Hair Challenges

Hi I’m Aphro, a hair blogger and consultant. Thank you for checking out my blog. I’m here to give you strategies on attaining and maintaining healthy hair. Evidence shows that healthy hair is hair that grows. My clients and I are walking testimonies that black hair DOES grow.

Your resident hair consultant

I’ve worked with women who had receding hair lines, bald patches in the middle of their head, thinning relaxed hair, breaking hair … etc and am honoured to say that time and again my hair care philosophies are working.

This is where I started … No matter how long your hair is, or what state it’s in, the aim for you personally, should be to attain then maintain healthy hair. Growth will naturally come after this is reached. My overall goal is to have healthy hair, no matter how I choose to style it.

My hair was weak, dry at the ends…

I started a series of ‘hair challenges’ that give you practical ways of getting your hair healthy. I’d love to see ladies with healthy hair, no matter what their length is.

Hair Challenges are a structured mechanism to get you on the path of dealing with a problem and attaining healthy hair. They run for a specific time and follow a set of rules that have been designed to ensure that you see results.

Hair Challenges start you on a journey to healthy hair, once you have healthy hair, you will realise GROWTH. A derivative of healthy hair is hair that grows.

Hair Challenges comprise of the following:

  • a goal that deals with problem areas like dandruff, dry brittle hair, receding hair line, traction alopecia, thin dull lifeless hair and   hair that doesn’t seem to grow
  • a time-limit
  • rules to follow during the challenge
  • results at the end of the challenge

There’s one step you need to take before taking on any hair challenge, and that’s assessing your hair type. Knowing your hair type is a critical first step to understanding what its unique needs are.

Assess Your Hair Type

Now you know your hair type, choose the hair challenge that will deal with your problem. Only substitute with the product you need … and be on your way.

Castor Oil Challenge – for dry hair and an introduction to products that work
Back 2 Health Challenge – for dry hair, problem scalp and split ends. This is an introduction to a basic hair care routine
HairLine Challenge – for those who have damaged their hairline
No Dandruff Challenge – for women and men who suffer from dandruff (mild to severe)
Weave Challenge – for hair that doesn’t seem to grow even though it’s under a weave

These are my results so far. Happy Hair Journey Ladies!

2010 and 2011 length

October 2012 Results

 

51 comments

  1. Faith katsaura · · Reply

    Well, where can i begin… I’ve always said and thought my hair doesnt grow.. its always been the same.. hence all the weaves and plaiting etc.

    To make matters worse, My hairline has started receding , which really frustrates me :(

    I want hair like yours is it possible?

    Help!

    1. Of course. All this is manageable. It’s a matter of ‘getting to know your hair’ and how it reacts to how you style it. Start with the Castor Oil challenge. Women all over the world are on to it and seeing changes within weeks. I’m available for skype consults as well.

  2. phyllis · · Reply

    i must say this is an interesting blog u’ve got going, big up to you!
    I have very thin hair with endless split ends and as a result i weave my hair all the time coz i feel better in them weaves than my own hair..reading your blog has given me some hope to try and start caring about my hair, your pictures are very inspiring and if u can do it i think i can too, is it possible for my hair to be a wee bit thicker than it is now and the split ends is there a way of getting rid of them apart from constantly trimming it ?

  3. It seems you may be over processing your hair, which means it’s thinner than it should be. So the answer is YES, we can get your hair thicker again.
    When I started really taking care of my hair, I’ve never needed to trim it. The Castor Oil Challenge introduces you to the concept of taking care of your hair from scalp to the tips of your hair.
    You will see a difference once you start it. Check out what some of the ladies have been experiencing on the challenge: http://phrophro.com/testimonials/

  4. Nyasha · · Reply

    Love this blog :)

    1. Thanks so much Nyasha!

  5. loving this blog.. u have inspired me to start my “going back to natiral hair” journey. i have damaged my hair because of all the weaves and braids i have put in the last couple of years.. time for a change. thanks a lot phro.! x

  6. sanelle · · Reply

    what a fantastic blog!i love the passion you have for hair and how much you’re willing to help other women grow healthy hair :)

    1. Thank you so much Sanelle! :)

  7. Hey guys I started browsing this blog at home and now I have gotten no work done in the office. lol! I just wanted to know does anybody living in Zim harare know where I can get castor oil???

