I was just here thinking about all the changes I've made since starting to take better care of my hair since my 2009 resolution began. I used to wash, blowdry, straighten and moisturize with a Motions lotion. That's it, that's all. It worked for me, until I purchased my flat iron. That's when I started to see the most damage. I felt like I couldn't turn back though, since before that, all I did was wear my hair in a messy bun (and that was not by choice).
Anyway, here are a few practices I use since having started taking better care for my hair.
I deep conditioned my hair for the first time in June. I use Organic Root Stimulator Replenishing Conditioner and sit under the dryer for about 20 minutes. I definitely see a difference in my hair. It's softer as well as shinier. Closely related are protein treatments that I've started doing with Motions CPR. Definitely helps combat breakage.
The only times I used to rollerset my hair was when I would go to the salon for my relaxer. The thought of rollersetting my hair never even crossed my mind until I started frequenting hair boards. I always assumed those were "talents" best left for a stylist. I bought myself a dryer, rollers and some duckbill clips at the end of May and have been hooked since. My hair comes out very smooth, shiny and bouncy.
I am determined not to let my hairdresser trim my hair every other relaxer, as she has been doing for the past 10 years. It breaks my heart to think of all the hair I lost because of this over the years. I've been employing the "search and destroy" method of trimming; I filter through my ends, looking for split ends up cut off. I'm not sure if it's making enough of an impact that it would cause my hair length to be uneven. Honestly, it doesn't bother me because my hair is usually curly/wavy from rollersets, or braided-out, therefore unevenness is unnoticeable. If ever I do decide that I want to wear it bone straight again, I may ask her to even it out, but only once I have gained many more inches of length.
I now prepoo with coconut oil. I also use it to keep braid-outs shiny.
When my hair is rollerset, I don't use any coconut oil, but I do apply Castor Oil to my ends. I've heard that it helps thicken the hair. I cannot attest to this yet, but it's worth a shot until proven otherwise.
Sleeping with a silk bonnet
I cannot fall asleep now without my silk bonnet carefully secured over my hair. The mere thought of my hair rubbing against my cotton pillowcase all night makes me cringe.
Cross-wrapping straight hair
Before I started educating myself about hair care, never use to wrap my hair. I'd wake up in the morning and quickly flat iron it almost every morning to get the smoothness and neatness back into it. Thank God those days are over. Now I loosely (so as not to cause any breakage along my hairline) cross-wrap my hair at night and simply let it loose in the morning, and it's as straight as the previous day.
Limiting Heat Use
Since starting to rollerset, I haven't been flat ironing my hair and I don't miss it a bit. I love the body that my hair maintains from rollersets. I still do use my flat iron to do my bangs, but that's it. I used my curling iron one day when I was going to a reception, but for the most part, that has been nixed from my regimen as well. I've seen such a change in my hair since cutting heat appliances out.