So I did a length check a couple weeks ago and here are the results…
I’m happy with the length, I have began retaining length better since my trim almost 3 months ago but the way the ends look bugs me. I think the ends are way too thin for my liking. Hair ends taper (thin out) naturally because as your hair grows out and the ends get older, they will tend to thin out a little from unavoidable damage from manipulation. So I know my ends will taper regardless, however, I want them to taper as little as possible.
After a little exploring online, I found the following tips to maintain thicker ends (Via Blackgirllonghair):
- Always trim away damaged ends
- Use a protein conditioner on your ends
- lubricate ends liberally before manipulation
- Keep heat use to a minimum or eliminate completely
- Handle ends with care
- Moisturize ends sufficiently
Now I already moisturize a lot, don’t use heat, I lubricate my ends before detangling or styling, handle my ends with care and try not to expose my ends to the hot and dry Botswana weather by keeping my hair in protective updo styles. I use to be the queen of the twist out but I limit those to weekends or once a week. So clearly my problem here is protein conditioning, I don’t do any at all! I do use light protein conditioners like ORS Mayo however I don’t use them often enough. I am now going to be deliberate about my protein conditioning.
What do they do?
Protein: Protein is what gives the hair its strength and structure. Hair is about 70% keratin protein by nature.
Moisture: Helps hair maintain it’s elasticity and ability to stretch.
For hair to be strong and resistant to breakage, it needs a balanced protein-moisture regimen. Too much protein is bad because it makes your hair hard and brittle while overuse of moisturizer makes it soft but weak, too much of either make your hair prone to breakage.
So how does one figure out which they need more so as to not overuse it or use it too little. Trail and error mostly. If your hair is too hard and brittle, you need more moisture, if it’s very soft and mushy when wet or always limp, you may need more protein. The general rule is not to overdo the protein treatments because it is hard to rectify overuse of protein than it is to rectify overuse of moisture.
I have decided to go the natural route and do a homemade protein treatment once a month. I will see how my hair responds to this an adjust if needed. I will also go back to using henna which binds to the hair shaft therefore giving the appearance of thicker hair. I will probably do the henna treatment once every 2 or 3 months.
I did my first DIY protein treatment this past week before braiding my hair and this was what I used:
- 2 eggs
- 4/5 tablespoons of mayo
- 1 tablespoon of ACV
- 4 tablespoons of plain yogurt
It was a very messy business I must say! I will not be looking forward to this process but it shall be done! The smell is not too great either. I used a plastic bag to cover my head then put the shower cap on over that just to hold everything in place. That way I could throw away the plastic bag afterwards and keep my shower cap fairly clean. I left it on for 30 to 45 minutes before rinsing it out. I followed it up with a deep conditioning treatment using Amla Legend rejuvenating hair masque.
There were no significant differences in how my hair felt which I’m fine with, I don’t want it to suddenly become hard. Next time I may just stick to eggs, ACV and maybe add an oil. I will also get a trim as soon as my current protective style is taken down.
Currently I am back in afro kinky twists and loving it. I decided to do chunky ones this time. Took less time to get done and still looks awesome, win win.
Do you regularly treat your hair with protein treatments or are you a moisture junkie? Might be time to add some protein to your hair’s diet!
Side note: If your hair is color treated or relaxed, you need to use protein more often.