Monday, July 25, 2011

Healthy Hair Journey: Ebony W.

When did you start your journey?
My official “HHJ” began in April 2009.  I had a huge setback the following month so I mainly claim May 2009 as my start for progress pictures.

Start of my journey (April 2009)

What made you start a healthy hair journey?
I had previously been successful growing my hair to APL after reading Cathy Howse’s book and using her moisturizers.  However, in 2007 I began graduate school and had a huge setback from which I never recovered and my hair got shorter and shorter.  When one of my cousins asked what I did before when my hair was “long” I decided to re-order UBH moisturizers.  After a couple of online searches I was led to KISS social network and began my official HHJ.

Have you ever been natural?
Yes, I had virgin natural hair until high school (age 14) and then I unintentionally transitioned through the use of braids and weaves my senior year of high school.  In college I realized that I had to use a TON of heat (blow-dryer, pressing comb and curling iron) to achieve the results I wanted, plus there was a lot of manipulation on wash days.  The wealth of information wasn’t available then either, so I quickly decided I was doing less damage to my hair when it was relaxed.

How many years have you been relaxed?
13 years.

What is the longest your hair has been before you started your hair journey?
APL, however that was when I was following a specific regimen…I just wasn’t on any forums and was unfamiliar with the term HHJ.  Prior to that my hair had only been as long as SL my entire life.

What challenges did you face?
Finding what works for my hair – I tried a number of bandwagons in the beginning.  Being patient and realizing my hair was not going to grow from shoulder to bra strap length in 9 months!  I'm an average grower so my progress has definitely been slow and steady.

Did you ever experience a setback?
Yes, in May 2009 the month after I began my HHJ, a stylist overprocessed my hair, burned my scalp by not basing or neutralizing properly, and “trimmed” (aka cut) my hair into a horrible looking shag!  *shudder* It took me a long time to recover from that.  At least I was only a month in I suppose…

Scalp Damage

Hair Cut 5/19/09

What is your regimen?
Wash and deep condition weekly, Moisturize and seal daily, Low manipulation or protective styles and limit use of direct heat.  More regimen details:

What product would you recommend?
Bee Mine Luscious Balanced Cream Moisturizer.  My favorite moisturizer!  I'd like to be buried with!

What is your hair goal?
Full “U” shaped MBL relaxed healthy hair.

What advice would you give to a newbie starting their healthy hair journey?
To start with a simple regimen and then add as needed.  There are a number of different techniques (baggying, pre-poo, oil rinse, black tea rinse, henna/cassia treatments just to name a few) however you probably don’t need to do ALL of them at once to have and retain healthy hair.  Also, remember that everyone’s hair grows at a different rate.  You may not retain 6 inches per year as is suggested if you grow the avg. rate of ½” per month, but any retention is progress!!!  So appreciate the little non-length victories you accomplish on your journey such as shinier hair, a fuller bun, being able to tuck your hair behind your ears or your shoulders – that’s progress too!

June 2011

You guys can follow Ebony's Journey on her blog "Longing 4 Length"