Shelli's Secrets to Length Retention


by Shelli of Hairscapades

Last week, I mentioned that I was getting quite a few questions about what I do/did to get my hair to its current length. Usually when I get asked that question, I’ll point to my regimen post. But, to be honest, that is ever evolving and what I may be doing or using today may be totally different a week or two from now. So, I started to think about the various Tips and Tricks that I’ve shared over the last year. Then, I grouped them into categories of things that I consistently do to retain as much length as I can.
Right now, my hair is the longest that it’s ever been in my life … not ADULT life … my ENTIRE life. Although I have what is viewed as a “looser curl,” and some assume that length automatically comes with that, I was not one of those little girls with a thick, long ponytail hanging down her back until the yearning for a “perm” set-in and destroyed her long, luxurious mane.



Instead, my hair was fine, frizz prone and armpit length was probably the longest it ever was pre- or post relaxer. All this to say that, at 40 years of age and 12 years natural, my hair is the longest that it has ever been … EVER.

Now here’s the disclaimer! LOL! This post isn’t to say that I’ve got this length retention thing down to an exact science, that my methods are the only ones that work, that I don’t have setbacks or that I have a perfect head of hair. I am trying to grow out a shorter, dryer, coarser and more breakage-prone crown, a shorter nape, transition out henna-loosened ends and recover from the amla induced “Great Shed of 2010.” I don’t have a perfectly even, thick perimeter and although my longest areas have reached waist length, not all of my hair has (I’m testing Chicoro’s “Lead Hair” Theory and the goal point method of trimming). So, yeah … my hair is a work in progress and I hope some of the things that I learned and began incorporating late last year will help me to achieve healthier, thicker, stronger and longer hair in the twenty twelve!

So, without further ado, here are the 3 things that I am doing to “grow” my hair long or, more accurately, retain the length that I grow!

1. MOISTURIZE: Every week (or two weeks at the most), I pre-poo with Vatika or coconut oil, deep condition, apply a leave-in conditioner and seal with an oil. I re-apply a water-based moisturizer and seal between wash sessions, as needed.
2. PROTECT: I’m not just talking about protective styling. I think about protection as everything I do to reduce stress on my hair and prevent “premature” breakage. I finger detangle, use gentle hair accessories and tools, search and destroy to trim knots and splits that can cause “collateral damage” to adjacent strands, sleep on a satin pillowcase, wear a satin scarf or bonnet every night and wear low manipulation/protective styles that tuck away my ends 5-6 days a week.
3. STRENGTHEN: Throughout most of 2011, this element was largely missing from my regimen and I think it resulted in preventable breakage. But, I rectified this in November 2011, learned how to use protein correctly and began incorporating strengthening protein treatments every 2-3 weeks, or as needed. I also use henna. But, as I do roots-only treatments due to curl loosening caused by repeated applications, it isn’t sufficient as a strengthening agent alone. So, it became imperative for me to begin using protein to reinforce the “structural integrity” of my strands.
Here are a few pictures that show my progress from 2008, when I had my hair cut to ear length straight, to present.

Sept 2008
Feb 2011
Feb 2012
Feb 2012

 What do you do to retain length?

60 Weigh in!:
Anonymous said...

WOWOW!!! your hair looks amazing (shiny, healthy, strong). Thanks for the tips.

Kudos said...

Love these kind of posts, and your hair looks great!!
I baggy/greenhouse effect, protective style, henna, and I'm retaining length, thank God!! Took me long enough to figure it out!

I had it out for the first time in a while this weekend and my mother was like, *confused face* "Is that all your hair?!"
Yes, ma'm!

Gemlocs said...

Absolutely gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

First of all... you are how old?? :O
You look amazing and your hair is gorg!

Anonymous said...

LOve the info because I cut all my hair off a few yrs ago and it hasn't ever got back to the old length. and i have alot of brakeage split ends of course. I am still new to the natural thing and just getting off from work so excuse me if I sound crazy when I ask about the pre-poo what is that and do you put the oil in after pre=pooing wash out then condition? and theres other question but I dont want to sound dumb so can you break it down for me please and thank you.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!! Thanks for the tips!

