In 2010, I took a bold step and embarked on my natural hair journey. Over the last five years, I have been approached countless times about my hair. I’ve been told that my hair is an inspiration and asked to run down my hair regimen. And honestly –although I write about natural hair on the web — the conversation always makes me uncomfortable. Why? Because although it is important to see that natural hair can grow, I never want someone to aspire to have my hair. It’s just not possible, since no two heads are alike. Instead, I hope that all women with natural hair enjoy every step of their journey. And as you devise your hair goals for 2015, I hope you are inspired by the following tidbits.
Set Realistic Goals
As you set your goals for 2015, it is important that you set realistic goals. And I’m not just saying that you shouldn’t expect more than 6 inches of growth in a year. (You shouldn’t, by the way. I don’t care what that hair vitamin claims.) You should also set realistic expectations about your retained length. With normal wear and tear on your hair, you should expect to cut a least an inch in that year. Also, if you do not take special care of your hair or wear your hair out often, then you may need to cut even more. For example, with toddlers, it is very difficult for me to always set aside the appropriate amount of time to properly care for my hair. In addition, I also wear my hair out a lot. So in 2014, I cut about 3+ inches of hair. (I really didn’t treat my hair very well.) As you set goals, be realistic about your limitations.
Set Specific Goals
When setting goals for your hair, be specific. Many times, women set goals for healthier and/or longer hair, but that is so broad. What is your definition of healthy hair? How much longer do you expect your hair to grow within the next year? If you are specific, then you have a set target. Also, you can check in on your progress throughout the year. Are you on track to achieve 5 inches of retained length in the next year? Have you reduced your number of broken ends in half? Have you committed to deep conditioning your hair at each wash? I’ll admit. Early in my journey, I set specific goals and I saw consistent growth of healthy hair with little breakage. But as life has gotten busy, I haven’t set yearly goals for my hair. Thus, I’ve had to cut damaged ends and haven’t retained as much length.
Don’t Be Discouraged by Setbacks
If I said my natural hair journey has been easy, I’d be lying. In so many ways it mirrored my life: ups and downs… hills and valleys. I’ve incurred mechanical and heat damage at the hands of hair stylists. I’ve inflicted mechanical and heat damage on my own hair. With the stress of my life, I’ve let my hair get knotted and tangled. But with every setback, I moped for a bit and then moved forward. There’s no point in dwelling on setbacks. Learn from your mistakes and devise a plan on how you can move forward.
Establish A Hair Regimen (And Stick to It!)
They say, that the best way to make sure that a task becomes a part of your routine, is to add it to your schedule. Establish a routine for washing, conditioning, styling, trimming, and other hair maintenance tasks. If you don’t add them to your schedule, then you are more likely to skip the activity, cut corners, or procrastinate. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve skipped a deep conditioning, procrastinated washing my hair until the evening, or pushed back the wash process an entire week. Establish a regimen, add it to your calendar, and stick to it. Your hair will thank you.
Seek Help from A Professional Hairstylist
Although natural hair promotes a DIY culture, it is important to seek a professional for advice… especially if you are having issues with your hair. Whether you go to a trusted hairstylist, once a week, once a month, once a quarter, or once a year, it is important to touch base so that they can treat and evaluate your hair. You’d be surprised by what your hair stylist says. One time, I was very worried about my hair and my hairstylist was surprised by how littler tapering my hair had. I had to cut about an inch of hair, but I was pleasantly surprised by her analysis. Besides, an outside (informed) opinion is important. A professional can help you set realistic hair goals and the tools to achieve them. (The best hair stylists provide tips for at-home care.)
So there you have it, 5 tips to keep in mind as you set your 2015 hair goals!
What are your 2015 hair goals?
Also, check out: New Hair Resolutions and How to Keep Them