4 Tips to Achieve Your Hair Goals in the New Year

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By Chinwe of Hair and Health

1. Set milestones to your goal.

Say your goal is to retain four inches of growth in the New Year.  Well, break up that goal into smaller milestones, such as retaining two inches by July 1 and another two inches by January 1, 2014.  Or maybe your goal is to successfully transition to natural by the end of the New Year.  Then check off a milestone for each month you successfully go without a relaxer. Sometimes, setting these milestones – or smaller accomplishments – along the way can make the overall goal appear more feasible or even help you to determine early on any changes that need to be made.  Also, when you reach each milestone, you receive that extra boost of faith to keep on going toward your end goal.

2. Make a solid regimen and stick to it.

Without a solid plan, it will be very difficult to achieve your hair goal.  So where does this planning start?  It usually begins with a solid hair care regimen. Start with the basics, such as washing with a gentle shampoo, deep conditioning, patiently detangling your strands, following up with a good water-based moisturizer and a thick sealant, wearing a low-manipulation or protective style, and factoring in your internal health.  Then tailor your regimen according to your hair’s needs and your particular goal.  For example, is your aim to grow out your heat damage?  Then incorporate air-drying into your regimen and toss out the heat usage.  Is your goal to end breakage?  Then you may want to use a strengthening conditioner, adjust your styling and detangling routine, and incorporate the necessary nutrients into your diet.

3. Document your journey with photos.

Many times, documenting your journey via photography will help you to better see your progress or push you toward your goal. Decide how often you are going to take your photos, whether it is once every two months or once every three or four months.  Create a photo journal online, on your computer (offline), on your phone, or simply leave it on your camera (remembering not to delete it, of course).  As the New Year moves along, note the progress of your hair care journey through your photo journal.

4. Avoid comparing yourself to others.

Looking to your hair inspirations for motivation is great, but don’t make the mistake of comparing journeys.  Each head of hair is different, and if you find yourself wondering why your hair isn’t growing as fast as hers or why your transition isn’t going as smoothly as hers, then you can fall into the trap of frustration.  This trap of frustration can lead to detrimental tweaks to your plan or regimen or you eventually giving up on your goal.  Admire, but don’t compare.  Your journey is “your” journey.

Ladies, do you have any tips for achieving hair goals?

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Chinwe

Chinwe

Hails from a great city in the Midwest and will forever be a Bears fan.

 
  • http://thevideomojo.com/ Jennifer Kennedy

    I’ve achieved my length because of protective styling, proper handling techniques, and consistent moisture. I think you’ve given us all those tips!!

    Photos are great because you can visually see your growth. Include photos from different angles. I usually take photos of the front of my hair, sides, and the back. I’ve fallen off this, but had taken them every 4 months.

    Also, I don’t stick to a trimming schedule — only trimming when it’s needed and the hair that is damaged only.

    Thanks.

    Cheers!
    JK

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  • Avaspeaks

    I will do the photos in 2013. I think I will start right now this month since I have gotten back into my nightly routine of moisturizing and sealing my hair.

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  • merry

    how about ignore it?

    i think following a routine and then forgetting about your hair is good policy.

    a watched pot does not boil…

    having said that, i’m hoping for armpit length by summer. i was noticing my hair the other day and was impressed with the length. i only have a couple of inches to go. my only other hope is for the hair at the front of my head to grow like the rest of my hair. it’s like this 1-2 in area refused to grow much past my chin.

    anyway…i’m pretty happy.

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    • Beth

      Good one! I think it’s beneficial to forget about our hair once in awhile. You can go crazy paying too much attention to its progress.

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      • anastasia

        Agree 100%

        Basics of good hair care and leave it be…
        1 day you’ll be braiding or whatever
        and BAM…WTH??….
        yasssss…smile within
        I’ve got this ish!

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        • Dawn

          ^^ You got it! “Bam…WTH??” etc happened to me TODAY. I kept twisting down a section of hair, and chile…I was smiling!