DiJah said...

Hey Shelli, if you don't put henna on your ends and only on the roots, what do you do to the ends while henna-ing?

Anonymous said...

Pow!! Now that my dear is HAIR!!! Absolutely glorious!! Would you look at that shine???

Anonymous said...

You hair looks gorgeous Shelli! I've been natural for about 8 months (after a 10 month transition) and to retain length, I keep my hair stretched, moisturize it each night and twist to keep it from getting tangled. I wear it in a twist out 99% of the time, and it stays light, fluffy, and moisturized. I also wash/cowash, condition, and detangle weekly.

It's about neck length when it's fully stretched. I'm happy with the growth so far, and I'm even more happy that it's healthy!

~caramelcurls

Anonymous said...

LOVE IT! Thanks for the tips!!!
Anon- just a small tip I use when I don't know something or a new technique I havn't heard of, I do a search on YouTube, those girls on there are FAB!!! A lot of them show you step by step in video.

Anonymous said...

Shelli I really appreciate you detailing your hair health journey, and stating that your hair was not cas-ca-dading (lol) down your back as a child. So often I see natural hair women with super long hair, their childhood pics show long hair as well. As a kid my hair was about the same length as yours in your baby pic above, and despite everyone telling me how soft and pretty my hair was, it NEVER grew. Now I know the supertight rubber bands my mother and sister used on my delicate strands were no good for me. I've been natural for about 14 years, and only just learning that my hair craves protein-how sad is that. I am on a protective style challenge right now (getting laid off helps with that-lol!) and plan to keep my hair wrapped up somehow as much as possible. Your hair is fantastic, thank you again for sharing your info.

ursula_c said...

What type of protein treatment would you use

SophieAnn said...

What does the henna do for your hair?

Anonymous said...

@Kudos - you surprised your own mama! @Shelli, these are awesome pics and I love that your hair regimen is uncomplicated as is mine. I have found what works for me (less is more)and my hair loves it. I will probably try new products periodically - just because. I'm getting ready to henna for the first time so that I can give up chemical dyes. Thanks for your information.

Anonymous said...

I just wish mine would grow. My first BC it grew lovely and fast but after my 2nd bc because of hair damage it has been growing at a slower pace..... I just want my hair back, great tips though....

mkeji said...

Err Guys! Shelli is 40????????????

You look amazing! Seriously, I always thought you were around my age, maybe 30/31 at most.

Wow.....Can we please have a post on how you do that? ;)

Anonymous said...

Couple of comments,
I would have thought you had long hair as a child, MOST folks with long hair always had long hair,...
You do have long hair but it appears thin is that the case? I personally want thickness over length..
Its appears Henna permanently alters hair, be it the color or texture, so why do folks use it?

Marcia said...

Wonderful hair! Shellie you have been an inspiration for me for a long time, esp because like you before this hair journey my hair never passed APL, it is between BSL and MBL now and I have incorporated many of your suggestions into my regimen, especially the protein. Great feature!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. How can I use henna and avoid curl loosening. If I do the roots wont they eventually be loosened when my hair grows out. Is it better to mix the henna in order to avoid loosening? Can you explain? I would love to try. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I too would have categorized Shelli as a "she's always had long hair, she don't know my struggle" type....lol. I'm so glad she shared this with us. It's definitely an inspiration. Shouts out to all my ladies who had short or broken off hair as a child and who learned how to retain length in our 20's 30's and so on. It's never too late!
CC

Anonymous said...

Shelli!! How are you 40?! I love it, keep doing what you're doing. I'm 31 and i have friends my age and younger, who look 10 years older, but a "weathered" 40 not a "Shelli" 40 lol!

Thanks for this post, because I too thought that you always had long hair as a child.

**Allicia**

BLACKDON'TCRACKBABY said...

