Hello my Autumn lovelies!
This is another hair post. I am not an expert or qualified in hair in any way. My ideas and suggestions are only based on common sense, my own research and experience with my hair. Everyone’s hair is different which is why I don’t give specific frequencies regarding hair washing and how long to leave in protective styles and so on. You have to get to know your own hair and what works best for you.
I have decided to challenge myself to use protective styling from October 1st 2013 to March 2014, depending on the weather at the beginning of March I will decide if my challenge will end on March 1st or 31st.
Protective styling is styling the hair in ways which keep your ends away from being exposed to the elements and do not need frequent handling/manipulation.
Protective styling can involve the addition of hair extensions, for example; Single Plaits, Marley Twists, Wigs and Weaves but Protective Styling can also be done with your own hair (such as a two strand twist updo or loose bun) or by having your hair completely covered with some kind of head wrap or hat. Some fabrics can catch on your hair and tear it so you might want to consider wearing a satin bonnet or scarf under your hats and wraps.
Personally I would say that for Protective Styling to actually be protective, you also need to bear the following in mind:
- Make sure that stress and tension is not being put on your hair and scalp especially your edges.
- You still moisturise and cleanse your hair and scalp.
- Deep conditioning is done regularly.
- You take time to assess your natural hair (especially in between styles) and respond to it’s needs.
- Avoid direct heat, eg; hand held blow dryers, flat irons, tongs etc.
- Beware of friction (leading to potential breakage) from clothes, the inside of wigs and hats, fabric head wraps, cotton towels and pillow cases.
I will be trying out several different methods of protective styling, because I like change and because I haven’t decided which method of protective styling I like the best. I prefer not to use weaves as protective styling because I find it hard to keep my hair and scalp properly moisturised, clean and fully dried (after washing) while wearing a weave. Not washing my hair for weeks on end is not a option for me. However that is not to say that I would never try a weave again and see if I can find out a way to make it work for me, but as I don’t have a hooded dryer or intentions to buy one soon I think drying by hair would always be an issue…
I will wear my hair out from time to time, because I still love my hair and feel that I look my best with my natural hair and no “additions”. I think that for New Years Eve and other specials occasions I’ll probably have my hair out.
It is also important for me to assess my hair in between different protective styles to make sure that it’s still healthy and doing well, I don’t think it’s a good idea to take out a set of braids in the morning and then have another set put in on the same afternoon. My hair needs time to “rest”, “breathe” and be nourished and inspected by me.
During this period I will not be cutting my hair* either. I’m not obsessed with length but I would like to grow my natural virgin hair out, as I’ve never done it before, I always get bored and cut inches off my hair, I’d like to see if I can resist the lure of the scissors and permanent hair dye. Trimming and dusting is allowed but not too often, if needed, I’ll remove less than half an inch so I don’t lose noticeable length. Proper cutting is when you remove a significant amount of hair so regularly that it appears that your hair is not getting any longer, some people do this intentionally to maintain a certain look or style and because they have chosen not to let their hair grow past a certain length. I’ll also cut out any single strands knots that remain after de-tangling.
I have grown bored of my red ends and I can potentially see the need to blend the ends of my hair with some type of extensions later down the line so I dyed my reds ends “Dark Brown”. My ends have been abused anyway so I’m not too worried about colouring them darker using a more “gentle” dye.
I used Sta So Fro Permanent Powder Dye it’s similar to Bigen but with all the health risks associated with the high levels of PPD in Bigen I decided against using it. I couldn’t find a traditional box dye kit that didn’t contain ammonia or hydrogen peroxide or both even for the dark shades. I asked other natural ladies for recommendations and did a bit of research before choosing SSF. To be honest as I was only dying the ends of my hair and the mixture was not going near my scalp, skin or eyes I wasn’t too worried about the potential negative side effects.
The photo above was taken just before applying the colour to my hair, the instructions say to apply it to dry hair and I followed all of the instructions precisely.
The dye comes in a small glass bottle and you mix it with plain tap water, the kit includes a measuring cup so you know exactly how much water to add to the powder.
The resulting mixture was very runny but thickened slightly with further stirring, as my hair was dry it went on quite easily. There was barely enough mix to dye the ends of my hair and as you can see from my photo there was not that much red left in my hair. if I was going to dye my whole head I think I would have needed 2-3 packs but at 99p per pack it’s not going to break the bank.
after 30 mins I co-washed my hair and the dye washed out very easily. My hair felt a little dry and was knotted in places but that was my own fault for not dying/washing my hair in sections like a normally do.
I’m happy with the finished result (below) it looks like my hair is all one colour now, in bright sunlight I’m sure it’ll be patchy but since I’m in UK I won’t be exposed to bright sunlight until next spring! I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it!
That’s pretty much it for now thanks for reading the whole post, It was a long one without a lot of pictures!
*Unless I have a major setback or need to do so for my own health or safety.