Friday 8 March 2013

2013 Hair growth challenge - Building your regimen

The first thing to do when starting a healthy hair journey is to build your regimen. There is so much information out there and a lot of them conflicting. Some people use mineral oil, some people don't. Some people owe their long locks to their use of only natural products, others claim that their use of silicones and other unnatural products ease the detangling process and help them retain length.  You really can't tell what will work for you until you try it. So today, we will sort through all this information and come up with a jumping off point from which to start determining what works for our hair and what doesn't.

First off, every good regimen should have the following elements:

- Cleaning
- Conditioning
- Styling/grooming
- Protecting
- Altering (optional)


Having a clean scalp is necessary for optimal hair growth. However shampoos can be drying. To avoid drying out and tangling your hair, focus on your scalp when washing. Don't worry about your hair, when you rinse out the shampoo from your scalp it will run down the length of your hair and clean your hair too.

What to look for in a shampoo:
- Avoid shampoos labelled as volumizing as they tend to strip your hair of moisture
- Look for shampoos that promote moisture, hydration or claim to maintain/define curls
- Avoid shampoos that contain multiple sulphates

Some products to try:
Elasta qp creme conditioning shampoo
Design essentials moisture retention conditioning shampoo
Motions lavish conditioning shampoo
Keracare hydrating detangling shampoo
Creme of nature detangling conditioning shampoo


Conditioning your hair helps keep moisture inside your cuticle, coats your hair to smoothen it and makes it easier to detangle. In some cases it repairs and temporarily fills in holes and gaps caused by chemical damage or daily wear. Conditioners can be classified as either moisturizing i.e. they help retain moisture in your hair or Protein enriched i.e. they help repair damaged hair and strengthen weakened strands. Protein conditioners are especially recommended if you have chemically treated hair.

What to look for in a moisturizing conditioner:
Look for conditioners that contain water, fats ( cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and myristyl alcohol) and humectants (glycerin, propylene glycol, sodium lactate, sodium PCA)

Some products to try:
Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner 
Elucence Moisture Benefits conditioner 
Creme of Nature Nourishing Conditioner
Herbal Essences Replenishing conditioner
Dove Intense Moisture Conditioner
KeraCare Humecto Conditioner
Infusium Moisturizing conditioner.

Some moisturizing conditioners

What to look for in a protein conditioner:
Look for products that have amino acid, silk, collagen, keratin. Protein treatments can make your hair hard so always follow with a moisturizing treatment.

Some protein conditioners to try:
Organics Hair Mayonnaise Treatment for Damaged Hair 
Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor 
Affirm 5 in 1 Reconstructor 
Creme Of Nature Conditioning Reconstructor 
Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayaonnaise 

Some mild protein treatments

Leave ins, daily moisturizing and conditioning:
 Use these to tide you over and keep your hair moisturized until your next wash. If your style allows it moisturize your hair by spritzing water or any water based leave in like infusium 23, Neutrogena triple moisture silk touch or any other leave in available to you then seal in the moisture by applying some oil to the ends of your hair.


- As much as possible, avoid using heat in your hair. Opt for heat free styles.
- For a sleek look, instead of blow drying and flat ironing, opt to roller set, dry slowly under a hooded dryer and then wrap (doobie)
- Rather than blow drying with heat, opt to air dry or blow dry on cool
- Rather than combing opt to finger comb when possible (combing=breakage and you really don't have to comb every day. Discussion for another day:)
- As much as possible, opt for low manipulation protective styles e.g cornrows, braids, wigs, sew in weaves etc


Always tie your hair up at night with a silk or satin scarf. If you are one of those who  wake up and find your scarf on the other side of the bed, you can get silk/satin pillow cases instead.

Altering (Chemical processing with a relaxer)

Natural hair is healthier than relaxed hair. However,  use the following guidelines to maintain healthy hair even when chemically processed:

- Don't relax your hair too frequently
- Don't relax your hair bone straight. Relax your hair to loosen the curl but not to get it bone straight. This is called 'texlaxing'. Your hair should still have a lot of texture to it when air dried. You can however still get it silky straight by roller setting or flat ironing. Texlaxing helps you maintain healthy hair despite having it chemically treated.

My texlaxed hair.

I plan to transition to a more textured look. Like this:
Jenny from

- Stretch your relaxer only if you are protective styling. If you are manipulating your hair daily while stretching you will cause breakage at the line of demarcation where your relaxed hair and new growth meet
- Depending on the rate of hair growth, aim to relax no frequently than every 2 months
- Do a protein treatment several days before and after relaxing to repair your hair and remember to use a moisturizing conditioner afterwards.

