Happy New Year! Wait….it’s almost March, and this sentiment and resolutions post is a tad bit late; Sorry guys! But, if you’re like me and tend to redefine those goals you made on Jan 1 why not add in a few goals for your strands! If you’re down for the challenge, follow along with me and share my 2015 hair goal of Obtaining and Retaining Length.
This year, as I approach my 4-year post-relaxer mark, I’d like to grow my hair as much as possible. Here are 8 strategies I’ll be employing to help get me there.
1. Lean less on tools and more on fingers
Finger detangling is a gentle way to get major knots and tangles out of your hair. I have super fine strands, so the process can be arduous but highly beneficial. After 2 weeks of mostly finger detangling and finishing up with my denman just at the ends of twists, I’ve removed significantly less hair from my head. NOTE: when you finger detangle, the sections will NOT be perfect the way they are with a tool. But stick with it, our hair is meant to have twists, turns and like us ladies, rarely play within the lines. 🙂
2. Cleanse more often
The longer my hair got, the less I wanted to cleanse it since it took so much more time! Huge mistake…cleansing only once a month caused my hair growth to stunt and my ends to break. I ended up trimming off about 0.5 – 1 inch since my ends were so broken and frayed! Bi-weekly cleansing (co-washing and shampoo monthly) re-hydrates follicles and makes it so that your products (Shea butter, Cocoa butter) are actually sealing in moisture rather than adding buildup.
3. Deep Condition with EVERY Cleanse
Deep conditioning is so important to the health of your hair. Black hair is naturally dry. The longer your hair gets, the harder it is for the natural oils in your scalp to reach the full length of the hair shaft. When you deep condition the hair you’re allowing the nutrients in whatever you’re using to penetrate the shaft and strengthen your hair. Then when you rinse and seal with an oil or butter, you’re improving the health of your hair even further! I’ll be experimenting with different deep conditioning recipes and posting, so stay tuned.
4. Don’t fear trimming
Knowing when to trim and not being afraid to do so keeps you from having to trim more than you have to later on. You know your hair needs to be trimmed when the ends feel rough, when you coil it around your fingers when wet or when closing a twist and the natural spiral won’t form.
5. Learn to preserve twist/braid-outs
More pineapples, bonnets, larger twists to keep my twistouts and NO MORE detangling and re-twisting nightly! Less manipulation means less breakage, less stress on strands and more room for growth.
6. Braid-outs, up-dos, protective styling for winter & summer
Low manipulation styles that you can do yourself are best. Ideally something where you don’t need to touch your hair or style it significantly for 3 -4 weeks. It’s important that you put the style in yourself or someone you trust at least does it so that you can control the level of tension put on the scalp. Tension alopecia is not a good look….I typically go for what I call my Twist on Havana Twists. I use Havana Twist hair, but make smaller braids similar the a Senegalese style. Expect a post on how to install these for summer yourself in 2015 too.
7. Spritz & Seal at night
Simply put, out hair is dry and dries out significantly as the day goes by. Spritzing a little water into the air over your hair and then sealing with a little oil before wrapping up at night makes a BIG difference in the am.
8. Moisturize from within
Drinking more water daily…I typically drink at least 64 oz, but in 2015 let’s up this to help with hair growth, skin softness and weight loss!