  8. Ok still no work done in the office :-) but I found a page directing me to the pharmacies where I can buy castor oil and coconut oil. Just a brief summary. My hair was thin from over processing. Got pregnant it got really thick, had the babies and it fell out quicker than i could get help. Grew it back and got thoroughly lazy and the lace wigs took it all away. So I am determined to be a little more committed to my budding mane. My hair is about 4-6cm in length. I have been using Organic Relaxer (your thoughts??? I prefer how it leaves a little uumph in my hair after a retouch so I like it) and just last week I spent a small fortune on jojoba oil, carrot oil and hair fertiliser all in the same range (your thoughts?). My main concern at the moment is that my hair is thicker at the back than it is in the front. My hairline is half way out the door (hair currently in braids). Can I start these challenges with my hair in braids or do I have to go natural? AAAAND do i have to throw away my unopened treasures…the jojoba oil etc?

    p.s not alot of women or people for that matter would take the time or care about other people and their hair, thumbs up to you and your efforts!!!

    1. Hey Twisha,

      So glad you’re reading up and finding the information that you need.
      Jojoba oil is absolutely amazing for your hair and so is carrot oil, so that’s money well spent. and YES YES, you can start using these oil while in braids. What I’m interested to know is, how tight or thin are your braids, cause that also adds to the problems of the receding hair line. Check out the HairLineChallenge as an immediate challenge to work on your hair line, cause I think that seems to be urgent thing. Check out the rules and see if you can start doing it. YES, you can do it while still in the braids you’re in. Hair Care isn’t about whether it’s possible with the current hair, it should be happening despite what hair style you have.

      With relaxers (i’ll be doing a post soon), I suggest people keep with relaxers that have always worked for them (brand doesn’t mean anything to me at this point). All relaxers weaken your hair by stripping off protein, so what people should start concentrating on, is determining what hair type they are. Then use a relaxer for that hair type. E.g. if your hair is thin, use ORS for thin hair. and so on…

      thank you so much for your kind words. I just want black women everywhere to start loving the hair our ancestors left us. It’s beautiful, versatile and just the best.

  9. Anna · · Reply

    Hi!! You rock girl.. thanx for the hair tips & challenges… Big up yourself… Your are an inspiration..!!!!
    I am trying to determine my hair type but i cant open the page u have suggested… its says page can not be opened/” sorry no post matched your criteria”.. Help!!

    1. :) thanks so much Anna. will look into the link…..thanks for letting me know

    2. it’s now active

  10. lolita · · Reply

    Hi Phro
    I have a seriously receding or should i say receded hairline and i had just about lost hope thinking that i had tried all hair solutions in vain on this mother earth! But thanks to this link a friend recommended..i have hope again and i’m glad to advise that i started the castor oil challenge (for my hairline) two days ago (31st Jan 2011)! I took a few pics on the day and i would want to use them for refernce purposes when the results start showing.. I have very soft baby hair and at the back its all okay just the front is the issue..so am hoping that at the end of all this, my hair will have more volume, a healthy hairline. etc.. Thanks so much for sharing such valuable information with other women. It takes a lot to share esp among women..Keep up the good work. let me know how i can upload my before pics that i took two days ago!
    oh an ive decided to keep my hair free of any chemicals..so iv kept it natural (with a regular tint though) for about two years, but it would always be in a plaited weave! so for now im gona let it breathe unweaved..will def keep you posted!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words. Please upload photos on http://www.facebook.com/hairchallenge as you document your journey. If you’d like, I could upload pics on your behalf of you send to phrophro@ymail.com

  11. lolita · · Reply

    oh my bad! i meant to say 31st Jan 2012! sowy..

