It happens with anything in life – we start something new with enthusiasm, vigor and excitement but as time moves along our energy wanes. Specifically in our healthy hair journeys, once we achieve health and continue to grow we trade in some of our more complicated practices in favor of shorter, more simplistic regimens. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes we move away from things that were essential to achieving healthy hair in the first place! And as we know having healthy hair is a lifelong commitment – you can’t get it then quit doing everything it took to get there.
So in thinking about my own hair and trying to push past my length plateau, I began thinking about practices I once did or considered doing that I should bring back to my hair journey.
- No combs or brushes! I am definitely guilty of being an over-comber. I’ve been following my girl Jeni’s blog, Just Grow Already, for years and one thing I’ve noticed that she consistently does is avoid unnecessary use of combs. Jeni has done entire rollersets using only her fingers to part and smooth – something I never considered even possible. While my seamless combs are wonderful and cause less breakage then less quality combs, I still need to use them sparingly and use my fingers as much as possible.
- Hair Steaming. Ever since my Huetiful steamer broke…after just a few short months…I have not steamed my hair. I remember how much steaming seemed to boost moisture levels in my hair. Since I have been protective styling with weave so much, I have not had the need to steam (too much moisture while my hair is braided beneath a sew in can be a bad thing) but when I take my hair down for a break, I’d like to give it a DEEEEEEEEEEEEP conditioning session. I will be buying a Secura steamer soon, I will never own another Huetiful. Disliked the quality and their customer service.
- Moisturizing & Sealing in sections. When my hair is “out” (not braided under a sew-in or weave), I always moisturize and seal my hair regularly. However, rather than doing it thoroughly in sections as I did at the start of my hair journey – nowadays I haphazardly apply the cream to my entire head then try to distribute it. Sectioning is a much better method because I’m able to ensure my entire head is moisturized sufficiently and pay special attention to the line of demarcation. I definitely need to get back to doing this whenever I’m wearing my real hair.
- Stretching My Relaxers. When my hair is loose, I retain more length by relaxing more frequently. However, now that I’ve decided to protective style with wigs and weave I think it is best to extend the time between relaxing. I’m avoiding the breakage associated with long-term stretching because my hair is hidden. In addition, since MY primary issue is retaining THICKNESS at the ends of my hair, this will prevent the trauma associated with relaxing too often – particularly thinning at the ends of my hair from the run-off effect. Currently, I am 19 weeks post and intend to stretch until at least 26 weeks post, which is the next time I’ll be home in New Jersey. Ya’ll know I’ve given up on finding a trusted stylist away from home.
- Prepooing (with EVCO). I’ve never completely stopped this practice but there have been a few wash days here and there where I’ve skipped giving myself a proper pre-poo. Ever since I researched the benefits of pre-treating hair with coconut oil prior to washing, I am convinced this is something will and should always do.