Most of us know new year resolutions start to lose their momentum towards the end of January and by the end of February, many people have gone back to their old ways. Regardless of the resolution, we’ve all been there before at least once, right?! The problem with new year resolutions is the (self-inflicted) sense of urgency put into achieving something in a specific time frame. This is when people tend to do all sorts of crazy, over the top stuff to achieve their goals and are either unable to keep up with it and give up or abandon them once their goals are achieved, which then leads them back to where they started in the first place. Well this year, I wanna help you set a few new year goals that will set your natural hair journey to success.
New year resolutions imply changing or adopting a behaviour to accomplishing a personal goal, however, if that behaviour/action is too big to achieve then you may be setting yourself up for failure. The key is in taking specific, measurable and achievable steps that will get you where you want to be.
However, In my opinion, when it comes to hair, the behaviours you must adopt should not be temporary but taken as normal steps of a healthy hair journey if you want to have long-lasting success. If you’re not sure what these should be I’ll be happy to get the ball rolling and point you in the right direction. 😀
NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS FOR
HEALTHY NATURAL HAIR
#1| EMBRACE YOUR HAIR
One of the first things you need to do to succeed in your hair journey is to embrace your hair. Expectation and comparison are the killers of all joy. Expecting your hair to be something it’s not or comparing it with something it will never be, has the makings of a very frustrating and unhappy hair journey. Embracing your hair as it is without expectations or comparisons will make for a much more successful hair journey.
Pay attention to the narrative you have with or about your hair. It dictates how good the relationship you have with your hair is. If you find yourself often saying things like ‘My hair can’t…’, ‘Why won’t my hair…’ or ‘My hair won’t…’ then the chances are, you’re probably not fully embracing of your hair.
To change this narrative and to be more embracing of YOUR hair, not some hair you envisioned or someone else’s hair, start to practice being able to admire the beauty of someone else’s hair and not diminish yours. Stop any negative thoughts as they pop up in your mind. If you can’t do this, try staying off social media for a while.
Another thing you should do is to get to know your hair needs better and discover the products that work best for it. When your hair is well moisturised and the right products are chosen to style it, you’ll see and experience a totally different hair. You may just fall madly in love with it! 😉
#2| FOCUS ON HEALTHY HAIR
Yes, it goes without saying that we all want healthy hair. It’s a given! However, many people equate this with having long hair and focus all efforts in growing their hair. All things seem fair game to accomplish this goal: oils mixes, scalp massages, hair supplements, DIY rinses, Ayurveda practices, protective hairstyles nonstop, no shampoo, no hair trimming, Vicks VapoRub scalp massages (you read right!!) and much more.
The problem with all of this is not whether they’re good or bad practices, many of them aren’t doing you any favours! The problem is with people not having a proper understanding of the physiology of hair and how hair growth works along with not adopting the proper hair care practices and products that will promote hair health and growth.
There’s no doubt you can achieve long hair, your hair is always growing! But do you want to achieve it at all costs? Do you want length and damaged hair (split ends, breakage, dryness, etc) or do you want sustainable hair growth/length retention and healthy hair?
To widen your understanding on this subject read 3 Things Successful Curly Hair Newbies Do and 6 Things You Need To Know About To Improve Your Curly Hair Growth.
#3| LEARN YOUR HAIR
Hair is simple you just need to shampoo, condition and style, right?! Yes, it’s simple! However, if you’re not having your hair’s characteristics and needs in mind when you are doing this then you may be harming your hair or preventing it from reaching its full potential.
Curly hair has more facets than the visible diversity curl patterns. Hair is more than this is, it has different textures, densities, elasticity, porosity and you should know the makeup of your hair to make sure you using product and hair care practices that will support and promote its health and growth. Read The 4 Elements Of Knowing How To Moisturize Transitioning Hair it will help you navigate all this.
You can also get the Ultimate One-Year Natural Hair Journal, it will help you do a ‘health check’ on your hair and find your hair needs. Additionally, you can record your hair journey (products used, best product combos, DIY, set hair goals and more. Take a look here.
#4| SHAMPOO YOUR HAIR
Let’s make a pack this year that you’re going to shampoo your hair weekly, right? Virtually everyone takes at least one shower a day, washes their hands countless times a day, changes their underwear daily, brushes their teeth and yet many people think it’s okay to be 2, 3 or 4 weeks without shampooing their hair. It’s not okay!
