I hit a plateau in my natural hair journey. Actually…it was more of a growth reversal. About 7 months ago, my hair was thriving (almost mid back length curly), and after a very stressful period in my life, it slowly started to disappear …literally. I got bald spots from Alopecia areata that was triggered by stress and anxiety. That’s in addition to the periods of “hair abandonment” I go through which lead to severe breakage. Luckily, I grow 2 hairs per follicle and the thickness compensated for the extra hair I was losing.
The bald spots grow back quickly, but the overall health of my hair was still sub-par. So, I decided it’s about time I show my hair the same TLC I gave it when I first went natural. On the bright side, abandoning my hair on a regular basis made it easier to pinpoint what does and doesn’t work for my hair. I needed to start fresh so I clipped about 2 inches of nasty, dead ends off.
2019 is all about GAINS which is why my main focus will be retaining length. I have no issue with growth, but I have an issue (I’m lazy) retaining length, which is solely based on how much effort I put into maintenance.
The goal was to make this routine as simple (but effective) as possible to promote consistency. To organize my thinking, I broke the updated hair regimen into growth strategies and retention strategies. I even made a calendar of the styles I want to wear and planned it around the treatments and moisture/strengthening routines. (Example below).
- Scalp massages at least 3 time per week: Gotta get the blood flowing. Working out always helps with increasing circulation to the scalp, but adding massages will double the effect.
- Cleanse scalp every week: I usually shampoo twice a month with cowash/waterwash in between out of convenience, but my hair loves being squeaky clean so I’m going to keep it happy.
- Aloe/ACV rinses: Hair care is all about balance. The goal is to keep the hairs/scalp PH balanced. ACV for the hairs and aloe (I might add rosemary for a little umph) to condition & soothe my scalp before styling.
- Detangle & moisturize every 3 days( if not in protective styles): Generally after 3 days my hair starts to dry out, wad, and tangle. Catching the tangles in the middle of the week will prevent me from tearing through my hair on wash day.
- Clip ends every 2 new moons: Some people don’t like clipping ends because it seems counter-intuitive. However, keeping ends clean( no splits, fairy knots, etc) prevents damage from reaching the younger, healthier parts of the hair shaft. I plan to clip (minimum) an index finger’s of ends on the new moon whether it needs it or not. Why the new moon? Idk. My mom was superstitious and always did. Whenever I didn’t, I saw less growth.
- Protective styles: I have a habit of touching and fidgeting with my curls causing more breakage and split ends. I don’t have a head for wigs and weave makes my scalp burn… so twist, braid outs, and buns are going to be my go to.
- Deep conditioning: OK…so…shame on me, but I don’t have the patience. I used to deep condition all of the time (and steam) but cut down to like once every 3 months. My new goal is do a treatment twice a month.
Here’s the calendar I mentioned:
That’s it! Super simple, but it’s the structure I need to maintain my mane. I’ll be tracking my growth every quarter and posting my stretched hair to show progress. Even if your hair is flourishing with your routine, it’s never too late (or early) to revamp your regime and give your hair a boost. So…what are you’re hair goals for the year? What are you doing to reach your hair goals?