The Baggy Method & Greenhouse Effect: My 3-Month Results

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When: June 01, 2013 – August 31, 2013
Coverage: whole head
Length of Time: overnight
Frequency: 3x-7x/week*
Method: a combination of the greenhouse effect and the baggy method
Starting Length: 4.75″
Ending Length:  6.50″

I started the first month of my natural hair journey with a bang! I got an inch of growth the first month. You can see my first length check HERE. However, after that, for three months running, I only realized a 1/4″ of growth each month. Unfortunately, it took me three months to realize that my hair was extremely dry. It was like I couldn’t moisturize it enough. So, I did some research and came across the Greenhouse Effect (GHE) and Baggy Method (BM). I decided to give myself three months to see if either method would work for my hair.

On June 1, 2013, I used the GHE. I lightly misted my hair with distilled water, applied a natural oil (usually grapeseed, olive, or castor oil), and sealed it all with a small dollop of my whipped shea butter mix. Then, I added a processing cap, a satin bonnet, and a satin scarf. I made it extra secure with a mesh head wrap with a velcro close that I got from Amazon. I did that every night, 7 nights a week, for a month, and obtained 3/4″ of growth! I was ecstatic about the growth, to say the least. But, more importantly, my hair felt incredibly moisturized.

The second month, I wanted to see if the BM could give me the same results. I spritzed my hair with a healthy dose of a water-based leave-in. (This is a great opportunity to use some of those products in your stash that you don’t particularly love but don’t want to give or throw away.) I baggyed my hair every night, 7 nights a week, for a month and received 1/2″ of growth. Not as much growth as the previous month with the GHE but still good results.

The third month, I decided to reduce the nights I baggyed from 7 nights a week to 3 since I finally had the moisture levels of my hair balanced. I used a homemade MSM spritz and sealed with grapeseed oil infused with MSM powder. But, after two weeks, I stopped baggying with the MSM spritz/oil combo because I didn’t like the way it made my hair feel. My hair just wasn’t liking it. AT ALL. I gave some of the MSM spritz to my sister and her 4B/4C hair loved it. So, I used it alone, and my hair liked it, too. So, I’m thinking my hair doesn’t like the MSM-infused oil. Or, maybe the combo of the spritz and oil was too much for my hair. I don’t know. But, I measured my hair after two weeks, and my hair had grown 1/4″.

The second half of the third month, I decided to install (medium-sized) mini twists for the last two weeks.  I moisturized my hair every two days with my DIY glycerin hair spritz. At the end of the third month, I removed the twists and measured my hair. It grew a total of a 1/2″.

So, my hair grew a total of 1.75″ over three months (an average of 0.583″/month), just slightly above the average growth rate of 0.5″. Not too shabby if I say so myself! I am very pleased with my results, especially considering I spent three months barely able to get a 1/4″ of growth. As a result, I think I will incorporate the GHE or the BM into my normal hair care regimen.

GHE vs. BM

*NOTES: Regardless of the method you choose to use, you should start out conservatively with 2-4x per week and then build up to 5-7x/week (if necessary). My hair was very dry at the beginning of this growth challenge, which is why I opted to do this 7x/week. However, to keep the moisture balance of my hair in check, I did a light protein treatment periodically.

In addition, you may not need to cover your whole head, like I did. This is especially true if your hair is longer or if you are a natural who is rocking a straight style. If that’s the case, just baggy your ends in saran wrap or put your hair in a pony and cover it with a Ziploc bag to trap in moisture and ward off split ends.

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67 Comments

Filed under Hair Regimens, Length Checks

67 responses to “The Baggy Method & Greenhouse Effect: My 3-Month Results

  1. Pingback: The Baggy Method vs. The Greenhouse Effect | Relaxed. Transitioning. Natural. Beautiful.

  2. Lucy

    Hello! Nice post. Can you use only water? I understand the oil is to seal it in, but wouldn’t the plastic cap also seal it in? I can’t use oil too well because I have to sleep on a towel & I can’t wash it down the drain. (They say you’re not supposed to wash oil down the drain, which is a pain). Living with my mom forces me to be simple with my routine, too.

    • I definitely recommend using oil. Keep in mind you are only using a small amount each time … certainly not enough to clog your drain! Remember, your goal is not to douse your hair with oil. However, if you are concerned about the oil, leave it out and see if the inversion method will still work for you.

