When did you start your hair journey? What inspired you?
I started my journey in 2011. After I grew my neck length hair to shoulder length from October 2010 to March 2011, I saw that my hair could grow. Seeing this possibility, plus being inspired by long-haired girls such as those on LongHairCareForum and Jen of Just Grow Already LOL (I used to follow your blog posts religiously), I became motivated to grow my hair.
Describe your hair for us.
It is kinky curly, 3c/4a someone told me. It is midback length straight, shoulder length curly, and 21 inches. It is normal porosity and mostly fine to medium in terms of thickness.
What is your current regimen?
I prepoo with an Indian powdered-infused coconut oil the day before my 2 weekly wash days. After I do this, I massage my scalp with my scalp oil mix (Mielle Organics Mint Almond oil mixed with olive oil, castor oil, and peppermint oil). Then I detangled my hair (I’m currently trying to find a great hair detangler). Currently I’m using a dominican conditioner, BPT Wheat Germ Vegetable Protein Conditioning Cream. On wash day, I wash and condition with any shampoo and conditioner with good ingredients. Then I deep condition with a moisture/protein balanced conditioner such as Mielle Organic’s deep conditioner or if I need it, I do a protein treatment with Aphogee 2 Min.
I style my hair using the LOC method, and I alternate which products I use. Lately I’ve been loving the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie for the “C” part, and sometimes I use LottaBody spray for the “L”. My go-to style is a braid out, and I’ve discovered that using 8 plaits gives me the best results. I do not moisture and seal daily. I only apply products to my hair on my wash and prepoo days because my hair gets weighed down easily. However, I do apply the scalp oil mix to my scalp as much as possible.
Do you have any hair goals? Have you achieved them?
My current hair goal is tail bone length by December 2017. I’ve reached all of my previous hair goals.
How did you achieve them? How are you working to achieve them?
I achieved them by being consistent with my hair regime, and I will achieve tail bone length by continuing to be consistent. The difference to how I achieved mid-back length was that I used to exclusively protective style. Now I do mostly low manipulation styles and I’ve noticed my hair is retaining as usual. Now that my hair is long, I want to enjoy my hair while also protecting it. Low manipulation styles are perfect for this.
Have you had any setbacks? How did you bounce back?
I had a setback in 2011. I’d grown my hair from shoulder length to below shoulder-blade length from March 2011 to October 2011. I then abused my hair by frequent flat ironing, not using a satin cap and pretty much not taking care of it. I did not know how because I achieved that length by using sew-ins. My hair had broken off to shoulder length. I became discouraged and did not bounce back for a couple of years. In 2012 I grew tired of my hair at shoulder length because I knew that my hair could grow longer. I decided to jump into hair care 100%. This time I will actually LEARN how to take care of my hair instead of relying on protective styles. By the end of 2014, I surpassed the below shoulder-blade length that I’d grown my hair to in 2011 (it was the longest my hair had been in my life at that time) and grew my hair to bra strap length. In order to grow my hair out, I was very consistent with weekly hair washings, deep conditioning, protein treatments, hot oil treatments, and wearing my satin cap. I also did not use heat at all until the end of 2014 when I discovered my hair was bra strap length.
I have more self-confidence. Having short hair that was breaking and always out of control had caused my self-esteem to plummet. I’ve also started my own hair care blog to help others grow their hair long.
What are your favorite protective styles?
Mickey mouse ears (big double buns). They are adorable. I also love pigtails. I will include low manipulation here because that’s my new go-to. I love braid outs, and high puffs. These two are my everyday looks. For work, because I have to wear a hat and I work with food, I wear a braid out ponytail.
What are some of your favorite products?
The whole Mielle Organics line, coconut oil, Aphogee 2 Min, LUSH H’SN WAN HUA Hair Treatment (prepoo), Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and Qhemet Biologics Tree Moringa Conditioning Ghee
How do you deal with people who doubt you? What motivates you to keep going?
No one doubts me anymore. They used to and I ignored them. Seeing girls with long, beautiful hair motivates me to grow my hair even longer. I honestly want to grow my hair as long as it will grow!
What advice would you give someone just starting out on their journey?
Research, research, research! Everyone has their own opinions and it can be confusing taking everyone’s advice. See what people have to say and then do your own research on the science of it and then see how it pertains to your own hair. For example, someone can give you advice to deep condition over night. If you research it, you can discover that over-moisturizing can occur, which can cause hair breakage. Moreover, science shows that hair absorbs the maximum amount of conditioner that it will absorb in 20-30 minutes. Do not listen to just anyone. Do your own research and see how your hair responds. What works for one person’s hair may not work for your hair. In fact, it may be detrimental to your hair.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you wish you had?
My indian-powdered infused coconut oil to protect my hair from hygral fatigue and to strengthen it, my scalp exfoliator to keep my scalp and hair clean, PuffCuff and lastly, Mielle Organic’s cowash conditioner and deep conditioner. This is everything I need to keep my hair healthy and happy. I can prepoo, clean my scalp and hair, moisturize and condition, and then keep my hair out of the way with the PuffCuff. (The PuffCuff is my #1 hand’s down favorite hair accessory)
What do you love most about your hair?
It is MINE! I grew it, nourished it, loved it, and it has paid me back 1000-fold by being beautiful, long, easy to take care of, and healthy.
Where can we find you on the web?
Rapunzel’s Consultant (my blog) | @rapunzelsconsultant (my Instagram)
Thank you for sharing your story Kizuwanda! If you’d like to share your story, submit it here!