Moisturizing and Sealing: A Lesson on Never Giving Up

Friday, March 16, 2018

FroBunni | Moisturize and Seal

Every time I write about growing long hair, I always have someone say that hair length is genetic. This is true, it is. But it's hard to know what that terminal length will be, especially if you aren't caring for your hair as best as possible. But what is best is hard to determine for each individual person, and this is what people struggle with. When you've done everything - from deep conditioning every week to massaging your scalp with castor oil, and trying the Monistat trend to protective styling like crazy - it's really frustrating when someone who's attained her hair goals says, "you haven't done everything." In fact, it can be downright insulting (yes, I'm acknowledging this). But...what if you haven't done everything?

I've always struggled with retaining length around the perimeter of my hair (the edges: from the front, to the side, to the nape). That part of my hair is much shorter, frizzier, and drier. While most of my hair is between 22-24 inches, my edges are only about 12 inches. I reached a point where I thought this was genetic. It made sense; I know that terminal growth rate can vary from follicle to follicle, and I assumed my edges were not going to grow, and that's just how it is. So I didn't bother to think much of it...until the beginning of this year.

I always begin moisturizing and sealing my hair by first sectioning from front to back and side to side, creating 4 sections. Then, I apply my moisturizer and oil. Back in January, I noticed that by moisturizing and sealing this way, I wasn't really moisturizing the front and back section of my head, or for example, if I pulled my hair back into a high ponytail or bun, I wasn't moisturizing that top layer of hair that was exposed, which happens to include my edges. I wondered if this was the reason I struggled with length retention in those areas, and I started a test. Before sectioning my hair to moisturize and seal, I would moisturize and seal that top layer of hair.

My prediction was right. Two months moisturizing and sealing the top layer of my head, and I've retained so more length in that area, my hair is less frizzy, and it is much easier to detangle and style. I sort of wonder why I never realized this before, but it's actually pretty obvious. I moisturize and seal every day, I deep condition with heat, I  detangle the right way, so why would I think something as simple as changing where I moisturize and seal matter? But, it really can be that small, simple, and nuanced.

Listen, I'm not saying this journey is easy. I'm not saying it's without a lot of frustration and money (those products aren't cheap). But learning how to care for your hair, and I mean your hair, not someone else's, sometimes takes thinking outside of the box, changing up your regimen, or just going back to basics. Even when you think you're doing everything, there's always room for improvement.

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