Now that you know a little bit of the story behind our hair (here) and how our hair went from neck length to bra-strap length, I’m going to tell you a little bit of why and what we do on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.
In the beginning of our hair journey, we were a lot more rigorous in taking care of our hair, so if you are using us as a comparison of your own hair’s development, please keep in mind that we CONSISTENTLY followed these steps for about two years and only saw significant changes after about a year or so. If at any point you start to feel discouraged, don’t worry, we’ve been there as well, patience and consistency are the keys to growing long hair. But, remember, it’s just hair, don’t let this one goal keep you from living your life.
Feel free to add or remove any steps depending on your lifestyle and also on your hair type. Our hair is relaxed but these tips can help anyone of any hair type or texture.
Without further ado, here are the steps we take in order to retain length:
There are two main ways to wash your hair, and we do them alternatively.
- I wash my hair with a sulfate shampoo (here) whenever I think it needs a deep clean. I suggest to wash your hair monthly, I try to do it on the 15th (or the Sunday closest to the 15th) of every month. Sulfate shampoos strip your hair of the essential oils that nurture and moisturize your hair so excessive use can cause it to be brittle and dry.
- I wash my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo (here and here) on every Sunday (besides of the Sunday that I wash with the sulfate shampoo) of the month. Sulfate-free shampoos clean your hair without stripping your hair of its natural oils so you can maintain moisturized and manageable hair. This is commonly known as co-washing.
- On Wednesdays (mid-week) I use a rinse-out conditioner(here and here) as I would a shampoo to remove any dirt I may have acquired during those few days and give my hair a little moisture boost. I do this more during the cold winter months when my hair feels drier and duller due to the lack of humidity in the air, but I always keep this step in my regimen even during the warmer months. This method is called co-washing (conditioner washing).
- Something that I swear by is deep conditioning(here , here and here), I had immediate results (my hair appeared fuller, it was so soft and moisturised). Deep conditioning is super important because our hair naturally is very dry and since it is so coily and kinky it takes longer for the moisturizing natural oils (the ones that you don’t want to get rid of with harsh shampoos) from our scalp to travel down to our ends. This is the reason why you may feel that your hair is not growing past a certain length; your hair is growing but your ends are so dry that they keep breaking and falling off so you never notice any length changes. Before our hair journey, I would go to the salon and cut my ends several times in a month and still a few days later my ends would be broken and damaged again. This was due to the fact that I barely ever deep conditioned. Now, every single time that water touches our hair, we deep condition (on Wednesdays and Sundays, so two times per week) using a moisturizing or protein condition for at least 1 hour with heat or at least 2-3 hours without heat. You’ll see an instant difference in your hair, just from deep conditioning regularly.
- We use a protein conditioner depending on how our hair feels. If your hair feels dry and brittle, use a moisturizing deep conditioner. If it feels too soft or limp and lifeless, use a protein conditioner.
- After drying my hair with a cotton t-shirt (because normal towels frizz up your hair) you need to keep the moisture in your hair ( since you wash off your deep conditioner) so we use a leave-in or moisturiser(here and here). Our hair is very dry, naturally, so the more moisture you add to it, the better, so we add a moisturizing leave-in conditioner for our hair to maintain the level of moisture that it needs to grow. During the week, when we’re not washing our hair, we also moisturize our hair with a water based moisturiser. We do this on a daily basis before we go to sleep (we use the same ones that we used on our wash days).
- Oils(here, here and here) are also very important. They have very moisturising properties but they should not be used to replace moisturisers. They should be used to aid moisturisers in sealing in the moisture that they give. We use oils before shampooing as a hot oil treatment and after adding our moisturisers and leave-in conditioners in order to “seal” in the moisture.
- We use a no-lye relaxer(here) every 3 to 4 months. We don’t relax our hair bone straight anymore, we leave a little bit of texture. Relaxing your hair breaks down the protein bonds of your hair making it even more dry and brittle, so we make sure to follow the steps above in order to successfully grow healthy relaxed hair (you can see how we relax our hair here).
Hopefully this helps you start your hair journey and shows you a little bit of what we do so that you start implementing it in your hair. Keep the questions and requests coming on the comment section so we know exactly what you want to learn from us. For inspiration on why you should start a hair journey check out Elle’s story here and follow us on instagram at di.elle.ci or follow us on twitter at @dielleci.