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    • cb

      +1

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    • binks

      This! When I’ am not actively paying attention to my hair that is when I notice that “baby bush” has gotten long long. I had PS in for about a month and when I took it out I was surprise how much it grew. Sometimes you have to let your hair do what it do…shrugs

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      • anastasia

        “baby bush” so cuute!!

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  • http://heartcurly.blogspot.com Heart Curly

    Good tips. I can’t wait to accomplish my hair goals.

    My tip is to pay special attention to how your hair reacts to the things you do to it. This way it is easier to stop something that is bad for your hair.

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  • Natalie

    I’ve given up on hair goals, I’ve decided just to enjoy my hair but good to all those who have them. I just keep to a very simple routine and if it retains length it retains length.

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    • DreamGirl

      I’m also just trying to enjoy my hair at its current length,when I had relaxed hair I was very chilled,no hair goals just let it be and keep it simple and it grew like weekds,now I’ll admit I’ve become a bit obsessed and that’s not cool. The only goal I have it keeping it moisturised.

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  • Gina

    I did protective styling almost exclusively for 3 months earlier this year (because I was lazy) and I was really shocked at how much my hair had grown in that time! Then, a few months later, I tried pressing my hair twice for the first time in over a decade. My hair looked great, but it was soooo fragile straight. Since I was not wetting it daily, it started breaking excessively. I would say I lost nearly all of that growth in just two or so weeks of going straight. Not worth it at all. Protective styling and constant hydration is key. And I have 4a/b hair.

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    • anastasia

      Wow Gina, thanks for reporting your experience. I’m a 4ab (fine)as well.

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      • Gina

        Do you find it frustrating as a 4 that so many stories show girls who are 3’s? Nothing against 3’s, but most of the advice is not applicable to 4’s! I have been natural since I was 18 and I am now 36. My solid advice is water, oils, protective styling, gentle stretching, gentle detangling and sectioning while washing, no heat and low use of rubber-bands, headbands and no tight braids whatsoever. I use a few other products once in awhile like gels and creams, but even after all these years, olive oil works in a pinch.

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        • anastasia

          Hey Gina =)
          Your advice sounds great to me, and yes to the Olive Oil!

          Initially I was frustrated with the lack of diversity, but soon
          decided that I was going to have to take matters into my own hands if I sincerely wanted to understand what my hair requires. Nevertheless, with that said, I’m so pumped when I see a 4a/b/c on this site as an icon, or on youtube, but I find few people are as honest about their struggles/setbacks (ie.learning opportunities)as Cipriana of Urban Bush Babes, or the young lady who runs Darker than Brown, or yourself and others who have commented on this blog with 4a/b/c hair. I take knowledge where I can find it, and sometimes, it’s in the comments section =) Thanks again for speaking of your experience with heat =)

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        • Anon

          I personally think the 3s and 4as have more in common than the 4as/bs and cs. I also think this new natural movement embraces 4as and 3s as the image of perfect naturals leaving 4b/cs out in the cold unless they ‘defy the odds’ and have super long Cipriana or Sera2544 hair lengths. It’s sad how the higher 4s are always the ones to return to relaxers or bemoan our hair texture, give up and proclaim the ish stuff etc was unmanageable. I think some are measuring their hair against looser types then deciding because their 4c cannot do wng or other 3 and 4a type styles that makes it unmanageable. As a 4c I know I cannot wash my hair loose like Charjay or do anything naptural85 does etc etc however these and more are the faces of natural hair splashed across all the hair boards and blogs and its never a 4b/c being celebrated unless she confounds expectations. After a while you start to understand the frustrated 4cs all over youtube etc saying ‘I never see hair like mine’. Reality is, our hair gets less views and less attention. It’s not worth a 4c YouTuber buying a decent camera to make vids that no one watches hence 99.9% of youtube self proclaimed 4cs have awful video quality and editing. Jouelzy is the best 4c YouTuber hands down. I hope 4cs will soon be included in this love-in and also people who aren’t all kinds of bra and waist length yet.

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  • caramelcurls

    I think simplicity is key to retaining healthy hair. I transitioned for 10 months, and have been completely natural a little over a year and my hair is past shoulder length, the length it was before I “big chopped.” Very pleased!

