Archived Journey Through the Lengths: 10 inches and up

I’m almost done moving all of the old archived content over from my old web format.  Then I can concentrate on creating new content. I hope someone out there has found all of this old information helpful.  This is the last of the archived hair pictures.  These represent my hair at the 10 inch and longer length.

STYLING OPTIONS AT THIS LENGTH

Options at this length are endless.  You can wear puffs, braids, braidsouts, twists, twist outs, afro puffs, ponytails, afros, etc.  Almost anything that you can think of can be achieved at this length.  My style of choice lately has been braidouts made from 6-10 large braids.

MY HAIR ROUTINE AT THIS LENGTH

My Hair Routine

My current product rotation:

Shampoos/Conditioners:
-Cantu Shea Butter Cream Shampoo (review coming soon) – used once every 2 weeks
-Cantu Shea Butter, Leave-in conditioning Creme – used after every shampoo

Moisturizers: (liquids, oils and butters)
-Plain Distilled Water mixed with any oil that I have on hand – Used as a daily spritz on afros & twists

Styling & Miscellaneous Products:
-None Currently

My hair can be very tough to detangle at times.  As a result, I do not wash my hair as often as I would like.  I was my hair every two weeks or so.

I try to deep condition once a month

I trim my ends once every 2 – 3 months or so.

I avoid using direct heat on my hair.

My styling routine consists of the following:
– Braid my hair into 8-10 large braids after it has been freshly washed
– After braids have dried, I unbraid my hair and finger style it
– I usually rebraid my hair every night to avoid tangles.  If I do not rebraid it, I usually resort to a puff the next day
-To give my hair a break every once in a while, I leave it braided and wear nice scarves or a Kufi for a few days to avoid daily styling
– Wash hair after 2 weeks of wearing hair out
– Rebraid freshly washed hair

MY HAIR ISSUES AT THIS LENGTH
Although hair detangling is still an issue at this length, my biggest hair issue is time.  With a baby in the house, I’ve had to simplify my routine or my hair would be a mess.  The good thing about having less time, is that I’ve discovered a very simply style (large braid out) that keeps the tangles away and makes styling a lot easier.

Archived Journey Through the Lengths: 8-9 inches

STYLING OPTIONS AT THIS LENGTH

I still wear the old standby styles (i.e. puffs, twists, afros, etc.)  As the weather begins to heat up, I’ve been experimenting with different hair coverings at this stage.  Well, I can’t just blame the weather, my cover-up experimentation is also due to good old fashion laziness.  I can now braid my hair into about 8 braids and go about a week with just covering it up with scarves and Kufis.

MY HAIR ROUTINE AT THIS LENGTH

1. My product rotation at this length:
Shampoos/Conditioners:
Garnier Fructus Curl & Shine Conditioner – used once every 1- 2 weeks
All Natural Afro Detangler Creme – used after every shampoo
Organics Hair Mayonnaise- used to deep condition once a month
Moisturizers: (liquids, oils and butters)
-Plain Distilled Water mixed with any oil that I have on hand – Used as a daily spritz on afros & twists
Styling & Miscellaneous Products:
ORS Lock & Twist Gel – Used to hold twists
Black N. Sassy Fresh Braids – used to keep twists/braids moisturized and itch free

Due to less product usage, I no longer feel the need to wash my hair too often.  I currently no-poo, wash my hair using conditioner instead of shampoo, my hair every other week (rather than every week).  (See Loraine Massey’s Curly Girl book for more info on the No-Poo Method). I deep condition once a month Whenever my scalp is itchy, I use either the Fresh Braids Spray above, or I use whatever oil I have on hand, applying it directly to my scalp (If all else fails, it’s time for a wash)

I trim my ends once every 3 months or so and I never use direct heat on my hair.

