I'm keeping my hair braided for a year, how can I help it grow healthy and long?

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  • 1 Post By cocodej

Its been about two years since I've gotten a perm and My hair is complently natural. I have about 9 inches of hair and it's very thick. (I think my hair type is 3c in the front & 4a in the back) I'm only 16 and still pretty depentant on my parents. My mom doesn't like my natural and hardly lets me wear it out (Usually I'll sneak and take out my braids then the next day I get cussed out & yelled at by my mom then a week later I have briads again -.-) My dad usually likes to stay out of my mom's way so he won't say anything to her even though he doesn't have a issuse with my hair. My mom has natural hair too, (I think....I've never really seen my mom's hair, But last time I did It was permed and VERY thin)but all she wears is weave and wigs. And she doesn't know how to take care of natural hair and can't handle it either which is why she put a rexlaer in my hair. Early this year when she was yelling at me saying "I know what I'm talkin' about. I know how to take care of natural hair it's hard work." Then about a month ago she said "I really don't know to work with natural hair, back in the day we just used hot combs." So she pretty much just lied to me and is clue-less. She puts me down when I do have my hair and when I try to do my hair hair. Then drags me in to the bathroom and combs out what ever I did with a skinny ass comb! She's constantly trying to stop me when I i'm trying a new product or if i'm trying a natural recipe. I'm just tried and I can take it anymore. So I Diside that untill August 2013 I will wear my hair in braids. So I want to grow my hair as healty and long as possible. Hopefully, my Last year of high school i'll be able to teach my self how to mange my hair. I'm chosing my last year of high school becuase I'll know I'll have a job and a car by then. So I will be more independent and I also have my hair stylist who has been doing my hair since I was like 8. (She's REALLY been helping me in every way with my hair. She thinks I'll be better off natural anyway and she helped me with my Transition. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't have any hair. My mom was relaxing my hair to often and using curling iron which broke off my hair).So what can I do to keep my hair healty so it will grow? (I will do ANYTHING)
I kept my DD's hair in braids for years and it grew like crazy, past her butt. All we did was use a conditioner as a shampoo (i.e. suave coconut conditioner), then put on loads of a heavier conditioner (i.e. ORS carrot oil) onto the sopping wet hair and rebraid. I used to wash it in braids, then brush and rebraid each one individually, so it was never all loose, was never towel dried, etc. This meant it didn't really tangle so there was no hair loss from breakage. I have no idea how long it would grow as we would eventually decide it was too long and cut a few inches off. It's easy to do yourself, too, which is always a plus. Be sure to sleep on a satin pillow, or with a scarf, etc, if you don't already, to make it last.
Sorry to hear about your mother.

Are you getting braids with extensions or with your own hair?

From 2006-2008 I used braid extensions to help grow out my natural hair. I followed the crown and glory technique. The Crown And Glory Technique™ -- Grow Afro Hair Long.com
I'm planing for the year to wear Box Braids, Kinky-Twist, & senegalese braids.
This angers me. But I will stick to the subject of your hair...
Your plan sounds good. Make sure to keep your roots moisturized. And I'll second the silk or satin pillow case. Mine has really been my friend I gotta tell you. Be sure to DC real well in between braid styles. You probably know this already.....just reiterating.

Birth Feb 1984, First press 1990, First relaxer 1992, Last relaxer Oct 2006, BC Sept 2007, 4c.....
So sorry to hear that this has been your experience. I know you have made your decision to hide your hair for a year, but this discussion will come up again after your senior year (if you are still living with your parents commuting to work/school). I think you could use this time to at least get your father to support you, bringing some balance to the disagreements you have with your mother and the discussions your parents may have when you are not there.

Also, even if you braid for a year, you still need a routine that ensures your hair is moisturized. When I wear braids, I like to treat my hair as though it is free; I still deep condition, treat my scalp, trim, and use a leave in (usually in spray form). The only step that is removed is the weekly detangling session.

The one thing that I would HIGHLY recommend if you are going to braid nonstop for a year, is a gradual takedown process. The Crown and Glory Method talks about breathing periods for the hair, but I am not sure how explicit it is on the actual takedown process for serial braiders. If I take my hair down on a Friday, I don't plan to have it braided by Saturday. In fact, I would start the takedown from the middle of my head (just so I can hide the free hair) at the beginning of the week, gradually working my way out so that by Friday I have only the edges left. Then I would wait a day or two before I wash, deep condition, and blow out my hair for braiding. You may find that you need an even longer rest period before your scalp calms. A bad take down session can seriously destroy any of the progress you have made. Plus, a tender scalp during the braiding process compounds the tension on the roots by fresh braids, increasing the risk of traction alopecia.
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James Baldwin
A Talk To Teachers
one of the paradoxes of education [is] that precisely at the point when you begin to develop a conscience, you must find yourself at war with your society. It is your responsibility to change society

How many times such I DC and how many times should do a regular Condi.? My stylist sometimes tells me not wash my braids so often becuase they will frizz up.
Personally, every time I wash my hair I DC. The only time I use a rinse out conditioner is when I am testing a product...and even then I usually follow with a DC. Also keep in mind that some people use rinse out conditioners as DC by themselves or by adding oils, honey, etc.

As for the frizz, you can use a mousse that will lay the flyaways down. Honestly though, I would choose moisturized hair over keeping a style looking fresh. This has meant that I had to take my braids down sooner than planned, but I think it is worth it.
James Baldwin
A Talk To Teachers
one of the paradoxes of education [is] that precisely at the point when you begin to develop a conscience, you must find yourself at war with your society. It is your responsibility to change society

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