  12. sikhulekile · · Reply

    hey thanks for this great blog. you definitely the answer to my prayers – literally. am one of those who pray for literally everything so over the christmas hols my sista told me about u.am excited coz i was always the laughing stock in my family my hair is quite thin but over the years ive learned a few things so been doing well but not so well. my hair is about neck level now but its quite in a state. for starters i don like the colour its become reddish/brownish- pple say dark n lovely does that – is it true. what can i do to get it back to its natural colour. just gone thru all the challenges and got how to take care of the ends coz that was the other prob. then maintaining same length- how does that work? my hair is far shorter at the back and obviously front but am more worried about the back coz that affects the overall length – if my back hair was as long as it is in the middle it would be way past my shoulders. also have problem with sweat/ humidity – i live in a very hot and humid region and my hair seems to be damp most of the time esp at night, and coz of that it doesnt look so straight – it dwinges hope u get what im trying to say. how can i protect it – what are the best products. i bought this amla oil in abundance only to realise it has paraffinum liquidium something like that- how harmful is it. should i get rid of it. it says on the box though that its the original formula the brand is dabur and i got both types the ‘original’ and the ‘gold’ one. not sure what to do with it now. otherwise thanks for being the answer to my prayers – i know definitely this year i’ll celebrate the best of my hair- thanks to u

    1. :)
      About Dark N Lovely, I wasn’t aware that it lightened your hair. Check out my posts on Relaxed hair http://phrophro.com/category/relaxed-hair-2/ for more information about what relaxing hair does.

      It seems like you’re dealing a lot with your hair. 1st, I’d suggest you join the Back 2 Health Challenge as it deals with attaining health and then maintaining it. healthy hair is hair that grows, so the secret is ensuring that you put all your energy in getting it healthy. Long hair is a reflection of healthy hair … my hair has grown simply because I’ve been taking care of my scalp (where it grows out of), my actual hair (making sure it’s not dry, as dry hair breaks) and my ends (making sure I don’t have split ends, which would mean I’d have to trim).

      Cause of the Back to Health challenge, I haven’t trimmed my hair, my hair is healthy and I was able to realize length. All hair grows, but the reason why your hair is that length, is cause it’s breaking faster than its growing. This to means that your hair is dry … dry hair is hair that breaks. the Back to Health challenge will fix all these problems.

      Let me know which challenge you choose to go on.

      1. sikhulekile · ·

        k. ve chosen to go on the back to health challenge coupled with the hairline challenge. seems to me i can do both at the same time or let me say back to health with att on my hairline. shame i love my hair and the red colour and breaking were stressing me out. its funny coz all the while ive been cutting my hair ends every time i relax coz i heard it stimulates hair growth. maybe just do a section on hair myths as well. the things that go around are unbelievable. pple also say dandruff is a sign of growth personally i dont have so all the while been thinking my hair breaks coz i dont get dandruff! strange but true. am still trying to find a moisturizer without the minerals etc will keep u posted and many thanks to u! love your hair

  13. sikhulekile · · Reply

    Hi

    got started on the back to health challenge this week. i got coconut oil it says pure so thats what im using on the scalp, but it feels too light should i put more or can i mix it with amla or olive oil. i also couldnt get a moisturizer without all those ingredients so i settled for one that only has lanolin oil and no petrolatum etc its by african pride. then i also came across a product by fantasia (brand) and its a clear serum. how does that work – i mean for scalp or hair moisturizer or for the ends? my interest was that it said its perfect for hot and humid environments, and it straightens hair, am willing to try it out but need to find out how to incorporate it. it didnt have “the ingredients’ so i was sold. will appreciate yo input , thanks

    1. Hi,
      Light moisturiser is good. It actually lets your hair flow a bit more. When a moisturiser is heavy, it’s placing more weight than you actually need for your hair. It should seep into your hair shaft, thus strengthening your actual hair shaft, rather than coating the outside part of your hair, giving it a false shine. That tends to be greasy hair, but you’re looking for soft moisturised feeling. If you touch your hair, the oil shouldn’t be coming off of it, as it should be within the hair shaft itself.

