Those Who Live in Greenhouses

Woman in the Shower

Greenhouse!
Photo Credit

I first heard about the Greenhouse Effect when I watched a Real Queens video on YouTube. I may be mistaken here (and if I am, please forgive my misinformation), but it seems to have originated with this YouTuber. When I asked Professor Google, a lot of links pointed back to either the Real Queens YouTube channel or to a blog of the same name. But there are numerous variations in the method out there. Here are the highlights…

How Does It Work?

The Greenhouse Effect (GHE) is a method for promoting scalp stimulation and hair growth using moisture. The basic premise is to create a warm steamy environment for an extended period of time in order to maximize the moisturizing of the hair.

What Do You Need?

  • plastic shower cap or plastic shopping bag
  • oil or butter of choice – Jamaican Black Castor Oil is the recommended oil, although EVOO seems to be popular too
  • scarf or head-tie
  • hat (like the kind you wear in the winter – optional)
  • time

What Do You Do?

  1. Apply the oil to dry or damp hair
  2. Prepare the hair (i.e., twist, braid, bantu knot, etc.) for the next day
  3. Cover head with plastic cap
  4. Tie scarf over the plastic cap
  5. Put on the hat
  6. Leave head covered overnight
  7. In the morning, style as usual

Sounds an awful lot like something called the Baggy Method, doesn’t it? Both require you to coat your ends with oil. Both require you to cover the hair with plastic. Confusing…

So What’s the Difference?

The main difference I can see is that Baggying aims to improve retention while GHE is believed to result, not only in increased retention, but also in actual growth from the root. This is because the whole head is covered during the process, instead of just the ends.

I found a post on Care 4 Curls that compares the two methods. Read that here. The author made an interesting point: to her, it made little sense to exclude a scalp stimulating step in the method. If the purpose of the method is to encourage growth from the root as opposed to simply strengthening the hair shaft, it would seem necessary to physically stimulate the scalp on a regular basis.

Sooooooo?

I think I’m gonna give this a try and see how it goes. I’ll report back in a few weeks.

Are you using an intense conditioning method, such as baggying or GHE? Which one do you think works better? Why?

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