  3. The baggy method made my scalp itch so much until I had to rinse it with rooibos. I was doing it after day one of the MHM. My scalp feels better now, but it smells like cake, (the flavour of tea was strawberry and vanilla).

  4. Yindie

    Hi! I have 2 quick questions:
    1.) How do I know when my hair had reached the right moisture level?
    2.) My hair is high in porosity, would these methods help fix that?
    Thank you in advance! 😀

    • Hello!

      (1) Moisturized hair feels supple, flexible, and strong. Still can’t tell? Look at your ends! A good indicator of healthy, well-moisturized hair is healthy ends. Are your ends dry, scraggly, or fragile? If so, you probably need to up the daily moisture level of your hair with a good leave-in and then lock in that moisture with an oil or butter. A good deep conditioning treatment will also help.

      (2) The baggy method and GHE are best for normal to low porosity hair. This is because the point of both of these methods is to increase the moisture of your hair since it is harder for moisture to penetrate the hair shaft of normal and low porosity hair. The problem with high porosity hair, in general, is that it absorbs too much moisture too quickly but is unable to retain it. So, while you can use these methods, you will have to be more careful than someone with normal to low porosity hair, in terms of preventing over-moisturizing your hair. But, these methods should help with moisture and moisture retention, and, if used thoughtfully over a short term, can help re-balance the moisture levels of all hair types, especially for those with wavy, curly, or kinky hair.

      • Yindie

        Thank you very much! 😁

      • Angie

        I saw this method on Pinterest, and realized this is why my hair grew in my 20’s when I had a Jerri Curl, I would sleep every night with a plastic cap on my hair just to protect the pillow case, so I am excited that these ladies reminded us of this method, It is 2/21/2016, I am going to bed tonight with the plastic cap and my regular oils, I am caring for my edges and new growth with Black Castor Oil, and Coconut oil, I want to stop using a texturizer and it has been since October 2015, it looks good with the care I have been doing, I twist it up some nights too, to keep the ends from frizzing, I will bookmark this page, and come back in May to really have a measurement for us. Thanks ladies,

      • Yes, I’ve been slacking lately, but I plan to start using this method again. It really helps to keep the hair moisturized and promotes consistent growth.

  5. Seidi

    Hi! I’ve been natural for 8 years but I’ve been straightening since day one. Needless to say, I have SEVERE heat damage. I’ve been transitioning from heat damage for two months (no heat). No matter what I do, my hair is dry like straw. I moisturize everyday but my hair is just dry, dry, dry. I think its due to the really bad heat damage. My hair is breaking. I wanna cry. I think the methods you mentioned in your article might be worth exploring.

    Which method do you recommend for me? Do you think I should do my whole head or just the ends? Which products do you think I should use?

    While you were using these methods, did you experience itchy/irritated scalp due to your hair being moist for an extended period of time? I would like to do it overnight but I want to make sure my scalp doesn’t get irritated (I suffer from a sensitive scalp).

    Also, is there anything you recommend for the dryness, breakage and shedding? I’m willing to do anything.

    Thanks in advance.

    • If your hair is extremely dry and shedding excessively, I would baggy your whole head (via a plastic processing cap). I have a sensitive scalp as well, and I do remember my scalp being slightly itchy/tingly the first few times I used this moisturizing technique. But, by the second week, I was fine. So, start with 2-3 days a week and just gauge the moisture level of your hair as you progress. But, eventually you are going to need to cut off the heat damaged parts of your hair. The sooner the better. Otherwise, you’ll risk the damage spreading up your hair shaft to the healthy strands!

  6. hairlovet

    So, I started the GHE. I used a water spritz mixed with coconut and olive oil. Some say not to put anything on your scalp, but I sprayed my spritz to my braids and scalp, and I put a shower cap, satin scarf, and also a hat on for warmth. But, because I sprayed it to my scalp, I still feel the steam, and I get water droplets. Is that still fine? Would I still receive growth if I spray to my scalp?

  7. hairlovet

    Hey, I’m going to do the GHE method 4 days every week for 3 months. Hopefully, I will get 3 inches. If it works, I’m going to do another 3 months. Is this a good goal to set? Hopefully, I end up with 6 inches all together. BTW, my hair is in braids, and I started the GHE yesterday. Do you think I will see growth?

    • You need to give your hair time to rest in-between. I wouldn’t do the GHE method for more than three months without at least resting a month or two between the next use. Otherwise, your hair will become over-moisturized and prone to breakage.

