In Part I of this series, I recommended the first four steps every gal should take to properly start her journey to long, healthy hair. With the remaining four steps, which I will discuss below, I hope to round out the fundamentals you need to kick off your long hair journey without a hitch and prevent any and all hair growth setbacks in the future.
Find Your Hair’s Protein/Moisture Balance
The flexibility, strength, manageability, and overall quality of your hair relies heavily upon the proper protein/moisture balance. Human hair needs moisture to remain flexible and soft. Human hair also needs protein for strength and repair. Protein and moisture are interdependent when it comes to hair, and too much or too little of either can lead to breakage. Our hair is naturally imbalanced in terms of protein and moisture, so we have to use a combination of moisturizing and protein strengthening products to balance our strands.
As with all things hair, there are no hard and fast rules, so what is too little moisture or protein for one person’s head of hair, may be too much moisture or protein for someone else’s hair. The point is, you need to find the proper protein/moisture balance for your head of hair.
So how do you figure out how much protein/moisture your hair needs? It takes trial and error and experimentation, but figuring it out sooner than later will bode well for the health and condition of your hair.
Incorporate Protective and Low Manipulation Hairstyles
In Part I, I stressed the importance of getting rid of thin, worn, and split ends to give your hair a fresh start. Well, protective and low manipulation hairstyles will protect the ends of your hair and keep split ends from combing back. For those of you who don’t know, a protective hairstyle protects the most vulnerable parts of the hair, the ends of the hair, by tucking them away and keeping them safe from things that could cause damage and breakage. A low-manipulation hairstyle is one that can be installed and worn for several days or weeks without the need to take down your hair and restyle. The less often you touch or manipulate your hair, the fewer chances you have to cause any damage to your tresses. By incorporating protective and low manipulation hairstyles from the start of your long hair journey, you can drastically reduce any chances of your hair sustaining damage and realize noticeable hair grow in a very short length of time.
Build a Custom and Solid Hair Care Regimen
When it comes to growing long hair, goals aren’t enough. As with any goal in life, you need a plan, and a hair care regimen is the best plan to help you achieve your dreams of having long and healthy hair. A hair care regimen is nothing more than a schedule of hair care practices you’ll adopt and products you’ll use to get the longer and healthier hair you desire. All the previous steps I mentioned will assist you in building a solid hair care regimen that specifically suits your hair’s needs. For most ladies, the beginning of your long hair journey will mostly be filled with tons of trial and error, and that is to be expected. I recommend trying to address one thing at a time or trying one new product at a time, this way you know exactly what is working and what isn’t. For example, you may suffer from shedding and dryness, but focus on combating the shedding first, then move on to tackling the dryness, or vice versa.
At the bare minimum, everyone should have a hair regimen that includes, cleansing, conditioning/deep conditioning, moisturizing, protection, and strengthening. The hair care products you use to achieve those steps depends totally on your hair’s needs. For instance, your hair may be extremely dry, so you need to only use moisturizing cleansers and deep condition several times a month as opposed to once a month or biweekly. Now depending on your lifestyle and your hair’s needs, your hair care regimen may stop there. However, for other ladies, your hair care regimen may require a few additional steps or even fewer steps. In the end, once you’ve gotten the trial and error of finding your hair’s protein/moisture balance, porosity level and other hair care needs out of the way, and you know the steps you need to take to get your hair to behave in the manner that you want, you can relax, simply follow the the regimen you’ve created and let it carry you all the way to your long hair goals.
Be Patient and Persistent
As I mentioned in this post, there is nothing that will make your hair grow faster. Absolutely nothing. All we can do on the quest for long hair is preserve our strands by giving them tender love and care and wait. Yes, wait. Your hair is going to grow no matter what, but sticking to your hair care regimen and persistently taking the utmost care of your hair will ensure that you retain whatever hair you ultimately grow. Now as your hair grows longer, you will have to re-access your hair’s needs and possibly add/remove hair care practices and products from your regimen as your hair’s needs changes, but the point is to stay the course. Continue to do the things that are obviously beneficial for your hair, and you’ll see progress and realize your long hair goals in no time.
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