Your hair and scalp pick up pollution, smoke, dust, cooking scents and grease, vapours from the environment, sweat, not to mention scents from all your toilet goings (simmer on that thought for a moment!). Plus, if you like a frequent/daily application of oils and butter (or hair products for that matter) you are making your hair attract more of all this.
Many like to claim shampoos strip their hair, but shampoos do NOT strip your hair! Choosing the wrong shampoo does. Depending on what you need to strip out of your hair different shampoos will be needed. If you like using products with insoluble silicones you will need to use a stronger shampoo that will be able to remove them. This is it’s always best to stick to botanical hair products.
Plus, when properly cleaned (read shampooed), conditioned and moisturised and depending on your climate your hair can hold on to moisture for 4 to 10 days, so your best insurance is to wash your hair weekly (every 7 days), sooner if it feels dry.
Co-washes are great for a mid-week moisture boost but are not the best hair cleansing product (read why here) plus they can make build up worse. As for sulphate free shampoos, they also wouldn’t be effective at removing all ingredients with a strong hold on your hair like insoluble silicones. Why is this a problem? Because buildup starts to form on your hair, it becomes deprived of hydration and you start to experience hair breakage.
If you’re still confused read The Truth About Surfactants For Curly Hair Products And Why You Need Not Just Mild Ones.
#5| GIVE YOUR HAIR SOME TLC
TLC can mean a lot of things when it comes to hair care, however, to me, one of the best ways to do it without adding another step into my curly hair routine (no pre-treatment, rinses or DIY ventures) is to deep condition my hair weekly. It can provide my hair with deep moisture and nourishment and provide structural support if my hair needs a protein deep treatment.
In a nutshell, to me, deep conditioning can rehabilitate, protect and improve your hair health. Why make it a weekly practice and not an as needed kind of thing? Well, because your hair is always taking some kind of a ‘beating’. You can read 5 Reasons Why Damaged Hair Is Inevitable And How You Can Fix It to get a better understanding and make sure you’re not doing any of these mistakes when deep conditioning.
For all your deep ‘condish’ doubts, questions and best practices you can also get The Curly Guide to Deep Conditioning with 10% off with code XMAS10 ’till Jan/2nd. Let’s get you prepped for a successful hair journey. 😀
#6| GIVE YOUR HAIR A CUT
I know the word can be scary to a lot of you out there but as a stylist once said to me, as soon as they pick up that scissors they are effectively cutting your hair, trimming is more suited for bushes and trees. 😉 STill, professional many adhere to the terminology of ‘trimming’ because it makes clients feel better and it also gives the opportunity to charge different prices for a ‘shape haircut’ or just a simple dust of the ends.
Still, regardless of all the nomenclature, a haircut/trim is desirable and needed not just to keep split ends at bay, but also to keep the shape of your haircut, improve styling results, maintain hair health, decrease breakage at the ends and more.
How often you should do it depends on your hair care practices. For instance, if you bleach or dye your hair or like to blow dry or flat iron it with some regularity you will need to watch over your ends like a hawk and book regular visits to the salon to avoid surprises? So, for some people, cutting/trimming once every 3/4 months will be enough while for others 6 to 8 weeks will be ideal.
#7| DRINK WATER!
It may be surprising to hear and accept that something so simple and CHEAP can have a massive impact on your hair health, but it does! Drinking water is not only important to your organs, muscles and body functions but also to our hair and scalp (let’s not forget our scalp is essentially skin, which is alive and is the biggest organ!)
Keep in mind that when you don’t drink enough water:⠀
> There is a lack of nutrients taken to hair follicles ⠀
> Dry body = Dehydrated hair⠀
> Hair growth cells affected⠀
> Hair growth stage slows down⠀
> Hair becomes dry, brittle, dull, rough⠀
> And for those who take hair supplement pills, not drinking enough water means the vitamins, minerals and other substances won’t reach the hair cells responsible for hair growth.⠀
So, the next time you reach out for energy drinks, sugary juices, alcohol and such think about drinking more water. Water will not only help with hair moisture and growth but will also improve scalp conditions such as dry scalp, flaking, and, along with other approaches, even dandruff.⠀
If your hair care practices and product choices are right, just making sure you drink those 8 cups of water/unsweetened herbal tea/flavoured water will have a great impact on your hair health.
These are all the new year goals you should focus to succeed in your natural hair journey. There are of course other things you can do to help you. For now read this post and the linked information, to build up your hair routine you can start reading this post series.