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The Baggy Method
The Baggy Method is a hair care method that offers a creative solution for dry hair by seeking to promote hair growth by trapping in much-needed moisture. It allows you to prevent damage to your delicate tresses, especially your ends. If you suffer from dry hair or split ends, simply apply a moisturizer (or your favorite leave-in) to the ends of your hair. Or, if necessary, (or depending on your preference) to your whole head. Then, add your favorite oil or butter to seal in the moisture.
Place a plastic processing cap over your whole head. If only baggying your ends, you can use saran wrap or a ziplock sandwich bag and then secure it with a ribbon tie or an ouchless hair elastic. Just make sure the tie or elastic is on the wrap or bag and NOT your hair! For additional nighttime protection, add your usual satin scarf or silk wrap. Keep covered for 3-4 hours, or overnight, if you wish. Then, remove the wrap/bag and style your hair accordingly.
The Greenhouse Effect
The Greenhouse Effect (GHE), unlike the Baggy Method, DOES NOT use moisturizers or leave-ins. It encourages the use of shampoos and conditioners that are 100% natural. And, instead of using commercial, chemical-based products, the GHE relies on body heat to stimulate the sebum production of your own scalp.
To use this technique, simply apply an all natural oil and/or butter to dry hair. To jump start the process (or if you do not produce enough body heat on your own), you can also lightly mist your hair with water prior to adding an all natural oil or butter. Make sure your hair is damp, not wet. Place a plastic processing cap over your whole head. Secure the cap with a satin scarf or silk wrap. Add another satin or silk wrap, or a knit cap or beanie to produce even more body heat. The steamy, tropical environment will encourage your hair to stay moist and retain length. You should see water droplets on the processing cap when you remove it in the morning.
The next day, after you remove the cap and scarf/wrap, you can style your hair any way you choose. Just let it air dry. Or, you can prep your hair the night before (i.e., with braids/twists) prior to using the GHE for a braid- or twist-out the following morning. The choice is yours. The key is frequency. The more you do it, the better your chances for optimum moisture and growth.
Some Helpful Tips
Tip #1: Either method is suitable for both natural and relaxed beauties alike. So, take your pick! These techniques will help naturalistas retain more moisture while making the new growth of relaxed divas more manageable. Options, anyone?
Tip #2: Use a processing cap instead of a grocery bag. Grocery bags have chemicals and toxins in them that are not worth the risk. Besides, you can get a bag of 15 processing caps from Wal-mart for only one buck! Parlez-vous good deal?
Tip #3: Don’t overdo it! Start with 2-3 days a week to see how your hair responds, then build up to 4-5 days a week (if necessary). Remember, you cannot baggy your hair 24/7.Your hair needs to breathe. Otherwise, your strands will weaken, become overly elastic, and break. Who wants that?
P.S. I started a growth challenge on the first of June, using a combination of these methods. I will post my progress after three months (in September). Stay tuned!