I know it may seem like I have this hair care thing down. However, just like you, I am feeling my way through the process as well. Learning what is good for my hair, at this length, has been a pretty difficult task for me.
Let me explain.....
When I started my healthy hair journey, I just wanted to stop the massive breakage my hair was experiencing. The breakage was so bad that every time I touched my hair, massive amounts of hair would break off. I had finally had enough and began to look up what I could do to remedy that. Taking care of my hair at this stage was easy. I laid off of the relaxers for 8 months, I began to wash and DC my hair weekly, and I cut down on my direct heat usage. As you can imagine, my hair began to bounce back.
Then I cut it.
Since I cut my hair, I had to learn how to take care of short hair. Taking care of my hair during this time was easy as well. I would still wash and deep condition weekly but since I was using more heat, I deep conditioned more. I took extra care to alternate between protein and moisture conditioners. I continued to stretch my relaxers and began to dabble in low manipulation hair styles.
Now we're here.
My hair is longer (which is awesome) but figuring out what it likes has been somewhat of a task. Here are some issues going on with me:
1) Shedding: I have figured out when the shedding phase of my hair growth process is--winter time. I have been shedding like a freaking dog lately. I'm not alarmed or anything since I believe I am shedding at the higher end of the 50-200 shed hairs per day range. However, it is getting on my NERVES! On Friday, I ordered the Alter Ego garlic deep conditioner. Hopefully this will curb some of the shedding.
2) I have to deep condition 2x a week. When I deep condition 1x a week, my hair isn't as happy as it could be. However, I'm finding that when I deep condition more, my hair just responds better overall. Now I have to suck it up and begin buying more conditioner.
3)When I use deep conditioners and Porosity Control, I have to specifically focus on my ends. It dawned on me last night to just saturate my ends on conditioner and porosity control. Let me tell you, my ends are thanking me for it. Usually, when I deep condition, I pay special attention to my roots, then coat the rest of my hair. Also, when my hair was shorter it was easier to ensure that my ends got enough conditioner (I mean, my ends were right there!) Now I have to learn to establish some sort of balance between my roots and my ends.
4) I can air dry earlier on in my stretch but cannot later on in my stretch. Self explanatory.
These are 4 truths of my hair that I am just now discovering. This hair journey hasn't been easy and I am learning that I have to adjust my routine for every milestone that I hit.