Cathy Howse used to be known as the don of relaxed hair and even though she is natural now her very simple relaxed hair regimen led her to great success with not only her own hair but also all her fans who have followed her healthy hair regimen religiously.
Cathy was one of the first black women who successfully proved that relaxed hair can in fact grow to great lengths with consistency and a great regimen.
The goal of her challenge is to retain six inches of hair every year by adopting seven basic guidelines. Here are the rules of engagement:
1. Wash you hair twice a week with an slightly acidic pH balanced shampoo, moisturizing shampoo or a sulfate free shampoo*.
2. Use a protein based deep conditioner* weekly. You have the option of using one of Cathy’s products or any of your favorite protein based deep conditioners, and you must use heat cap to deep condition or allow the conditioner to sit overnight. She is quite firm on the idea of using heat while deep conditioning* because heat allows the conditioning agents to penetrate into all areas of the hair shaft.
3. Air dry your hair with your leave in conditioner* generously applied.
4. If you must use a blow dryer, only use the cool setting or don’t use it at all. Blow drying (even on low) is notorious for drying hair out.
5. Do not use brushes ever. Period. Comb your hair with a wide tooth comb* once a week only on wash day.
6. Stretch you relaxer for 10 weeks or more.
7. Limit the use of heat to once or twice a month. Although originally she had stated that it is ok to use heat as long as it is on freshly washed and deep conditioned hair. Some relaxed ladies got tripped up by this however because depending on the resilience of your strands, some ladies tresses are unable to withstand regular heat.
In addition to these rules she emphasizes that you are free to substitute your protein deep conditioning* for something moisture based depending on your hair’s needs.
Cathy has also shared a deep conditioner* recipe that can be used weekly to make things easier.
The recipe calls for sixteen ounces of any reconstructor protein conditioner that does not have any mineral oil listed as an ingredient, eight ounces of olive oil, four ounces of coconut oil and one teaspoon of peppermint oil. Apply the conditioner to the hair and deep condition using heat for fifteen to thirty minutes.
As always with much success comes a book and a product line, and Cathy Howse wasted no time in developing both. She wrote the book Ultra Black Hair Growth and in it she provides a great source for understanding hair growth and the facts that dictate how hair behaves.
Some of the facts she mentions about hair growth are that hair grows half an inch per month, hair is not alive but dead and as such can be easily damaged with harsh manipulation tactics.
She also mentions that the natural life cycle of a single hair strand is between two and six years and your scalp sheds up to 100 hairs per day based on this cycle. Howse also emphasizes that cutting the hair has nothing to do with hair growth and that hair breaks because it is excessively dry or abused.
She tends to emphasize that trimming your hair is not necessary to your regimen although for the sake of healthy looking ends it may be prudent to trim every so often.
Her Ultra Black Hair Product line includes everything from cleansing shampoos to silk spray moisturizers, all of which can be found on her website. You can connect with Cathy through her site or YouTube where you can get even more facts, cool tips and the details on her hair challenges.