Confession: I have NO IDEA what to do with my hair. None.
Before chemotherapy, I wore my hair very short for a long time. With a few exceptions, I kept it close cut for about 15 years. I liked it because it suited my face and it was easy (and cheap) to take care of.
I don't like beauty salons. It's a long story.
Suffice it to say... I have no patience for sitting at a salon for hours and I hated spending what felt like the equivalent of a child support payment just for my hair. It was too much for me. So I stopped.
Desperately in need of some style
However, I'm now 5 years out from my initial regrowth after chemo and I'm feeling like I'm in a style rut - from my head to my toes. I have grown out my hair, cut it all the way back to my tried and true a few times. Don't get me wrong, I think I am very pretty in my short cut. But because I've worn it for so long, it feels lame. My new goal: Growing your hair. Right now, I've got a sporty little afro... but... THOSE EDGES!
I recently wrote about wanting purple hair. See: I want PURPLE hair! After talking about it with a few friends (and my boyfriend), I'm now on the fence about the purple hair. My guy was all for it, actually. My girlfriends were decidedly not as enthused.
While I thought about ignoring their advice and preparing for purple hair anyway... I received an email and then a phone call. A few days later, I was heading to New York to do the BET breast cancer awareness promotion. See: The surreal moment when you see yourself on tv. The experience was amazing.
Seeing myself in profile however, on the video showed me how bad my thinning hair (and hair line) really was. I really had not noticed it. Yikes.
Did I mention that this commercial length PSA has been showing all over the country all month long? Yep. With my edges looking like that.... deep sigh.
Biggest moment of my blogging year and I'm staring at myself...critiquing my weight, my double chin and my invisible edges.
Sigh... onward and upward. When you see something is wrong, you've got to fix it, right. Time to start making changes.
This post-chemo hair is CUH-RAZY!
My hair grew back more rapidly than I expected after chemo. But it is very different now. It grows slowly. It is thinner, softer, curlier. It has a few more gray hairs (not many but still enough that I notice). Just sigh.... it is just different.
While I am very thankful that it grew back at all; I have to admit that I just am lost and clueless about what to do with it. I have thought about cutting it again and just loving that again, but my barber passed away a few months ago and I've been hesitant to find a new barber. Keeping it cut low was easy for me, but also allowed me to hide/not pay attention to the problems that my hair and scalp were showing.
The softness of my post-chemo hair makes me believe that perhaps I've been damaging it by not taking better care of it. So, I've been talking to other naturals and watching a lot of youtube videos and learning about some good hair practices that should help.
Since I have two issues to deal with -- growing in my thinning edges and retaining length of my weird curly/kinky hair... I'm mapping out a strategy.
I'll update you with whatever growth happens (or if I finally decide to just cut it off).
My strategy and recipe for hair growth
Based on what I have learned, I need to protect my hair from breakage by wrapping it at night with a silk scarf. Sleeping on cotton pillows is terrible for this soft, fragile hair. I also learned that taking Biotin would be good for my hair and my nails. (Which is an unexpected but necessary help too since my post-chemo nails are really soft and break often) Daily temple massages with vitamin E oil and using JBCO (Jamaican black castor oil) on my hair regularly. Add a daily multivitamin, drink lots and lots of water... and I should see some positive growth.
My secret weapon is using miconazole cream in my hair cream. Yeah... I'm putting THAT in my hair. I actually tried it a few months ago, and it worked. Even though it is a vaginal anti-fungal cream, it really did help my hair to thicken and grow. *I will admit that when I stopped using it, I experienced a good amount of shedding*
My "operation long healthy hair" recipe:
- 5000 mg of Spring Valley - Biotin 5000 mcg daily
- Regular temple massages with Nature's Bounty Vitamin E Oil and Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil
- Miconazole Nitrate 2 % Antifungal Cream in my hair cream
- Daily multivitamin One-A-Day Women's Multivitamin
- Lots and lots of water (using my handy VMI Housewares Water Bottle, 72-Ounce)
- Using my Silk Wrap Scarf every night.
I've included a really helpful youtube tutorial I found that I will be using. As well as an informative blog post from a natural hair forum.
See: Blackgirllonghair.com/How I helped my mom regrow her edges
So that's it. That's what we're working with. Operation... get those edges together and grow some hair! is in full effect.
Let me know what tips you have for growing your hair, retaining length... anything. I'm not looking forward to all the work of long(er) hair... but I have been wearing the same hair style pretty much for nearly 20 years. I've got to switch it up.
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