In her book Grow It, hair guru Chicoro advises that long, healthy hair is achievable with “some faith, knowledge, and a little patience and persistence.” In The Science of Black Hair, author Audrey Davis-Sivasothy lists the characteristics of a healthy hair care regimen:
1. Strategic product selection
2. Maintaining optimum moisture levels in the strands
3. Balancing moisture sources with protein sources
4. Protection of hair from heat and physical damage
5. Low manipulation hair styling
6. No chemical processes or not more often than every 10-12 weeks
7. Good diet
Both of these hair experts offer excellent and detailed advice in their books, which has provided the building blocks for my hair care regimen and I often dip into The Science of Black Hair even though I have already read it from cover to cover, such is the wealth of information.
I have found that the best way to stick to the seven points listed above is to keep things simple, especially when it comes to hair products. Apart from branded organic shampoos and conditioners that have been great for my hair – all the hair care products that I buy are natural products in the purest form, such as coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, aloe vera juice, jojoba oil and shea butter.
I buy all my ingredients online and mix the concoctions myself, storing them in plastic containers. My hair has thrived and my purse is a lot heavier! It hasn’t escaped my attention that hair care manufacturers are trying to cash-in on the growing numbers of black women going natural.
I was amazed to see last week, a hair care manufacturer offering a water mixture with which to spray the hair to moisturise it, in a small bottle for £8.99! Needless to say I make my own water mixture with the raw ingredients and it lasts for months and months and works out at a fraction of the cost.
I retain moisture levels in the hair by drinking five glasses of water a day, on top of the six or so cups of herbal tea I drink; plus I spray my hair with my home made water mixture twice daily. I do not use any protein conditioners in my hair, since I get maximum protein from the foods I eat.
I know that my body is super-efficient at processing protein because my nails grow at an amazing rate to the point where I have to file them down every three weeks, or typing on the computer becomes awkward.
I have not used any heat or chemicals on my hair since May and do not plan to use a hair dye until the end of September, and thereafter only every 10 weeks. My hair routine must rank a one on the manipulation scale, because I only comb it once a week!
I wash my hair once a week and only comb it very, very briefly after shampooing and applying a leave-conditioner; when I detangle a section first with my fingers and then run a detangling comb through it. After that the hair is twisted and left twisted for the whole week!
As far as the diet goes it is very simple – for the last ten weeks I have eaten a large serving of broccoli, carrots, sweet pepper, onion and plum tomatoes almost every day, along with a poached egg and banana. So I am consuming the optimum levels of nutrients to nourish the hair.
This whole routine has become second nature over the last ten weeks that I have stuck to a regimen as part of my Lifestyle Challenge and is really simple for me to follow. I like to find what works then stick to it, rather than chopping and changing, although I have made minor modifications here and there.
If you look at the photos in my Gallery, you will see that my hair is growing nicely and is very healthy, which you can see in the texture and natural lustre. So if like me you are trying to grow your afro textured hair, then follow the advice of hair experts like Chicoro and Audrey Davis-Sivasothy, who understand the science of black hair – but stick to a simple routine that is easy to follow!