1) Are you natural, relaxed, texlaxed, or transitioning?
Relaxed (3-4 times per year). Considering switching to Brazilian Keratin Treatments or other less damaging forms of hair straightening.
2) What mistakes have you made in your hair care journey?
Neglecting my hair when I started to reach my desired length. My hair needs constant TLC and is very sensitive to moisture-protein balance. Additionally, it was sometimes it was hard for me to stick to the little-heat/little-manipulation mantra and my hair was not happy with this. However, I've found some great heatless protective styles (braidouts, bantu knots, buns, etc.) that have really helped me in my hair care journey.
3) What is your current HEALTHY HAIR routine?
-I use the entire Hydratherma Naturals line (sans the heat protector, I prefer Redkin Smooth Down)
-Wash 2x's per week (lather roots only and let the rinsing wash the rest of my hair), the second wash may often be a co-wash
-Deep Condition 1x per week
-I alternate between the Moisture Boosting Deep Conditioner and the Amino Plus Deep Conditioner
-I moisturize 2x's per day (morning and evening) with the Root Stimulator on my scalp followed by the Leave-In conditioner, Growth Lotion, and Growth Oil (to seal)
-I usually sleep with my hair in one big bantu knot or a couple of small bantu knots and a silk scarf and satin cap
-I wear my hair in a protective style most of the time except for special occasions
4) Do you have a HEALTHY BODY routine? If so, what is it?
I'm a huge health nut (and currently in Medical School)! I think it is extremely important to eat right and exercise especially if you desire healthier hair. I only eat whole grains/oats, lean meats (boneless skinless chicken, fish, lean ground turkey), vegetables, fruits, lean dairy, eggs, nuts and beans. I also try to incorporate whey protein before a workout (I love the Myoplex drinks), ground Flaxseed, and olive oil in my meals. Some of my favorite snacks are the Fiber One bars (great way to get your daily requirement of fiber) and the Yo Plus Yogurts which have dairy, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and probiotics!
I try to stick to a 3x/wk workout regimen which consists of circuits using weights (Women's Health website has some great workout routines) and I run on the treadmill after all of my workouts.
Lastly, I take a multivitamin with plenty of Biotin, Niacin, Vitamins A, C, D and E.
5) Do you have any advice for those seeking healthy tresses?
Get to know your hair and what works best for it. Does it need to be moisturized 2x/day or 1x/day? Washed once or twice a week? Deep conditioned once or twice a week? It's really about finding a routine that works best for your hair and that is realistic for your life. Also, don't try crazy shampoos and creams that say that they will grow your hair five times faster. The reality is that if you want healthier hair that grows at its peak pace you need to eat healthy, exercise, take your vitamins and care for your hair from the moment it comes out of your scalp. If you want length you have to keep caring for your hair consistently. There are some great products that will of course help retain your length: scalp stimulators, mineral-oil and petroleum free hair lotions, alcohol free sprays, certain oils, etc. With the dedication and the right products healthy hair is definitely within reach.