Many times, the answer to breakage is moisture because dryness is very common with our afro hair type (even if your hair is relaxed), and dry hair will break. But, if your deep conditioning and moisturising game have been on 100 and you're being gentle, sleeping with a satin scarf/bonnet and still your hair is rebelling; you may need to look deeper than moisture.
1. You might need a trim
I talked all about the signs your hair needs a trim in this post, based off of my own experience. Seriously, read it. When your hair needs that trim, it doesn't matter if you use your holy grail product, a concoction of all the grocery items in your kitchen or some magic potion from the other end of the world; there will be no escaping the blade. Nothing can repair tattered ends. They just have to go.
That is why I started my last wash day with a much needed trim. I posted the process on my Insta story. It was a spontaneous decision; I didn't wake up that morning knowing I would trim my hair, but all the signs were there so I did it. It's just easy to pick up my phone and share on Instagram, so please follow me @naijagirlnextdoor if you aren't. And you really should read that post about the trim.
2. You need a Hard Reset
That's what I call this because it gets my hair IN LINE no matter how crazy it tried to act before; like taking the battery out of a Blackberry and putting it back in. I've shared a whole wash day before featuring this method, but let me simplify it. My Hard Reset is two-pronged approach:
Caffeine on my scalp and Egg in my hair.
The caffeine stops shedding at the roots and the egg strengthens the hair shaft to stop breakage.
Usually I'd use instant coffee on my scalp but I was out so I used green tea which also has caffeine in it. My hair responds terribly to black tea but if your hair is fine with it, that's good too.
My hair was already sectioned and twisted from trimming.
I just let the green tea brew like I was going to drink it, let it cool, then I put it in a spray bottle, and generously sprayed my scalp.
I let it do its thing while I cooked, then I beat an egg with a tablespoon of olive oil and applied it to my hair. My hair was still in twists so I scrunched the egg mixture in to make sure it got into every strand.
|With egg in my hair|
Then I left it in for thirty minutes and washed out with Shanyi Organics Deep Cleansing Tea (you can read my review). After that I took out my twists to properly apply my deep conditioner and replenish moisture. I used Hairveda Deep Conditioning Masque.
Let's talk about eggs for a minute.
The science says that the protein molecules in egg are too big to penetrate and bind to the hair shaft and that you need products with hydrolysed proteins for that. I agree. I'm all about science. You can read the Curly Nikki article.
On the other hand, I started using eggs in my hair before I got to know about the size of their protein molecules, and I am glad because I would never have tried it, based on the science.
I cannot argue with the results I get from eggs, whether the molecules penetrate or not. I have used products with hydrolysed wheat, soy, keratin, collagen e.t.c. proteins and they're good, but none has given me the dramatic results of a N50 egg. Also, for all their penetrating and binding, protein treatments are temporary fixes just like the egg treatment. That's why they all need to be repeated every 4-6 weeks or when you assess that your hair needs one.
Let me stress that everyone's hair is different. Some people have used the egg treatment and like me are die-hard fans. Others get a hard, tangly mess with eggs. It happened to one of my friends and I've read a few blog posts about the same thing. So I always tell people to test it on a small area of hair FIRST.
If your hair hates eggs, or you'd rather use something from a bottle, or you're vegan, or can't stand eggs or don't believe the hype... you can try the popular Aphogee. They make protein treatments with all the science-backed hydrolysed proteins. The girls of The Kink and I love them. Meemee had a testimony with the Aphogee two-step and AB loves the Keratin 2-Minute Reconstructor.
I have never used either because the ingredient lists don't comply with my hippie organic/natural life. If you don't care about all that though, this could be your own Hard Reset.
Always follow with a moisturising deep conditioner.
Alright, back to my wash day. I rinsed off the deep conditioner after about two hours and my hair was singing. The trim, the hard reset, the deep conditioning all came together and blessed my strands. I could cry...
My leave-in was Shanyi Organics Moisturising Milk Shake (also reviewed), and a dab of Special Me Organics Mint Burst Shea Butter Souffle to seal.
The next day I took down my twists and fluffed them out, It was hard to stop touching my soft healthy hair but I had to tuck in my ends for a quick updo. No way am I exposing my brand new ends to the elements. For now.
Do you have a fail safe hair treatment you swear by?
There's a giveaway going on. Read my previous post for details.