So we’ve come to the end of the challenge and I have to say it’s definitely been an experience. There were parts of it that were super easy and parts that were not so easy. This challenge definitely put me back in tune with my hair. I paid more attention to how it looked and felt, what products I was using and what I was putting in my body.
Let’s go through the requirements and see where I was successful and not so successful.
Protective styling was one of the easier parts for me; I had my hair in loose twists for 4 weeks at a time and I actually enjoyed having my hair away. I wasn’t stressed about day-to-day styling, all I had to do was remember to moisturize regularly; and I think I can claim success in that area. I also did pretty well with drinking my water regularly. I had a 2L bottle that I bought at the beginning of the challenge and carried around with me. There were days that I didn’t even get halfway through the bottle, but for the most part I stuck with. I was definitely more cognizant of the amount of water I was drinking compared to before the challenge started.
I did write and stick to my regimen but it got modified. My hair and scalp really handled staying in a protective style for weeks at a time better than I expected, so I didn’t have to wash bi-weekly as initially expected. I stuck with steaming regularly and I switched out my deep conditioner after each wash. One of those deep conditioning treatments was a henna treatment, but I only did it once so I can’t give a good review on that experience just yet.
I was great with taking my multivitamin. I usually eat breakfast at work, so I left my vitamin at work next to my phone and would take a pill every morning right after eating.
Now the ugly…
I slacked off on some of the rules at different points in the challenge and it was pretty much as a result of my laziness, but the 2 big ones I didn’t stick to were working out and making my smoothies regularly. I had decided at the beginning of the challenge, that smoothies would be my main source of fruits and vegetables, and I wasn’t terrible during the past 3 months, but I was too inconsistent to claim success in that aspect. Same with working out; compared to before the challenge started I worked out more during the past 3 months, but I didn’t stick to the 3 times a week at least 30 minutes requirement. I’ll keep working on both parts of my lifestyle though
What’s next for me?
I still plan to use the challenge requirements as guidelines for how I treat my hair and body, because I do believe that while they sound extreme, following them will lead to me being healthier on the inside and outside. My regimen might change as time goes on as I might introduce new and remove old products from my rotation. For example, last week I added the Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise to my regimen as a deep conditioner because I felt like my hair needed a protein boost, I’m also looking into trying a few shampoos in the next few months.
On my hair growth…
I am definitely super excited about my growth, mostly because I didn’t feel like my hair was growing during the challenge. Each time I’d do a quick check I felt like I was in the exact same spot and got a bit discouraged during the challenge. I’m really glad I have my before and after pictures because I’m able to see precisely how much length I was able to retain these last 3 months. Sidebar – Saying I’m looking for growth is really not the right word; so wherever you’ve seen growth in this post assume I meant retention. Our hair is always growing; retaining the length is the work we’re trying to do.
Something else that’s of note while looking at my pictures is the fact that in my before photos, my hair had been stretched for almost 2 days prior and in my after pictures my hair was freshly washed. Trying to take my after pictures was hard because all my hair wanted to do was spring back into its shrunken form and that’s why a few of my after pictures look like I’m holding only a few strands of hair. I think the front of my hair appears to have retained he most length; but that’s also where my curls are the loosest and as such I experience the least amount of breakage.
In conclusion I have to say I’m satisfied with my results after the 3LRChallenge.
A few lessons learned…
If you’re invested in growing your hair keep track of your hair length, with with pictures or actually measuring with a ruler or by making a length check T-Shirt; because if your hair is anything like mine and you experience almost 90% shrinkage, it’s easy to get discouraged and think that your hair’s not growing.
Taking care of your hair is as easy or as hard as you make it. Don’t stick to something that isn’t working for you at that moment. For example, I usually do a dry finger detangle with oil and then comb detangle with conditioner. During my last wash my roots were super tangled and dry detangling just was not working for me. I ditched it and went straight to detangling with a conditioner and comb and made sure I used more conditioner than normal. Be flexible with how you handle your hair.
I’m excited to this again a few months down the line, but for now I really missed having my hair out. I have extreme hand in hair syndrome. I love how my hair feels when it’s in a happy state, I enjoy wearing my hair in a puff as it’s my go t0 “out” style. So I’m going to wear my hair out for a bit, I’ll still try to keep my ends protected with updo’s and such, but I don’t think I’ll be in twists for another month.
How was your 3LRChallenge experience?