Keeping My Hair Moisturized While Protective Styling

www.curlyincolorado.com keeping hair moisturized protective styling
It’s a wig!
protective styling with
this full cap wig by Freetress

Last week I started a personal protective style challenge.  A protective style is one that protects the ends of your hair by tucking them away.  My personal challenge is to style my hair this way for a few months.  This will be challenging because I prefer to wear my hair down more often than not.  Hopefully this will lead to the length retention I need in order to gain a few more inches this year.  I plan to do this by wearing my hair in up dos and
under wigs.

Right now,  I only have two wigs and plan to purchase a couple more.   I’ll also be styling my hair in buns, braids and flat twists when I’m not wearing a wig.  I’m doing all of this to keep myself from manipulating my hair.  I suspect that the constant styling
I’m used to has led to my hair length plateau.  For me, more styling
tends to lead to more trimming.

www.curlyincolorado.com keeping hair moisturized protective styling
The moisturizer that saved the day!

Before braiding my hair up last week, I cleansed my hair and scalp with a sulfate free shampoo.  I towel dried my hair and applied leave-in conditioner and grapeseed oil to seal in the moisture.  I assumed that this would be enough to keep my hair moisturized for at least a couple of days.  I also used Eco Styler hair gel to smooth my edges down.  Lastly, I braided my hair into two dutch braids like the ones in my braiding video.  Then I wore my wig during the day and wrapped my hair up at night for about two days.

I  thought that the products and the fact that my hair was braided meant that my hair would stay moisturized under my wig.  Boy was I wrong!  A couple of days later I took my hair down and my hair was so dry.  I quickly applied some moisturizer and then sealed with the grapeseed oil again.  I braided it back up and hoped for the best.  The next day, I could tell that my hair was feeling softer but I still wanted to give it more moisture.  I ended up cleansing my hair again and conditioning.  I decided to do a wash and go style using a heavy conditioner as my leave-in, moisturizer, oil and then gel.  My hair had so much life!  The moisturizer I think was the key.  My leave-in conditioner was not enough on its own.

www.curlyincolorado.com keeping hair moisturized protective styling
My current combination of products
to keep my hair moisturized while protective styling

After wearing my hair curly for a few days, I decided to try again.  This time, after my cleansing routine, I applied a heavy conditioner as my leave-in, moisturizer and grapeseed oil.  Then I brushed my hair back into a simple bun.

I can tell a huge difference in how my hair feels.  If this combination of products works for me, I will continue to do this throughout my protective style challenge.

New Year, New Hair Goals

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Wiggin’ It!
Wearing my new everyday
lookby Freetress

I want three more inches!  My hair has been stuck at APL (armpit length) for what seems like forever.  Part of this is due to my frequent trimming to even out my layers and add thickness.  Now that my layers are growing out, I want to concentrate on overall hair growth.

At the end of 2014 I started looking into ways that I could retain more length in the new year. Of course a lot of people with longer hair contend that protective styling is what got them the hair we all lust after.  I for one am not keen on putting my hair away for months at a time.  I love variety and my scalp does not do well under such conditions.  It looks like cleansing my hair multiple times per week is preferred.  So any type of long-term protective styling is out.

I do still want at least three more inches though and I want them this year!  I’m thinking along the lines of protective styling on the go with wigs and half wigs.  I can braid my hair up underneath the wig and no one would be the wiser.  This would also allow for washing and co-washing whenever I need to. 

So far, I only have two wigs and a diy u-part wig which requires that I leave some of my own hair out.  My current wig selection is okay but, I’ve got my eye on a couple of styles that may be more in line with what I’m craving right now.  I don’t want to wear anything too outrageous.  Just something to get me through the next few months while I quietly hide my real hair. 

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Same wig with shorter bangs

As far as haircare goes, I plan to keep my hair in good condition by doing deep treatments weekly.  I will probably use things like light protein treatments, moisturizing deep treatments and hot oil treatments.  I have videos for how I do these on my Youtube channel.  I’m also putting away the scissors.  I can’t seem to get enough of those blunt cut ends but I’ve been cutting off all of my progress.  I do like to do a light trim on my ends every three months though so we’ll see.  Here’s to reaching new lengths in the new year. . . fingers crossed.

4 Month No Heat Challenge Results

www.curlyincolorado.com no heat challenge length checkI finally completed my No Heat Challenge which went from October 1, 2013 to February 1, 2014.  It may sound crazy but it was the longest that I had gone without using heat since my transition to natural hair.  At first, I thought maybe I was going to succumb to the urge to straighten my hair or use a blow dryer.  Once I got the hang of styling my hair in other ways, it ended up being easier than I expected.