      You can use the serum as a sealer. So after you moisturise with coconut oil, lightly add the serum to your edges. and if you’re going to use a hot comb, then lightly add the serum to all your hair before you straighten your hair.

      I hope this helps

  14. Don’t forget to do a regime for women who work out.

    Thank u!!

    1. happening! :) Thanks for keeping me honest. Got a few tips on the facebook community, so please join us

  15. sikhulekile · · Reply

    Hi.its like virtually impossible to find a moisturizer without one of ‘those’ ingredients.its really mission impossible. so i was thinking castor oil on my scalp, coconut oil on the strand and then amla and olive on the ends. trying to stick to the natural products only, do u think it will work well. coz i have been using a cream with lanolin oil in it. it seems fine so far but just dont want to take the risk. started the back to health challenge 2 wks back and my hairs is softer but my ends are in a mess. i cut about a centimeter a week before i started the challenge but still the ends knot and are not straight even though i just relaxed a week ago. pse advise, should i cut again (or put relaxer cream on them), am scared to keep on reducing the length but want to do whats going to be progressive for my hair.

    1. Hi Sikulekile,

      The combination you’ve just mentioned is FANTASTIC. I do that myself when my hair is ultra dry. Lanolin is not ‘bad’, you just need to understand that if your hair is dry, it’s not the best ingredient to have in your moisturiser. So glad to see that more and more ladies are coming on board. :)

      Take your time with your ends. ON the Back to Health challenge, it actually addresses nourishing your ends. You’ll know when it’s time to get rid of them as you see progress with your new growth. Cutting your hair can be daunting, I totally understand that … so I say, take your time and start looking at the progress of your hair in comparison to those ends.

      1. sikhulekile · ·

        Hi. Thanks it seems to be working for me too, can actually see the difference now- i’m glad i did this!. and guess what initially i was lazy to do the pre-poo, i just thot – what a waste to oil and then wash it off again. But for some reason i just did it last weekend and i just cannot believe the results.- I could do it everyday. thanks girl – i can only say u r wise! and am staying on the challenge…

  16. This has inspired me to go all natural, i have type 4A hair, and its really weird..
    It doesnt comb out nicely and frizzes like crazy even when its just relaxed…
    Help!! What should I start with???

    1. Start with assessing how dry your hair is and looking at whether your scalp is healthy. From there, choose the hair challenge that you think sits best with your lifestyle. I personally love the Back 2 Health challenge, i’ve realised tremendous results by just being diligent.

  17. sikhulekile · · Reply

    Hi.
    how do you keep relaxed hair straight after washing it without using a drier or curlers?

  18. Thandeka · · Reply

    Hi,
    In one of your articles you spoke of sodium lauryl sullfate free shampoo as the way to go…how about amonium lauryl sulphate??

    1. Sulphate free is the better way to go in terms of shampoos. But they say that Amonium is less harsh … I’m increasingly believing that if you don’t heavily react to shampoos than you’re ok to move to ALS … or even stick with SLS shampoos. My Vatika shampoo is ALS based … but I truly love it. My hair though, doesn’t suffer from dryness. If it was really dry, it may be a different story

  19. Clara · · Reply

    hie, i have just discovered you like minutes ago and it was love at first sight, i have verrry dry 4c although that wasn’t the case when i was growing up. My hair has become highly porous and hard to comb.
    i have never liked relaxers in my hair so i always spot a TWA (abt 2inches). i’m now trying to grow my hair but i find that even after the all the moisturising an d sealing it still feels very dry and the oil just sits on top of my hair.
    i do use castor oil, olive oil & coconut oil, i moisturise with glycerin mixed with water, and dc once a week. Does anyone know where i can get shea butter in south africa (joburg).
    Help!!!! i,m at wits end.
    ps my hair has a mix of thick & fine strand and is very litle on my head. Pleeaase help

    1. Hey Clara,

      Thank you for your kind words!

