Food for thought
Let's start off with your night time routine. Do you wear a doek? If yes we need to change that. The material used for doeks and pillow cases sucks out all the moisture in our hair. So if you had moisturised that morning, all those efforts were to vain. Secondly we all toss and turn at night, thus causing some sort of friction which in turn aggravates this process of moisture loss. But it also exerts some friction that could make your hair break easily. Solution is to get a silk based duk or piece of material or pillow case. I have both, mostly sleep without the doek as I have silk pillow cases. Mind you it isn't necessary to have both. I'm just O.D.D. For example when I'm relaxing watching tv, I always lay the satin cloth against my cushions on the couch so that my hair doesn't rub against the harsh material covering the cushions/couch.
Everyday moisture routine
Fortunately for you, your hair is straight from relaxing it. So it doesn't need to be re-moisturised as much as mine. With natural hair I re-moisturise daily, But in your case it would be every other day or even every 3 days. Which means twice to thrice a week. When choosing your moisturiser, please stay away from lotions or creams or hair food that has parabens or mineral oil. Just check in the list of ingredients. The reason I say stay away is, these ingredients only coat your hair shaft and make it glossy/shiny and therefore give the misleading appearance that your hair is moisturised. They were a cheaper way (for the producers and in turn the consumer) of fooling us 'darkies' when marketing strategies for achieving the sleek look started.
I recommend one of the following:
1. that you get yourself an empty spray bottle (Dischem sells them in their travel section) then add either distiller water (bottled) or cooled water that was boiled in a kettle to the spray bottle, some drops of pure glycerin, olive oil and some drops of aloe Vera juice. For example 2 thirds water, and the last third glycerin, olive oil. Then spritz your hair with this lightly, don't spray till hair is damp.
2. buy a moisturiser that has water (aqua) as the first ingredient followed by glycerine and shea butter (no preferred order to the latter as long as they are part of the ingredients straight after water). For example, the olive miracle anti-breakage cream. Shea butter is the 5th ingredient in this cream but that's fine. Dischem and Clicks sell it.
If you had natural hair I would say do this every week but again, you are lucky your strands are straight and not coiled.
I recommend that you do one of the following:
1. buy coconut oil, and apply it to slightly damp (not wet) hair. It comes hard (state) but as soon as you place it in your palms it melts from your body temperature. Cover your hair with a shopping plastic bag or shower cap for an hour to 4 hours. Personally I prefer doing this overnight while I sleep, the longer you do this the more benefits. You'll notice that your hair gets 'sweaty' when you take off the plastic cap, that's called the greenhouse effect and is a sign you left the bag on for a sufficient time. Coconut oil is the one oil that is the most closest to our hair sebum(oil that moisturises our hair and scalp naturally) so easily penetrates the hair shaft. Thus leaving your hair moisturised amazingly!!!!! Go to this link for the steps to follow when doing this treatment.
2. do a hot oil treatment. You can do your own home made, instructions available on my blog too, at this link. Or buy the African Pride growth oil from Dischem. I love it. It has instructions on how to do a hot oil treatment. Leave it on for 20-30 mins for more benefit. 15 mins is still good though.
You need a monthly routine, even if your hair is in braids or weave. Thou shall learn to care for your hair. Once a month, please please, do a hair mayonnaise treatment. It adds protein to your hair. If you only focus on moisture your hair will break. You need a balance of both moisture and protein. Buy hair mayonnaise at Dischem too. For your moisture routine you can do one of the fortnight recommendations. You could go get these treatments at the salon as well.
Please make sure every 3 to 4 months you check split ends. They are a BAD for your hair's health. They are even so ill mannered they can progress by extending further down your hair strand. Once they do, you will have much more damaged hair which won't be able to hold moisture and will certainly break. So you won't retain as much length then end up thinking your hair doesn't grow.
Routine while in braids or weaves
Get a water based moisturiser or use your daily spritz explained in the beginning of this mail.
Other related (GYM)
Don't forget that hair thrives better in clean conditions. If you gym, your scalp needs more cleaning than an inactive person due to the sweat that builds up. Plus in Joburg there's too much air pollution, so our hair needs a good clean. Please try shampoo your hair once a week, especially if you have an active lifestyle. If you sweat a lot, you might consider washing your hair mid week with a conditioner. That means you get two washes per week. The lady who helped me in my hair journey actually has relaxed (texlaxed though) hair, her haircare suggestions are worth a read on www.hairequest.
blogspot.com as they are good for both natural and relaxed hair!
Love - AfroMoriri