Guest Post from Jacqueline Shepherd
"Can you believe that January 2016 has been and gone and as I write this we are actually more than a week into February already? Time really is flying and before you know it I’ll be bringing you some results of the first quarter of my healthy hair ‘Natural Hair Challenge’.
With that in mind I thought I should bring to the blog (they are already on my Instagram) some length shots to give you a good idea of what volume and length I have in my hair.
Afro hair comes in many different textures and one head of hair can home different textures at different times. Mine in its most pure state (straight out of the shower before braiding or twisting) is super coily. If you think of the spring that is in a biro you’d be pretty accurate.
Braiding or twisting my hair after washing helps it to maintain moisture and also stretches out the coils resulting in more length and volume. I have had a WASH’N’GO (no explanation required – picture on the left) and while I loved it and looked like I’d had a lush haircut, my hair became very dry very quickly despite having added some moisturising and moisture sealing products. Reversing the dryness was relatively easily resolved with spritz of water and aqua based products before sealing with shea butter but the process was quite disruptive in what I like to have as a low maintenance week day routine. As such I stick to my regimen wash, steam, moisturise, twist and wear out (blog post to follow).
This image shows my hair after a ‘blowout’ i.e using a hair dryer with a Wahl pick comb on the end combing out and stretching as dry my hair with warm air.
The benefit of this method is the instant volume you can achieve BUT blow drying is very, well drying. As such it is essential that a protective serum is used and if adding an oil to the mix beware, don’t exasperate the potential to over heat or burn your hair by using an inappropriate oil. Coconut oil has a higher smoke/burn temp so is one of the safer oils to use in this context. The best thing to do IMO is to not use heat at all or minimise its use. I blow dry my hair no more than 4 times in a year MAX!
This final image shows the length of my hair when stretched/ pulled having been in its usual twist out state for a few days. The comparison between the first and last pictures is quite amazing considering they are taken days apart and there is HUGE difference in the length, this is often referred to as one of the many aspects of ‘#blackgirlmagic’."