~ My Hair Journey ~
A little about my hair: I am a 23 year old African with relaxed hair. Apparently, I discovered that my hair does NOT love protein-based products (coconut oil, castor oil, keratin, wheat protein, and the list goes on) like many black hair. Protein-based products turn my hair brittle, hard, and dry. This was quite a peeving Journey but I can happily say it was well worth it.
And the Journey Begins: One of my 2012 New year’s resolution was to really start taking care of my hair. So I did my research online and spoke with a few friends. I came up with my own hair regime which consisted of a lot of protein-based products. I was super! excited to get started on my regime once I got all my products.
A few weeks into my hair regime, people started commenting on how my hair had grown. Taking a pill of 5000 mcg biotin by GNC (this supplement truly does aid in my hair growth) a day and using my hair care products inter-changeably was working. I was on cloud 9! Obsessing on how my hair was growing every month, week, day, lol.
Here is a list of the products I was using; Keep in mind, I was also taking biotin daily:
Pantene Pro-V Relaxed
Creme of Nature Detangling Ultra Moisturizing Conditioning Shampoo
Creme of Nature Moisture Extreme Conditioner
Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenisher
Hawaiian Silky Miracle Worker 14 in 1
Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter Moisturier
L’Oreal Natures Therapy Mega Moisture Nurturing Creme
One ‘n Only Argan Oil Treatment
Castor Oil (My hair didn’t respond well to castor oil from the beginning)
Sweet almond oil (which is now a staple in my skin care regime)
African pride miracle growth oil
Creme of Nature with Strength & Shine Leave-In Conditioner
Wave Nouveau finishing mist
I would see pictures or YouTube videos of girls who had amazing hair growth with similar regimes to mine. This is when I learned that truly what works on someone’s hair won’t necessarily work on another. One day I decided to start co-washing my hair with As I Am Coconut CoWash. The instant I applied this stuff on my hair, it turned super crunchy and tangled. I rinsed my hair out for the longest time with warm water but it still felt brittle. Then, I applied the all the conditioners I had in my bathroom (there were a lot), 1 by 1, still to no avail. Finally, I shampooed my hair and continued with my day. After lectures the following day, I went out and got the following hair care products (at this point I didn’t know my hair was protein sensitive).
Joico Moisture k-pak conditioner and reconstructer
Nexxus humectress shampoo
Suava shampp & conditioner
Cantu Shea butter
Nature’s way EfaGold Coconut Oil (BIG mistake)
Giovanni leave-in conditioner
I purchased all these products for the mere fact that they were all highly reviewed online. When each one of these products with the exception of Giovanni continued to leave my hair tangled and brittle, I went back online and did further research. I also spoke with my hair dresser. This is when I came to the conclusion that my hair was Protein sensitive. Now I was on a mission to find a solution.
I ceased using all my hair oils, shampoos, conditioners, etc. I also used to do protein treatments every six weeks with Aphoogee two step protein treatment; I had to stop that too.
I just graduated with a degree in chemical engineering and chemistry. I used my academic background, and information I read online to skim through hair care ingredients to see what products would be good for protein sensitive hair and which would not. Here are a few products that are heavily advertised for protein sensitive hair that did not work for me.
Kinkly curly knot today
Kera Care overnight moisturizing treatment
Profectiv Mega Growth daily leave-in strengthener
Raw Shea butter
At last, I finally found the PERFECT! regime for Protein-sensitive hair. My hair is currently SUPER! moisturized and I am back on track to achieve my goal of getting my hair to reach mid-back length. Now that my hair has a good balance of protein and moisture, it has grown over 2 inches in the past month.
Shampoo & Conditioner (100% protein free)
Free & Clear Shampoo and Conditioner
Neutrogena Triple Moisture leave-in (Yes! It does contain shea butter but it does an amazing job of moisturizing my hair, leaving it untangled 🙂
Giovanni Direct leave in
Leave-in Hair Spray
Oyin Handmade Juices & Berry (OMG! this stuff does MAGIC at moisturizing my hair)
Lavender Oil & Argan OIl
Oshima Tsubaki Camellia Hair Care Oil
Still on my journey! I will keep you updated on any new products I discover. Please comment on whatever amazing protein sensitive hair products you’ve discovered so people can benefit from this blog.