Braid extensions are a godsend, they have acquired stigma because of the typical black girl (in my Jamaican mums words) Nam Nam picky hairline. LOL.
There should be no manual breakage because you can't use a comb or heat on your hair. So your hair should thrive. Right? Well you have moisturize your braids because they rob your hair of moisture every day. I love my hair as much as the next person but I think it's great to let it be. Well I've gone on a tangent but before I sign out I'm going to say beautiful hair Shelli (and your 40, wtf? you look great

TTsGurlBB said...

Thank you Shelli. It's refreshing to be reminded that taking care of your ends and keeping your hair healthy leads to retained length. Good Job.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shelli! I have a question for you. If you give yourself protein treatments every 2-3 weeks, how often do you henna? So do you basically give yourself a henna or protein treatment every week?

Anonymous said...

Soooo Pretty. Thanks for the tips. I recently started using Henna (Nupur) and im hoping in time it will strenghten my hair and loosen the curl just a little :-)

hairscapades said...

Thank you everybody for all the kind words and sharing your own experiences!!

@Kudos, LOL!! Guess what? On Sunday, went to my grandmother's house. My mom pulled up about the same time as I did. She gets out of the car, comes over and pulls the back of my hair down to see how long it is. You see, a couple of the young ladies at the church I grew up in follow the blog. They told my mom my hair was down my back. She didn't believe them because she only ever sees it up or in a TnC, where it sits a little longer than shoulder length. She was like, "Oh, okay, it is down your back." I thought that was hilarious!! LOL!! Mind you, my mom is natural too!! Check out her HairStory if you're interested as she cracked me up!! LOL!! http://hairscapades.com/2012/01/03/my-moms-hairstory/

Anon @ 9:54, you know, I was going to put links to posts I've done on my different techniques, but didn't know how to fit them into this! LOL!! I'll put them all at the end of this, but in case you don't get that far, here is my post on Pre-pooing and within it is a link to my YouTube video.

http://hairscapades.com/2011/08/24/how-i-pre-poo-video/

Dijah, I put conditioner on the rest of my hair and sometimes I'll throw a couple tablespoons of henna into the conditioner to make a "henna gloss." Here is a post on my entire process:

http://hairscapades.com/2012/03/12/my-two-step-henna-indigo-process/

Since we're on henna;), Anon @ 3:58, I try to henna once a month to cover these crazy grey roots! And Ursula, I have been using the ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor every couple of weeks. I want to do the ApHogee 2 step treatment again (I've only done it once), but I needed a hard bonnet dryer, which just arrived this week! I'll never do protein and henna on the same day/weekend and will try to put a couple of weeks between henna and protein. I'm not really on a schedule. As I'm new to protein, just trying to gauge how my hair is feeling and reacting to manipulation to determine when to use a protein conditioner and what strength. So far, so good. I just ordered the Aubrey Organics GPB conditioner though and if it works well, I think I'll start using that as my protein conditioner instead of the ApHogee 2 Minute (I'll use up what I have though).

to be cont...

hairscapades said...

SophieAnn, Body Art Quality (BAQ) henna strengthens and thickens the strands of hair (as well as colors hair like a rinse) through the deposit of the plants dye molecule. It can condition hair, add shine and it loosens the curls of some. Seems that the curl loosening is more prevalent for fine haired/S-curl type naturals because the weight of the dye weighs the curls down.

Anon @ 12:11, yes, my hair is fine in strand thickness and about normal in density, with some areas that are dense (my crown) and some that are fine (my nape). I would LOVE thicker and denser hair, but that is just not what genetics gave me. However, my hair does get more voluminous. The curly pictures I shared here are day one, fresh hair. Let a little humidity hit it or sleep on it and it gets way bigger;). In regard to why people use henna, some want to loosen their curls. I wanted the shine, strength and color. I love the red that henna turns my grey hair and it's a natural/non-chemical alternative to chemical hair dyes. The curl loosening I could have done without.