These are just guidelines. If you have difficulty finding products that you want, you may be able to work with the products that are available locally. Just check the ingredients in the products and check online for reviews so you can make an informed decision. Bear in mind that good ingredients and good reviews do not guarantee that a product will work for you so you have to monitor your hair to be sure that the products and techniques you are using are working and make necessary changes if they aren't.

If you happen to be in lagos, you can check out casabella at the palms and yinka bodyline on awolowo road (ikoyi), they both have a good selection of hair products.

If you have had a good experience with a product that I haven't mentioned please share in the comment section. Let me know if you have any questions!


Edited to add:
Blacksoap has been suggested as a good alternative to a sulphate free shampoo. It is gentle, sulphate free and readily available. Here is a post on how to make your own black soap shampoo:


  1. People keep making reference to low manipulations styles

    But I would av thought braids don't classify as such because they aren't usally masssive braids like calabar do.

    The Idea of braids tend to be smaller in size than that.

    So can u pls give an example of what high manipulation? Cos I am not sure I am clear on it

    1. High manipulation is anything that requires you to manipulate your hair frequently. For example if you were to blowdry, flat iron, comb and wrap everyday or even every other day, that would be a lot of manipulation. Even protective styles can be high manipulation, if you are doing them frequently. So if you are combing, brushing and flat twisting your hair daily and then taking it down nightly and then redoing every day, that would be high manipulation. It's not necessarily a bad thing, it works for some people but has to be done carefully. With braids, the process of putting in the braids requires some manipulation however once you have them in you can go for a long while without having to comb or brush your hair. I would say anything that requires you to comb or brush your hair frequently is high manipulation. HTH

    2. Ahhhh! Light bulb moment

      Yes that makes sense. Cool. Thx.

  2. Hello dear pls i just ran into ur blog today pls kindly add me on bbm so we can chat better on how i can make i hair grow long. Just loving your hair seriously.25AC2471 pls add me

  3. Hey sis.
    You and your hair are gorgeous!
    Love the info and thank you for the shout out!
    Blessing ^^


  4. Hi, I'm currently wearing dreads and will have that for the next 7months or so. Please is there any thing I can be doing to keep my hair from breaking and to continue its growth process while wearing the dreadlocks? Any info will be highly appreciated. Thanks

    1. I don't really have any experience with locs but the you tuber chescalocs has got long and beautiful locs. You can check out her channel for info on how to care for loss. Its Chescalocs


  5. You hav really inspired me,thanks. To achieve my preferred length within my hair journey period, should i moisturize and seal hair every night. Also what is deep conditioning.

    1. Lush strands, I hope you don't mind me responding to this question.
      You can moisturize and seal as often as you feel the need. It might be once a week or twice a week or everyday.
      Deep conditioning is basically applying conditioner to your hair and leaving it in for at least 15 minutes to allow your hair absorb it and get well moisturized. It is a very essential step for healthy hair.

  6. Yay! Enjoyed reading this! I am building my own regimen now, bought some Nanaat products (moisturizing shampoo and conditioner), leave-in conditioner, moisturizer, deep conditioning products (Motions CPR, coconut oil, hemp). And all I need now is to get my routine going. Got some tips off this post, perfect timing :) xx

  7. Texlaxing your hair is more healthy but it's a bit more difficult to manage. In the end though, it's so worth it. I've made black soap shampoo before. It's pretty easy. I just broke some chunks of black soap and added them itno a bottle. Next, I poured hot water, shook and voila the black soap shampoo was ready! :)

    1. Thanks. It seems like a pretty easy straightforward recipe. Did you find it to be gentler on your hair than using a regular shampoo?

  8. Hiya.

    Does Dark and Lovely Corrective Leave in Conditioner work as moisturiser?
    I have been having difficulty finding the right moisturiser for my dry, dandruff-prone hair. Help please?

  9. please can i use hair net instead of silk or satin scarf?

    1. No, a hair net doesn't offer enough protection. If you can't use a silk or satin scarf, get silk or satin pillow cases and then you can use a hair net if you choose to.

  10. Hi dearie,pls I wnted to know if baking soda n ACV waSh n rinse can be inculded in regimen.also where are the lightly places to find argan oil ,hemp n grapeseed oil?

  11. See hair! Chai! Nne, you are blessed sha. I actually ran across your videos a long time ago youtube; didn't know you had a blog.

