Thursday, July 30, 2009

Are you struggling to perfect your hair routine?


Photo: limpciano



Some of you have experienced this...you've revamped your hair routine, you have what you would consider to be pretty healthy hair, but for some reason, you just can't seem to realize (or retain) any length. Believe me, I know how incredibly frustrating it is to continue down a path which seemingly has no reward. We all know that a hair journey requires a great deal of patience but after a year of going on a journey, you'd expect to be a lot farther ahead then when you first started.

Right?

We'll today, I'm here to talk about those frustrations and how we can work together to find those pinhole leaks in your hair routine and stop the bleeding once and for all.

I use the pinhole leak analogy because we should all know by now that our hair grows pretty consistently every month. For those of you who aren't seeing the fruit of a year's worth of hair growing, you can safely assume that something is happening-daily-weekly-monthly, that's chipping away at all the wonderful growth you've been experiencing. I should know, I'm in the same boat.

For this reason I've been really scrutinizing every hair move I make in order to self-identify what I'm doing wrong.

*Either I am not doing something I should be doing.

*Or I'm doing something I shouldn't be doing.

*Or I'm doing something ineffectively

I've narrowed it down to these three statements for the sake of keeping this process simple. As you transition from having mere interest in your hair care to becoming a student of the hair of healthy hair, you need to equip yourself with tools. For me, one of my greatest tools has become my all important hair journal. With this journal I've been able to internalize and express the fears, frustrations, joys, and successes related to my hair care. I've had many of aha moments simply by documenting my journey one step at a time. I encourage you to read my post on creating an effective hair journal if you haven't done so already.

As you look at your hair routine holistically, you should first identify the major buckets of hair care. For a lot of us it's the wash routine, daily/weekly styling, relaxing, nutrition, and the nightly routine. I would say that most of what we do with our hair does have something to do with one of these five areas. Your job now, as a healthy hair apprentice, is study the fine art of perfecting each one of these areas.

No, you cannot, nor should you, try to master all of these areas at once. Doing so will only heighten your frustration levels. In order to master each portion of the hair care routine, you must first pick an opponent, focus on it intensely, and dedicate all of your mental capacities to eliminating any inefficiencies that secretly hide within your routine. Are you struggling to maintain moisture levels? Good...now you have a target. Now you live and breathe increasing moisture until your hair has no choice but to react. You contemplate day and night on how to inject more moisture into your routine if only just a little. You know that a little more moisture every day will eventually lead to hair that is more elastic. Elastic hair leads to less breakage, less breakage leads to healthy hair.

In my experience, the more I focus in one specific area, the more opportunities are revealed to me that I couldn't see before. I heard a proverb once that said "the man that chases 100 rabbits catches none." I love this saying because it's so applicable to everything we do....even our hair care routine. I'm not saying that you totally neglect one area of your routine while focusing on another. Doing so is like squeezing one end of a water balloon (all the water travels to the other end of the balloon and we receive no benefit). If there are several areas of opportunities, work on both.....but focus on one.

When I say focus, I mean that you should be working on eliminating the issue. Your goal should be to comfortably exclaim that you have no issues with [fill in the blank] because you have overcome. You are now the conqueror. This year for me has revolved around one single-minded theme- find the enemy and eliminate it! Yes sometimes I feel as if I am playing a game of whack-a-mole as I focus in on my intended target. But when I look at my progress as a whole, I am content. Content with the fact that I have made progress on this journey. Every step along the way is (and was) not in vain. I take comfort in the fact that, even though I have a long journey ahead, I am not standing in the place where I first started.

I hope you take comfort in that fact also.

Be well, my friends.
  1. thank you for this post, i am struggling with this issue, i am in the process of reworking my reggie and journaling seems to be the right idea, cause i don't have a clue why i'm stuck at this length. Do you believe in terminal length?
    fefe

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  2. Great post! I feel so much better. My main target right now is more elasticity in my hair. I'm focusing more on moisture with a hint of protein weekly so that I don't end up with an imbalance, which cost me 3-4 inches of my hair back in Nov'08.

    My target is clear and I'm going for it. Thanks hun =]

    ♥ Sunshyne

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  3. Thank u so much. I needed this post. Im getting beyond frustrated with my hair lately. I conquere (or thought i conquered) one huge thing with my hair and that was retaining moisture. I keep it pretty moisturized & soft with Wave Nouveau moisturizer, Elasta qp mango butter, and ORS Olive Oil lotion. And i dust my ends when it needs it to keep the hair lookng healthy. But 4 some reason im experiencing heavy shedding and even some breakage! I run my hands thru my hair and pull out these long strands and short strands & i wanna cry. So i upped my protein, hoping to get a balance. Nope. till shedding/breaking. wtf?! its killng me. lol. But im gonna try to listen 2 u here and calm down and take it step by step....let's hope i dnt give up & shave it off 1st.

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  4. This post couldn't have come at a better time. I was having so many issues with retaining moisture and couldn't figure out for the life of me the problem. I clarified, up'd moisture levels etc and it seemed to no avail. I finally realized that I was protein sensitive, toned it down some and voila!, I am seeing a major difference as time goes by. This post definitely hit the spot. Thanks!

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  5. Thanks all for responding to this post. As you can tell, I have a lot of passion around taking calculated steps to get the hair I want. Long ago, I used to be content with my hair but one day things changed and I decided that I wanted peferctly healthy, ultra-moisturized, strong and supple hair.

    Do I have that yet?

    Not really.

    Will I get there one day? I'm absolutely positive. Why?

    Because my hair is way closer to perfectly healthy than it was this time last year. Knowing this keeps me inspired.

    Thanks again.

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