      Yes, I definitely think you will see growth. Because you are in braids, it will be most noticeable at the roots. However, make sure that you aren’t setting your self up to fail. Make realistic hair goals for yourself. If your hair normally only grows at 1/4″ a month, expected an inch of growth is unreasonable. But, if you get average 1/2″ of hair growth a month, the GHE may speed it up to 3/4″ or even 1″. So, just be realistic about what your hair can do.

  8. miles harris

    Does it only work for women? Can men use it, too?

  9. tabitha

    Is a satin bonnet good enough to retain the moisture when doing a GHE (especially overnight)? Can one do the GHE on braided hair?

    • Yes, a satin bonnet helps to retain moisture. That is why is preferred by most while sleeping. And, the GHE can be done on any style. Just keep in mind, your hair will be “wetter” than normal, so factor in extra style time.

  10. Allo Hair Diary!

    I ghe with jbco, and the result have been amazing. I do not think I ever want to stop. But, I ghe every night. Is that ok?

    • Hello, Lizzie!

      If you use the GHE every night temporarily, it is fine. But, remember what I said in my post, your hair needs to “breathe!” For example, when my hair was excessively dry, I used the GHE every day, 7 days a week for a month, but then I reduced it to 3-4 days a week once the moisture level of my hair started to balance out. As with most things, if you over do it, you will start to see adverse effects. So, be careful!

  11. jessica

    Hello. How do you know if your hair has produced new growth? Because, in my roots, it’s very very thick and I’m doing the GHE method. Also, can you comb the new growth from the roots if it’s thick, or will the new growth come out?

    • jessica

      Also, I do the GHE for 5 nights … Do I wait seven days to do the next one?

    • If your hair is relaxed or colored, the new growth will be obvious. If you have curly or coily hair, like me, the only way to know for certain will be to measure your hair BEFORE and AFTER starting a new hair regimen to gauge how much your hair grows from it!

      To protect your hair and avoid damage, you should always comb your hair from end-to-root, NEVER root-to-tip. Otherwise, if you have tangles, you may rip out your hair. So, be patient and always be gentle with your hair so that you don’t cause unnecessary damage!

    • jessica

      When you did the greenhouse effect, how long did it take u to receive new growth?

  12. sophia

    In the GHE effect, if i do it in braids, how does my natural hair still grow in extension? Plus, I tie a knot at the end. If I tie a knot around my hair in extension does my hair still grow in length?

    • Your hair grows from the root of your scalp, not the ends, so tying a not at the ends has no effect other than to secure your hair in the extensions. But, even if you tied at a slip knot at the roots, your hair will still grow as long as it isn’t to tight or pulling on your edges.

  13. sophia

    Hi, I’m Sophia, and I want to know … I’m doing the ghe method for 4 days now, and I’m feeling a lot of heat on the 4th day. Is that good for hair growth?

    • sophia

      Also, I just want to know are there other methods I can try that don’t use oils, that you know off? And, what method are you currently using at the moment, and is it working for you?

      • Most hair growth aids are oil-based because it helps to facilitate the hair growth process. But, if you do not like using oil in your hair, you can take a hair, skin, and nails supplement or a specific supplement that targets hair growth.

        I’m not currently using a hair growth aid. In fact, I haven’t in several months because of my schedule, but I plan to start using the GHE again starting Sept. 1.

    • Yes, Sophie, that is quite normal to feel “heat,” especially during the early stages of the GHE. So, there is no cause for alarm.

  14. Megan

    How long do you use the greenhouse effect? Can you do it 5 days a month and get a inch a month, or do u do it for 5 days a week? Also, my hair is at neck length … If I do this method for 2 months, can it reach back length?

    • Please read my post HERE for additional details on the GHE and baggy method.

      As far as results go, I think your expectations are unreasonable for a 2-month period. You need to set realistic hair goals, or you will always be disappointed!

  15. Deni

    Hello. Do you have to use a oil, or can you just use water?

  16. leina

    During the process, am I washing my hair? And, can I do the inversion and right after the 4 mins do the green house effect? Please and thank you!

  17. Zuliea

    Can you use jojoba oil with the GHE method?

  18. I am trying the same method right now with JBCO … I hope it works …

    • Cool! Let me know how your hair responds.

      • Yeah I will … My scalp itches a lot. Is that normal?

      • It depends on the reason. Occasional scalp itch is normal. But, if it only occurs, for example, when you use certain products, then you may be allergic to a particular ingredient(s).

