As I was talking to my friend last night, she confessed two things to me: she has no regimen yet and she hasn’t trimmed her hair since her last salon visit. She started her journey a few months ago and I have been helping her.
I remember when I started blogging, it was because while I could find answers from other bloggers, I couldn’t find the experience from them. What’s that mean? When I started my journey, I had moisture overload. The obvious answer I got to “moisture overload” is use a hard protein but when you get moisture overload, what kind of protein should you be using, how often should be using it, would you treat the treatment the same as a regular protein treatment, how do you prevent it and so forth.
And this separates “How to start a hair journey” from “What it takes to start a hair journey”. Starting a journey involves a lot of questions and research so before you squeeze first and ask questions last, invest time to address your concerns first so they don’t become issues later.
Let’s start 🙂
The transition from salon to home is not easy. I learned that the hard way. I just jumped into a journey due to frustration not realizing that a 2 hour process will now be about twice the time because there are less hands working on your head. So be prepared for the fact that you will be spending more time on a wash day than usual.
Self relaxing is a pain. If you are like me and have been doing already for years or have a trusted friend or family member doing it, it’s not too hard. But if you’ve never done it, may the force be with you. Do a lot of research before just self relaxing and determine what method you want to use and what texture you want overall. Once you do it the first time, you’ll get over the panic. Most may argue to leave relaxing to the professionals, and some people still seek a professionals for relaxing (I don’t blame em, accidentally getting chemicals in your eyes…), but if your like me and don’t want to visit a salon because they made me/you run in the first place, then just do your research. I have more than a few “Relaxer Day” posts lurking.
Trimming is another essential. As I was talking to my friend, I realized that there is a common misconception (that I read about all the time) that if you get a last good trim from a salon before starting a journey, you will be good for a few months. Regardless to how little you style your hair, even something as simple as just shampooing, conditioning, detangling and protective styling (yes, even under a wig) is manipulation. Too much moisture/protein and not enough protein/moisture will destroy your ends decreasing length retention. And that’s the hardest balance for a newbie: protein and moisture. The best cure is if you prefer the salon, stick to a schedule or if you want to do it yourself, research a self trimming method and dust frequently to avoid trims. You will not risk your length. You can check mine out here
These are my trimming shears and they are really good. Please invest in a good pair. Anything around $30-40 is good. And trust me, that’s not a lot of money in the long run.
There is a silly myth that was created by a silly person that people with relaxed hair need more protein.
And here comes Tasia giving you the sister girl eye roll.
While relaxed hair does lose protein bonding in the relaxing process along with some protein, it doesn’t mean you need more protein. Your hair will never revert back after the process is done, so the extra protein is doing what exactly? The hair care involved is a needs to be a bit more diligent and since relaxed hair can hold on to moisture a bit better (because of the stretched hair) protein is essential. But in the end, you just need to have a good protein around and alternate between weekly, bimonthly or monthly use. And that all depends on the protein used. Don’t ever let someone say “you need more protein because your hair is relaxed” because guess what? You’ll have no hair from protein overload.
Determine whether you want a light, medium or hard protein and determine how often you can use it. A light protein can be used more often than a hard protein. Ideally though, you should really only be using protein on a schedule or as needed, not for funsies.
Im limiting my protein use right now to every 6 weeks or as needed. So while relaxed hair NEEDS to have protein in the regimen, you don’t need protein every single day or week in every product. Use it when you need it, and not a moment sooner.
Invest in a silk or satin scarf. You will thank me later.
Get help building a regimen. Sure you can ask a ton of people on forums and they will tell you how its beneficial to prepoo, not to shampoo, to shampoo, blah, blah, blah. In all honesty, you have to try things out 1-by-1. Start with just washing and conditioning. Those, seriously, are your most important steps and are the hardest products to find. After that, determine if you want to prepoo. Prepoo does nothing for me, so I don’t really bother as it makes my hair hard. Not every head is the same. Determine if you want a rinse after shampoo or conditioning. You want to steam? CoWash? Omit shampoo altogether? It really is trial and error and you should always ADD-ON rather than starting with multiple steps and deleting them. Why? You will be able to make a better assessment by adding things on based on smaller testing results versus starting with 7 steps and doing a process of elimination.
Last, focus on health always. It does not matter how healthy you think you think your hair is, if you always treat it as if it could be healthier, you can retain longer hair. You cannot focus on length over health. Healthy hair will get long, but long hair does not necessarily have to be healthy. As long as your hair is healthy, it will survive styling. Unhealthy hair will not. I know it sounds harsh, but you know what? Prevention is worth more than the cure.
This post doesn’t cover everything you need to know about starting a hair journey, but rather, what you need to know and think about before starting one.
One Day, It Will Happen