During the challenge I allowed myself the use of my hooded dryer for roller sets and drying my wash n’ go curls.  Other than that, I usually just air dried my hair.  My favorite styles ended up being braid outs and ponytail roller sets.  These were easy ways to stretch my hair that also gave my hair manageability.

www.curlyincolorado.com no heat challenge length check
My Current Hair Length
February 2014

Once the four month challenge was over, I straightened my hair for a length check.  I was happy to see that my layers were finally growing out.  After flat ironing my hair I decided to give myself a much needed trim.  One of the things I noticed though was how many single strand knots I had to cut out.  Not good!  My thoughts on that were that maybe I should stay away from tightly curly styles until I get to a length where I’m comfortable with just maintaining.  For now, I’ll be using stretched styles to try and keep the knots under control.

I’ve decided that I’ll probably go another three months before using heat to straighten my hair again.  I really liked how the new hair growing in felt so much thicker and healthier.  I don’t want to damage it by using excess heat.  Overall, I’m pleased with the results and am glad that I challenged myself in this way.  I learned a lot about my hair and what it needs, which will help me obtain my goals.

Have you ever participated in a hair challenge?

The Benefits of Using Coconut Oil as a Pre-Poo Treatment

www.curlyincolorado.com coconut oil pre poo on natural hair
Getting ready to Pre-Poo with
Coconut Oil

After recently purchasing extra virgin coconut oil for the first time in ages, I have been on the huntpatchouli85 on Youtube.  Fast forward to this month where my hair is longer but in need of repair.  I have already been experiencing dryness and breakage so I can’t afford to make any more mistakes.
for more information on how to use it.  Years ago, I used the oil to combat frizz when my straight natural hair started to revert.  Later, I was inspired to try it in a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment mix demonstrated in a video by

I knew that there were a lot of benefits to using coconut oil but wasn’t exactly sure how to work the product into my weekly routine.  While looking at some Youtube videos on the subject I found out how great coconut oil is for pre-pooing.  Again, this is when you apply something to the hair, oils or conditioner, prior to using shampoo.  This helps the hair to retain moisture during the washing process.  Coconut oil has a molecular structure small enough for it to penetrate the hair strand.  When using it to pre-poo, you are helping the hair to hold onto it’s moisture.  In addition, the oil has the ability to prevent hygral fatigue.   This is when the strands swell and de-swell from constantly going from wet to dry.  This stretching and contracting can be damaging and even lead to protein loss.  Lately I have been wetting my hair and cleansing it often so, without this added protection, my hair is vulnerable.

I really want to retain as much length as possible this year.  I’m finally understanding the negative effects of shampoo (or any cleansing agent) and the toll that it is taking on my hair.  I’m hoping that the coconut oil will help my hair bounce back so I can start retaining more of my length.  I have included a link to a video by  GreenBeautyChannel that further illustrates the benefits of using coconut oil as a pre-poo.  Check it out!

COCONUT OIL VS. CONDITIONER PRE-POO
WHICH ONE IS BETTER AND WHY?

New Year; Same Hair Goal

Trying to get past this length in 2013

For my hair journey, the beginning of 2013 looks pretty much like the end of 2012.  My main focus this year will be to protect my hair from ME!  That’s right, I’ve figured out the real reason why I’m still sitting at the length I am now.  Some people call it “Scissor Happy” but I’m now calling it counter productive.  I really like when my ends have that blunt cut appearance and when they don’t, I’m pulling out the scissors.  As far as retaining length, with this way of thinking, I’m at a stand still with my hair.

Lately I have been looking for ways to distract myself because yes, I’ve been thinking about cutting again.  I hit APL (Arm Pit Length) at the sides a couple times in 2012 and saw it as an oppurtunity to even things up.  Now, I do still have bangs in the front and layers on the top and sides, so my bottom layer is still the lengthiest part of my hair overall.  I guess I have always wanted to help the other sections catch up to the rest which would mean trimming the longest bits little by little.  Still, even with that being the goal I figured I would just hover at BSL (Bra Strap Length) before trying to make my hair more even.  At this rate, I’ll never see BSL which for me is only two more inches away (in back; when the hair is stretched).

Last fall I counted and it looks like I gave myself at least 6-7 trims throughout the year.  Some to get rid of heat damage (searching for the perfect curl) and some to give my hair that look of blunt ends.  My last trim for 2012 was at the end of November and I honestly think I should put the scissors aside until the spring.  I really am curious to see where my hair will end up in the coming months but the urge to cut is always there.  Not sure if I can do it but I’m gonna try.