Don’t forget!! The deadline for submissions to participate in the Grow Out Challenge: The Sequel is less than a week away! So, if you have been hemming and hawing about whether you want to be an “official” contender or just play along at home, you have a few days to decide!! LOL!
As a reminder, if you participated in our last GOC and want to keep going, shoot me an e-mail with your March status update, your ongoing goals and updated pics. If you’re a new contender, please follow the rules for submission under the GOC tab. Send your write-up and pictures to me at email@example.com with the subject, “GOC: The Sequel.” This challenge will run for 6 months from April to the end of September 2012!!
Until a few months ago, I probably would have never thought about this or believed that it was achievable. I mean, nape hair is the same as the hair at our sideburns or like eyelashes and eyebrows, right? In my mind, this hair just had a very short terminal length and was meant to be shorter. Then, I was perusing the Fotki of Zhara after Jasmine aka CurlsDivine told us about her in a GOC update and I came across thispicture. Go ahead, look at it and read the caption … I’ll wait.
Are you kidding me? Waist length nape hair? That’s impossible!! Right?!?! Guess not! I started thinking about my own very wispy, fine, thin (density) and tangle-prone nape hair. Could I possibly grow that hair to waist length as well? So, I started to do a little research to understand what others have done to grow their more delicate nape hair longer. These are some tips that I found or think make sense.
Tips: Some of these tips are no-brainers and techniques that I already practice. Others probably wouldn’t work for me because of the fine and easily weighed down nature of my nape hair. So, I think it’s probably best to pick and choose the techniques that are likely to work for you and modify as needed:
Don’t over-manipulate the hair at the nape with brushing and/or combing.
Be very gentle when detangling the nape area (finger detangling is recommended).
Wear styles that prevent your nape hair from rubbing your clothing as excessive friction can cause damage and breakage.
Avoid placing a lot of tension on the nape hair with overly tight weaves, braids, bun and ponytail styles.
Protect the nape at night with a silk/satin scarf and/or bonnet ensuring that this area is fully covered. A satin pillowcase adds yet another level of protection in the event that your headgear is prone to “slippage” like mine.
If you use commercial permanent colors, apply dyes to the nape last so that it is processed for less time or don’t treat this area at all.
If/when you use heat, reduce the temperature and ensure the hair is adequately treated with a heat protector.
Moisturize and seal this hair more if hair it is prone to dryness. This applies to using additional conditioner through the wash session (regular conditioner, deep conditioner) and moisture during styling (leave-in, styler, sealing).
Massage the scalp to promote circulation and growth. (I use an essential oil mix that has been proven to stimulate growth. I have tried Dr. Miracle’s Temple and Nape Grow Balm to increase density, not length, in the past. I didn’t notice any appreciable difference. However, I admit, I wasn’t diligent about using it every day either.)
Braid the nape hair into a horizontal cornrow and thread the length through the cornrow to protect it.
This last technique is the only one that I hadn’t really thought of or applied previously and I found this great “How to” on it on K is for Kinky: Protecting and Growing Out Your Nape with the Braid Method. Now, this may not work for every style, but it looks like a great way to protect the delicate nape when wearing hair down and out as the braid can easily be hidden. I’m thinking that even a simple braid bunned at the nape would work for those with very fine nape hair like me or those who can’t cornrow. So, don’t be surprised if the next time you see me wearing a WnG or TnC, I’m packing a mini-bun under it as I’m on a mission now to grow my nape hair to waist length too!
I got a big surprise this past Saturday. My sisters and aunt threw a surprise birthday party for my 40th! My middle sister, Sheri, called me on my birthday and mentioned that a neighbor was having a get together on Saturday night. She said that I should come down if I wasn’t doing anything and that she would text me the details later. Then, she lured me with the promise of a birthday cake if I showed.
On Friday, she texted me that my niece had two piano recitals on Saturday, so I should plan on meeting her and my brother-in-law at the house at 9 pm. She added that she still had to find a dress and that it was cocktail attire. I told her that I had to check with Wei, but I would let her know. Immediately thereafter, I started bemoaning the fact that it was a dressy event when I expected it to be casual. I also began to really debate whether I felt like going (you see, I’m a total homebody). However, I also started suspecting that a plot was afoot;).
So, on Saturday, it was hair washing day and I decided to do a normal wash with DevaCare No Poo, rather than the Terressentials Mud Wash. I figured it was better to err on the side of predictability rather than experimenting and ending up looking like “who done it and what for.” However, by the time I was done pre-pooing, shampooing, doing a 2 minute Keratin treatment, deep conditioning and styling, I was rushing around trying to get dressed, put on make-up, pack an overnight bag and get out of the door for the hour plus drive.
We left 15 minutes later than I had planned and then had to turn around because I forgot my engagement ring on the sink (it snags in my hair when trying to finger-comb, so I tend to remove it)! I just couldn’t go without it! So, we ran back to the house and Wei grabbed it . As I waited in the car, I texted my sister that we were running 30 minutes late and that we could meet them at her neighbors. She said that they would wait for us. So, as we hit the road again, I expressed my suspicions that we were heading to a surprise birthday party as it didn’t make sense to me that my sister would wait for us when the affair was next door. Wei acknowledged my words, but didn’t really say much of anything.
An hour later we pulled up in my sister’s drive way. Now, my suspicions were that the party would be at the neighbor’s house. So, I was caught off guard when we opened the door to a sea of faces and everyone screamed “Surprise!!!” I was grinning from ear to ear and the grin got progressively wider as I started looking around the room and saw all the people who were there. Now, when I say that my “Spidey senses” were tingling that this was a surprise party, I meant, like, I thought my sisters, brother-in-law, niece, parents, grandmother, aunt and uncle would be there. Y’all, there were 70+ people at the house!! My best friends from work, college and high school were there. Many close friends that I’ve made over the years were there. Shoot, Miche’al, who I met through this very blog was there!! And, an assortment of aunts, uncles and family friends all greeted me with hugs and smiles. I was so surprised as many had travelled from more than an hour away to get there.
I was just stunned and so, so happy! I couldn’t believe that they had put this all together for me. And, my sisters and aunt didn’t half-step! There was a DJ, a bar, servers and food galore! It was just so overwhelming you guys. I can’t even tell you how moved I was by it all. And then, what really put it over the edge was all the cards and gifts that I didn’t really get a chance to see until the following morning. It really feels like too much. Everyone’s presence alone was the biggest gift that I could ever ask for. I seriously keep tearing up thinking how generous everyone was and how blessed I am to be surrounded by so much love. If any of you are reading this, I love you and I thank you!
Okay, I’ve rambled long enough! I really didn’t plan for this post to be so long! But, if you know me … well, you know that’s me. LOL!! So, now, I’m done and here are a few pictures of the festivities!! (Oh, and since this is a hair blog, note that my hair was still totally wet when we arrived!! Yeah, the “Guest of Honor” was hugging and kissing everyone with drowned rat hair!! Ugh!! LOL!! I really need to start planning these things better! No more washing my hair on the day of an event!)
My besties from work
Is this a birthday party or a natural hair meet-up:)? *lol*
The promised cake ;).
And I’ll leave you with this song that has become “our” song!