That was six months ago. I have learned a lot about my hair since then. I really was very confused and frustrated at the time because my hair was breaking a lot(partly because it was damaged from being colored). I have done a lot of tweaking to my regimen. However, I realized that it was the way I was handling my hair on wash days, and not how often I was washing my hair. Ever since I discovered a new way of washing my hair, I have noticed less breakage.
I keep my hair braided in four sections after PLASTICIZING and deep conditioning for about 30 minutes to one hr. Braided sections keep the hair organized and reduce friction and breakage between hair strands. When the hair is bound(braided) during a wash, the tendency toward tangling is reduced. There is strength in numbers. It is a hard for a braid of many hair strands to break as opposed to an isolated single strand of hair.
I keep my braids intact throughout the entire shampoo process (learned this from CHICORO). This method reduces overall breakage. However, caution must be exercised to ensure that all shampoo is rinsed out. In the book, "The Science of Black Hair", another method recommended is to unbraid and address each section separately as you shampoo and condition.
While I keep my braids intact (no loosening throughout my wash session), the roots of the braids are kept loose to allow for easy manipulation on the scalp. In the past, I concentrated on my hair but now I know that my scalp is the main focus.
Steps to follow for Braided Cleansing
- Wet and rinse your hair to remove build up and prepoo or plasticizing product
- Use the pads of your fingers to lift hair, squeezing and smoothing it to loosed build up
- Use a small amount of shampoo(size of a quarter) on the braided section concentrating on the root and scalp areas. The shampoo applied to the scalp should be used to remove oils, sweat and build up from the scalp. The length of the hair will receive the shampoo runoff.
- Give the shampoo a minute to sit on the hair. This is allows the ingredients in the shampoo to bind to dirt and products
- Work the lather downward along the braid in a squeezing milking fashion. This lather will penetrate the braid and loosen dirt and product build up. This method helps prevent the loss of the hair's natural oils.
- Rinse the hair in warm water THOROUGHLY
- If your lather is weak and the hair is really dirty, repeat the steps.
- Apply your favorite conditioner about the size of a quarter to each section and focus on the ends. Let the conditioner sit in your hair for 10 minutes with or without heat ( I usually deep condition my hair for a longer period of time)
- Thoroughly rinse out conditioner with cool water. If heat is used, allow heat to cool down before rinsing.
I have a hair stopper that I use to monitor how much hair I loose on wash days. And since I have been using the method outlined above, I have noticed a significant reduction in breakage.
Source of Information
The Science of Black Hair by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy