Friday, January 14, 2011

Hair Goals for 2011!

I've been in a major experimentation phase with my hair . Trying new products and herbs, getting a much needed trim, and practicing healthy techniques has done wonders for my strands. All of this attention I've been giving my hair has made me realize just how much I wasn't taking care of it before. It's important for transitioning and natural ladies to know that just because you are natural does not mean that your hair will automatically be healthy, strong, and damage-proof. Proper cleansing, deep conditioning, gentle detangling with the right tools, regular trims, protective styling, and constant moisture are all vital for lush happy healthy hair.

Photo Courtesy of:

There are many things that I was neglectful of in my hair care routine that I am going to be diligent about starting NOW.

As I mentioned here, it is super important to clarify your hair at least once a month. It removes the product buildup that can cause your hair to look dull and feel stiff. I noticed this happening when I had gone without clarifying for months. You should do this even if you are a no-pooer (conditioner or "co-wash" only). You can use natural clarifyers rather than shampoo such as bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda. Check out this youtuber for instructions on how to clarify with baking soda and here for the bentonite clay  I'm seriously thinking of trying the clay but for now I simply use regular cheapo Suave clarifying shampoo followed by a deep condition . I also have my eye on Elucence Volume Clarifying Shampoo. Ugh Product Junkie!!
Bentonite Clay, known to have purifying properties

Gentle Detangling
Another thing I have been guilty of is being a little bit too impatient when it comes to detangling my hair. I do detangle in the shower with lots of conditioner and under the water stream in difficult sections. However, I find myself rushing through it, grabbing more hair than I should and forcing my shower comb through matted sections. The result was hair that was broken off at the roots and a constant heap of my precious hair left in my shower comb and laying at the bottom of my shower. Now that I use my fabulous wonderful Denman 83 paddle brush that I reviewed here, I'm noticing that I can go ahead and grab more hair sections of hair. And it has not ripped out my hair (more than the normal shedding amount)!! I still have to be gentle but this brush has really made a difference in my routine.

My boo, the Denman 83

Deep Conditioning
This is another step I often skip. Deep conditioning, and I mean deeep conditioning, can bring the life back to your hair. Last week after my henna and indigo treatments, I applied my sweet baby Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship mixed with some Jamaican black castor oil, covered with a plastic baggie, and wrapped a steaming hot towel around my head for about 45 minutes. Ohhhh did my hair love me after!! I plan to make this a part of my routine at least once a month, probably after clarifying.

Regular Trims
Sometimes when your hair is constantly curly, split and damaged ends aren't noticeable. For me, a sign that a trim is needed PRONTO is when I am constantly clipping (or pulling...but this is a no no) little knotted doo doo balls of matted hair from my ends. When I see this, it's time to grab the scissors. Now I have no problem whatsoever with clipping my own ends. However, when you straighten more frequently than I do (for me that's only about 2 or 3 times a year) it's probably best to see a professional. Because I did straighten for New Years Eve, I took my butt on to the beauty salon to have my ends professionally trimmed. And boy was I in need!!!

She only took off about a half of an inch to avoid an actual hairCUT and told me to return for another trim in 6 weeks. This is usually my downfall. There is usually so much of my ends that need to be cut, that I am told to return periodically in order to prevent a drastic cut from happening. But you know what?! I will return! And when I do I'm going to tell my sometimes-beautician to go for what she knows!! I'm beyond the days of choosing length over health. And that's my goal for my self overall this year...MAXIMUM HEALTH

Protective Styling
I'm bad at this. And my hair has suffered because of it. I'm especially bad when it comes to protecting my hair at night. Most ladies know that going to sleep with a naked head, can cause mucho problems. Not only will your hair break off due to friction against your pillow (unless you use satin or silk pillowcases) but your hair will look a HOT steaming MESS in the morning 99% of the time. Not cool right? I have found that my lack of my overnight maintenance has contributed to breakage at the roots, dry strands, and unnecessary tangles. It is my mission to invest in more than a couple satin pillowcases for those nights where I just want to hit the hay without fussing over my hair first. I will also try to keep my hair in moisturized twists, braids, or pineapples (gathering the hair loosely at the top of the head with a satin scrunchy and tying the edges with a silk or satin scarf). 

Recently , I have found the awesomeness of roller setting the twist/braid also called the "twist and curl". This really helps to protect and form the ends and makes for a beautifully shaped twist/braid-out. I think this will become a staple in my routine. I have even tried "baggying" which is done by wetting the hair, applying a leave-in and oil to seal it in, and covering with a plastic cap for the night. This is a good option for those like me who prefer a wash and go style. As for protective styling during the days, I'm generally a wash and go gal. But for colder months, I will try to incorporate more twists and my fave office style, the high bun. Hopefully, this will help protect my strands against the elements.

Constant Moisture
Pure unrefined coconut oil is one of the Earths best moisturizers
Constant moisture is uber important for natural hair. Otherwise, hair can look and feel dry and brittle, breakage can occur, and ends will knot. It's very important to choose products that are free of ingredients that will do more harm than good by drying out the hair or clogging the pores. I try to steer clear of petroleum, mineral oil, alcohol, and other terrible additives. I'm pretty good about choosing high quality moisturizing products. But still, my hair can get as dry as the Sahara. Especially considering my lack of consistent nighttime routine. However, the products that I have recently become fond of are divine for quenching my parched strands. My favorite conditioners (HE Long Term Relationship and Hello Hydration, Tresemme Naturals, and Trader Joe's Nourish Spa) play a major role in moisture. Yet the stars in KEEPING my hair moist throughout the day have been Qhemet Biologics Alma & Olive, unrefined coconut oil, SheaMoisture Curl & Style Conditioning Milk, and Vatika Oil (more on this soon). These products have pretty much rounded out my product staples list. I don't see where I could need anything else to keep my hair supple for a long time to come. 

I'm sure I'll be adding to my hair goal list this year, and as I do I'll share with you!! 

Photo courtesy of:

What about you? What hair goals do you have for 2011? Or maybe you are more happy with the condition of your hair than you have been in a while? Share your thoughts and tips...


  1. Ooooooo! I think I'm buying that shirt! I like that =)

  2. That first one above (The kinky one) is actually from a t-shirt too. I think I'm gonna buy that one :)