I signed up for my first official challenge over at Black Girl Long Hair’s forum. It’s the “Protect Your Ends” Challenge and the rules are:
- Challenge would run from January 1, 2012 to March 31, 2012
- Hair must be styled in a way that keeps ends tucked away and protected at all times. [This includes buns, tuck n’ roll styles, updos, headwraps, wigs and sew-in weaves.] Each participant gets TWO one-day passes to wear a style where the ends are free/unhidden.
- Moisturize and seal ends before putting them away in any particular style.
- Keep ends well hydrated at all times, through whatever method works best for you.
- NO direct heat styling.
- Snip out any split ends or single strand knots whenever you encounter them (USING HAIR SHEARS, PLEASE!), to keep ends in good shape.
- All challengers must check in once a week, so we all stay accountable and so that the challenge doesn’t die!
Yikes, the weekly checkup will be hard since I barely get online that often. I also modified the rules for my hair to be that I can wear the hair out 1-2 days a week for my wash and rest routine. My hair and scalp get angry if they don’t get wet once or twice a week, which means no weaves for me and the constant rewetting means that my styles will probably not last beyond two weeks.
I just realized that I have been doing this challenge without knowing it during the school year since I put 14 large braids in my hair and pull that back into a ponytail and tuck the ends under. I have been wearing that style none stop since I need my hair out of the way for work, otherwise I wouldn’t have any hair. I will probably do the same thing this quarter.
The official challenge asked for a “starting post” of the following:
1. Starting point (i.e. hair length in inches or just the usual “shoulder length,” “chin length,” etc.), with photo(s), ideally. Starting stats (e.g., challenge goal(s), hair starting length, whether hair is layered, if you’re transitioning, etc.)
2. Retention/growth goal for March 31, 2012
Yikes, um, how about full below shoulder blade length to beginning bra strap length. Also, my trouble spots around my perimeter to thicken up and fill in. They’re not thin and see-through, but they grow slower than the other spots on my head and as a result tend not to make it into my buns and are fair game for over manipulation and thus breakage 😦
3. Strategy and routine to get there, while in this challenge. This can just be a rundown of your products, what your go-to protective style will be, etc. Plans of attack (whether you plan to wear updos, wigs, headwraps, weaves, what your hair care routine will be, etc.)
I usually do braids or twists and pull them into a bun, but I might experiment with banana clips instead of ponytail holders and then use bobby pins to tuck the ends. My go to style will probably be the “multi-pony” as I call it, when I gather the pieces of hair at the crown and nape and tuck the ends. Will seal ends with shea butter, my homemade rosemary spray or my new curl smoothie product and wear scarves around the edges to protect the perimeter and/or try the braid method for the nape and perimeter.
So my “plan of attack”
Cowash once a week
*Seal ends once a week by squeezing excess water from ends, then adding oil/butter (this is a new method for me)
Spray nightly, or every other night with “rosemary tea”
Wear medium sized twists for two weeks at a time. Keep the twists bunned up, or roll and tuck styles with satin/silk scarves and accessories to spice it up.
Wear chunky braids (8-12 in my entire head) in a “multi-pony” with the ends bunned for the week.
New Things to Try
consistently keeping the ends stretched with rollers before bunning to prevent SSKs.
Wearing silk/satin scarves instead of my new stretchy bands to keep the edges tucked away as well as the ends.
New sealing ends method described above
Increasing liquid intake-I honestly need to drink more.