      Well, I’ve interviewed a few ladies who have natural hair, http://phrophro.com/category/natural-hair/. They have adopted the Back to Health challenge and really owned it with products that they love. The key thing with getting your hair appropriately moisturised is building in a consistency. So it seems like you’ve built that with what you’ve typed, just ensure that it’s consistent and you’re using the right products. If you click on the Naturals link, you’ll get an insight on what these ladies are doing and what’s winning with their hair. I hope this helps you out.

      Keep me posted PLEASE. Would love to hear if this helped you out.

  20. jay jay · · Reply

    thanx for an awesome site!!!! i am very excited about starting with the castor oil challenge…..i would like to know what sulfate free shampoo you use on your hair.im from south africa and we have organics not organix.please help…..

    1. Hi Jay jay,

      I suggest that people who have dry scalp look at changing their shampoo cause they could be allergic to sulphates. You can only determine this by starting a hair care regime (and using the same shampoo you always have) and seeing if your scalp is still dry and your hair too. I used sulphate free shampoos,Organics, for a few weeks and it was fine, but my Vatika Nourishing shampoo that has sulphates is also working for my hair. Work to substituting one product at a time which is a great way of eliminating a potential product problem. I hope this helps…

  21. […] I’m not a hair dresser … I do, however work with hairdressers and individuals, giving them access to strategies that will attain and maintain the health of their hair. I do this by creating ‘hair challenges’ that give women (and some men) practical ways of getting their hair healthy. When you get your hair healthy, you start realising that your hair actually grows. To find out more about how ‘hair challenges’ work and why they are my philosophy on hair care, check out http://www.phrophro.com/about. […]

  22. Clara · · Reply

    Hey Phro, been a while since i was last here. I decided to continue with the products i started out with but I increased the number of time i moisturized with my glycerin & water mix to 3 times a day, my hair feels so much softer and seems to be breaking less. My scalp wasn’t itching as much until i decided to braid my hair about 4days ago, now it itches like crazy, but i’m gonna stick to castor oil and will let you know what happens in a week.
    keep up the wonderful work
    Love you

    1. Try and dilute castor oil with a runnier carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil. Then use S Curl No Drip to spray onto your braids so that your hair is moisturised as well.

  23. […] Why Hair Challenges? […]

  24. lolo · · Reply

    Hi Phro. I really love this blog, I was in singles braids for 8weeks I removed the braids on monday, can I relax my hair tomorrow or friday pls advice me asap. Thank you on advance

    1. I”d advise you wait for a few days to help your hair and scalp recover from the constant pulling. Check this ‘in-between-protective-style’ care I created http://phrophro.com/weave/in-between-hair-care/

  25. Miss X · · Reply

    Hi Phro, I have a problem. My 21 month old daughter’s hair is not growing. It is less than a centimeter :( Do you have any advice on how I can help it along :( I really want her to have healthy hair. I have never relaxed nor will I relax her hair. HELP

    1. Hi Miss X,

      Don’t stress about how long it’s taking for your daughter’s hair to grow. You may want to ask your mother or mother-in-law how hair has grown in the family. This is probably more hereditary than about your daughter having problems with her hair. When you wash her, always gently massage her scalp, which is great for blood circulation. :) enjoy her short hair while it’s still short … cause when it grows longer, you’ll be dealing with hair that easily tangles and a lot of tears when you start combing it.

  26. Miss X · · Reply

    Thank you, I was worried, Im just gonna give it time. Thank you for such a wonderful blog. I recently started the castor oil challenge and I cant wait to restore my hairline. Will keep you posted.

  27. puleng · · Reply

    I loooove your bolg.

    1. :) thank you so much Puleng!

  28. hopelesshairgrowth · · Reply

    where in Zim can one get castor oil Phro? l am beyond desperate now…been growing my hair for a little over 5years now…but its just stuck at 12cm length…and of cos…a. troublesome barely there hairline…aaaand…its thin…been natural since June 2011 though

    1. If you go to a good pharmacy, in the baby section, you should be able to find it.

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