How to Start a Hair Journey
My hair, at the time, was damaged and brittle. For years I dreamed of growing it beyond my shoulder, but it was never obtainable. I chalked it up to genetics. Maybe my hair was the kind that just didn’t grow long.
As I browsed “natural hair videos”, “relaxed hair videos”, and “grow 6 inches in 6 months” videos, I was hooked.
Morning, noon, and night I was watching women from around the world grow their hair healthy and long.Still with some doubt that I could do the same, I started my own hair journey.
From the start I made a few huge mistakes. The first six months was exciting but difficult. Then I finally got into my own groove. The transformation in my hair health and growth was amazing.
These tips can help anyone start a hair journey. My mistakes are now your lessons on how to start a hair journey!
#1 – Access Your Hair’s Current Condition
Sit in front of the mirror and have a long talk with your hair. I know. It sounds crazy, but what is your hair saying to you? Is your hair excessively dry? Are your ends splitting and damaged? And you can’t forget about your scalp. Do you see flaking from time to time…or all of the time? It is important to address the current needs of your hair first.
For example, you will not have much success growing waist length hair with split ends. Those ends will continue to split and break. Your journey would need to begin with a good trim. It sounds counterproductive. However, it wasn’t until I resolved to cut my hair (the damaged ends), that my hair finally began to flourish.
True counter-production is having hair grow from the scalp while simultaneously breaking off at the ends. Start a hair journey by giving your hair what it needs now.
#2 – Know That Your Hair Journey May Be Different From Everyone Else
My next big mistake was attempting to start a hair journey that looked exactly like someone else’s journey. I purchased the same products and created an identical hair regimen. So what is wrong with that you might ask. After all, I did choose to follow bloggers and you-tubers who had hair flowing down their backs.
Copying someones hair journey could work, but there are some things to consider. This kind of relates to tip #1. The women I followed did not have my same hair texture. When I started, I chemically straightened my naturally curly hair. I copied women who didn’t. My hair is more fine side and I used products that worked great for women with really thick hair.
For example, I was frustrated when a certain deep conditioner that everyone loved, never seemed to work for me. Because everyone was blogging about it, I kept using it. My hair was still dry. It never felt soft. I secretly hated this conditioner.
Then I learned that it was okay that my hair didn’t respond to it like the others. I just had to do some research and find what worked for my hair. When I found my perfect deep conditioner, I was so happy! The products I use now never fail me when I need strength and moisture for my hair.
It is good to see what products others are using and how they are using it. It may actually work. But give yourself some room for modifications. While I can’t have a hair journey without coconut oil, I just recently watched a video about a woman who had to stop using it. Her hair was becoming damaged because of it.
Everyone’s hair texture and type can vary a little bit or a lot. Do what works for you.
#3 – Avoid Hair Envy
There were several moments when I wanted to give up on my hair journey because my hair looked nothing like the hair of a beautiful Indian woman I follow on YouTube. I am African American. I know. It makes no sense.
Still, it is easy to get caught up in the gorgeous locks of others. Now I love this woman’s channel because she shares how she grows her hair with oils. However, it is important to stay focused on the content and not try to compare your hair with others.
Trying to look like someone else is brutal and exhausting. You can idolize a beauty guru to the point that you can’t appreciate your own beauty. And that is tragic.
At one point on my hair journey I took a break from watching hair videos on YouTube. I was settled with my choices of products and weekly regimen. Soon my own brand of beauty become more clear to me. Clarity is king. I noticed, and celebrated, my own hair growth and my hair texture.
There is nothing wrong with appreciating the beauty in others. It’s a good thing actually. But never forget the beauty in you.
#4 – Start a Hair Journal
Keeping a journal may sound a bit extreme. After all, we’re just talking about hair here. But you’d be surprised how overwhelming a hair journey could be.
When you start a hair journey, everything is new. I was not used to deep conditioning or styling my hair without a flat iron. I had no idea what a pre-poo was or often I should do a protein treatment.
I had three different sections in my hair journal. One section was for note taking. As I researched everything related to hair, I took notes and made sure to add references in case I needed to go back to that book or site again.
The second section was for product information. I wrote down the hair products I purchased and noted their results. This section is probably more effective for beauty product junkies like me.
The last section was for my weekly hair regimen. I wrote down my plan for the week or for the month. I recorded hairstyles I tried and noted any changes to my hair. This allows you to look back through the weeks and evaluate when your hair was at her best.
You might think you will remember all of this, but trust me. You will appreciate being able to go back six or eight months, when you saw fast growth, and recall exactly what you did.
#5 – Take a Selfie to Start Your Journey
On day one of your hair journey, take selfies. Even better, let someone else take pictures of your hair from different angles. Get a front, side, and rear shot of your hair. Not the condition of your ends, your current length, and overall health.
The progress of getting healthy hair can seem slow. Before you say that your hair is not growing or that it still looks the same to you, you can go back and look at your day one photo.
My favorite hair videos on YouTube are hair journey photo videos. A picture says so much. It can reveal your true success, when you feel like nothing has changed.
How often you take photos is up to you. However, I would avoid taking pictures of your hair every week. 😉 I like to take photos every 3 to 6 months. If you stay committed to your hair journey, you will be excited at the results!
I hope these tips are helpful for those who are going to start a hair journey soon. I will be sharing more tips on how to develop a healthy hair regimen, and how to grow your hair with natural oils!
~ Candra Evans ♥
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