So that takes me to Anon @ 12:22, it takes about 3 henna treatments to get the full effects of henna. What caused my excessive curl loosening was repeated weekly/bi-weekly full head applications of henna. I probably did at least 8-12 full head applications in 2010. I realized that if I just got the hair 3 times, I reaped the coloring, smoothing, shining and conditioning benefits of henna without the curl loosening issue. You can't really see the difference these pictures. But, you can see it here if you compare the curl pattern in the top half of my hair versus the bottom half:

http://hairscapades.com/2012/04/06/versatility/

You'll really notice it on the right side, which has always had a looser curl than my left side. So henna really did a number on the lower half where it's almost straight. But you see the top half is a lot curlier. This is the side that I sleep on and a stylist told me the side you sleep on often has looser curls and is thinner because of that! Who knew??

Anon @ 9:53 am, Mkeji and Allicia, y'all made my DAY!! LOL!!! Mkeji ... I always tell people, it's because I don't have any kids!! I gets my sleep;)!! LOL!!! Lord help me when I do have one (keeping fingers crossed) ... I'll probably age 20 years overnight!! I do NOT do well without enough sleep ... and I am already having problems staying up late blogging!! LOL!!

Okay, this is the longest response EVER! I better copy this in case it errors out when I try to publish it! I'd be PO'd!!!!

hairscapades said...

Last part:

Here are a few "articles" that I thought about linking in the post, but couldn't figure out how to do so without it seeming forced or awkward!! LOL!!

1. MOISTURIZE:

Pre-pooing product: http://hairscapades.com/2011/07/20/my-staples-virgin-coconut-oilvatika-oil/

How I do it: http://hairscapades.com/2011/08/24/how-i-pre-poo-video/

Deep Conditioning: http://hairscapades.com/2011/08/31/deep-conditioning-tricks-cool-seal/

My new DC love, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose: http://hairscapades.com/2012/05/14/pre-wash-deep-conditioning-and-a-braid-out/

Leave-in (I use a modified kimmaytube recipe - 2 tbsp KCKT, 2 tbs AVJ [whole leaf], 1 tsp jojoba or JBCO - the "regular" recipe is 2 tsp jojoba oil & 2 tsp castor oil): http://hairscapades.com/2011/12/19/the-power-of-ph/

Sealing: http://hairscapades.com/2011/10/25/my-staples-jamaican-black-castor-oil-jbco/

PROTECT:

Bonnets: http://hairscapades.com/2011/10/18/a-bonnet-for-every-occasion/

Gentle Tools: http://hairscapades.com/2011/09/27/tools-of-the-trade/

Finger Detangling: http://hairscapades.com/2012/03/28/finger-detangling/

Protective Styling: http://hairscapades.com/2012/05/08/protective-styling-boring/

STRENGTHEN:

Henna Process: http://hairscapades.com/2012/03/12/my-two-step-henna-indigo-process/

ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor Review: http://hairscapades.com/2011/10/28/aphogee-2-minute-keratin-reconstructor/

ApHogee 2 Step Treatment (my first time process and review): http://hairscapades.com/2012/02/06/aphogee-me-my-1st-two-step-protein-treatment/

Moisture & Protein, Finding the Balance: http://hairscapades.com/2011/11/30/moisture-protein-finding-the-balance/

So yeah, almost all of these articles were published on CurlyNikki too. But, you know, I'd love it if you visited my site too;)!! LOL!!

Okay, copying this NOW!! I think I'd cry if it disappeared!! And I apologize in advance for any typos and grammar errors as I am not proofreading this!! LOL!!

Shelli

watkinsabob said...

whats the difference in a leave-in conditioner, a moisterizer, creams or butters? They all seem moisture-esque to me. haha. #helpTheNewGirlPlease

Anonymous said...

Your hair is gorgeous in all of the pictures.

Anonymous said...

Just getting back off and thank you very much hairscapades for taking the time out to help me understand the things listed. But I know first thing first are my split ends have to get those cut. I'm so slow when it comes to these terms or meanings once again thank you and will look up and save everthing so I can remember.

hairscapades said...

Watkins, they are all moisture, but used in different ways at different junctures. Sufficient moisture is critical for maintaining healthy natural hair. Dry hair is brittle hair is breaking hair. So, it's important for most of us to moisturize at every step of the game (hence a pre-poo, conditioner, deep conditioner, leave-in conditioner and moisturizing styler).

