for some reason, i got a burst of re-motivation in my HHJ this past week. after i took down the sew-in i had wanted so badly, i took a few days and rocked strictly WNGs. my super-supportive boyfriend had missed my hair so much when it was hidden....as a matter of fact, he was the one who (slowly and carefully, of course) took my tracks out! all i have been doing since then is cowashing with HE HH, detangling every few days, and maybe using a bit of aloe vera gel when i pull my hair back to keep my edges tame. even with this pretty simple regimen, i was wondering what else i could do to promote growth and be more low-manipulation.
here enters the castor oil: my same super supportive boyfriend just happened to mention an article he read about the benefits of castor oil on your hair and skin. he mentioned a bottle of cold pressed castor oil that he had purchased from whole foods a while back, and of course i was more than happy to rave about how i use it in my oil mixture to remove my makeup. when i returned to NC, we both started using castor oil on our faces before bed at night. i then decided that i would take the same EVOO/castor/coconut oil mix and use it on my ends to seal, which i have never really done consistently since beginning my natural journey. although my hair seems to grow well now, i presumed that maybe sealing in *that* much more moisture could help me retain even better.
in addition to sealing my ends, i came across kimmaytube's now famous leave-in conditioner video and decided to adapt it for my own use. i was intrigued by the idea of pH balance affecting moisture levels in the hair, and i figured if nothing else it would allow me to stretch my leave-ins by adding additional products to it. the only problem with cowashing and simply leaving in my HE HH is that by bedtime, my hair is not only dry from having airdried, but is also dry from all the moisture having left my strands. i figured that closing the cuticle, as kim says the acidic nature of her leave-in aids in doing, would help "trap" the moisture much like sealing or an ACV rinse. i went to whole foods to search for the whole leaf AV juice and kinky-curly knot today, but they were out of the KCKT. i then remembered i have some giovanni direct still on hand from 2008, and used that in its place. later, i was pleasantly surprised to discover that GD itself has a low pH. i have only been using it two days, but i really like how my hair feels at the end of the day. as a matter of fact, i was stunned this morning when i woke up (my hair conveniently twisted into two flat twists) and my hair was still soft and cool to the touch, what i have heard described as a marker of well-moisturized hair. i will use this for a while and track the changes in my hair -- but i already think i have a keeper here.
on top of sealing and this new leave-in, i have also incorporated (drumroll) WET BUNNING into my regimen. of course i know how to make a bun, and i love the stories i hear about consistent wet bunners who have crazy retention rates, but i can never stick with it long enough to see ANY kind of results, much less miraculous ones. i have challenged myself to a mini-bunning challenge, and my goal is to wear a bun everyday until september 1st. i may not necessarily cowash everyday either -- i'm thinking my hair will stay in this bun for at least 3 days, and to remoisturize i will simply remove the hair tie, spray water on my hair, add leave-in and re-bun.
hopefully, a month straight of incorporating these three changes will cause me to adjust the way i think about my hair in the summer. my goal is to have moisturized hair at all times, and thus promote an optimal environment for growth and retention. as a byproduct, i hope that keeping my ends saturated and hidden will keep the split ends at bay, and by the time i do my next length check in september, i will have ends nearly as healthy as (or just as healthy as) they were following my june trim. only 5 weeks to go!