My setback: Tragedy with my hairline

Since I last spoke about my hair’s progress, my hair was doing well on my regimen. It was going very well and I was happy with my progress. I thought I was it! You couldn’t tell me nothing! What’s that saying about pride going before a fall? Well, here’s the story of my stumble and tumble.

I really love getting braids (with extensions added). Since my hair was doing so well on my regimen, I thought I could handle getting braids. That was a grave mistake. I got Senegalese twists in late October/early November 2012. I made sure my hair was in good shape beforehand. I did a protein treatment and detangled my hair fully. I spoke to the braiders when they tried to get crazy and pick every last strand of hair on my head. I also maintained my hair while it was in the style. I would spray it every night with my braid spray mixture. My hair was ok afterwards. I kept them in for 5 weeks.

Like most people, my hair has multiple textures. My hair strands from the crown to just before the nape is thicker than my hair in the front. The crown and back of my hair can withstand the tension that comes with braiding. My hair in that section tends to flourish with extensions but not so much in the front.

Then in February 2013, I got box braids. I made a cardinal error when installing them. They were WAY too big for my fine-textured hair to handle. The weight and the tension were too much.

box-braids-kanekalon

The braids (culprit) in question

My hair in the front broke off significantly. It was a tragedy of Shakespearean levels. My hair in the back fared well and it was the longest it had ever been. After this incident, I tried to keep up with my regimen but I had many personal issues to deal with. My regimen was booted out the window and my hair suffered for it. In hindsight, I should have done some research and developed a solid plan of approach after the damage caused by the extensions.

Top: My hairline in March Bottom: My hairline last week

Top: My hairline on Mar. 15
Bottom: My hairline on Oct. 22

 

I started taking better care of my hair again towards the end of August. I got braids again but this time, the braids were smaller and had less extension hair added to them. My hair did not break off this time but my edges couldn’t take it. My poor edges have been abused; I don’t want them to pack up and leave me for good. I don’t want my hairline to look like Naomi Campbell’s or Iya Eko’s so I have sworn of braids for now.

If I don't take my time, I could end up like this guy

If I don’t take my time, I could end up like this guy

They are my favorite protective style and I have a real urge to do them again. (I really want kinky twists or Havana twists.) I’m looking for a protective style that won’t kill my hair. I don’t care for weaves or wigs because my scalp feels oppressed. I sweat a lot and I don’t like too much sweat on my head. So, I’m trying to work with low manipulation styles like buns, braid-outs, and twist-outs. With this dry weather, I’m worried about keeping my hair out. I welcome any and all suggestions or tips on protective styling.

I tried to salvage my hair after neglecting it for all those months. My hair was like “Nope!” and I had to cut 3 – 5 inches (7.6 – 12.7 cm) off. I had about three different textures (unrelaxed, texlaxed, and bone straight relaxed). My bone straight ends had so much damage. I saw so many split ends and mid-shaft splits as well as very thin ends. I had to let it go. Now my hair is a bit longer than shoulder length.

Left: Before trim (Sep 28) Right After trim (Oct 1)

Left: Before trim (Sep 28)
Right: After trim (Oct 1)

Now, I’m on my way to growing my hair back. This blog is helping me be accountable for keeping to my regimen. I know it is possible to grow and retain my length since I’ve done it before. My hair goal is to have healthy hair with full, thick ends. I don’t really have a length goal but I think full bra-strap length (BSL) is very long.

 

Have you ever experienced a setback on your hair journey? If so, were you able to pinpoint the cause? What did you do to recover? If you haven’t had a setback, what do you think you did to prevent one?

 

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