I would like to introduce Lush Strands, a Lagos-based hair enthusiast like myself. I stumbled on her videos on the internet and I immediately fell in love with her hair. I was really excited when she agreed to be featured on this blog. Check out her blog Lushstrands.blogspot.com and her youtube channel, LushStrand’s channel.
- How long was your hair when you started your hair journey? My hair was a chin length bob.
- What is your current length? I am now at waist length.
- Please share your regimen. What do you do daily, nightly and weekly, to care for your hair?
My regimen is as follows:– Conditioner wash once a week with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturizing Conditioner– Deep condition once a monthTo deep condition, I use cholesterol and olive oil. I sit under a hooded dryer for about 20mins, then rinse it out- Shampoo wash once a month with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturizing Shampoo- I almost always airdry my hair but if I want to wear it straight then I roller set and wrap. I hardly every flat iron or use direct heat in my hair. Probably 2 or 3 times a year!- I wear protective styles a lot i.e. styles where my ends are tucked in and protected and styles that require little manipulation
- How often do you touch up/relax? I touch up every 3 months
- How do you maintain moisture levels and manage breakage? To maintain moisture, I condition my hair once a week. If I have braids or cornrows, I put some water and conditioner in a spray bottle and spray my hair with it weekly. To manage breakage, I comb my hair with extreme care. I make sure to use a comb that is smooth and does not have any seams or rough edges which can snag and rip my hair. I also only comb my hair when it is necessary. In my opinion, frequent combing especially if not done carefully is a major cause of breakage.
- How do you detangle your hair to minimize breakage? I used to detangle my hair in the shower, but as my hair has grown longer, it has gotten more difficult to do so without causing breakage. So now, I let my hair air dry, then I detangle in sections. I also recently started washing my hair in braids. I find that this really helps reduces tangles and breakage
- What is the best tip you have learned to protect your ends? The best tip I have learnt to protect my ends would be using a sealant like coconut oil on the ends of your hair to seal in the moisture, avoiding hot tools and wearing protective styles that hide the ends of your hair from the elements (e.g buns, cornrows, flat twists etc). Weaves and wigs are also protective style options.
- How often do you wear your hair out vs protective styling (buns, etc.)? I wear my hair out about once a month. I wear protective styles more often than I wear my hair out. I don’t experiment very much with styles: I wear buns and lace wigs. That’s about it.
- Do you use direct heat? If so, how often? I use direct heat 2 or 3 times a year. Usually when I want to do a length check, I flat iron my hair so I can see the length. Roller setting and wrapping is a better option but my hair takes too long to dry so I go the faster route and just flat iron it. However, it is important to use a heat protectant and to limit the frequency as much as possible.
- You’ve made some huge progress with your hair journey. What do you attribute most to your success? Proper combing. This to me is where people sustain the most breakage. I often see people rake a comb through their hair, remove the broken strands caught in the teeth of the comb and toss them out. If you comb your hair 3 times a day and everytime you comb, you break 10-15 strands, in the course of 3 months you would have caused significant damage to your hair without knowing.
- Have you had any setbacks/trouble along the way? How did you overcome your setbacks? I have had lots of set backs. Mostly due to relaxers. Getting a relaxer is a very risky process and if not done properly can cause breakage. I no longer relax my hair bone straight. I leave the relaxer in for only 10 to 15mins before rinsing out. I also don’t comb the relaxer through my roots, I just smooth it through with my fingers. Most people comb their hair when relaxing to get the hair as straight as possible. In my experience, this causes a lot of breakage and is also not necessary as you can get your hair straight enough by just smoothing with your fingers.
- What’s your signature style? Non protective – Side part (My hair), Protective – center part (lace wig).
- Do you do anything additionally to support your hair? (Nutrition, vitamins, exercise)? I used to take supplements: MSM based hair, nails and skin by Solgar. If you live in Lagos, you can get it at Careforte on Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island and at Health plus pharmacy at The Palms. I took fish oil for a while too. I never tried biotin but I hear it speeds up hair growth but I know someone who experienced acne breakouts after taking it so it kind of scared me off. Currently, I don’t take any supplements.
- You’re stuck on a desert island and you can only have 3 hair related items with you. What would they be and why? Water, Instant conditioner and a wide tooth comb. Water because it is the ultimate moisturizer, conditioner to help soften my hair and enable easy detangling AND a wide tooth comb to comb out tangles. I actually feel that you don’t need a whole lot to get long healthy hair.
- Looking back at your journey so far, is there anything you would do differently? Or wish you would have done sooner? Hmm, I probably would have never entrusted my hair care to hair dressers. I would have started taking care of my hair myself earlier. It was after numerous setbacks caused by unfortunate visits to hair dressers that I resolved to caring for my hair myself and it has made a world of difference.
- Is there anything else would you like to share that I haven’t asked you about? Or any links you would like to share? No, you have asked everything. Lol. I do have a blog and a youtube channel. Check them out at http://lushstrands.blogspot.com and http://www.youtube.com/user/lushstrands respectively
- Someone is reading this right now who’s about to start her hair journey. What advice would you give her?
Growing long hair is a commitment. You have to make the commitment and put in the effort to care for your hair bearing the following 3 things in mind:– Using the proper tools i.e. wide tooth combs, combs with no jagged seams or rough edges, ceramic rather than gold plated hot tools etc– Use the right products: This requires a bit of experimenting to find out what works for you. What works for others may not necessarily work for you. I have dry hair so I use a moisturing conditioner to co-wash my hair every week. Some people get color rinses to help thicken their hair. The key is to find out what works for your own hair.– Use the right techniques: Combing your hair properly, not raking a fine toothed comb through tangled hair, washing properly, detangling properly, wrapping with a satin/silk scarf at night… etcLastly, be patient and remember that your hair is growing. The fact that you have to relax your hair every 4 to 6 weeks shows that your hair is growing. The important thing is to prevent breakage and retain your length. Given the right amount of TLC, you will get there in due time… happy growing.