My styling routine consists of the following:
– Stretch hair over night after it has been freshly washed
(click here for info on how to stretch your hair)
– Wear an afro or puff for two days
– Stretch my hair again after two days of wearing out (or it begins to tangle)
– Continue wearing whatever style I choose (lately puffs or afros)
– Wash hair after 2 weeks of wearing hair out
– Stretch freshly washed hair
– To give my hair a break between puffs & afros, I detangle my hair before braiding it into 8 large braids.  Then I’ll wear nice scarves or a Kufi for a few days to avoid daily styling.
(click here to see video on my detangling technique)
– If I am feeling up to it, I may also two-strand twist or box braids my hair as a protective style for up to 3 weeks making sure to wash the braids or twists after about two weeks

MY HAIR ISSUES AT THIS LENGTH

My biggest hair issue at this length is detangling.  My hair has become a detangling nightmare (I’m talking blood, sweat & tears).  Well, not blood, but definitely sweat and tears.  Detangling is especially hard after wearing braids, twists, or a twistout for an extended amount of time.  Oh and I can forget about attempting a wash n’ go.

This has lead me to seek out afro detangling products.  I am currently using the Afro Detangler product from the Grow Afro Hair Long website.  The product is a bit costly, but I’ll soon know if it’s worth it or not. (Note: I will be moving my archived hair how-to videos over soon.  This includes the hair detangling video.)

Archived Journey Through the Lengths: 6-7 inches

STYLING OPTIONS AT THIS LENGTH

At this length, I’ve mainly experimented with the puff.  I’ve continued with my stretched afros and two-strand twists, but I’ve done a lot more with my puffs.  I’ve learned how to dress puffs up for many occasions and have worn puffs to weddings, casual events & other types of events by using old jewelry and flowers as accessories to wear with my puffs.

MY HAIR ROUTINE AT THIS LENGTH

1. My product rotation at this length:
Shampoos/Conditioners:
Carol’s Daughter Tui Shampoo- used to wash twists (during second week of wearing them)
Any cheap conditioner (ie. Suave or Pantene) – used once every 1- 4 weeks (used daily when wearing wash n’ gos)
Carol’s Daughter Tui Leave-in conditioner – used after every shampoo
Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Pack – used to deep condition once a month

Moisturizers: (liquids, oils and butters):

Plain Distilled Water mixed with Carol’s Daughter Tui Leave-in & Sta-Sof-Fro
– Used as a daily spritz on afros & twists
Styling & Miscellaneous Products:
ORS Lock & Twist Gel – Used to hold twists
Black N. Sassy Fresh Braids – used to keep twists moisturized and itch free
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse – Used when needed (used rarely, if at all)
2. I no longer feel the need to wash my hair too often.  I currently no-poo, wash my hair using conditioner instead of shampoo, my hair every week (rather than every other day).  (See Loraine Massey’s Curly Girl book for more info on the No-Poo Method).
3. I use shampoo on my hair once while it is two-strand twisted, if I wear them longer than a week. I discovered that washing my twists before wearing a twistout allows for a cleaner and longer lasting twist-out.
4. I deep condition once a month
Whenever my scalp is itchy, I do an ACV rinse (1- 2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with 2 cups water) – I rarely, if ever, have to do a ACV rinse
5. I trim my ends once every 2 – 3 months or so.
6. I never use direct heat on my hair.
My styling routine consists of the following:
– Two-strand twist my hair after it has been freshly shampooed and stretched over night (click here for info on how to stretch your hair)
– Wear two-strand twists for two weeks
– Wash my two-strand twists at the end of the second week
– Allow two-strand twists to dry overnight
– Take two-strand twists apart for a twist-out
– Wear twist-out for one week (I have even gone up to two weeks wearing the same twist-out)
– Wash hair after 1 – 2 weeks of wearing a twist-out
– Stretch freshly washed hair
– Wear stretched afro and/or puffs for a day or two (sometimes if I’m feeling lazy, I’ll just wear a wash n’ go for a few days)
– If my hair still feels clean, I sometimes two-strand twist my hair while it is still stretched out and begin the whole styling routine all over again

MY HAIR ISSUES AT THIS LENGTH

Now that I have my hair routine down and I have a nice rotation of products, dryness is no longer an issue.  I’ve also conquered shrinkage by stretching my hair after washing.  This allows me more variety to my styling.  My biggest challenge at this length is the time it takes to do two-strand twists.  What used to be a 2 hour job, has now turned into 3 – 4 hours.  However, with my current routine, I do not have to do much to my hair for up to 4 weeks after completing the twists.