    I protective style via twists about 50% of the time and I wear my hair out the other half. The only products I use to moisturize each night are water/aloe vera juice and grapeseed oil. When I first went natural I went overboard with products, but I have found out that the less I products I use, the more my hair thrives.

    I think protective styles that are not monitored (moisturized, gently styling) can cause more harm that not.

    Less is more is my motto!

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    • Lisa

      +1000 Simplicity is always better!

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  • lisa

    Think of your hair as a new born baby, love, care, nourish and protect it. The end result will be fabulous – Healthy Hair!

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  • Black American Princess

    Ladies, what protective styles work the best for you? I’m getting frustrated with my growth, it’s not growing fast enough for me! :(

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    • Dawn

      Hello :)

      First remember that hair grows on average 1/4-1/2 inches a month,so by “fast enough” I don’t know if you mean more than that rate.

      My main protective style is two strand twists, and even then I keep all the ends tucked.

      My other protective styles, if my hair’s not in twists, are updos–always keeping the ends tucked under.

      And wigs–those are great and convenient protective styles as well.

      Additionally, remember to regularly moisturize with water or a water-based leave-in, and seal that moisture with an oil or butter.

      Hope that helps!

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  • Yinka

    I am a 4b/c in a cycle of grow trim grow trim because my hair is fine and my strands being 4b/c split in a slight breeze. I do everything I’m supposed to but I don’t expect any miracle growth stories and accept that I am not in that group of inspirational naturals who go from BC to APL in a year. I have no growth or hair goals, making concrete ones isn’t a good idea for my hair. I am just hoping to keep it moisturised through winter. I’m using oyin juices and KBB Creamylicious to seal. I’ve just managed to create updos but they are far from glamourous. It’s just necessary to avoid the elements.

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    • Anju

      Hi… I have 4c hair which is rather coarse and thick. It does grow considerably but an important thing to consider is to learn your hair. I practise protective styling daily and only let my hair out maybe 3 times per year. I also moisturise and use simple products which include VO5 conditioner, castor, olive, coconut, vit E (when available)oils,shea butter and aloe vera juice.
      It is true that our hair breaks easily in the wind and for that reason, I let the ends breathe a few times per year, and when I do I moiturise them first with a shea butter mix.

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  • Bri

    my goal is simply to reach ponytail (or puff as the case may be) length. I’m slightly past 1 year post relaxer and 7 months post big chop. My hair is very dense so I think it might take longer than average. One problem I find is that I don’t like the more simple protective styling( braid outs, twist outs, twists,bantu knots) on my hair length. I have to go through the hassle of getting extensions and finding someone to braid my hair when I protective style… so it doesn’t happen often. Probably not helping my goals lol

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  • Cnl

    I too believe that not obsessing over your hair and sometimes leaving it alone, is best. I just keep a simple regimen wash dc and moisturize once a week and do a protective style (finger coil and pin up my curls) I wrap mine every night and spritz with a water based /oil solution. otherwise i leave it alone all that week. Less is def more.

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  • ASITA

    I decided to go natural December 2011 .my hair was past my shoulder blades and I chopped it off because I was going to bootcamp July 2012 and id rather cut it than have bootcamp barbers do it .I was nervous thinking how will I take care of it in bootcamp .we aren’t allowed to by the products I needed .June came my hair was a little curly and untamed .and I gave into the creamy crack .but my hair rejected the relaxer and curled even more. In bootcamp all I could was motions shampoo and conditioner and olive oil hair lotion .I kept it cornrowed most of the time and tied down at light until graduation came and I took the braids out and washed it . My hair was a big curly afro .it was soft and healthy .but too much to put under my uniform cover so I had to relax it and in less than a year my hair Had grown completely back .and now in 2013 I want my natural hair back and to stick with it and now give in to relaxers .I’m ready for the challenge to long term transition for 2013
    [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/20121217_085831.jpg[/img]

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    • m2

      Sis..I was trying to hit thumbs up..I’m retired air force and know your pain ..peace and blessings

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  • ASITA

    There’s a few typos in my last post but I think everyone gets what I’m saying Lol *Damn auto correct*

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