Anon @ 8:12, thank you!!

Anon @ 8:28, thank you!! And yes, if your ends are damaged, it is important to get them trimmed/cut to prevent additional breakage and damage. Good luck!!

Shelli

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. <3

Anonymous said...

I love your hair, I can't stop looking.

Gwenn4ya said...

Wow your hair is simply gorgeous! I agree with some of the other comments that I can't stop looking! Awesome!!

marianela said...

Your hair is so beautiful and full. I am going to try some the stuff you do to keep the hair I have left on my head lol because it seems that no matter what I do I can't get it to grow past my shoulders.

Anonymous said...

Shelli- You are totally awesome!! just want to let you know that some of us ARE visiting your site. You are extremely informative, passionate and knowledgeable about this topic. Please do not sell yourself short! I love this site AND your site, as well as others. . . and equally so, but for different reasons.

Hopefully, you are getting the traffic you deserve on your site, as a result of all of your efforts here! You and your hair are gorgeous and I totally love your supportive attitude and humility! Your commitment to fitness and health is evident in your looking far younger than your stated age. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE for exercise AND healthy living, in regards to looking younger than one's stated age. I am a health care professional and I see it every day. Yes, genes play a role, to a point, but regular cardio plays just as big of a role. Your appearance proves it.
So, thanks again for all your hard work and . . .

Keep doing what you do!!!

Tea Wash said...

your hair has grown so nicely! i absolutely adore it

LM said...

I had long hair as a child, but struggled in my adolescent and young adult years with length retention. Now that I am 16 months post relaxer, 9 months post chop, my struggle is with single strand knots. Though I'm not, YET, having difficulty with length retention, I feel this may become a problem as it seems that almost every other strand of hair has a knot. I recently trimmed which helped a bit. I keep my hair stretched so I think the problem may be moisture and hand-in-hair syndrome lol. I thought retwisting every night was too much manipulation so I stopped doing that which cut down on moisture reapplication. My hair shrinks and tangles if i moisturize without twisting or braiding. I have to put a minimum of 10-15 twists in my hair due to length and hair texture. They unravel if i make them bigger. I have chosen to do multiple pineapples instead of retwisting, but it doesn't help much with moisture retention. I am almost at a loss of ideas when it comes to retaining moisture and preventing single strand knots. I have watched many youtube videos on the subject to no avail. I don't like how most protective styles for short hair looks and my hair won't hold flat twists for more than a couple of days. They quickly become very frizzy no matter how much I tie them down. :-( Sorry for the long comment...

Le'Carla said...

great tips!!!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous, my hair seems to be stuck @ my armpit as well, can't wait til it gets pass that. sometimes I wonder if that is the hereditary length:( or If I am doing something wrong:(

Habiba Kaba said...

Shelli, I found your site via Curly Nikki and I really like your site! I visit it every now and then, even to reread the same information again if i think about it. Either way, your honesty and candor about the state of your hair. You just earned a serious fan. So many times hair gurus or individuals with any kind of following online only show one side of their hair through pictures and words. This can be hard to deal with for some people who really struggle with their hair, and i can say that on a particularly bad day, I give the occasional side-eye to information coming from people who seem to NEVER have a setback or hair issue other than the occasional dryness. Knowing that you go through the same thing as other gals and guys, to me, validates your information. It tells me that you REALLY are trying new things and it makes me feel like if you would tell you hair issues for this article, then you would be honest and give the 360 degree view of a product or technique.

All things that glitter said...

Her hair is amazing so long and beautiful. just sarted using coconut oil its amazing wish i discoverd it earlier though vatika is also fantatic to use though use it when your in the house you may not like the smell though i i could stand it.

Gloria said...

Shelli, your hair is awesome! I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog, and I am a new subscriber to your site. Thank you for all of the info to keeping our hair healthy. I am still in the learning phase on how to keep my fine hair moisturized.

hairscapades said...

Oh my gosh!!! You guys are so sweet!! Thank you for the encouraging words and support!!!

