Updated: Dec 17, 2019
I straightened my natural hair during the Christmas Holiday, and I was so surprised by the length and health of my hair! Surprised because I had been neglecting my tresses and not really giving it the love and care it deserves.
Natural hair care takes a lot of time and patience and for the most part of 2018, I simply washed and used regular conditioner (quick-easy-wash-and-go) and rarely did any hair treatments. I was also a bit discouraged by the shrinkage and felt that my hair wasn't growing fast enough and annoyed with dryness and split-ends. Though I had been neglecting my hair and not been motivated to care for it, it had nonetheless been loyal and good to me. That was very encouraging to me. Seeing the potential once I straightened my hair and got a really good trim, I am now motivated to do better in 2019.
I have been natural for several years now and for the most part know what works for my hair and what doesn't. In my opinion, natural hair requires a great deal of patience, love and care and it will reward you tremendously if you're willing to put in the work. Yes it can sometimes feel like work but the key is to have fun; don't over-complicate things; love your hair and it will love you back. For me, it's a matter of being consistent and sticking to a hair regimen that works.
My hair after I straightened it December 2018.
Below are seven steps I plan on following this year in order to retain length and improve the overall health of my hair:
More Protective Hair Styles (New Look Who This)
Keep Scalp Moisturized, even while in protective style (No more dry & brittle hair)
Deep Condition and Use Hair Treatments Often (This Extra Step Truly Makes a Difference)
More Gentle Detangling (Patience is a virtue)
Regularly Trim Dead/Split-Ends (Let it go, let it grow)
Stick to the Hair Products I Love And Knows Works (No More Product Junkie in 2019; Save Those Coins)
Limit the Use of Heat (This is probably the reason my hair is still somewhat healthy and long. I rarely use heat and prefers air drying). Once a year however, I do like to get my hair blown-out and straightened in order to get a really good trim and also who doesn't love running fingers through soft silky hair and doing the Beyoncé hair flip once in a while! Part of the beauty of natural hair is its versatility.
Follow along these steps with me if you have similar hair goals for this year: Length, Health + Strength. Also, leave some other ideas below for retaining length and maintaining healthy hair. Let's recap soon on progress made and will do a big length check comparison again at the end of the year.