By Christina of The Mane Objective
In a world of 4G phone speeds, instant text messaging, and lightning quick information, it seems that anything that takes more than 13.8 seconds (and that’s puuuushing it) is more cumbersome than helpful. Along my No Heat Challenge/Healthy Hair Journey, I have picked up and refined some practices that require time, patience, determination, and resolve. By incorporating the big three into my regimen, my hair has truly begun to live up to its potential — full of body, softness, elasticity, gaining thickness, and drastically decreasing in tangles, breakage, and mechanical damage. Ready for three secrets to healthy hair? Sit down…this may take a while (not really).
#3: Reading/Researching Your Hair + Products
If you do nothing else for your hair, you have to at least invest some time in this one. I don’t care if your hair is kinky, curly, coily, permed, purple, wavy, two inches or ten inches long — taking the time out to understand what products and ingredients work on your hair cannot be stressed enough. No, it is not enough to assume that because your cousin’s baby’s mama’s best friend uses product xyz, that it is going to work miracles for you. By all means, give it a try; but make sure you take the time to pay attention to how certain products and ingredients work in your hair. Each head of hair is as individual as the person it is attached to, and investing the effort in learning your hair has a bigger payoff than you would believe. Don’t believe all the hair hype, either. Don’t hop on the “Cone Free” bandwagon just because. By that same token, don’t go out and buy out the coconut oil stock at Whole Foods because that’s what everyone is using. Lastly, treat your hair product purchases like you would food purchases. Ideally, before buying food, you would scope the nutrition facts and ingredients, right? Doesn’t it make sense to do the same for your hair? Peep the ingredients — check for drying chemicals, scalp irritants, and other damaging ingredients.
#2: Section Washing
Let the deep sighs begin. I know I covered section washing in a previous post, but I would be remiss if I didn’t bring it up again in this post. Sure enough, there are times when I don’t section wash my hair, and there are times when I do…and I definitely notice a difference. When I loose wash my hair, I end up with those ugly matted tangle things, regardless of whether I previously detangled my hair or not. In turn, I spend extra time being extra careful, and still breaking some of my hair because I am fooling with it soaking wet. When I section wash, the only thing I may lose are a few shed hairs that I didn’t catch during my pre-game detangle. Not to mention, that my hair is much easier to handle and apply product to after the fact. Time consuming? Sure. Worth it? Absolutely.
#1: Finger Detangling
If you didn’t give a deep sigh for #2, then you definitely will here. Ever since I discovered the wonderful world of finger detangling, I can’t even tell you where my wide tooth comb is. I like to be honest, so I will go ahead and fully disclose this one —finger detangling is a pain in the ass. It will put every peaceful, steadfast, and patient quality you thought you possessed to the test. If you need to learn to practice patience and persistence (especially in spite of fatigue), this is something you may want to adopt. I learned a lot about myself in finger detangling — it almost becomes a metaphor for navigating life’s tougher situations. But back to the nitty gritty. Finger detangling, albeit cumbersome, offers some great benefits. I have seen less mechanical breakage and damage to my hair overall — not just the ends. Plus, I feel like I am getting through to my hair more, by being able to work through individual tangles and knots that wide tooth combs are prone to missing.
Does this seem like a lot of work? At the end of the day, it all boils down to asking yourself a few questions:
- What do you want for you hair (hair goal)?
- Are your current practices helping or hindering your hair goal progress?
- How much time do you spend caring for your hair on average? Do your results reflect your time investment?
If you find yourself feeling like your hair could use a little more TLC, then adopting these processes will definitely help your hair bounce back.
Ladies, what time consuming practices benefit your hair in the long run?