Anon @ 1:35 and Habiba Kaba, wow!!! Like, really, WOW!! I mean, every comment made me smile hugely (and believe you me, my 9-5 is really kicking my butt right now, so a smile was SORELY needed)!! But, my wisdom teeth were probably showing when I read your comments!! LOL!!

Really, thank you all so much!! It really means a lot to me:).

Shelli

Adella Gonzalez said...

In order to grow out my hair I always put it up in a bun. But my length mainly in my crown. The center of my hair is short.. Can you recommend a way to get my shorter hair to catch up??

Adella Gonzalez said...

I really need help with a regime and products to stick with. When I don't "comb" out my hair and just put it in a bun...I lose so much hair when I do detangle it. I use Tresemme now and any random shampoo. I'd like to have good shampoo/conditioner, and leave-in conditioner and whatever else I need.
When my hair dries out it doesn't feel at all silky. I really need help.

Bizzy Cash said...

Shelli Thank you, thank you for the extremely useful info. I got my long time questions answered without having to go very far. And my hair is growing in my late 40es thicker, longer
healthier then it has ever been in my life. Then I am so happy that there are women like you and me aged 40 years young through 60es who are also
proving that we as African American women can grow
long healthy hair at any age.

Last week I met a black lady in Walmart in Virginia. This lady had beautiful waist length
thick natural hair. She told me she just blow dried it semi straight. She doesn't flat iron ever and curled the ends on large satin covered
sponge rollars. I would say her texture was about 4a something or another. But she and her hair was beautiful. Then she asked me how old do you think I am. I honestly believed she was forty something. Then she said 60---because I never guessed high enough.

Anonymous said...

Your hair is amazing...a true inspiration to behold....beautiful. My last relaxer was in Dec 2009...the best thing I have ever done for my hair and I am loving it, loving it, loving it!. I cannot wait for my hair to be that long..its gonna takes years!!!..:O
From "I'm Getting There"

Jennifer Haizlip said...

I would like to add some info about growing your hair in addition to the wonderful tips Shelli gave. By the way your hair is FABULOUS! Your length and texture is exactly what I'm trying to achieve. I've been natural for about 8 years but hadn't achieved the length I was looking but I will be using your wonderful tips. Right now my hair is about past my bra strap and I alternate between weaves (to protect)and going natural (give it a rest) but I also take Hair Skin and Nail pills. These have been a gift from up above lol. After taking them for about two weeks I noticed a difference in thickness (more) and length. My strands are also stronger and break way less than before I began taking them. There are plenty of good hair pills out there but make sure they are from a whole food source if possible. Some have just too much stuff your body can't and shouldn't digest. But the pills I take are Nature's Plus Ultra Hair Plus with MSM. Swear by them. Of course you have to do your due diligence to find what works with your body but these are some of the best around!You can find them in any Whole Foods store or here online www.vitacost.com for waaay cheaper. Again Shelli thank you so much for your tips!!! Trying them this weekend!

Anonymous said...

My natural hair was getting longer and longer but now due to the autoimmune disease I am battling it just hangs in a ball and falls off each day...what I would like to know if anyone knows what I can do to combat this? Also, due to this my hair has changed texture from soft/kinky/curly to just kinky/extremely, extremely dry.

hairscapades said...

Thank you for all the additional comments and kind words ladies!!

Adella, in regard to your crown, are you putting your hair in a bun from a WnG? If so, that can definitely result in matting and tangles, in my experience. My crown is also the most challenging area of my hair, but I'm finding that I've gained a lot of length, though it's still shorter than the other areas. There are several things that I do that I think help.

1) I stretch my hair on wash day with a twist out, braid out or TnC. Stretching the curls after detangling means less matting and tangles with a bunning regimen.

2) I have to take the bun down at least once during the week to moisturize and seal. Dry hair is broken hair during detangling.

