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Luscious Healthy Ends Challenge 2019/2020

Chicoro

From Shea Butter Hater to Shea Butter Caker!
Photo taken Friday, May 15th, 2020
Bantu knot= Back, top left knot
Length = 25 inches long

I took this photo in the mirror today. My ends look thin. BUT, about a year ago I literally only had 2 or 3 strands at this length. I'm a strand counter. Even if only one (1) hair is at the length I want, I claim it! I claim that new length.

I know my hair. First, my hair drops in length. That means that's where I see those 1 or 3 hairs at that longer, newer length. Next, the rest of the hair drops down to the same length, little by little.

Where some would see "thin ends", I see my hair gaining length and thickening up. That's why I baby and nurture my ends, to keep them healthy until the rest catches up.

My hair will probably stay at this length for another two (2) years. After that, it will most likely drop in length and get longer. It will probably take my hair about 3 to 5 years to gain another three (3) inches and to reach 28 inches.

My hair sits on or is a bit below my hip bones. So, it's hip length. Shea butter got me to this length. My ends aren't perfect. They are not split. I do some search and destroy. There are some knots here and there. And, I get a crunchiness if I don't keep up my Ends Routine.

The top back bantu knot is 25 inches long. The bantu knot right underneath it is about 22 inches long. This is the longest my hair has ever been.




Hair May 15th, 2020 backtop bantu knot 25 inches long.jpg
 

Prettymetty

Natural/4b/medium-coarse
Oh how I need this challenge! My last trim was early February and I plan on doing no trims until my naturalversary in August. I’m hoping to gain 2 inches by August and another inch by December.

I moisturize my ends daily currently under my wig. When my hair is straight I moisturize a couple times a week.
 

Chicoro

From Shea Butter Hater to Shea Butter Caker!
Ends Continue to Flourish and Thicken at 25 Inch Mark: July 14th, 2020

I redo my braids weekly. I remove the braids and pull out all shedded hair with my fingers. I remove the sections of the braid and detangle with my fingers. Once I remove the shed hair and smooth the section, I put my hair into a bantu knot and move to the next one until the entire head is complete.

The new thing I do is spray my hair with warm water mixed with a protein leave-in.

I may use Neutral Protein Filler or Liquid Keratin. I mix them together, too. My hair is usually dry and a bit crunchy. I pull out the bantu knot, saturate it and then I put it back into a bantu knot to dry.

Then, I re-do my braids for the week. Shea butter continues to help my hair. That is because I like to wet my ends daily with water then coat the last six (6) inches with Shea butter. When it comes time to re-do my braids, I have very few problems undoing the ends.

I used to get horrible tangles near the root of my braids. I would lose so much hair on the ends because I had to TEAR the velcro like braid apart. Shea butter has greatly reduced the velcro ends. They slide apart now and I lose very little hair on my ends.

I am allowing my braids to thicken up at the 25 inch length. I see lots of strands hitting 26 inches and a few at 27 inches. I trim when I wear my hair heat straightened. Otherwise, I just do light trims. The last time I got my hair straightened and ends professionally trimmed was 6 years ago in 2014.

I do my Ends Routine at night. I wet my ends, saturate with oil, gather up in a baggie and go to bed. I wear a baggie during the day too because I don't like the grease from Shea butter on my clothes and neck.
 

Meritamen

Mermaiden
I totally forgot I was in this challenge. I jacked my hair up last year so I don't know if I can still participate. I gave my hair heat damage, color damage, and relaxed/texlaxed it last year. I'm growing all that damage out without big chopping because I refuse to have short hair again.
It'll be a year of growing it out come this November. Might just start my own challenge. lol Maybe a long-term transition challenge?
 

Chicoro

From Shea Butter Hater to Shea Butter Caker!
Alright, I blew out and flat ironed my hair today, August 30th, 2020, myself. FINALLY, my hair is close to if not at my 2012 length! I believe Shea butter and my Ends Routine were great contributors to my length gains and retention.

It has taken me eight (8) years to get back to this length after I over trimmed away so much of my length in 2012. Talk about blessings in disguise. I would not have learned about or implemented Shea butter, Ends Routine and No Comb Method had I not had this setback.

I trimmed a little bit of my ends today. I did have split ends. What I did not have were lot of single, strand knots! I took a picture of my trimmed hair and have placed the photo in this post, along with pictures of my heat straightened hair.

Overall, I am happy with the health, length and retention of my hair. The only two changes I will make are: Change my parts on my head to avoid thinning hair in those areas, and use a quality conditioner. I just discovered KeraCare Intensive Restorative Masque. Cheap conditioner is no comparison.

This length is my "Break Point" length where my hair tends to thin and break. If I want to continue to make progress, now is the time to really step up the care for my hair ends. Please see the pictures below. Thank you!


