After talking to several naturals and reading several hair blogs of women’s personal account of what they think their hair growth rate is, most of them blindly place themselves in the less than average hair growth category.
Meaning, they feel as if their hair grows less than ½ an inch per month. Now this can be extremely discouraging for anyone’s natural hair journey – to believe that they are below average and that it will take them even longer to achieve their natural hair goal.
This can be especially frustrating when other women give their personal assessment of average hair growth (or better) and are achieving their goal length(s) in a much shorter time.
Instantly, women with a self-proclaimed below average growth rate, immediately want to know the secrets of those achieving average or above hair growth. They eagerly wait for these women to reveal the new hair growth product they haven’t heard about or the “ultimate”, scientifically proven, hair vitamin that makes your hair grow 5 inches in 1 month.
Ironically, what these women usually reveal is no secret.
They say things like: protective styles, baby my hair, leave my hair alone, no manipulation, no to low direct heat usage, protein and moisture balance, multivitamins, eat a balanced diet, trims, and deep conditioning.
These things are the secret; and you know what, these are all things that many naturals know, but for their own personal reasons or styling choices – they choose to ignore during their natural hair journey.
Change Your Mind. Change Your Destiny!
It’s hard to believe in something if you can’t imagine it actually happening. You see it for the next person but never for yourself.
I think this is the case for most women who say they want long hair. I have learned that just because you say something doesn’t mean that is what you believe to be true. More importantly, your actions will always speak louder than your words.
If the proper steps aren’t being taken to get you where you want to be; then you are not moving in the right direction. Heck, you are probably not moving at all. This is more than likely why many natural women say, “I have been natural for 3 years and my hair is still “x” length.”
This is the REAL secret – A Healthy Hair Journey
I can attest that having a healthy hair journey (HHJ), focusing on preservation of your strands and increasing the number of good hair habits with your hair will make a huge difference in your natural hair.
Most of the time, the trigger for a HHJ is wanting a change. You become unsatisfied with what you have currently achieved and you want something different. You now understand that doing what you have always done is not getting you were you want to go…this is not just hair advice, this is life advice.
Right now, if this article is resonating with you, then congratulations are definitely in order!
This is a wonderful place to be in your journey, as you now can at least fathom or imagine the possibility that your hair can grow longer than what you have present day.
Here’s an encouraging nugget: if you want longer hair, you can have it. In the words of Mary Mary, “Go get it!”
The best place to start your healthy hair journey is with you, the desired future state of your hair and the current state of your hair.
I don’t suggest that you go out and buy anything, not one single natural hair product.
However, I do suggest you start with these 5 questions:
- Goal: What is your natural hair goal?
- My natural hair goal is [insert specific desire or goal].
- Find the Issue: What issue/problem is preventing you from reaching [insert your specific goal from # 1]? List your answers. The issues/problems that are preventing me from reaching my natural hair are:
- Find The Cause: Based on what you know today about [insert X, Y and Z], what’s the cause of the issue(s)? From your listed answers from #2, next to each answer, jot down things that will cause this particular problem. Give this some thought.
You can have one answer or you may end up with a laundry list of answers. During this time, you can do some research to find out the answers to your issues. Have something specific that you are looking for.
You are in research mode. Also, this is a time where you may find that things that you believed about your hair may or may not have been based on factual information. What you are looking for now is fact based information and not personal experiences. If you find that you are not finding what you are looking for, move on to another search result; don’t spend a lot time on something that is not useful to you right now.
- The cause of XXXX is _____________.
- The cause of YYYY is _____________.
- The cause of ZZZZZ is _____________.
- Hair Repair Mode: Now, that you have found the causes to your problems listed in #2; it’s time to go into hair repair mode. I use “hair repair mode” loosely because hair is dead and can only be temporarily patched.
Anything that is done to the hair will have to be maintained and repeated over and over again to keep the appearance of “healthy” well preserved hair strands. At this point you may have to work in two categories: Cause and Symptom.
Everything that you put down for #2 may not actually be a cause, but may actually be a symptom of the cause. For instance, if the issue is dry brittle hair; then, dry brittle hair is the symptom not cause. The cause of dry brittle hair could be missing protein cuticle layers from the hair strand.
Now it’s time to research how to repair your problem. In this case, if dry brittle hair is your issue and missing protein cuticle is a cause of dry brittle hair; then research how to repair missing protein cuticles.
- HHJ Regimen: Your answers for #4 are the basis of your HHJ regimen. A lot of what you do will be centered on preserving your strands, so they are in the best condition possible to achieve your natural hair goal. Also, it is about reducing more of bad habits and increasing good hair habits.
Having a healthy hair journey is an important part of being natural and it is the absolute best way to know for sure if you are a slow grower or not. Learning to optimize good habits will open the door for your hair to reach its full potential.
Having fun with styles and experimenting with different products is great, but it comes a point in your natural hair journey when some naturals find that those things no longer work for them.
It’s time to buckle down; the honeymoon is over. Just as in life, in whatever we do, we should see progress and we should know how to maintain that level of progression. I think, in general, we often serve ourselves the short end of the stick, but not anymore – healthy hair journey, here we come!