      • Ah … Well, normally when I use a new oil that doesn’t agree with me, I get scabs and bumps on my scalp. Not this time … I’m using JBCO with rosemary essential oil, and I have braids in at the moment …

      • Oh, ok. Yes, you probably just have a sensitive scalp. I find that adding rosemary or peppermint essential oils to natural oils or butters prevents most scalp sensitivity issues. I love castor oil. That practically cured my seborrheic dermatitis!

      • I will see how it goes …

      • UPDATE: It’s been 3 weeks and the JBCO has been working! I think I have gotten 1/4 inch of hair growth … And increased thickness! Will continue into June with this …

      • That’s GREAT news. Congrats!

      • Yay!! How is your journey going? Also, does biotin really work and is it safe to take 1000mg of it?? I don’t know whether to attribute the stronger growth to the JBCO or to the multivitamins that I’m taking with 300mg of biotin …

      • Not too bad! Thanks for asking. I just moved, so I’ve been totally slacking … LOL.

        As far as biotin goes, I think it depends for each person and how much they need. I tend to be naturally low in biotin, so I have taken as much as 5,000 mcg of biotin. I currently take 2,5000 mcg of biotin. My mom is naturally very low in biotin and as she has gotten older has needed to take even more. She has to take 10,000 mcg of biotin. But, for most people, 500 – 1000 mcg will be more than enough.

        Personally, biotin hasn’t helped me in the area of hair growth. When I first went natural, I took biotin for 3 months and received less than my average growth rate. But, it has worked wonders for my thin, break-prone nails. So, that is why I take it. 😉

      • OK. Thanks for the heads up … Will update you on any developments with increase of biotin … I think it may have had a little bit to do with my hair growth … as well as the castor oil … and eating more protein.

  19. Tiffany

    Okay, so for the 2nd half of the 3rd month, you used the glycerin spray every 2 days. Were you still doing GHE 3x a week?

  20. Winnie

    Have to try this, thanks!

  21. Pingback: My 1-Year Naturalversary: 12 Months of Natural Hair in Review | Relaxed. Transitioning. Natural. Beautiful.

  22. tae

    Greetings, Tasha! 😀 Can the green house affect be accomplished without utilizing oil? Can this moisturizing technique be accomplished with just the use of water? Have you tried that? Just my curiousity kicking in. 😀

    • Hi, Tae! I haven’t tried the GHE without oil, but my guess would be … no. You need the oil (at the very least AFTER using the GHE the next morning) to seal in all that lovely moisture! 😉

  23. tae

    Hello again! Yesterday my hair was really dry like you could hear crunching when I comb my hair. I was so confused because I was doing the GHE every night. Anyways, instead of putting my hair in a style, I was so fed up, I just did the GHE with an afro. This morning my hair was soft and moisturized, but it was kinda damp and my hair shrinked a bit. When my hair gets damp, it gets very thick. Have you had this problem? How might you deal with it?

    • Hi, Tae! Yes, natural hair can shrink quite a bit when wet. My hair shrinks 60-75% when wet! Although I have a lot of hair (i.e., it is densely packed), it is fine (the diameter of each strand is fairly small). Have you tried doing the GHE in braids or twists? That way, even in the morning, when your hair is damp, you can let it air dry while you get ready for the day (e.g., eat breakfast, do makeup, etc) and then undo and style them.

      As far as your hair being dry even though you are doing the GHE … What a conundrum! One of the reasons I love the GHE is because when my hair is super dry and nothing seems to quench it, the GHE does!

      Perhaps you should evaluate your routine and hair environment. Here are some things to consider …

      Do you live in an arid climate? The weather (e.g., wind, sun, humidity, etc) all affect the health of our hair. I live in a high-humidity climate almost year round. For example, even when it’s cold outside, there can still be 80-90% humidity where I live. So, I’ve had to adjust my products accordingly.

      Do you use a lot of product in your hair during the week? Excessive product use (i.e., gel) can dry out the hair.

      How often are you washing your hair? Even if you only shampoo once a week, if you rake shampoo through your hair 2-3x before conditioning, it can still strip the hair.

      Are you moisturizing and sealing properly? Adding moisture to the hair via water or a liquid-based leave-in isn’t enough. It has to be sealed in with oil. FYI, do not try to seal your hair with coconut oil as it is an oil with moisturizing properties and cannot seal completely. Try castor oil, grapeseed oil, or olive oil. Those are my top 3 faves. If those don’t work, layer on some shea, mango, or avocado butter.

      Hope that helps …

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