Raise your hand if you are ready to leave behind unhealthy hair habits in 2017!
Good! Now… I’ve been in this natural hair game for almost five years (February will mark my 5th year anniversary since my first big chop) and I’ve learned a thing or two or three. Mainly I’ve learned what finally works for my hair, and what absolutely did not work. Through lots and lots of trial and error (and many many hair cuts) I am ready to leave behind all of the short cuts of my natural hair youth, and focus on three simple healthy hair habits.
These three healthy hair habits have been a part of my regimen for the last three months and they have been working. So much so that I have decided that I’m going to cut all the other stuff (if it works for you by all means please continue to thrive!) and focus on what has been giving me great results. You ready?
Top 3 Healthy Hair Habits For 2018
1. Get Professional Trims: This is going to be a difficult habit for me, but it is one that I really want to maintain. I’ve had three “big chops” or really two big chops and one badly needed haircut. And besides my first initial big chop when I cut off my relaxed ends, the other two cuts were because of my poor decision making and bad habits. I was trimming my hair myself and my hair really need to fall into the hands of a professional. My hair as uneven, and my ends were extremely SHOT. Because of this I wasn’t retaining much length even though my hair was growing. It always seemed like I was taking one step forward and five steps back.
In 2017 I got two professional trims (one major cut at the end of January and one minor trim in August). I was happy that in August not too much hair needed to be trimmed off, though my hair stylist did say I was waiting too long in between to get my hair trimmed. Such will be the same response when I return to her chair in February.
I have finally found a stylist that is affordable and close to home, so I am going to try to get into her chair more than twice for the year. My goal is four, but I will settle for a decent 3 to get the ball rolling. Why is trimming my hair necessary so often? My ends need that upkeep. Different people recommend trimming their hair different amounts, and what I say to that is to each their own. What works for you will be different from what works for others. I do however think that you should get in to see a professional so they can at least check out the health of your hair.
2. Moisturize 3-5 times a week: I started using three products/lines exclusively and got rid of pretty much all other products in my regimen. This doesn’t mean that these three products are miracle workers, this just means this is what worked for me. These three products had the right amount of moisturizing ingredients without being damaging to my hair, which can be extremely sensitive to protein and coconut oil. In using these three products exclusively I also upped how often I was moisturizing my hair.
My hair dries out extremely fast. It also is a struggle to moisturize my hair, as I find that many times products will just sit on the surface of my hair (leaving me with a greasy/oily feeling when it dries). Instead I spritzed my hair more often in order to retwist/ or co wash in between washes. In doing so I had way less shedding, and breakage (I usually struggle with breakage around the nape of my head).
3. Low Manipulation/ Less Protective Styling: When I went natural I became the queen of protective styling, and if you look in my closet you will see the proof. From wigs, to weaves, and everything in between my hair was being “protected” 80% of the year. While protective styling is very important I can not stress how necessary it is to do it correctly. My last formal protective style was removed in September 2017.
Since then I have worn wigs very sparsely, and for no more than a few hours. For the most part I wear my hair out in a puff (very loose/ done with hair pins to avoid tension and pulling on my nape and edges), or two space buns. I’ve recently started simply pinning the front back a bit and wearing it out that way. Leaving my hair alone has been the number two key step (after moisturizing) in getting it to grow and thrive.
I had to chop off a good amount of the front of my hair because of the severe damage from the constant braiding and twisting. The ends were weak and wouldn’t curl at all. It would just hang there in all of its damaged glory and took away from the over all styles I was trying to create. I wasn’t giving my hair enough TLC and time to recuperate in between protective styles, and my hair paid dearly for it. Since chopping off the front to about just above my eyebrows in October 2017, it has grown tremendously in three mounts and is resting right above my top lip, simply by letting it be.