Once you’ve made the decision to not only grow your hair long, but to take a healthy and wiser approach to growing long hair, the journey can be exciting, frustrating and at times overwhelming. When I first started my journey to long hair, it involved tons of trial and error and quite a few setbacks. Your hair journey will require trial and error too, which is to be expected because everyone’s hair and hair care needs are not the same. However, with this two-part guide, I hope to help you: avoid any and all setbacks on your journey to long hair, give you the tools you need to make a smooth transition from bad hair care habits to healthy hair care practices, and quickly develop a hair care regimen that enables you to reach your long hair goals.
1. Cut Your Hair
Yes lovelies, cut your hair. If you’re like most women, chemically treating, coloring, and excessively heat styling your hair, chances are you have split ends. The truth about split ends is that they are irreversible, so there is no such thing as mending a split end and making it whole again. A split end is damaged beyond repair, ladies. It’s done, so let it go! Hanging on to split ends only increases the likelihood of the split traveling up the hair strand and eventually causing severe breakage that leads to your hair never realizing any meaningful length retention.
Too many of us ladies, myself included at one time, want so badly to hold on to whatever length we have, but in the end, holding on to hair that’s severely split is what leads to us never achieving our long hair goals. I know it’s painful to hear ladies, but cutting off all of those split ends and taking care of your hair in a manner from this point forward that prevents split ends will help your hair grow longer and healthier (healthy hair is key) than you’ve ever imagined. I promise you!
2. Detox Your Hair
From the products we use on our hair, to the medications we put in our body, to the environment we live and function in everyday, most things we come into contact with have a profound affect on the condition of our hair. These contaminants, as I like to call them, affect how our behaves and can lead to extreme dryness, breakage, and all out damage. The best way to counteract these contaminants is something I like to call a hair detox. A hair detox is simply the stripping of the layers upon layers of chemicals and contaminants on our hair strands to right the wrong of hair damage. Now there are a few of reasons why you absolutely want to start your journey to healthy hair with a good hair detox.
The first reason you want to detox your hair is the fact that you need a clean slate to build a hair care regimen. If you have all types of gunk and build-up on your hair, you won’t truly know what hair products really work for you. Would you try out a new face cream on dirty skin? No, you would cleanse your skin to get a true sense of a new product’s effectiveness. Your journey to long healthy hair should be no different. When your hair has a clean slate, oils and moisturizing agents (the good stuff) has a chance to work more efficiently with results that last longer.
The second reasons is that a hair detox will restore your hair’s natural pH, reviving it to a clean slate and giving it fighting chance to grow longer.
Lastly, the clean slate your hair will get from a hair detox is absolutely necessary to accurately determine your hair type and your hair’s porosity level.
3. Determine Your Hair Type
Some people say hair type isn’t important when it comes to growing longer hair, but I beg to differ. When you know your hair type, you know what to expect from your hair. When you know what to expect from your hair and truly embrace it, you don’t force your hair to do things it’s not meant to do. When you don’t force your hair to do things it’s not naturally meant to do, then you know you’re on the path to longer, healthier hair. This is why it’s important to know your hair type.
Sometimes we see another gal’s hair and wonder, how can I make mine do that, but we never consider that ours wasn’t designed to do what another lady’s hair can do. Your hair may be fine and unable to hold a head full of curls, or your hair may be frizzy and excessive heat styling may make frizz even worse. It’s important to know the limitations of your hair so that you don’t fall victim to damaging hair care practices all because you’re trying to achieve a certain look or hairstyle. I actually think hair typing is self-assuring and freeing, and it can give you the peace of mind, confidence, and positive outlook you need to take better care of your hair.
4. Discover Your Hair’s Porosity Level
Perhaps even more important than knowing your hair type, knowing your hair’s porosity level will help you streamline the trial and error of moisturizing your strands and keep them hydrated. Hair porosity, not hair type, plays the most significant role in your hair’s hydration. I like to say that hair type will mostly determine how we should physically treat our hair and hair porosity will determine how we should chemically treat our hair. That is, your hair’s porosity level will most likely determine the hair products that are best for helping your hair thrive.
All hair types need moisture. However, depending on your hair’s porosity level, you may need more moisture than others. Additionally, the ways that we apply moisture to our hair and the products we use will vary greatly according to how our hair takes up moisture. Just because you and a friend have very similar types of hair, your hair and a friends hair can behave in drastically different ways in response to the same hair product.
When you know your hair’s porosity level, you know exactly what you need to do to prevent excessive dryness, and you know the products that work best for your hair and the products you should absolutely avoid. Knowing your hair’s porosity level will help you gain better control over your hair and make it easier to manage and ultimately grow longer.
Stay Tuned for Part II
In part II of this series, I’ll discuss four more steps to help you build the hair care fundamentals you need to kick of your journey to long hair in no time! Click here for part II.