So you’ve seen lots of bloggers/vloggers with long and beautiful hair and you’ve discovered that your hair can be long, it can flourish and it can be healthy, and you’ve finally decided to start your very own hair journey. Starting a hair journey can be a very exciting experience when done properly. It would ultimately change the way you look at yourself and is filled with fun and challenges, setbacks and growth in your hair as well as your personal life.
Here are a few tips to starting a successful hair journey:
1. Build a Regimen: When starting a hair journey, you need to build a regimen and this is very important. A regimen is a list of products and routines that you would be using throughout your hair journey. This is a list of everything you need in your regimen so you can determine what suits your needs.
- A water based moisturizer: how to determine if a product is water based is by checking the ingredient list on the bottle. If water (aqua, H2O) is the first ingredient on the list, then it is water-based. If not, it doesn’t matter if it says moisturizing in the front, it is NOT a water-based moisturizer.
- A sealing oil: This has to be either extra virgin or organic because it hasn’t been processed with heat or chemicals which is much healthier for the hair. “Sealing” simply means adding a layer of oil on your hair after moisturizing it to lock in or “seal” in the moisture.
- A good deep conditioner: actually, for this, you need two; a protein-based deep conditioner and a water-based conditioner. Your hair needs a protein/moisture balance to be strong, yet soft. Tipping the scales in any direction would lead to breakage – too much protein would make the hair brittle, and too much moisture would make the hair too soft and prone to breakage as well.
- A moisturizing shampoo: this comes in two types as well; a sulphate-free shampoo, and a clarifying shampoo. A sulphate-free shampoo is one that doesn’t contain any sulphates like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate, etc. and a clarifying shampoo contains these sulphates because they help remove product build up from the scalp, but using them too frequently would strip your hair of it’s natural oils.
So with the basic products in place, let’s look at an example routine for your regimen. You will need to:
-Co-wash once a week
-Deep condition (water-based) weekly or bi-weekly
-Shampoo (sulphate-free) twice a month
-Clarify once a month
-Protein treatment (protein-based deep conditioner) once a month or every 6 weeks
2. Know The Lingo: The hair care community can be very confusing if you don’t know the language. Someone could be talking about needing a co-wash or a DC, and they wanna get from TWA to MBL and… it would be so overwhelming, so we’re going to help you out and give you a list of the most basic slangs used in the hair care world:
Co-Wash: washing your hair with conditioner only
DC: Deep Condition
HHJ: Healthy Hair Journey
TWA: Teeny Weeny Afro
Pre-Poo: Pre-Shampoo Treatment
3. Join a Hair forum: there are so many hair forums out there like Hairlista, Kiss.biz, Long Hair Care, you could join any of these as it will help you learn even more tips and tricks.
4. Take Pictures: Taking pictures along the way will help you keep track of your progress because sometimes, it may seem like your hair is not growing, and it would help to be able to look back and see where you are coming from.
5. Be Patient: Sadly, hair doesn’t grow overnight. Statistics show that hair grows at about 0.5” to 0.75” every month, so it wouldn’t help to sit in front of the mirror every single day checking if your hair is growing. Do a length check every 2 – 3 months to really see the effect of your hair journey, in the meantime, focus on something else; your job, school, etc. Doing this helps to make the time seem to go faster.
Happy Hair Journey!