How Braids Saved My Locks

photo-2I’m always hearing my friends and clients pipe up about the age old topic of how their hair won’t grow. “I have the worst hair, it doesn’t grow,” I’m often hearing, and I was once a regular with these words, myself. Until I started wearing braids. All the time.

Okay, so really, it’s not just the braids. But that would be pretty cool. It’s a bit deeper than that but seriously, just as easy. My hair was once the home of every type of clip in extensions you could get your paws on. I would rarely leave home without nestling those little claws into my roots. SNAP. Ah, the satisfying security-blanket feeling of having those in. I often thought it was probably how men with toupees feel. God forbid someone would touch the back of my head and feel the tell-tale bump – they would then KNOW! Out on the town I’d definitely have my girls on extension watch. We all did.

Oh, my hair. It was my Paul Brown flat iron’s morning partner and if we’re getting into heated tools, my blow dryer would never get a day off. With big, frizzy, curly hair, what else was I supposed to do?

I stopped doing it. Yup.

“Did I hibernate? Stop going out?” You’re probably wondering. No, I just chilled it on the over processing, styling, washing, and brushing. Well, I didn’t really have an epiphany or anything or come to some newfound realization that I needed to start treating my hair with more love. No, I just got into training for fitness shows and if anyone has been a part of training as gruelling and time consuming, you’ll also understand that two-a-day workouts don’t really mesh with daily hair styling. I rocked the Lululemon headbands to avoid taming the wild beast you could call the mop on top of my head, and even bought a lot of pretty headbands to disguise the fact I did not do my hair. I to this day am a proud owner of probably 50 headbands. I love a good headband.

I also began to increase the amounts of healthy fats in my diet due to the program I was instructed to follow. Omega 3 fatty acids in supplement form, but also from fatty fishes like salmon, hemp hearts, avocados, nuts and seeds. These oils and proteins not only noticeably began to improve the quality of my skin, but my hair started to grow, grow, grow. It wouldn’t stop. My hairstylist couldn’t believe how long my locks had gotten, they were longer than my extensions…

And then, I skipped washing my hair. Okay well that would be gross, but if we’re being honest I did limit it to about twice a week. I styled my hair in lots of big cute messy buns, side pony’s and got really creative with braids – no tools or weapons needed, just fast and easy stuff.

My hair is rarely down to this day. Now you know why. Dry shampoo and braids ladies, you’re hair and scalp needs its natural oils to become healthy and grow – these will have you’re back.

When I do wash my hair, its usually before bed. I spritz a leave in conditioner in, and brush it out carefully. This takes a while. I then simply add a mousse to it for some texture, and a pea size dollop of a hair oil. I then sleep in it. I wake up to big scary hair, but then figure out my top knot or braid of the day, sometimes headband sometimes not.

Seems pretty simple, and it is, but this is how my hair has doubled in length over the last couple of years. Oh, and the big ticket here is the fact I’ve also quit my addiction to the over processed bleach blonde look…It was just time. Ombre & Ballyage are in anyways, so aside from some colour painted throughout about once a year from the lovely Gerald, I’ve grown my hair out au natural.

So, it is beyond possible to grow your hair that “won’t grow,” it just takes a little patience, commitment, and an open mind – if I dare you to do anything, it’s to reduce styling it (blowdrying and heated tools) to once or twice a week for one week. Amp up your healthy fats in your diet, and boom – Rapunzel length in no time!

This, is why braids have saved my life.

For more hair tips and inspiring looks, check out my amazingly talented cousin Courtney all the way out in Kelowna, BC @ http://www.cocolove.info

XO *t

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