Looking after your natural or curly, kinky, coarse hair can feel like a chore. Sometimes it can feel like a thankless task. Results can be slow. Products may not work. Twist outs may fail. But if you stick to a routine and persevere, you’ll hit your goals. That’s what they say…
I know when I say, hold on and persevere, it sounds like an arduous task but it doesn’t always have to be hard. Be relaxed about it, curly/ natural hair is temperamental and unpredictable, embrace that and try your best to go with the fro. But don’t stop working at it, keep trying, be consistent, retain that moisture and drink your water!
I’m no way near at my final form but I feel like I’m getting there and that I will get there. I’m much more relaxed about hitting tailbone length, I think I may have been being overly optimistic when I set that goal, it is still achievable but not likely to happen in the 5 years or whatever my original ridiculous estimate was. And I don’t care. I’m seeing progress.
I’ve gone from this…
in less than four years. I’m good with that! So I’d like to share with you some of the things that have helped me. I sometimes forget and rush and miss steps, have setbacks and disappointments but I know what my end goal is. Super healthy hair (and if it’s super long too, I’m not going to complain!)
Have a read, let me know what you think! What else is important in your healthy hair journey?
1. Take Your Time
Going from bald to tailbone length isn’t going to happen overnight. In fact, going from above your ear to below your ear isn’t a quick process either. But take your time and enjoy it. One of the things I regret is not enjoying my super short hair. I could have made more of that time by adding fades and patterns to my hair, adding temp colour, finger coils etc. There were so many opportunities to do more that I didn’t pay attention to because I was in this head space of “Oh my hair is so short, I need to grow it as quickly as possible!” And there’s nothing wrong with that mentality, it’s very focused on the goal but it isn’t a mindset that allows you to take in the journey. And I’m realising more and more how important that is. Appreciate every inch, appreciate every millimetre because anything could happen tomorrow that cuts your progress short.
But taking your time does not just pertain to the hair growth aspect. You should also be patient when buying products, styling your hair, detangling. Life sometimes moves at a million miles per hour and it can be hard to find time and space to dedicate to “just your hair”. It is worth it though. Start small if you’re finding it hard. For example, take a little bit more time when moisturising your hair before you throw it in that bun. Even little changes like that will make a difference.
2. Be Consistent
This is something that I’m guilty of not doing! I buy products like crazy because I want to try everything and find the perfect ones. And I forget that I’ve already found products that work, like the As I Am Coconut CoWash or the Flora & Curl Superfruit Oil. But if you can’t be consistent in products, be consistent with technique and care. Deep condition regularly, detangle gently and slowly, trim when needed, no heat, no sulphates, no silicones et cet era, et cet era, et cet era. I wouldn’t want anyone to get bored, you can still experiment but remember the things that work and do them as much as possible.
3. Health Over Length
I started my journey with length in mind and I feel like when I started to let that go I became a lot happier overall and was able to appreciate progress better. I marvel at the fact that my hair is past my shoulders in places and I am so happy and excited that I’ve come this far. And yes, having bra strap length hair will be awesome but I’ve never in my life had hair THIS long. This moment is the greatest achievement of my hair ever. Anything more is the cherry on top. I don’t actually like cherries, so it’s a milk chocolate topper for me. But either way, keep your eye on the prize, whatever you’ve decided that is, but also, at every step, appreciate how far you’ve come.
4. Protective Styling Is A Must
To be fair, it’s not a must for all. I’ve seen quite a few videos on YouTube and read articles online about why some people prefer not to do it. For me, however, it is essential. It helps with moisture and length retention, it saves me time day to day and they can be cute. There are so many different things you can try and I love the variation, even though I tend to stick to twists and braided extensions but still….the options are there.
5. Gently Detangle
However, you choose to do it, do it gently.
I generally don’t finger detangle because I have to look after 4 heads of hair and 3 of those heads are on impatient, hyper, bouncy, tender headed children. When the hair comes out of a protective style or the style for the week, I will initially separate any big tangles or braids with my fingers but the actual detangling is done with a brush. For anyone that wants a piece of equipment, I cannot recommend the Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush enough. I like a Denman brush and a wide tooth comb but this brush is something else. It has some flex between the bristles but you’re still in control with each brush stroke.