Archived Journey Through the Lengths: 4-5 inches

STYLING OPTIONS AT THIS LENGTH

I am loving my new length! The biggest styling change at this length is my “stretched” afro.  Read more about this styling technique here: Stretched Afro.  I’ve continued with the two-strand twists (one of the easiest protective hairstyles to accomplish) and  experimenting with different accessories.

MY HAIR ROUTINE AT THIS LENGTH

My overall routine is the same as my routine at 3-4 inches of hair.  However, some of the products that I use have changed.  My search to find more natural hair products has led me to Carol’s Daughter products.  I especially love the Tui Leave-in conditioner and the Tui Hair Oil.

1. I currently no-poo, wash my hair using conditioner instead of shampoo, my hair every other day or so.  (See Lorraine Massey’s  Curly Girl book for more info on the No-Poo Method), except when my hair is in 2-strand twists or a stretched afro.  When 2-strand twisted, I do not rinse or wash until the twists are removed.  I usually wear my twists for one – two weeks.
2. I use shampoo on my hair once a week , unless I am wearing twists longer than a week.  (I tried strictly using the no-poo method, but it made absolutely no difference with my hair, so I went back to washing with shampoo)

3. I deep condition once a month
Whenever my scalp is itchy, I do an ACV rinse (1- 2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with 2 cups water)

4. I trim my ends once every two months or so.

5. I never use direct heat on my hair.

MY HAIR ISSUES AT THIS LENGTH

Before discovering how to stretch my hair into a bigger afro, shrinkage was my main issue at this length.  It was shrinking too much to be a big afro, but it was not shrinking enough to be a cute TWA.  It just sat there in some odd shape with no rhyme or reason.  Oh, and I won’t even mention trying to detangle it.  Let’s just say that it was very frustrating.  Now, I stretch my hair at night after shampooing.  I can wear my stretched afro for at least three days before it is in need of some change in style.

Archived Journey Through the Lengths: 2-3 inches

STYLING OPTIONS AT THIS LENGTH

At this length, styling becomes fun!  I have tried 2-Strand Twists, Flat Twists, Puffs, Twist-Outs and I’ve experimented with accessories.  My scarves have become my favorite accessories. TWA styling favorites such as the afro and the wash-n-go become even more beautiful at this length.

MY HAIR ROUTINE AT THIS LENGTH

Believe it or not, my hair routine has become more simplified at this length.  This may be due to the fact that I know my hair better and I’ve discovered that all of those different products are not really needed or because the scab hair and dry hair issues have grown out and/or been trimmed off.  My hair routine at this length consisted of:

1. I currently no-poo, wash my hair using conditioner instead of shampoo, my hair every other day or so.  (See Loraine Massey’s Curly Girl book for more info on the No-Poo Method), except when my hair is in 2-strand twists.  When 2-strand twisted, I do not rinse or wash until the twists are removed.  I usually wear my twists for one – two weeks.
2. I use shampoo on my hair once a week , unless I am wearing twists longer than a week.  (I tried strictly using the no-poo method, but it made absolutely no difference with my hair, so I went back to washing with shampoo)
3. I deep condition once a month.
Whenever my scalp is itchy, I do an ACV rinse (1- 2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with 2 cups water)
4. I do a hot-oil treatment once every month or two (if needed).
5. I trim my ends once every two months or so.
6. I never use direct heat on my hair.
Product rotation at this length:
Crème of Nature Shampoo (used once a week, less if hair is twisted)
Pantene Pro-V Hydrating Curls or Suave Humectant (when hair is not twisted, I rotate these two conditioners on daily no-poos)
Aussie 3 Minute Miracle – used as deep conditioner once a month
Mizani Conditioning Hairdress & Night-Time Treatment – small amount used daily when hair is not twisted
– Plain Distilled Water – used as a spritz
ORS Lock & Twist Gel – used to hold twists
– Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse – used when needed for itchy scalp

