Twelve years ago, I began my hair journey when I became a member of a popular hair forum. That forum changed my life. At 20, it taught me how to retain my hair growth, the importance of deep conditioning, and most importantly, that anyone determined to grow their hair long could. I still believe that notion and it is our ethos at LengthyHair.com.
My Hair Journey
I am currently growing hair to my waist for the third time in my life.
The first time was almost a decade ago when I was in college. I was still learning and making mistakes with my hair. I mostly wore my hair in its natural state and occasionally straightened it with a flat iron. Ultimately, I ended up cutting it off because I believed my hair was not salvageable after I neglected it while I was recovering from a car accident. Dryness and single strand knots were the banes of my existence back then. At the time, I did not possess my skills and techniques and quality products and tools. Looking back, I wish I had the confidence to choose differently.
The second time I grew my hair to my waist, I lost it to our dreaded arch-enemy — breakage. I got bored with my natural off-black hair color and wanted to try something new for a birthday milestone. Spicing up my life with bright red hair via permanent hair dye was a memory I would never forget (see above picture). I had fun. It was different. However, I will NEVER color my hair with commercial dyes again. My hair doesn’t like it.
What I Have Learned
This time around, I am smarter. My failures have taught me a lot about hair. For one, I refuse to use any chemicals. Chemicals indeed weaken the hair, and if you have hair like mine, which is textured and dry, then that is the last thing you will need. To color, I will use henna. My hair has responded beautifully to it, and I am kicking myself for not trying it sooner.
Deep conditioning with quality products once a week is a must for me. It keeps my hair moisturized. On LengthyHair.com, we promote deep conditioning for a reason. I honestly believe it has been my saving grace through my hair journey.
I also only bluntly trim four times a year. Since my hair is fine, blunt cuts work best for me. It gives my hair the thicker appearance I seek. Quarterly trims have also banished those pesky single strand knots.
Oil is key. I rarely apply oil to my scalp these days, but my scalp and hair gets treated when I deep condition. The high quality deep conditioners I use are contain various oils. Now and then I still like to soak my length in oil the night before I cleanse (with co-wash or shampoo) my hair.
And the most important lesson I have learned is to enjoy my hair. Let it be. Don’t over manipulate it for the sake of a “protective style”. Embrace every length and be proud of its health. Treat it like delicate lace and don’t abuse it. Be good to your hair, and it will be good to you!