Friday, December 24, 2010

Relaxed Hair Health: A look back at 2010 and goals for next year

With just a few days left in the year, I think it's a perfect time for you and I to reflect on this chapter of our hair journey (2010) so we can discuss some wins and goals for next year. Prior to writing this post, I went back and read my intentions for my hair written at the end of 2009. Last year I had several areas of damage that seemed to creep up on me somehow. The moment they were identified I decided to take immediate action to rectify the situation.

One of the biggest decisions I made last year was to stop frequenting Dominican Salons. Even though nothing else beats the silky tresses created from just a short time under a blow dryer, I knew I had to make the ultimate sacrifice for my hair. This year's ultimate focus was creating a thicker mane overall. In fact, this desire was so great that I paid little attention to length and focused solely on the creating routines that promoted a thicker, fuller head of hair. Well, I'm elated to tell you all that baby girl got her thickness back. I'm just so excited about the progress I made in this area in just this year along. As a recap, here are some of the strategies that worked for me this year:

  • Because I was loosing so much hair in the detangling stage of my routine, I decided to really focus on locating tools that would help me in my struggle. You guys could see how excited I was when I came across some wondeful detangling combs. These things were a God send to me. From the day those combs came into my life, I could walk around with a bit more certainty because I knew that I'd reduced the amount of hair lost during manipulation. The amount of broken hairs from combing alone reduced dramatically when I got the proper detangling tools.

  • Once I had some detangling combs in my grips, my next improvement came in the form of how I rollerset my hair week after week. Once apon a time, I'd experience an undesireable amount of hair loss from the manipulation occuring from what was supposed to be a healthier option of styling. This year I had to take a step back and analyze every step in the rollersetting process to determine what the cause was of all the hair I lost during the process. The solution that made a huge impact came from the simple act of rearranging the steps I took when I rollerset. I wrote a post on it which I invite you to read.
  • Last year was the first time I purposefully introduced ceramides into my regimen. As you may remember, I went ceramide haywire once I knew of their value. This year I'll continue to feed my hungry strands a balanced diet of moisture, strength and ceramides but in 2011, instead of experimenting, I'll focus on my staple ceramide products.
  • Another major win for my hair was the purchase and use of my new water softener. It's amazing the difference I felt once I introduced soft water into the mix. I will have to admit that I became somewhat inconsistent in how often I refreshed my shower softener with it's much needed saltwater mix. If I'm not consistent with this thing, I find myself back to where I started, washing my hair with semi-hard water. This year I have to create a more regular schedule so too much time doesn't go by. Maybe I'll select the first of the month as a consistent time to refresh, just to make it easier for me to remember.
  • Shedding has been my hair's achilles heel for the longest. Because of my scalp condition, I tend to suffer with extra amounts of shedding, especially during the winter months. My eyes really opened up to the cost of my consistent shedding when I saw up close scalp pictures of people with severe forms of dandruff. The moment I saw how thin the hair patterns were compared to people with healthy a healthy scalp, I knew I had to take immediate action. Since my biggest objective last year was to create thicker hair, I became extremely focused on what I needed to do to fix this issue once and for all. Luckily for me, the solution came in the form of a $2 sprayer and some powerful essential oils. This year (I'm not kidding) has been the very first fall/winter season that I didn't suffer from the usually "I think I'm going bald" shedding that we normally endure each year. I am forever indebted to essential oils for their amazing impact on my hair journey.
  • This year I also came to the realization that my daily hair habits created the areas of damage my hair was suffering from. For instance, when I wear my hair down, I like to sweep my hair over the front of my shoulders so I can see my hair (and play with my length). What I soon realized was that after months and months of doing this, the back of my hair became extremely damaged without me even really realizing it. My full attention was paid to the hair on the front and sides of my head because that was what I could see. By the time I realized it, the very back of my hair was not only several inches shorter than the rest of my hair, it was very weak and fragile to the touch. Today, I'm happy to report that much of that damage has been reversed to the point where the back of my hair is nearing the same length as the rest and will match and maybe even surpass the other areas by 2011. I give all the credit to the strand ceremony. This method allowed once dry and neglected areas of my hair to get the same amount of lovin' as the rest. As a result I realized thickness return to both the back of my hair and the left side.
One other thing I should mention was that for the entire year, I consistently repeated a mantra to myself numerous times a day. It went something like this: "I love my full, thick, healthy, hair! "I just love how full, thick, and healthy, my hair is. Each section, each strand is so healthy." But remember that when I first started saying this, my hair was not at all full thick and healthy (at least to me). I had sections thriving and sections suffering dearly. Not to mention how crazy the shedding was. This reminds me of Njoy's words of inspiration about believing for and focusing on the head of hair you want to have, not what you're experiencing at the moment. Looking back at all the successes of 2010, I strongly believe I was fortunate enough to discover those methods, tools, and products because I was so focused (mentally) on creating thickness and fullness.

So those were some of the highlights from 2010. This year, I'll continue to institute what worked well for me in 2010. But as I look ahead, I feel I'm finally ready to seek the length that I so desire. I've got to start this thing off right by first breaking out my vision board image of the head of hair I desire. I love the length shown in the pic below but coupled with the fullness similar to Brooke's hair. Remember her from the interview I did on her regimen?
In 2011, I want to create the fullness all the way down to the tips of my hair. I desire strong full, thick healthy ends that demonstrate how healthy my hair is. I know that's a tall order for someone who doesn't hide their hair for the purpose of thicker ends. The ends are the key to the length I desire so I must find a way. Oh, and by the way, I don't want to "trim my way to healthy ends" just yet. I believe, that like 2010, as long as I enter the year believing it's possible for me, and take necessary action, I'll attract the solutions that will get me what I want! And of course, you guys know that I'll document my actions along the way. My mind is already churning with ideas of how I can make it possible this year.

I'm excited to also hear about your goals for 2011. How was 2010 for you and what will you accomplish this upcoming year?

  1. Hopefully you and I will both make our goals and then some this upcoming year!!!!!

  2. The is my first winter while on my hair journey and my scalp is itch and shedding as well. Can you share your recipe for your scalp mist pleaaaaase?

  3. I just found the blog on the shedding. Thanks!