  12. Hi Everyone,

    I joined Bassey's hair growth challenge and I wanted to update y'all on my progress so far.....This is the first time I've attempted to grow my hair and I'm determined to get to waist length. (the drop of fulani blood I have in my genes "must" show itself oh)...I prayed to God and asked Him to help me on this quest and can you believe it, for the first time in my life my hair got horribly horribly matted. Imagine the worst kind of involuntary dada imaginable, my hair was much much worse. Normally I would have given up and cut the hair immediately but I'm determined to grow my hair, so I've been putting olive oil and taking the hair out strand by strand....I still haven't finished but the devil is a liar.

    My key takeaway wash my hair in sections from now on and for some reason Elasta QP DPR II conditioner dries out my hair even though I thought it was a moisturising conditioner.

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thank you for the update.

      - Washing your hair with a shampoo that is too harsh can cause matting. To address this, use a mild sulphate free shampoo or dilute your shampoo with water before washing your hair
      - Rubbing your hair vigorously while washing can also cause matting. You can address this by washing your hair in sections. Braid your hair in 5 to 10 sections and wash. Concentrate more on your scalp while washing. Don't manipulate your hair too much. When you rinse the shampoo from your scalp, it would run down the length of your hair and clean it as well.
      - Leaving braids and cornrows in for too long can also cause matting.
      It would be great if you can share your experience in more detail. Do you have any idea what caused your hair to matt? Perhaps we can all learn from this.

      The devil is indeed a liar. You will get to waist length!

    2. Hi Bassey,

      I must fess up that I used a relaxer in my hair before I washed it. I have a really sensitive scalp which starts to burn after just a few minutes so I never relax my hair at home. But because I wanted to texlax so I could canerow my hair and apply the wig and I thought I could get away with putting in some relaxer for a few minutes. But I didn't realise I need to comb the relaxer through my hair but just washed it straight away. The matted sections of the hair were very brittle so I guess It was the relaxer more than anything that caused the matting :(. That and the fact that the DPR II I used seemed to dry out my hair for some strange reason.

      I've finally gotten all the matted hair out now and I wish I could post a picture of the matted hair I lost to warn the ladies taking this challenge to be careful and when in doubt wash in sections.

  13. hi dear,
    pls what is the best way to relax hair, cos stylists comb it a lot during the process and large chunks of hair fall off. also how is sealing with olive oil done. tnx

  14. Hi Bassey pls how long do u advice we wear protective covering on our hair before conditioning our hear. Thank u for your blog.

  15. Hallo Bassey,
    I have read through your blog and I have found it quite inspiring.

    I used to have long hair (not waist length) but at least bra strap length until I got into the hands of a "scissors happy stylist" as you rightly called it, and now my hair is like chin or shoulder length, I'm too broken hearted to even check.

    Recently( about 2 months ago) i noticed my hair had started to break when i combed it, so i checked online and was advised to stay away from heat and i did a "mayonnaise and egg" conditioning. After the conditioning, I noticed that my hair gained more volume but was still breaking so i decided to sew on weaves and just forget about the hair. That is what i have done for the past 2 months, remove the weaves every 2 weeks, wash and re-sew.

    I took out my weaves on 2 days ago and relaxed my hair with a touch-up relaxer, so my hair did not totally straighten which was fine by me, although my stylist warned me never to step into his salon with that relaxer again. hahaa! Apparently it gave him too much stress. Anyway so imagine my joy when I saw the part where you talked about texlaxing, it felt like I had started my journey to regrowing my hair without even knowing.

    Now I have decided and I am determined to take my hair back to her former glory. So i have a couple of questions...
    1. Do u co-wash your hair while it is in cornrows?
    2. Do you always wear cornrows under your lace wigs?
    3. When you don"t have cornrows under your lace wig, what do you do to your hair?
    4. When you do you LOC treatment, do you plait your hair immediately or do you let it dry out first?
    5. All of a sudden, i have short front hair and back hair, what do you advice i do about it?

  16. hello
    just found yr blog... hey i'm tex lax.. i stretched to 5 months because on utube thats wot most folks are doing. But i must say i frustrated my hair - i'm convinced if i tex lax at 15 weeks i would have got longer hair this time round. I note u tex lax 2 months..? is there a special reason for that ? or do u find it heathier for your hair and obtain longer lenght easier?

  17. hi i know its over but i just found this will you ever do it again

  18. Are you looking for best hair extensions to contact with this blog owner because that's post is really very nice for hair products and hair fashion.

    Indian Hair Extensions

  19. Adlakha hospital has over four decades of experience in the healthcare sector. It is known for providing quality healthcare and valuable experience to all domestic and international patients.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...