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Where did the time go? On this day, three years, I drove through a snowstorm to a local barbershop because I had had ENOUGH! After making the decision to go natural, I transitioned (the period from which you stop applying chemicals until you cut your hair or grow out all the perm) for as long as I could, which was 3½ months. The dual texture of my hair made it hard to prevent more breakage (you’ll recall was weak and falling out from chemicals reacting to the medication in my system from my hospitalization) so I decided to go for it. That meant the BIG CHOP!

I told you I was going to reveal my top 5 secrets right? There’s really only one. The secret is….. There is no secret! I know, bait and switch. But the fact is it’s all about good, basic hair care. If you are good to your hair it will be good to you. So what does that entail?

  1. NO SHAMPOO: Okay this is not new, you know I harp on this one. But I exclusively co-wash; that means use conditioner only to cleanse my hair. Shampoo has harsh sulfates, which strip the hair, leaving it frizzy, brittle and dry and dry hair is hair that breaks. Conditioner has enough cleansing properties to clean the hair without stripping it. I do clarify to get product build-up out but I do not use a clarifying shampoo (sulfates, hello? Weren’t you listening?). Instead I use plain, old, Apple Cider Vinegar cut with water and that does the job just fine.
  2. NO DIRECT HEAT! That means no curling irons, directional blow drying, hot rollers or anything else where hot metal is laid on my hair.
  3. HAIR VITAMIN: Um, you have to help yourself. I take Aphogee (you can buy at Sally’s) but there are myriad ones out there from which to choose.
  4. PROTECTIVE STYLING: I’m really struggling with the bang area of my hair. It’s a different texture, curl pattern, is more fragile and grows MUCH slower than the rest of my hair. I have decided that when I’m not going somewhere, I’m going to keep it twisted. Remember, you can grow as much hair as you want; the trick is retain the length.
  5. BE PATIENT! Hair grows ¼ to ½ an inch each month; anyone who promises more than that probably will try to sell you a bridge to nowhere.  Be patient, enjoy he ride and don’t covet your neighbor’s curls!

Here’s a peek at three years of hair growth in under tw0 minutes. It’s been a helluva ride and I can’t wait to see what it looks like this time next year!

More on from Rene:

Ask Rene: My Husband Hates My Hair

Is Gray A Good Look For Women

Happy Two Year Nappiversary To Me