- Love your hair now! Stop having "I hate my hair" days. When you learn to appreciate your hair in all it's glory, you begin to care for it more consciously and you will see dramatic changes. If you're feeling a little blah about your hair, focus on what you love about it: the color, the shape, it's bounce, it's sheen, the fact that it can hold a style or that's it unique. Find something dope about your hair to focus on and watch it flourish.
- Stop over-processing your hair, fall back on the chemicals like dyes and relaxers. They can really ruin your hair.
- Cut back on heat. If you're using a flat iron every week, try cutting back to every other week, perhaps once a month, once a quarter or maybe never. Try alternatives to get the straight look like wraps, roller sets, and low wattage hot air brushes (do no use a boar bristle attachment... that's bad news... look for the plastic bristles).
- Shampoo your scalp not your hair. If you're going to use a sulfate shampoo, try diluting it with filtered water and use a color applicator bottle so that the shampoo only gets to your scalp.
- Stay away from Scissor Happy Stylists. Unless you're using a lot of heat on your ends, there's no need to get a trim every 6 weeks. I've gone a whole year without a trim, some people go longer. I've decided 6 months is my threshold for full on trims, but you have to decide your own threshold, but don't feel like you absolutely have to trim every 6-8 weeks. Long hair is not for everyone, in which case, trim trim trim away.
- Watch how you're combing and brushing you hair. If you can't devote 10-20 minutes to detangle your hair, I strongly suggest you just pop on a hat, scarf, wig or whatever and do it later when you do have time. Trying to comb your hair in a rush is the reason why most women with curly kinky hair don't retain length. Unless you're sectioning your hair and being very careful, every time you're raking that fine tooth comb or boar bristle brush through your hair, you're basically giving yourself a daily hair cut.
- Stop wearing too-tight ponytails, braids, etc. You're causing strain to your hairline and this can lead to Traction Alopecia.
- Stop sleeping on cotton pillowcases bare headed. The friction is bad news for naturally curly hair. Instead, try a satin or silk pillowcase or satin bonnets/scarves and satin pillowcases just in case the bonnet/scarf slips off or you can't do satin pillowcases. A few years ago my esthetician recommended I change my pillowcases everyday to avoid breakouts. I have a few sets, so I am able to change everyday or every other day. I also have several scarves and bonnets that I rotate during the week and wash weekly. Using a clean satin/silk pillowcase and scarf everyday would be optimal.
- Stop ignoring your scalp. I recommend you give yourself (or have someone else give you) a 10-15 minute massage at least once a week using good hair oils.
- Spoil your hair with moisture! Splurge on luxurious deep treatments and nutritive oils. Do weekly steam treatments, hot oil treatments, deep treatments or steam towel wraps.
- Subscribe to Mane & Chic!
New Year New Hair
It's 2011, here are 11 things you can do to improve the health of your hair for the New Year...