⚠️ I APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE FOR THE LONG POST ⚠️
Let me begin by talking about my hair and what it's been through. For starters, I definitely have type 4 hair. Mostly 4a/4b with a bit of 4c in the back (maybe). My hair is very low porosity and pretty resilient I would say. Despite bleaching, dyeing, and straightening it every week for years under 450°, the most damage I got was just a looser curl pattern (3c-ish). When I was younger, my hair was long and healthy from what I've been told, and I can't exactly say when things turned bad except for when I started straightening it daily to weekly. After several years of straightening and dyeing I decided to cut my hair into a bob that did not look as good as I thought it would. Ever since, I've been on a hair growth journey. It's been a year and four months since I cut my heat and color damage off. My main problem begins here.
My hair always feels dry, no matter what. It could be drenched in water with tons of conditioner in it and it still feels rough and tangled, even after detangling. It never seems to be fully detangled. It never seems to be fully moisturized. It's known that natural hair is its most defined and hydrated when soaking wet, but my hair feels the complete opposite. I don't remember a time when my hair has ever felt hydrated. There's no curl pattern no matter how much water I have in it and no matter how much gel I apply. I have so many single strand knots despite trimming my hair just last month. I chalked everything up to the fact that my hair has been dry/neglected for the majority of my life so I decided to try an experiment.
Since we are under quarantine for about a month, my goal was to wet my hair every single day in the shower, condition and finger detangle, apply leave in and do a wash n go until my hair was trained. After about a week of doing so I haven't noticed a change and I am back to hating my hair. I hate my hair in a wash n go state because no matter how much gel I apply, the majority of my hair is frizzy immediately upon application. It looks fine as I'm applying and raking it through, and the curls separate nicely in my hands as I'm pulling on my hair, but as soon as I let go, most of the strand goes frizzy and only the ends will form a curl. I tried everything from singling to finger coils and so, so much gel every single day hoping that eventually I would get a root to tip curl instead of just the ends and so far nothing has worked. I don't know if I'm explaining it right but hopefully you understand.
So now onto experiment number two. I plan to do braidouts for the rest of this quarantine and hopefully that helps retain moisture and give me a bit of stretch so my hair isn't tempted to tangle itself. I'm hoping this would decrease the single strand knots and constant tangling. But here's where another problem comes into play. At my workplace we are required to wear hats as part of our uniform, which means my hair has to be tied up and able to fit under the hat. I have been brushing my hair back into a Ponytail every day for multiple reasons.
1. I can't have my hair out at work
2. I can't keep it in a Ponytail for more than the time I am at work because it puts stress on my hair and I can't co-wash/detangle it if it is still in a Ponytail, but I also have to do it all over again because I have work the next day
My hair gets very very dry if I have it out for more than a day, which is my reasoning for wetting it every day until it is trained to retain moisture for longer. On the weekends I will keep my hair out for 2 days before doing a shampoo wash and deep condition with a heated cap.
My questions are: Is this an okay method for trying to nurse my hair back to health? What can I do to train my hair to develop a curl pattern instead of frizz? What else can I do eliminate single strand knots besides chopping an inch of hair off every month?
Thank you for taking the time to read this if you did. Any help would be appreciated.
Original author: LanaT