Tag Archives: lead hair

Lead Hair Experiment: Jackie

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Meet Jackie, the other volunteer for our Chicoro lead hair experiment! This is her starting point submission of 9/18! She’ll update us with her progress in January 2012. But for now, let’s learn a little about her, her regimen, her current state and her goals!

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Hi, my name is Jackie. I am a graduate student and I’ve been natural(no relaxer) since 14, however I would blow dry and flat iron my hair to within an inch of its life. As of January 2011, I have been a healthy natural, no blow dryers or flatirons since then. Today was the first time in nine months that I’ve used a flat iron. My goal is to have bra strap length hair. I have recently started to do protective styles to help retain length. If any ladies have any helpful tips to maintain length, I would love to hear them!

I have attached he intial pics of my hair that I took today (9/18/11). I got a trim to even out my hair and get rid of some split ends. You can see the thinning edges of my hair on the t-shirt.

My Regimen:

Daily:

  • Usually re-twist  my hair each night with water and EVCO.
  • Detangle every other night with my fingers.
  • Wear updos as a form of protective styling.
  • Cover head each night in my silk bonnet or use my satin pillowcase.

Weekly:

  • Co-wash approximately 4 time a week with either Suave Tropical Coconut or Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition (I go to the gym very frequently, so I use conditioner to wash my hair afterwards).
  • Deep condition twice a week. I alternate between a regular conditioner and a protein rich conditioner (Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition or Queen Helene Cholesterol with Ginsing DC both with EVOO, honey, and EVAO.) I don’t use a heat source I usually put a hat over the plastic cap and wear it for an hour or more depending on my mood/schedule.
  • Apply leave-in (I have yet to find an amazing leave-in, so I sometime use my conditioner as a leave in if my hair is feeling dry).
  • Seal with EVCO, shea butter and/or EVOO

Monthly:

  • Pre-poo with a mix of equal parts honey, EVCO and EVOO for about 30-60 min.
  • Shampoo once every 4-6 weeks with Burt’s Bee’s Baby Shampoo.
  • Detangle using Denman D3 Brush.
  • Henna

Supplements (daily):

  • Women’s multi-vitamin
  • Biotin-5000 mcg

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Check out Jackie on her blog, Engineering Natural Beauty, to see how she is progressing and learn about modifications that she’s made to her regimen since September!

Lead Hair Experiment: Michelle’s Update

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TO BE lead hair or NOT TO BE lead hair? That is the question!

Do you remember that, a few months back, I wrote a post entitled, Chicoro’s Lead Hair Theory? And, do you remember that I asked for guinea pigs to participate in a lead hair experiment? And then, remember how I never wrote anything else about the experiment? Ummmm … yeah … my bad! *lol*

See, I ultimately did enlist two viable volunteers. The first is our very own Michelle of Radiant Brown Beauty and the GOC First Wave. Below are her October and December length check comparison photos and thoughts.

M i c h e l l e

Attached is my hair growth comparison photos from October and December 2011. Not real impressive. There’s a little over a 1/2 inch of length (maybe about 1/4 inch a month, but I think that it was more). I had some breakage, so this could be better. I’m 95% sure that all the over-manipulation of my strands caused hair breakage in the back. I know better for next time. The sides and front of my hair have not incurred any breakage. They are growing nicely. My crown is also growing in (you’ll notice it in the non-lead hair photo).

Here are my take-aways or, rather, my update:

  • Stick with big twists and buns and cutting down on braids (except the occasional fishtail).
  • Cut back from washing twice weekly to once weekly..
  • Increase my protein treatments from once a month to weekly.
  • Added a new vitamin to my regimen.
  • Working on improving exercise, which is sporadic due to my schedule.

Stretching my lead hair. At 7 in Oct; at 8 in Dec.

Hair not stretched at all. You’ll notice the hair filled in and grew in some of the spaces.

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I definitely see an increase in length and thickness Michelle! One component of Chicoro’s theory and method that I didn’t know when I wrote the prior post is the concept of goal points. However, Misha explained it in the comments on that post and I’ve since read the concept in Grow It! In order to really the test the theory, I would suggest the following:

  • Set your first goal point length (which should not be more than two to four inches longer than the bulk of your hair).
  • Keep your lead hairs at that length to evaluate whether the shorter lengths grow to fill in your perimeter and create full thickness at (or beyond) your goal point. 
  • Once the bulk of your hair reaches your goal point, trim all hair even at that point. 
  • Then, you start over again by setting a new goal point.

This may not be your cup of tea, but just wanted to suggest it, as well as explain it for the benefit of those not familiar with the process. Can’t wait for your update at the end of January!

Tomorrow, I’ll share the starting point of our other Lead Hair experiment volunteer. So, stay tuned!

