Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why I'm not bald. (a BJJ haircare regimen)

This one's for Shakia...

I can't say my hair hasn't suffered some...my stylist has been miffed at some of the breakage in the crown, but all in all, my hair's fared well in the world of BJJ washings, combings, rollings, hair snaggings and all the other beautiful things that happen.

First, my hair. Here's a close up of it. That's me with about 4 months of new growth. The texture isn't changed much by chemical treatment. I just texturize for mangeability. (I'm a 3C-4A in the world of hair typing.) I did have relaxed hair at one point in time (though not while training), but the same basic ideas of protective styling, moisturizing and hair-friendly products should work...you'd just likely have to stay away from heat styling.

Styling
Lock and load baby...lock and load. My hair...can be a banshee of sorts if left untamed. Even in a pony tail, some very bad things could happen if someone got a foot or hand stuck...and my hair wouldn't be the one tapping. So when I go in, whether it's for a full class, open mat or a lighter private lesson, I always pull it back, braid it, then twist it around itself so it's in a tight ball near the base of my head. No looseness. I still wonder how some women/men with long hair roll with loose ponytails. I'd be terrified of getting put in side control. Maybe it's a good motivator to stay out.

Washing
This is the rough part. I wash before and after each class. Yes, even if I'm just running to a meeting between classes. It's tedious, but my hair is a sponge and I can't imagine the critters it could be picking up even from my school's regularly cleaned mats. 

BUT.

I only use SLS free hair products. That means a wash before and after isn't too hard on the Banshee. Worse come to worst, I do a conditioner wash before class and put in a light, quick absorbing leave in (sad Fructis Curl 'n' Shine is so hard to find these days) before braiding, focusing on the edges and ends. Post-class wash is a different story. I use Dial anti-bacterial as my normal I-didn't-find-any-open-wounds-today body wash, and I run a little bit across all exposed surfaces of my hair.. Then I go back and do a full shampoo wash and condition.

I've seen the most success from switching to Curls products. Not sure if it's the fact that their organic or what, but I know they've made a difference. 









6 comments:

Trudy said...

I did wonder how your hair was fairing since your BJJ training started. Still looks cute. :) I still cannot believe you wash it before every class. I'd go insane.

So interesting how you're sharing other facets that affect this training...things I never thought about. I always thought about just the physical pain and emotional changes but apparently so many small and large things get affected.

Great post, thanks for sharing.

Georgette said...

Fabulous post and thanks for the link to the "what type of curl" page... I am a 2, maybe 2A or 2B. Just enough straight to not curl, just enough curl to not be straight-- I always look like I was just pulled backwards through a hedge.

I lost about half my hair volume in the first year and a half of BJJ, going from elbow-length hair with a ponytail diameter approaching 2.5 inches to (first) below-shoulder and 1.75 inches to collarbone and a generous inch (GASP)... but once I chopped it to jaw length, I had a LOT less torn out by people and broken by the ponytail bands... knock on wood it fills in again :)

Megan said...

@Trudy...yeah...I do before because (as you know) I put a TON of product in my hair and I'd be sweating gel/moisturizer all over the mats. It's funny how different little bits of life are. I've been down sick for two weeks and since I don't have to think about food that will be conducive to training, my diet's been WAY different.

@Georgette...I almost spit water all over my screen when I read "I always look like I was just pulled backwards through a hedge". I love the hair-typing though. It's made it a lot easier for me to find products that work for me.

And um...that's some serious hair loss.

shakiaharris said...

i did my hair today and i about cried when i realized just how much hair i've lost :( the worst part is that I feel like everyone's noticing and despite how confident i am on the mats losing my hair is affecting my self esteem something terrible. HELP!!

Megan said...

Man...is it breaking from the ends or at the root? (I'm guessing the ends are breaking)

Ever thought of trying one of these?
http://wrestlefattie.com/Cliff-Keen-Wrestling-Slicker-Cap

juliajohansen said...

Megan--I had no idea there was a scale of hair curliness. I feel a bit stupid for not realizing that. lol. I'm definitely a 1. Even when I've tried to curl my hair in the past, it said NO WAI! YOU ARE STRAIGHT!!! and immediately dropped out. :D

That's very cool that you are courteous of people you're rolling with. Sometimes I have to remind the other girl in class to take her makeup off. No one wants any personal products of yours on their gis. lol. Including perfumes, lotions, makeup, hair products, etc. The other day I was pretty angry at a guy who said to me "Sorry, my feet are really stinky" I was SO ANGRY! GO WASH YOUR DAMN FEET! UGH! :) We don't always think about rubbing up against someone else's gi when we first start.