Wednesday, May 15, 2013

At the end of it's all about habits

Hello there everybody. Y'all over the hump yet?

Excellence strives forth from people who have healthy habits, habits they don't break. It's not a compulsion, it's a routine. They get up an hour earlier, or stay at the office an hour longer. They do extra research. They run an extra 5 minutes on the treadmill, they are punctual, they eat their vegetables and drink 8 glasses of water a day. They read every word on a report and they remember it. These are habits, and the people who are most consistent are the ones yielding the most favorable results.

Now, when it comes to a hair journey, the first I get asked is "how do you do it?" and the second thing is "what do you do? Honestly, when I started off on this sometimes crazy little yellow paved road, I did a LOT of research. What struck me most is that the ladies who have been yeilding the most favorable results are the ones who have their regimens and routines down pat! The second thing that I noticed about these hairlistas, is that they are very careful with regard to product choices, taking into account the ingredients and each component's effect on their hair. So, all of them are little scientists at heart and I took that with me as I set off to the beauty supply store.

And man oh man, did I turn into a product junkie!! I bought and tried everything! If it was part of the ORS line last year, it is part of my stash. I read ingredient labels, I figured out what they meant, Blackberry and Google always at my fingertips as I stroll through the isles. I could not enter ANY store and not check out what they have to offer in the hair isles. I think that I did become a little obsessed, but then again, obsession is simply passion sans knowledge and experience.

As time moved on, things became simpler. I became a bit more aware of what I am DOING, as opposed to what I'm buying. I realised that I could have the most brilliant conditioner on earth, but it would not matter diddly if I did not apply it carefully and properly to my entire head of hair, root to tip. I realised that I could have the gentlest shampoo on the planet but it would matter squat if I shampooed my hair like the girl in those Herbal Essence commercials. (Remember those?? If y'all don't, I'm giving away my age here, lol) All that would accomplish with my 3c/4a hair is a lot of matting, knotting, tangling and ultimately breakage city. I could have an arsenal of amazing products and it would be money down the drain if my HABITS weren't hair friendly.

So, you may ask, what habits have I formed since the start of my journey which have assisted me in retaining length? And in my humble opinion, my best habits so far are the following:
  • Sleeping with a satin wrap, satin scarf and satin bonnet, sometimes all at the same time. Material like cotton and linen, found in most beddingclothes are NOT hair friendly. They zap moisture from the hair, leaving it dry and frayed, and NOT pretty. If push comes to shove, go to a fabric store and get yourself some on sale silk or satin and make your own hair covers for bed time. The worst habit I kicked was sleeping with an uncovered head.
  • Moisturizing and sealing on a regualr basis. It is the simploest thing you can do. I simply spritz my hair with a water and cheapy conditioner mix and when it's sliglty damp, seal with coconut oil. Then I wrap them up (I'm not a fan of reversion) and chill like that through the night.
  • Getting a wide tooth comb. I'm planning on getting a comb with even wider teeth, that's a bit of a rake. Wide tooth combs are our friends, especially when it comes to detangling. Smaal tooth combs WANT to rip the hair right out of your skull, so personally, I avoid them like the plague.
  • Protective styling. Thank you Ebony!! Even though the challenge is finished, I still pin up my hair, french plait it, basically protect it. it is now officially a habit.
  • Wash day is MY time. Whether I decide to dedicate 2 hours, or 12, it's MY time, and I make it very clear to everyone. The reason that it is MY time - your hair does not thank you if you rush through the wash day process. I mean think about it!! Pre-poo(at least 15 minutes after application of oily conditioner mix) and detangle, rinse, shampoo, rinse, instant condition, rinse, deep condition (no less than 30minutes!), rinse, airdry for 10 minutes, apply leave in, detangle, roller set (which takes me 45 minutes these day, having so much MORE hair) and then wait to dry, sometimes using the dryer on cold setting to help it along. THAT is a LOT of effort, and must thus not be rushed. If rushed, you will regret it later.
  • BE GENTLE! I think the biggest habit I've gotten into is being gentle and not trying to force my hair to do thimgs it doesn't want to do.
One of the biggest thigs I've learned is that I must LISTEN to my hair and realise what it needs. At the same time, building up these hair healthy habits have made me go from ear length to full shoulder length in a little over a year. Soooooo, at the end of it all, it's all about HABITS.

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