Hello wonderful people! I hope your holidays were exquisite! I’m back with the first post of the new year, and as I was wondering what to do, I thought to myself, “Why not start off with healthy hair for 2013?” That’s what I’m here to talk about today.
We all need to keep our hair healthy. That is the main goal of naturals and relaxed girls alike. But do you know the signs of healthy hair? Do you know the difference between breaking and shedding? Protein and moisture? I sure didn’t. 🙂 So I did a strand test.
A strand test is the easiest way to find out what your hair needs. Basically, you get a stand of SHED hair(that has come from the root on its own) and stretch it– CAREFULLY.
If your hair stretches 15-20% and then bounces back, KUDOS! Your hair is balanced.
If it stretches a lot and then breaks off, you are lacking both protein and moisture.
If it continues to stretch and does not bounce back, you need protein.
And if it doesn’t stretch at all and immediately breaks, you need moisture.
Here’s a video for all you visual learners (skip to the 3:10 mark to see the test in action.)
When I performed the strand test on myself, my hair stretched a lot and then, at the ends, broke off when I attempted to stretch it, which I figured it would. I figured this because I know that although my permed hair is long, it’s damaged. There are chemicals in it, after all. So according to the results above, I knew that I needed both protein and moisture. I proceeded to give myself a protein treatment.
In this homemade treatment, I used mayo, olive oil, castor oil, honey, and eggs. It didn’t mix that well, as there were still visible clumps of mayo, but I think that’s because I added the mayo last. Needless to say, it’s an interesting smell, to say the least. I prefer (and recommend) doing this protein treatment on dirty hair, before washing. The main reason I do this is because of the smell. However, there are many other reasons. It’s very messy to apply, because it’s a runny substance, so take caution and wear clothes that you don’t mind getting messy. Another reason is that it will make your hair feel very similar to straw, and you’ll need moisture minutes after rinsing it out.
There’s a shot of what it looked like after mixing.
Here’s a front shot.
And a side shot.
As you can see, it’s very runny, and after a while, it all settles at the bottom of the cap, so PLEASE take caution taking it off. I left it in for about an hour. I’ve heard different things about how long you should leave it in, but I think that that’s subjective. I say, leave it in for as long as you think it needs to act, depending on the elasticity of your strand. Find a happy medium.
After I rinsed it out, I washed detangled, and deep conditioned as normal. ( Details on my regimen to come.)
As for moisture, my plan is to moisturize twice a week or more (instead of just once), and pay SPECIAL attention to my ends. What I’m used to doing is oiling my scalp and hair everyday, but as we all know, oil is not a moisturizer, but a SEALANT. So I’m going to cut the oil down to twice/three times a week.
Many people advise to do the protein treatment as needed. As for me, I feel like I need moisture more than protein, so I’ll probably be doing protein treatments every three months or so. I’m trying not to focus on my permed hair, because eventually it’s going to fall out. I still take care of it, of course, but the focus is on the new growth coming in, because that’s the hair that’s going to be on my head. That’s the hair that I want to be healthy.
My next strand check will be in August, and I’ll be around a year(!!!!!!) natural then, so we’ll see how my hair’s doing. I’ll give you guys an update!