Happy New Year! When my hair was super short, I was obsessed with my hair health because I just wanted it to grow past the awkward stage. We’re well past that, but I got lazy last year. While I did not lose any length, I did not gain any. In 2023, I am re-focusing my energy on prioritizing my hair health. Here are a few mistakes that I left in 2022.
Stretching wash days
Growing your hair out is all fun and games until you finally reach your length goal. My hair is thick and gets very tangled between washes. In addition, I have low porosity hair. To truly get moisture in/cleanse, I need to wash in four sections. Yes, this means washing, conditioning, and detangling four separate times. This process takes forever and does not include styling time which is a beast of its own.
Once I go past day seven, my hair takes a sharp turn left. It gets dry, shrinky, and impossibly tangled. There are ways to revive moisture and detangle, but those things do not cleanse my scalp.
Every natural girl knows that wash day is the worst, but it is a necessary evil. I stretched wash days way too often last year, but plan to be better this year. It’s key to retaining length.
Skipping deep conditioning
I can count on one hand how many times I truly deep conditioned last year. I have already expressed how much I loathe wash day. So, adding a deep condition to that process is a lot. That doesn’t mean that I should not be deep conditioning. While I don’t have the mental bandwidth to do a full deep condition every week, I can commit to deep conditioning two times per month which would break down to every other wash day. Of course, life happens, so it won’t always be feasible, but I need to step it up from last year.
Pulling my hair back too often
One of the causes of stretching wash days was that I pulled my hair back A LOT last year. Every day is not a good hair day, but I will fully admit that instead of going through the hellish process of cleansing my hair, I would pull it back instead. Doing a ponytail or bun on occasion is okay, but doing it too often can stunt hair growth as well as break off your edges. I experienced both. This year, I would like to only do ponytails or buns when it’s tied to a specific event.
Relying too heavily on protective styles
Protective styles are great and can be instrumental in hair growth when done correctly. If it becomes a lazy fall back, that’s when it can cause damage. I tried a few protective styles this year. It was a great year for experimenting, but I was leaving them in for too long.
Forgetting to moisturize daily
When applied to dry hair, oil does not penetrate the shaft, but using oil daily helps prevent frizziness (which is a form of dryness). It also helps preserve the curl pattern (which avoids manipulation).
This process takes 5 – 10 minutes. I like to do it at night so that the products do the magic while sleeping. It is all fine and dandy until I forget to do it. This step is essential for hair health and growth. So, I can’t forget (or be too lazy ) to do it.
I have previously mentioned that I trim my own hair. I don’t do shaping outside of long layers and upkeeping my curly bangs since I am not a professional. For whatever reason, I didn’t give myself a trim for over a year. I was so good about it in previous years especially leading into my wedding, but like everything else in my hair care, I got lazy.
So, when I went to trim my hair in November, my hair was thin and had two to three inches of see-through/split ends. My curl pattern even changed a bit. Thankfully, I didn’t lose any major length, but I am upset that I could have gained a couple inches had I been better about trimming regularly.
My curls are back in their former glory and my goal is to have them stay this way. So, I will trim my hair every six months, which will break down to about twice per year.
I want to get back to me be obsessed with my hair. Being this way previously got me very far in terms of growth. I have come a long way from the nearly shaved head of 2018, but I know there’s still so far to go. Here’s to long and healthy hair all 2023!