Chicoro’s “Lead Hair” Theory?

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This is not lead hair. It's a long layer and varying shrinkage. It just worked to illustrate this post:).

Things that make you go, “hmmmmmm … .”

A few weeks ago, I came across a post from Sweet Afro Hair referring to Chicoro’s theory of “lead hair” with a link to this thread on Long Hair Care Forums (LHCG) illustrating the phenomena. The thread on LHCF begins with two pictures of a woman’s hair taken 5 months apart. The first is a picture of her hair illustrating what appears to be a seriously thinning perimeter. The second is of her hair five months later where the perimeter appears to have filled in at the longest length from the prior picture!! WHAT THE … WHAT?!?!?!

I was immediately intrigued and started googling!! It seems that this “lead hair” theory was propounded and explained by Chicoro in her book, Grow It: How to Grow Afro-Textured Hair to Maximum Lengths in the Shortest Time. However, I was not able to find much online explaining the thought/science behind it except the following:

from Long Hair Don’t Care:

LHDC: Yeah, I like to use Chicoro’s method of trimming. She calls it the goal point or length based method, I think. Bascially you let your hair grow (regardless of what the ends are looking like) until the bulk of your hair reaches your goal length. BUT the lead hair (the strands of hair that are the longest) shouldn’t be longer than about 2-4″ than the bulk of your hair.

She advises to set small goals and once you reach them cut all your hair evenly and start all over again…

I hope that makes sense. I figured since she has hair down to her behind, she knows what’s (sic) she’s talking about LOL!

But the fact is that hair grows unevenly…so who’s to say tht (sic) the shorter lengths are due to breakage and not because your hair grows slower in that area? I also think that trimming is just for aesthetics…but that’s JMHO.

I also found this thread on LHCF. In the first LHCF discussion linked above, everyone seems to firmly believe in “lead hairs.” But, in this second thread, the premise is met with deprecation, with many adamantly against the concept. However, I must say, the young woman who began it was asking about whether the longer strands of her hair looked like “lead hair” or breakage and, ultimately, it did appear to be very bad breakage. I can easily understand why some disbelieve this theory as it may be used as an excuse to hang onto longer, damaged, thinning hair for the sake of length.

That being said, I am thoroughly fascinated with this concept!!! I don’t have enough information, proof or “scientific evidence” to entirely believe it yet. BUT, I think that it is something that could be easily proven or disproven … at least, to one’s self! Something that I do believe is true is that hair on the same head can grow at different rates. You get your hair cut in a blunt cut and a few months later, it’s longer, but rounded or one side is longer than the other. I know that my right side seems to grow a little faster than my left. I also have been wondering if the thin layer that I had cut off at the beginning of the NC.com GOC in February is returning. However, since I haven’t straightened my hair since last October and have no intention to do so anytime soon and my nape hair is almost straight and always hangs longer than my curlier crown, I’m not a good “candidate” to test this theory.

However, I was thinking that one  of YOU might be willing and able to do it over the course of our challenge, which has 5 months (well 4 1/2) remaining! I think whoever wants to test the theory would definitely have to begin with an even perimeter as the “control,” though obviously it does not need to be full thickness. This would need to be evaluated on fully straightened hair (not flat ironed per se, but a blow out at least). If the perimeter is irregular, I think a cut/trim is definitely in order to even it out at the longest point. Also, any split or damaged ends need to be eliminated. It’s important that the ends are examined and appear healthy. Then, a length check tee shirt or, at least, a shirt marked with the starting points is needed and should be used for the initial, mid-point and final length checks on straightened hair. I say starting points, because I think the full thickness line needs to be marked as well as the longest/thinnest layer. Search and Destroys to remove splits and knots must be employed as a preventative measure, but no trims other than the initial evening one. Photos at 3 intervals would be necessary: one in September, one approximately 60 days later (mid-November) and one at the end of January. Finally, I was initially thinking that the individual’s hair should be in good health with limited to no breakage, as far as they can tell. However, this may not be entirely necessary as one could also determine if the hair is breaking or growing during this process. If the long hairs shorten to meet the bulk of the hair or the entire length of hair becomes shorter: *ding, ding, ding* … breakage! If someone wants to do this because they are trying to figure out if they are experiencing breakage, maybe we could have two volunteers: one with healthy hair, one with ends that are “suspect;)?”

So, what say ye? Is anyone interested in being a “guinea pig” for our little lead hair experiment?

Have you heard of this theory? Are you for or against and why?

(p.s. If anyone has the book and wants to provide us with a little more information behind this idea, go for it! Because, you know, I’m being cheap trying to find the info for free online as I have no plans of buying the book anytime soon ;).)