Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Starting a Healthy Hair Journey. Seven Tips To Get You Started.

Starting a healthy hair journey? Here are seven tips to get you started!

1. Assess your current hair health.

This will help you know where to begin. Not everyone begins their hair journey from the same starting point.

Is your hair brittle, different lengths, thinning, do you have severe split ends, struggling with itchy scalp and dandruff? Day one of your hair journey may need to begin with a protein treatment, scalp treatment, or a good hair cut.

On your hair journey keep the focus on “your” hair and not someone you’re watching on YouTube. Look to YouTube and hair forums for support, direction and even inspiration, but at the end of the day you have to do what is best for “your” hair.

2. Read “The Science of Black Hair” or equivalent.

There are many books and online articles that will help you understand the science behind black hair and black hair care. Knowing the basics of hair porosity, hair structure, hair growth phases, and the importance of moisture and protein will help you start your journey off right.

(See helpful links to The Science of Black Hair blog below)

Keep in mind that as you do your research you may find conflicting views when it comes to products and techniques, but understanding the science behind our hair will help you make informed decisions when shopping for products and putting your hair regimen together.

3. Identity your goals (Keep a hair journal).

This will help you to be consistent with your hair journey and better track your progress. Before you start any journey you want to identity what the end will be. Otherwise you’ll be wandering aimlessly buying a ton of products you may not need and never reaching any mile stones, because… well... you didn’t set any.

Keep a hair journal so you can track what products and techniques work for you and what doesn’t. After a wash day it helps me to write down what products I used and how my hair felt afterwards. I had to tweak my hair care routine a lot in the beginning so my journal helped me to remember what I tried weeks or months earlier.

4. Start with staple products (Keep it simple).

Depending on your starting point or personal preference, your product staples may differ. It is good to start simple and purchase one brand of each product.

Disclaimer: Product Junkyism is a real thing. Ask anyone who has ten different brands of conditioners that basically does the same thing. Oh wait, that would be me. Lol

Here are my hair care must haves.

  • Sulfate shampoo for clarifying (removing heavy build up)
  • Sulfate-free shampoo for cleansing without stripping moisture
  • Rinse out conditioner for short time conditioning and co-washing (cleansing hair with a conditioner)
  • Moisturizing Deep Conditioner to prevent dry brittle hair
  • Protein Deep Conditioner to strengthen hair
  • Leave in Conditioner
  • Moisturizer
  • A carrier oil for sealing, pre-shampoo treatments, and/or hot oil treatments
  • Styling products (setting lotion, gel, oil sheen, etc.)

5. Put a regimen together that will realistically fit in with your schedule and life in general.

If you set a routine to wash your hair twice a week and you’re a student, have a family and two jobs; this may not be the best regimen for you. Many get discouraged when unable to follow through with their regimen and they give it up altogether.

A hair journey can be a long journey.  You don’t want to burn out early in the game. Set realistic routines and reachable goals.

6. Adjust your regimen as necessary and then be consistent with it.

Once you’ve purchased your staple products and established a weekly schedule of washing, deep conditioning, etc., give your regimen time. Some products and techniques take time to work.

However, if after awhile you are not seeing results, don’t be afraid to make some adjustments. For example, some ladies moisturize their hair every day, but if your hair is thin or less dense, it may leave your hair heavy. You may need to adjust it to every other day.

Have patience as you structure your routine. It will come together in time.

7. Join Hairlista. Network with Others.

Okay, so you don’t “have to” join Hairlista to have a successful hair journey (Hairlista just happens to be my favorite.) J, but find a place where you can network and ask questions.

Trust me, you will have a lot of questions when you’re just starting out and it’s best to ask someone who’s been there and done that versus trying to go about it on your own.

I could go on and on with tips but hopefully these seven will get you off to a good start! I pray you have or are having a successful hair journey and reaching your healthy hair goals! Got questions? Leave them down below I will be sure to answer.

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Blessings and Happy Hair Journey

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The Science of Black Hair Links

Understanding Hair Porosity

Regimen Building Basics

Scalp Care

Relaxed Hair

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