The back of my hair is completely flat ironed. I was about to start to flat iron the front sections.
HairLengthCheckAugust30th2020 1.jpg


After I trimmed the back ponytail.
HairLengthCheckAugust30th2020 2.jpg


Another view of the trimmed ponytail. That ponytail is anchored in the back of my neck, at my nape. I was surprised at how long the pony is.
HairLengthCheckAugust30th2020 3.jpg


I was trying to show the back of my hair.
HairLengthCheckAugust30th2020 6.jpg



The hair that I trimmed. There are lots of split ends but not that many single strand knots. Shea butter has almost completely eliminated single strand knots from my hair.
HairLengthCheckAugust30th2020 5.jpg



Another view of the front and back sections separated. At the longest tendril, my hair is about 2.5 inches from tailbone. The strands measure 25 inches in the crown of my head and 22 at the nape of my head.
HairLengthCheckAugust30th2020 4.jpg

I will continue to focus upon the ends of my hair.

@GGsKin
 
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GGsKin

Well-Known Member
I love your update @Chicoro thanks for the tag:).

Having not been here for a while, and with the new look of the forum, I almost forgot this thread.

Last week I straightened my hair and trimmed. This week upon closer inspection, I hadn't taken enough off in my crown. So I trimmed this week, focussing on this area. All in all, I took iff about 2-3 inches.

Since then, I've been wearing my hair up with my ends loosely twisted and pinned. At night, I braid my ends in two, and roll on two grey flexi rods. Sometimes I coat the tips with a slither of leave-in and raw' shea I warm up between my palms.

I don't know why but now I have a feeling that constant air drying is not helping the case of my ends and these splits. By heat stretching more often, I'm hoping to keep a better eye on my ends.

I added a pic from when I straightened last Sunday. I haven't got pics from after the trim.2020-08-31_03.19.55.jpg
 
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GGsKin

Well-Known Member
@Chicoro No, I've been wearing my hair up since then, mainly thanks to these rainy days we've been having here. I'll take it down today and see if I can capture at least one.
 

Chicoro

From Shea Butter Hater to Shea Butter Caker!
@GGsKin ,
Thank you for posting the pictures for me. That was thoughtful of you to do!

Yes, as I thought, your hair is in the middle between top of shoulders and bottom of armpits after your cut.
It looks like your hair is gaining length. Are you cutting your length to maintain an even hair hemline? Your ponytail looks thick and full!

Are you using a protein in your hair or is your hair protein sensitive? When you put you wear your hair up, do you leave your ends out, in the air, or do you use a baggie or coat the hair with a product? I know you said you dab some conditioner on them.

What products do you use to provide your hair with moisture? Besides conditioner, do you use any specific product to protect your ends?

If you were to get it straightened, think it would hang to the bottom of your armpit.
 
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GGsKin

Well-Known Member
@Chicoro Please find my answers below.
@GGsKin ,
Thank you for posting the pictures for me. That was thoughtful of you to do!

Yes, as I thought, your hair is in the middle between top of shoulders and bottom of armpits after your cut.
It looks like your hair is gaining length. Are you cutting your length to maintain an even hair hemline? Your ponytail looks thick and full!
Thank you. I've always trimming to remove splits. I wasn't too concerned with evenness but after years of experimenting with trimming my hair in different states, I feel my hair fairs better when I try to keep it even.

Are you using a protein in your hair or is your hair protein sensitive?
The past 5 months my hair was in extension braids, I definitely slacked on protein but otherwise, I tend to keep protein in regular rotation- every 4-6 weeks or whenever I feel it needs it. The only protein my hair doesn't seem to agree with is wheat. I used Nexuss Polymedic last week.

When you put you wear your hair up, do you leave your ends out, in the air, or do you use a baggie or coat the hair with a product? I know you said you dab some conditioner on them.
I tend to wear my hair loose. I usually wear my hair in a wash and go, I tend to leave my ends loose if styled in an updo in that state. I don't tend to use leave-ins when my hair is loose as they never really sink in. I went through a period of baggying but I haven't done so for a long time. If straightened, or in braids, I will coat my ends (length) with leave-in and shea or bacuri butter before braiding. No regular daily routine, as I don't want too much build up.

What products do you use to provide your hair with moisture? Besides conditioner, do you use any specific product to protect your ends?
I rely mainly on water and a good deep condition to hydrate my hair. I've struggled to find a leave-in product or styler that doesn't just sit on my hair or create flakes but I do use them sparingly on occasion. My hair doesn't respond well to glycerin, which is another reason I'm not big on leave-ins as this ingredient is usually in so many. I've used shea butter mixes (and raw) to 'seal' my length/ends regularly for a few years now. As well as kinky curly gel with added hibiscus tea for my wash and goes.

If you were to get it straightened, think it would hang to the bottom of your armpit.
 
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