Seven Weeks to Healthy Hair
by A. Lester
In a previous article (“Before I Could Get My Life Together I Had to Do Something about My Hair”) I positively gushed about the healthiness of my hair. Well, as we all know, times change. I suffered severe hair damage this year due to several factors:
- Wearing Senegalese twists too long
- Thinking that as long as my hair was twisted I could ignore it
- Taking the twists down myself and not treating my hair gently
- Nutritional deficiencies (protein and iron) as a result of changing my eating habits.
I was horrified that my once long, thick, and healthy hair was now thinning, shedding, and about six inches shorter.
I decided to consult a trichologist to figure out what was going on. A trichologist is a professional who helps solve problems of the hair or scalp. I consulted Lisa Akbari at her state of the art World Trichology Institute in Memphis, TN. Known as “The Hair Doctor” Lisa did a thorough examination of my scalp and hair using a high resolution, magnified video camera. To my surprise and horror I saw the following problems in vivid color:
- Thinning around the edges and in the temples
- Infected hair follicles
- Ingrown hairs
- Discoloration of the scalp
- Swollen scalp
- Burns on the scalp
- Scar tissue
- Tears on the scalp
- Heat damage to the hair strands
- Layer peeling along the hair strand
- Dehydration in some areas of the scalp
Wow. I have always focused on my hair and pretty much ignored my scalp. Yes, I’m am (or was) a fierce scalp scratcher because if feels so good. The occasional press and curl at the beauty salon had left burn marks. And too many relaxers had resulted in scar tissue.
Seeing my hair problems so up and close made me want to cry and shave my head, but Lisa assured me that careful attention and care of my scalp and hair could resolve many of my problems. I was skeptical (as I am a natural born skeptic) but I signed up for a set of seven weekly treatments to begin the process of healing my scalp and hair. My specifically designed weekly treatments consisted of:
- Detoxification of the hair and scalp to remove dirt, build up, and pollutants.
- An amazing hair shampoo and massage using her specially formulated and pH balanced shampoo.
- A “cold pack” treatment to deep condition, nourish and heal the hair follicles and scalp
- Treating the scalp with a light oil to control itching and condition the scalp
- Electrical stimulation of the thinning spots around my edges
- Gentle styling by a hair stylist
Between treatments I was instructed to wash my hair at least once using the Hair Nutrition System and to treat my thinning areas using specially formulated drops.
Throughout my treatments at the center, my hair was treated gently. There was no pulling or stretching by the technicians. There was no scratching of the scalp during shampooing (Yeah ladies, you know how we like to ask the shampooer to scratch our scalp!). I learned to treat my scalp just as I would treat the skin on my face, with care. I learned to condition and moisturize my hair on a daily basis. And I learned to style my natural hair in ways that were not harmful and that were complimentary to face and personality.
Did my hair go back to its original thickness and length in seven weeks? Of course not. But my thinning edges are growing back, my hair is healthier, and I am so much more comfortable styling my natural hair. The key is I now know that if I am gentle with my hair, I have no doubt that my crown and glory will return. I’ll let you know how it turns out in six months.