MY HAIR ISSUES AT THIS LENGTH

Dry hair is no longer a problem. However my hair is now at the length where it is too long to shrink into a cute little TWA and too short to lay down, so at times styling can be a bit awkward. I usually resort to twists or puffs when I get frustrated.   Also, I am finding that my hair is no longer responding to the same shampoos and conditioners that it did when it was shorter.  I am in the process of experimenting with shampoos and conditioners made with more natural ingredients (i.e Carol’s Daughter products).  The verdict is not in yet on whether these products have made a difference.

Archived Journey Through the Lengths: 1-2 inches

STYLING OPTIONS AT THIS LENGTH

There are some people who are very experimental at this length.  I’ve seen pictures of tiny two-strand twists  and comb coils achieved at this short length. I was not very experimental.  At this length, the wash-n-go was my best friend.

MY HAIR ROUTINE AT THIS LENGTH

My hair routine was still fairly simple, however dryness became an issue at this length (see below).  I continued with the no-poos in the beginning, but discovered that my hair was not responding well to the daily no-poos. I eventually switched to no-pooing every two days or so. I continued experimenting with different moisture products and clarifying techniques in hopes of conquering the dryness.  I discovered ACV Rinses at this length.  I did those whenever my scalp was itchy  (they worked well at this length).  To conquer dryness, I sprayed Sta-Sof-Fro on my hair at night (see below). I used this approximately every other day.

MY HAIR ISSUES AT THIS LENGTH

Hair dryness and roughness was very noticeable at this length.  I tried a lot of products at this time.  The only product that worked for me was Sta-Sof-Fro (for extra dry hair).  I sprayed this on at night before bed, tied my hair up and discovered very soft hair in the morning.  Also, cutting my no-poos down to every  two days helped a lot.

Archived Journey Through the Lengths: Under an Inch

STYLING OPTIONS AT THIS LENGTH

With this very short cropped TWA (barely enough to pinch on the sides), there is no styling needed.  You wake up, wash, brush and you’re done.  The only styling tool I used was a boar bristle brush.

MY HAIR ROUTINE AT THIS LENGTH

I was just getting to know my hair at this length.  I BCed in July and because of the hot summer days, I did a daily no-poo.  My conditioner of choice at this time, after trying several others, was Beyond the Zone: Noodle Head.  I also used a baking soda and water mix once a week for clarifying.  I tried different leave-in conditioners, but did not like any of them. I did use a small amount of Care Free Curl Gold Daily Moisturizing Crème after every no-poo.

MY HAIR ISSUES AT THIS LENGTH

My hair was very dry in the beginning.  At this length, it did not matter much.  The Care Free Curl Gold was sufficient enough.

Archived Journey Through the Lengths: Length Summary (originally posted 2005 – 2008)

I invite you to take a trip back with me to my first BC.  These pictures are a summary of my length journey from 2005, when I first BCed, to 2008.  As you go through different lengths with your own hair, you may find that you have to adjust your products, hair routine and styles to fit your new lengths of hair.  Over the next few days, I will be posting information about all of the hair lengths, including routine, issues and styles.  I hope you find this information helpful.  In the meantime, here is a summary of my journey:

This is my hair when I first BCed at less than an inch

1 – 2 inches

2 – 3 inches

4 – 5 inches

6 – 7 inches

8 – 9 inches

10 inches and longer


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