3) Now here are the keys for me, I finger detangle almost exclusively. Since my crown is the coarsest, most porous and breakage-prone area of my hair, I slather my pre-poo products on the night before wash day. Right now I am LOVING Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose (or GPB on Protein day) conditioner mixed with Vatika oil as a pre-poo. I put on a plastic cap, gently separating any matted hair (which s/b minimal as my hair is stretched), placing my hair into 4-6 twists and sleep in it overnight. Then, I shampoo in the twists, rinse and apply conditioner to gently finger detangle on wash day. Lots of a slippery conditioner and the shower stream helps. But, patience is key because my crown definitely gives me the most problems when detangling.

Hope that helps and if you go to my site, in the right hand navigation I've added a link to "How I Retain Length." It has this information plus a Part II with all of the links that I provided further above, which detail important aspects of my regimen, including products.

Bizzy Cash, awwww thank you so much lady!! Yes, 40 plusers can grow long hair too!! I didn't know that ladies questioned that, but after getting a few comments about that on the YouTube, I realized it was a doubt. So, that's why I wanted to include that in this post, so others know that they don't have to "give up" when they hit a certain age. It's just like being in shape, I don't think it's ever too late to start and end up being in the best shape of your life!!!

And, WOW!!!! 60!?!? I wish that you had gotten a picture of her:)!!!! She sounds beautiful!!

@ "I'm Getting There," Awwwww, thank you lady:)! So sweet and I know that you will get there!! You're already in the right place:)!! Congratulations and best of luck on your journey (I'm sure that it won't take "years" ;).

cont ...

hairscapades said...

Thank you for all the additional comments and kind words ladies!!

Adella, in regard to your crown, are you putting your hair in a bun from a WnG? If so, that can definitely result in matting and tangles, in my experience. My crown is also the most challenging area of my hair, but I'm finding that I've gained a lot of length, though it's still shorter than the other areas. There are several things that I do that I think help.

1) I stretch my hair on wash day with a twist out, braid out or TnC. Stretching the curls after detangling means less matting and tangles with a bunning regimen.

2) I have to take the bun down at least once during the week to moisturize and seal. Dry hair is broken hair during detangling.

3) Now here are the keys for me, I finger detangle almost exclusively. Since my crown is the coarsest, most porous and breakage-prone area of my hair, I slather my pre-poo products on the night before wash day. Right now I am LOVING Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose (or GPB on Protein day) conditioner mixed with Vatika oil as a pre-poo. I put on a plastic cap, gently separating any matted hair (which s/b minimal as my hair is stretched), placing my hair into 4-6 twists and sleep in it overnight. Then, I shampoo in the twists, rinse and apply conditioner to gently finger detangle on wash day. Lots of a slippery conditioner and the shower stream helps. But, patience is key because my crown definitely gives me the most problems when detangling.

Hope that helps and if you go to my site, in the right hand navigation I've added a link to "How I Retain Length." It has this information plus a Part II with all of the links that I provided further above, which detail important aspects of my regimen, including products.

Bizzy Cash, awwww thank you so much lady!! Yes, 40 plusers can grow long hair too!! I didn't know that ladies questioned that, but after getting a few comments about that on the YouTube, I realized it was a doubt. So, that's why I wanted to include that in this post, so others know that they don't have to "give up" when they hit a certain age. It's just like being in shape, I don't think it's ever too late to start and end up being in the best shape of your life!!!

And, WOW!!!! 60!?!? I wish that you had gotten a picture of her:)!!!! She sounds beautiful!!

@ "I'm Getting There," Awwwww, thank you lady:)! So sweet and I know that you will get there!! You're already in the right place:)!! Congratulations and best of luck on your journey (I'm sure that it won't take "years" ;).

cont ...

hairscapades said...

