Photography provided by @K_DougDE
August 01, 2018 marks my official day of being at the two year mark of my #noheatchallenge progress! No way did I think I could last this long without wanting to straighten or curl my hair with a hair heat appliance. Right now, I am at 3 years and 5 months of my natural hair journey. Since my last update on this hair challenge, my shrinkage has increased which means my hair is becoming healthier. One thing I can honestly say I have not maintained correctly would be getting my ends trimmed how I need to. This is very important in the natural hair journey but it just seems this is my biggest flaw of the journey.
When I say getting my ends trimmed, I mean like fully straightening my hair out, or pulling it out fully to cut ample amounts off at a time. Or just the damaged areas by a professional. One thing I have managed to do instead, is to dust my ends. This is where I just do spot cuts on areas I can visibly see and feel are damaged weekly. Visibly, if my ends are completely split down the middle, where the hair shaft forms into two pieces on my ends, I cut them off. If I can feel my ends are knotted and I can’t get the strands apart from each other without ripping the hair, I cut them off. I tend to find my individual strands knotted from time to time which is a big aggravation for me. This will definitely be a thing to work on for the next portion of my natural hair journey.
Wigs & Twists
Protective styling has always been big for me to retain length as a natural. One style of choice I have found that has helped a lot during the last year of my natural hair journey have been mini twists and wigs. Mini Twists typically last about two weeks at a time, which allow me to keep my hands out of my hair and elimination manipulation daily. Wigs are quick and convenient ways for me to not only switch looks, but for retaining length as well. You don’t have to manipulate your own hair at all with wigs, plus you’re able to cover your hair completely to prevent damage from the sun. A couple of DeluxHair affiliate partners, including Perfect Locks and Diamond Virgin Hair Co. provide some great options for great quality wigs.
One quality product that has helped me out the most during this last year of the natural hair journey for me would be African Royale’s Hot Six Oil Spray Mist. This has been the only oil I’ve needed at this point.It’s very light weight, doesn’t leave a heavy build up and it’s even great for my skin as well. I found this great product at Rite Aid while running errands one afternoon. But you may able to find it in select Target stores as well in some areas.
Leave In Conditioner
I was fortunate enough to win the new Luster Pink Oil Leave-In-Conditioner with 21Ninety this past winter season! Surprisingly, it has become my favorite leave-in-conditioner so far! I love how I don’t have to use too much of it, along with the fact that it’s thick enough to cover my hair. I have found that the longer my curls get, the thicker my hair gets, so I need thicker products that will reach my scalp. Thinner conditioners for my hair type have been a waste of money for me so far, to be honest. They don’t reach my scalp and don’t seem to cover all of my hair, leading me to purchasing twice as much.
One last addition I have added to my natural hair routine would be hair masks. I needed something moisturizing, as my hair tended to be dry and brittle from time to time. Especially my ends. My hair mask of choice right now is the new Hydrating Hair Mask by Ouidad. It has helped a lot for the last couple months.
Image provided by @K_DougDE
Check out my staple products right now:
Then & Now
The photo on the left was taken during the year of 2012 after my big chop.
This was before I began the no heat challenge.
The picture on the right was taken April 2018.
Tips for progressing through the #NoHeatChallenge:
- Use wide tooth combs to prevent breakage
- Invest in a derma brush or something similar in style
- Eliminate the use of heat appliances and tools
- Enable air drying to prevent breakage, lose of moisture, and retain length
- Drink at least 32oz of water daily for hydration
- Eat bananas for hair growth
- Wet your hair thoroughly before manipulation to prevent breakage
- Wear a satin or silk hair scarf or bonnet to prevent lose of moisture while sleeping
- Use silk or satin pillowcases to prevent lose of moisture while sleeping
- Take advantage of protective styling to retain length
- Enable the LCO method to retain length
- Keep ends trimmed to prevent split ends
Image provided @K_DougDE
I encourage all natural ladies to embrace their curls for an extended amount of time. This challenge enabled me to fall in love with my hair all over again. I have been able to really accept my own natural hair state more now than ever. If you have decided to take on this exciting new hair challenge, we would love to read or see your updates by commenting in our comment section below. Or you can tag us in your photos with using @delux_hair or hashtag #delux_hair in your captions!
I am currently at year 2, August 01, 2018 would be the start of year 3 for me. Another update will be posted in August of 2019 to show my progress over time.