Napspiration : My hair 5 years after the big chop
By Vicky Wambui, aka Napspiration:
Natural Hair Blogger, Tricia’s Naturals Group Admin.
Mid- 2017 marks 5 years since my Big Chop.
5 years of learning, unlearning and re-learning my natural hair.
I started this journey with pre-conceived ideas of what to expect.
I quickly found out that natural hair can be as unique as fingerprints and one should never expect the same results as others.
Also, as the journey progresses, your hair’s needs change. You learn to be keen to detect changes and adapt accordingly.
In this post, I summarize the top 3 lessons learnt that have helped grow my hair and retain the length. (22 inches and counting so far!)
I have learned to simplify my hair regimen. Experience had taught me that is it not so much the products that I use that matter, but rather how consistent I am with my hair care practises and how well my chosen regimen fits into my lifestyle.
As my hair has grown longer, I have had to tweak my regimen to give my hair TLC without spending too much time on it.
My two-week routine:
- STEP 1: Cleansing with a sulphate free shampoo
- STEP 2: Detangling under running water ( in the shower) with a silicone free conditioner
- STEP 3: Deep conditioning (for at least 30 min) with a moisturizing deep conditioner that is mineral oil & silicone free
- STEP 4: Moisturizing using the LOC ( Leave-in, Oil, Cream – in that order) method
- STEP 5: Finally I twist with a butter to seal in the moisture even further
I will normally wear my hair in 2 strand twists for about 3 days, then in a twist-out for 4 days and in a bun or a “roll, tuck and pin” style for the another 7 days before its time to wash again.
In between washes, I will spritz my hair lightly with some water and seal with oil if it feels dry but this rarely happens as I am able to retain moisture for up to 2 weeks without having to moisturize again.
Tip: Do not skimp on your products if you want to hair to be properly moisturized. Using adequate amounts of products ensure that your hair remains moisturized for longer.
2.) Leave Styling to Hollywood! Keep Hair Manipulation to a minimum
Contrary to popular belief, natural hair is extremely susceptible to breakage. If you want to retain your length, leave your hair alone! It may be tempting to want to experiment with every new style on pinterest and YouTube now that you have the long mane. Don’t do it. Just don’t. It is absolutely critical that you refrain from over-manipulating your hair. This includes excessive brushing, combing, hand in hair syndrome, tight hair styles and heat.Manipulation = tangles. Tangles = breakage. Not what we are going for.
DO NOT COMB. I repeat : DO NOT COMB.
I strictly use my fingers to do not use any combs or brushes whatsoever. I also do not braid or twist using extensions and I use heat only once a year when I straighten my hair for my annual length check and trim. This has helped me retain at least 4 inches of hair every year over the past 5 years.
3.) Be Patient
If there is one thing this journey has taught me, its patience.
Be patient with your hair.
Do not compare it with others.
Always allocate enough time to take care of your hair- Do not attempt to detangle, wash or even style when you are rushed or upset.
Go with the flow!
Remember that no 2 days are the same with natural hair; you may follow the same steps and get different results every time – accept this as part of the journey.
Embrace both the good and not so good hair days.
Embrace the shrinkage, the knots and tangles. Accept that there will be days when you doubt yourself, when you want to give up…but don’t! All good things take time; nothing worth having ever comes easy….so be patient, your long, luxurious mane will thank you for it 🙂
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