Thank you Jennifer for the kind words and the additional words of advice!!! I'll have to look into the Hair and Skin vitamins! I just take a multi and a separate Biotin and MSM, when I'm following my regimen to the fullest. I've fallen off of my supplements since I've fallen off my diet and exercise regimen. I really need to get it back together as I soooo feel it in my energy and stress levels!! I'll definitely have to look into these Nature's Plus. I've been taking a pre-natal prescribed by my Gyn, but those jokers are expensive. I only asked about them last year as I'm 40, have never had a child, but would like to in a couple of years. So, she said it was a good idea for me to take them. But, again, the price on those things are ridiculous and I'm almost finished with them. So, I'm going to go back to a regular multi. I had been taking Alive! for Women by Nature's Way that are from whole food sources. I really liked those a lot and was going to go back to them. But, I think I'll try the Nature's Plus with MSM and see how I like them. So thank you soooo much for the suggestion!!

Anon at 10:19, medical conditions really change the game altogether as I think, often, there isn't a lot you can do to control the symptoms. Have you talked to your doctor about medications that may help? I don't have any experience with hair loss related to autoimmune conditions and I'd hate to make suggestions that are just a waste of time and money, or worse, exacerbate the problem. So, I would suggest that you go to a dermatologist who is probably better able to provide some medical background to the hair loss and some options for ameliorating the problem. They may suggest scalp massages with essential oils, protein treatments and/or even Rogaine for Women. But, again, I don't want to suggest any of those things as I don't know the underlying causes for hair loss related to medical conditions. Sorry that I couldn't be of more help:(.


Thanks again everyone!!

Shelli

hairscapades said...

Oh, Adella, I also meant to include this post I did a while ago about why our crown areas can be coarser, more brittle and porous than other areas of our hair and some tips for working with it for those of us with that problem.

http://hairscapades.com/2011/11/09/crown-of-glory-or-thorns/

And here was an article on BGLH that confirmed my belief that my irregular perimeter is largely attibutable to my shorter crown:

http://blackgirllonghair.com/2011/12/top-3-reasons-you-have-breakage-in-your-crown/

The more you know .... you know;)! LOL.

Shelli

Anonymous said...

Wow your hair is amazing, I can't believe you are 40! You must be drinking from the fountain of youth. How long did you do the henna to get your texture so stretched out? It looks pretty smooth in the earliest picture in 2008. Regarding your strengthening routine, have you tried Nutress protein treatment? I have been hearing a lot about it lately as an oldie but goodie. One girl said she bought every single pack they had at Sally's. I wanted it to try but I don't want my hair to get hard and brittle and that is what happened when I tried Aphogee. My hair was like a brillo pad! Help!

fabwtalk said...

You and your hair are gorgeous! I currently spritz with water, seal with oil and moisturize with a water based moisturizer, so far, so good. I've been natural 3 years now and hair is shoulder length but maybe could have been a bit longer (those darn set-backs) but that is the only way you learn. Glad to see your regimen is nice and simple. Excellent!

hairscapades said...

Awwww thank you Anon @ 7:36 and fabwtalk!! Anon, my hair has always had a decent sheen, but henna really loosened my curls a lot after repeat applications in 2010. But, in 2011, I stopped doing whole head applications and started doing roots only. So, the top 3/4 of my hair is my natural curl pattern (pretty) much and the bottom 1/4 is loosened (especially noticeable on my right side as that hair was already a lot looser than other areas of my hair - I've always had 4 different curl patterns). In regard to Nutress, I've never heard of it! I'll have to keep an eye out for it the next time I'm at Sally's ... which probably won't be too long since it's around the corner from my house!! LOL!! What I am loving right now is Aubrey GPB (Glycogen Protein Balancing) Conditioner mixed with Vatika oil as a pre-poo DC on dry hair before washing! Oh-Em-Gee!!! My hair feels soft, yet moisturized and strong after using that. I've only used it twice so far, but am in LOVE!! LOL!!

Shelli

mari said...

Thank you for these tips and regimen ideas! I also can't believe you're 40! I honestly thought that you were in your twenties like me =)

hairscapades said...

Awwww, thank you Mari!!! You are too sweet and made my day:)! LOL!!

And, for anyone interested, I made this a page on my site and created a part two for it with hyperlinks to all the posts that I listed above. So, you can find all of my techniques in one post.

http://hairscapades.com/about/how-i-retain-length/

And, I am adding my new, preferred strengthening product, Aubrey GPB.

Thanks!

Shelli

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