Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Live and Learn: A Brief Tale of Two Hair Mistakes

Hair mistakes.

We all make them from time to time, and I'm certainly no exception

The last time I big chopped, I didn't have much of a plan.

I shampooed (regularly) and conditioned (more or less), put in some olive oil, used my Eco Styler gel, and that was it. I expected my hair to respond well, and to look its best.

I won't say it was the worst to manage, but the majority of struggles I faced had less to do with the fact that my hair is very dense and thick, and more to do with that fact that I had not built a solid regimen (I will detail my current regimen in a future post).

Here are two of the major mistakes I made last time around.

1. Shampooing without conditioning.

Where do I even start with this one? There is a reason shampoo alone isn't good for anyone's hair, be it silky straight or afro-textured.

Simply put, the purpose of shampoo is to cleanse the hair. This is all well and good, but as a part of that, it also has a tendency to strip the hair of it's natural oils, due to the harsh ingredients. The purpose of conditioner is to restore that moisture balance.

After I shampooed, my scalp would feel clean, but my hair would feel stiff and dry and I couldn't figure out the reason. I was very frustrated.

Today, I use sulfate free moisturising shampoos like the Creme of Nature Argan Oil Moisture and Shine Shampoo. I also use their Intensive Conditioning Treatment.

Most times, I simply co-wash, as I don't usually have enough product buildup to warrant shampoo use at this stage. Co-washing-washing the hair with conditioner- is enough to keep my hair clean, and I love how soft it is afterwards.  I usually use my Hydrating Sleek Argan Oil Conditioner by Hawaiian Silky.

2. Never Deep Conditioning. Ever.

This is something I knew I would have to change if I wanted my hair to look and feel its best. I try to deep condition once a week now that I have a TWA, and there's been a major difference in how my hair feels now, as opposed to how it felt two years ago when I had first big chopped.

The Nothing But Intense Healing Mask from Gro Healthy is my deep conditioner of choice, although I will sometimes use the Intense Conditioning Treatment by Creme of nature that I previously mentioned.

These two things should have been an essential part of my routine the first time. Had I done these things, I'm certain that my hair would have been much more moisturised, and therefore manageable. I also probably would have had a lot more fun with it as a result.

Having learned this lesson the first time, I'm making sure that I make the right choices for my hair this time around. I'm no longer scared to handle my own hair. :)

So remember, if your hair seems to be unmanageable, see if there's anything obvious that you may have overlooked.

My problem was conditioning, but yours may be different. Maybe your hair doesn't like protein. Perhaps it hates mineral oil. Try different things, and you may be surprised to find that your hair is far more manageable than you previously realised.

Learn your own hair. :)

After all, your hair journey is going to surprise you.

Be willing to live and learn. ;)

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