6. Trim WHEN You Need To
Again, this is just my personal feeling but only trim when you need to rather than putting yourself on a schedule.
I think I’ve talked in the past about doing it or at least checking every 6-8 weeks but in reality even if I check I only actually follow through a few times a year. Perhaps it’s stunting mine and the kids’ hair growth but in my house, we don’t just trim for trimmings sake. It’s also something I feel like I need to do a lot more research into. My hair feels very bushy at the ends but when I look at it, I can’t see many split ends at all. I’m starting to think it’s just how my hair is or maybe I need to take a lot more off than I usually do. However, I’m not just going to cut it off because someone else tells me I need to because everyone’s hair is different. There are people with hair like mine that don’t trim AT ALL. And that’s also why this post is called Woeful To FroFull’s commandments in 2020 because who knows what I’ll know in 2021.
7. It’s Not A Chore, It’s Self Care
Our hair is our crown and we should treat it like royalty. Easier said than done at times. We should treat ourselves like royalty too but I think it is easier to be kind to your hair than to yourself. Be honest, you do frequent length checks on your hair, when was the last time you checked on your mental health?
Often when people are struggling with life, their personal appearance and care for themselves goes down the toilet. Keep pushing through and at least doing the basics. Taking the time out, going through the routine, concentrating on you, it’s a special time. Occasionally, it can be super frustrating, especially if you’re following a tutorial that isn’t working but turn that frustration into laughter because that’s great medicine too!
Massage that scalp
Coat those strands
PS – I know it isn’t always that easy. But whenever you’re struggling to get out of a hole, remember that you can only move one step at a time. And that first step may feel small and inconsequential but, in time, those small steps can help you cross unimaginable distances. Btw, that’s me butchering this dude’s quote but it still applies.
8. Deep Conditioning Regularly Will Change Your Life
And I don’t mean those 3 minute deep conditioners. I mean with a thermal cap and a thick, rich, luxurious deep conditioner, sat in front of your favourite show and a glass of wine. But as well as the relaxing time it provides, unless your DCing on the go, there are a lot of benefits too. According to Mielle Organics (Disclaimer: I haven’t tried any of their stuff just yet), Deep Conditioning is great because it:
- Prevents damage
- Promotes elasticity
- Restores natural shine
- Helps colour treated curls
- Adds moisture
And now you know all that, why aren’t you doing it?
9. More Doesn’t Always Mean Better
I’ll be talking over the next few months, if I stick to my blog plan, about how less is more when it comes to products. And I’m not talking about how much you use, because ain’t nobody got time for a dime sized amount. I’m talking about the quantity of products. I feel like you can experiment for a while buying anything and everything you want and can afford to but I also feel there should come a time when you just know what you like and use that. Obviously you can carry on trying things but make sure you know what you like. And that applies to me specifically, I’m trying to be a reformed product junkie. But there are other examples of more not always being better.
- More time on your hair could mean more time to over manipulate (which sort of conflicts with that I said earlier about taking your time and being patient, you need to find a happy medium and also it’s about paying attention to WHERE you are spending your time)
- Expensive hair cuts don’t necessarily mean better hair cuts but of course, sometimes they do!
- Expensive products aren’t always better, sometimes they are but I’ve been surprised by how good some cheap things are and some things aren’t.
- Obviously, I wanted tailbone length at the start of my journey but I can potentially see a point when I have too much hair. You have to stop when you feel comfortable rather than at a goal you’ve set or other people expect. If I’m feeling overwhelmed at bra strap length hair (I wish!) then I won’t grow it longer. What would be the point? Just to prove I can? I have time and patience but not for that.
10. It’s Your Hair, Beautiful. It Is Your Journey.
These are my ten commandments but ultimately, anything you do is up to you. Hell shave it all off, I’ve been there, I’ll support you! Find what works, what brings you joy, what you can handle and do that. It’s your beautiful hair journey, be clear what that means to you, be willing to change your expectations and enjoy the process.
Let’s keep growing together!
xx Lee xx
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