You probably don’t even want to think about how much money you’ve spent on hair products recently. You’re still trying to decide if that new batch of hair products were deals or duds. It has been months, your hair hasn’t grown much, and the only achievement you can claim is being a guru for what NOT to buy. You look to your friend and see her hair growing before your eyes like Rapunzel and wonder what it is you’re doing wrong. While others are finding and loving their curl pattern and sprinkling that miracle grow on their hair that you can’t seem to find, you’re dealing with your split ends and surrendering to your flat iron or head scarf. You think you’ll eventually find the right product for your hair, but the truth is the products are not really the enemy—it’s you. You’ll never realize if you actually did come across the right products because your regimen is not benefitting you. But don’t fret. There is a simple way to hop aboard the success train to long hair. And I just have to share my six tips with you.
1. Don’t let your hair hear your negative thoughts
I know this sounds odd, but part of the reason your hair may not be growing is because it’s upset with you. It hears your degrading thoughts of “I wish I had that other girl’s hair”, and “Ugh, why won’t you just grow!?” It doesn’t like that. It gets sad. It wants to punish you for your harsh words.
Okay, so I know your hair does not really have its own mind. In reality, your hair health (and length) is just an analogy of your thoughts. When was the last time you tried something new (anything new) with your hair, then said “forget it” because it wasn’t working how you would’ve liked, and then went back to your safe hair place?
You must understand that natural hair is a never-ending journey so getting frustrated and throwing in the towel just to look and envy others is not helping you. It actually makes you sad, which causes you to lose faith in your hair’s ability and see no evident change. Who wants to just be an admirer of this fabulous movement? Don’t get comfy just being an admirer of gorgeous hair because you can have it too.
BUT the most important step before we get into anything else is a positive mind. Because when you have positive thoughts and love the hair attached to your head, it will reward you. Because you’ll put effort into keeping it alive and flourishing.
2. Your hair is your baby—don’t kill it.
All crimes are subject to prosecution. And ending up in this jail is the worst place to be. It’s Mental jail.
Again, you’re not physically going to jail if you decide to let your hair wither away but being in a mental state of agony about your hair journey is a horrible feeling as well. Because it means you failed. It means you did not believe in your hair (a.k.a. your “baby”) enough to nourish it, discipline it, and love it so it could reach its full potential in your world. So you’re forced to watch everyone else raise their “babies” and I guess you can just play God mommy and live vicariously through them. It kinda sucks.
So if you want to raise your own, you have to commit to bringing it life and allowing it to grow. You do this with the right necessities tailored for your hair. Sometimes it’s through trial and error. Sometimes good judgment. But don’t just murder your hair by not doing anything. You knew work would be involved when you joined the natural hair community.
3. Give hair products the ultimate quiz
How would you like to hear that you may not have wasted your money investing in all of those products you deemed as “worthless”? The number one thing every natural hair type needs is moisture. You can’t have healthy hair without it. There’s just no way. So take a look at the ingredients that made up that hair product.
If you see:
- Carbomer and triethanolmine (they work together)
- Leaf extract
- Any type of oil (even mineral oils although some can have a negative connotation)
Awesome! Keep those. These are just a few but common ingredients in many hair products.Even though alcohol scares us because we know it can severely dry out our hair, Cetyl and Stearyl alcohol are the fatty alcohols that do the opposite so they are fine. Parabens are fine too, since they prevent your favorite products from growing mold. Yuck. The next time go for products rich in these ingredients. They usually work great for all hair types.
4. Your hands hurt more than help
The biggest enemy of our natural hair can unfortunately be our own hands. I am with you if you are a victim of this. I hardly ever attempt natural hairstyles (I’m cool with just my wash-n-go every day) so I feel liberty in playing with it because I don’t have a style to maintain throughout the day. But this is still not a good idea.
Whether you are rocking your twist-outs or not, messing with your hair too much can cause friction, which cause split ends, and stunts growth. It can be hard to train yourself not to do this but this is a must. If you’re finding great difficulty, try braiding your hair up or putting it in a pineapple (or some protective style) to get it away from your face. We play with our hair the most when it’s in our peripheral.
5. Get rid of those “tools”
Ugh, who invented combs and brushes? Send them into exile! I’m kidding. They are necessities. But they’re not needed as much as you think. In contradiction to my last point, sometimes your fingers are better detangling tools than a comb and your palm is more effective than a brush. This is because instead of 20 or more prongs ripping through your hair to untangle the kinks, there’s just five movable fingers that can delicately separate strands with ease and no pain.
Ever accidentally felt like you ripped a whole follicle out of your scalp? Ouch. Yeaaaaa…that’s not good. And brushes have those rough bristles that basically scrape at our hair to force it into submission. Ever realized when you were brushing your hair too much you could no longer see your curl pattern? Yeaaaaa…not too good either. And that could actually cause damage. And it will if your hair is completely dry while doing it (promise to never do that).
Instead of depending on these “tools,” try studying your hair and seeing how your hair can manage itself. Observe how your hair separates and tangles and then work with it. This requires patience. But, just remember to leave your hair alone when it dries.
6. And if nothing else, moisturize those ends!
Now this is a stretch but it’s for the ones that just can’t seem to stay committed to moisturizing their hair. I get it. You’re busy. You forget. Whatever else the case may be. Just know there is no hope for your hair’s health without moisture. So if you don’t want your hair to just fade away you must do something.
So I have a hack. And I think it’s effective.
The oldest and most fragile parts of our hair are the ends. They’ve been attached to your head the longest and endured the most friction with other hair follicles, shoulders and clothing. So if it’s a day when you are feeling rushed and do not have the time to give your hair some TLC, put a good amount of moisturizing product in your hands and put it on the ends of your hair. This really works if your hair is in a pineapple because you can just moisturize the puff.
The point in all of this is to find the regimen that works for you and your hair. Because at the end of it all, you get what you give.
So the next time you stock up on hair products, I bet you will have a better sense of what to get. It won’t feel like a waste of money because you know you are investing in yourself. And months later, I bet you will see results. You will be happy in realizing that your regimen is rewarding you with longer, healthier hair. You will no longer have those premonitions of chopping off your hair and going back to the “Old You.”
For a change, the friend you “curl envy” will call you to see what you have been using because she notices the difference! Imagine that. If you’re smart, you’ll keep track of your progress to see how well you are doing month-to-month. The length of your hair will probably match the depth of your smile.
So by all means, go get your happiness!
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