loosest styles possible so it can "breathe."

Now look. I'm not claiming to have the most beautiful, glorious, most luxurious head of hair in the world with this blog post. That's not what I'm doing here. Again, I'm just telling you what has worked for me going from raggedy, torn up, unhealthy hair just a few years ago to a pretty healthy head of hair currently (the pics you see above were taken October 2009 just after my birthday). What I've tried to do is lay out my own personal hair routine for whomever's interested, and if I wasn't as thorough you'd like, then that's what the comment section is for. Please ask away if you like, and I'll do my best to answer anything I may have left out. And thanks so much for reading all of this! Until next time...


  1. Very pretty! Congrats on the healthy hair and thanks for the tips

  2. Your hair is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Thanks for sharing. You have lovely hair and I love your blog. It's generally very positive and creative. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for sharing your hair (re)evolution! Adrienne is right, your hair is gorgeous!

  5. wow!!...when i always see ur pictures i didnt know its your congrats...i'll work on with the TIPS u gave

  6. Gorge hair and gorge site! Do you wrap your hair when it's wet or only when it's dry? Can you expand?

    Thanks for the tips!

  7. Thanks Ms A!

    I used to wrap it wet, but it's gotten to the point where the length is making it take forever to dry when I wrap wet. So I'll usually either roller/wrap, or let it air dry after shampooing, conditioning and combing it through with mousse or setting lotion.