Thursday, April 3, 2008

Three of my biggest hair mistakes and how you can avoid them

Looking back over the years at my quest for healthy hair, I realized that I've made some mistakes along the way. Those mistakes cost me (and my hair) dearly. It pains me to think about how healthy my hair could have been if only I knew to avoid these mistakes at the beginning of my hair journey. I'll share my mistakes with you in hopes of saving you from the trouble that I had to go through.

Mistake 1: Not trimming my ends
My ultimate hair goal is to gain and retain as much healthy length as possible. In doing so, I would go many months without so much as trim to keep my ends in tip-top condition. I became a greedy length whore who ignored the obvious tell-tale signs of damage. By not trimming periodically, I allowed the damage to spread further up the hair shaft. Soon a my hair would next to be cut, not trimmed, in order to be salvaged. It only took a couple of mandatory hair cuts for me to learn my lesson. Now my hair lightly trimmed every month or so depending on the need.

Here is how I know when I need to trim:
1. My ends look frayed or untamed.
2. My ends do not respond to normal conditioning, or treatments.
3. My broken hairs all seem to be about the same length. When nearly all of my broken hairs are 1-2 inches in length, I know it's time to trim.

Mistake 2: Not combing my hair
When I first learned of protective styling, I was resistant. Resistance turned into acceptance, which then turned into laziness. The bun was a huge time saver for me and I completely took advantage of it. Then came the point where I was literally not combing my hair when I styled it in the mornings. My idea of "combing" my hair was rubbing some oil on top of the bun to make it look like I actually did something to it. Come wash day, I would have preferred to shave it off then to comb through my hair. The tangles were insane! An entire week's worth of shed hairs were trapped inside my bun. No matter how gentle I would try to be when I finally combed my hair, I would eventually loose the little bit of patience I did have. In the end, I probably "undid" most of the benefit of bunning by allowing my hair to go so long without combing through it.

Mistake 3: Dominican Salons

Do not get me wrong. I absolutely loooooove the way my hair looks and feels after getting a blow out. These stylist just have a way of taking a head of textured hair and transforming to long locs of silk. But in my experience, the blow out absolutely kills my hair. I usually don't detect the damage until I start doing my own hair. For several weeks after my blow out, I have to spend my time trying to reverse the heat damage.

I'll give you a perfect example. At the end of 2007, I finally reach my goal of mid-back length hair. As a reward, I decided to get a relaxer and blow out to experience the length in all of its majestic glory. I loved it so much that I went back a couple more times for another wash and another relaxer over the course of the next several months. Needless to say that I am not mid-back any more. I do not blame the salon completely. During that period of time I was getting my bathroom demolished and remodeled so I could not stick to my normal styling routine as I once had.

If I ever do go back to visit my local Dominican salon. I will absolutely demand that only my roots are blown out. I do not care if the results will not be the same as before. The long-term health of my hair will far outweigh the benefits of a week or two of silky hair.
  1. Your hair looks gorgeous from the side sweetie. Whatever you're doing, keep doing it. Hugs, Dominican Enigma