Assessing My Damaged HairThis post will be a painful post for me to type. Some might say that I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill, but I'll let you decide.
Hair is what this blog is all about, so I thought it fitting for this to be the first real post of 2014. In my December Length Check post, I talked about the length of my hair post salon visit. I also made a reference to the trouble I thought I was having with my hair in The Curl Is Back and Straightening My Own Hair. My prognosis was right!! I was dealing with terrible split ends.
When I walked into the salon, I told my cosmetologist everything I thought was wrong. I also told her about all the itching my head was doing and about the split ends I knew I had...I just didn't know how bad they were. She told me that overall my hair looked good and I was doing a good job with it. My scalp looked good too so the only thing she could think would be the culprit of my itchy scalp was my move. I've been having trouble with dry skin lately. I'm not drinking enough water but aside from that I know the water here is different from the water in NC. One of my 2014 goals is to drink more water, so I hope to do better with my skin this year.
My split ends...smh. Well, there's nothing you can do to fix split ends except cut them. She told me the back of my hair was worse than the front. Here's my thing. I do a great job with my hair (overall). I know how to take care of it and maintain it so I can have length retention which is my ultimate goal. Yes, health is important too, but I'm shooting for healthy length. Haircuts don't help with length retention. That's going in the opposite direction. I've never been a fan of hair cuts. I don't even like trims, but I get them because I know it's "necessary".
Look at this picture to the right. You can tell my hair is suffering. I don't like the progress, or lack thereof, I've made.
I told my cosmetologist how I straightened my hair because I knew that was to blame. I was trying to simulate what she does when she dries my hair but I had gotten frustrated because it wasn't turning out like I knew it should. I hurried through it...pulling and yanking with the brush...knowing that it wasn't good for my hair. Working with the hair in the back of my head, always gives me the most trouble because I can't see that hair and trying to maneuver my arms and hands to handle that hair is always irritating. These are main reasons why I needed my boyfriend to help me through the job of flat ironing the hair because split ends is one thing but ruining the curl pattern is a completely different ball game.
I knew I'd have to get my hair cut going into the situation, so it wasn't a shock. I also learned that the split ends were a good part of the reason why my hair wouldn't curl like it should have when it was straight. She ended up cutting off about 1 to 1.5 inches of hair, mostly in the back. My feelings are still hurt from my visit because I had to cut off the growth I'd made in those two months between visits.
What I need to do:
1. Buy an ionic hair dryer with a concentrator attachment nozzle.
- Besides blow drying my hair with frustration, I was not doing the blow drying method properly. I was trying to blow dry my hair; brushing the hair from root to tip. That's NOT right. The first step is to use the nozzle to concentrate the air on my blow drying my roots first. I use a brush to brush the hair away, but I don't need to brush the hair all the way out from root to tip. After the roots are dried, I use the brush to gently comb through to the tips of my hair. I also don't need to apply direct heat. (This sounds more complicated than it is, but I visually have the method down pact.)
2. Ask for help.
- If I think things are going south, instead of blow drying with frustration, I should ask for help.
3. Do some protective styling to give my hair an opportunity to rest.
- I'm manipulating my hair every day. It's experienced most of the elements (rain, snow, sleet, very cold air, warm air, humidity, etc. - the weather's been crazy here!) since it's been damaged and I just want to give it a rest. I'm upset about the length I lost and I shake my head every time I look in the mirror. What makes it worse is that I still have some split ends left...that means more cutting! Who knows when I'll be able to get back to my salon. Best solution for that is to hide it from myself! I'm seriously thinking about getting a sew-in.
4. Length checks every other month.
- It's bad enough that I see my hair every day, but to do monthly length checks doesn't help either. I want to compare my hair to itself only when there's been significant gains made. I think checking every other month will help me see more dramatic growth.
5. Be healthier.
- I'm already working on drinking more water, but I also want to have a more routine eating schedule that includes healthier, heartier foods. I want to provide my body and my hair with the vitamins needed. I'm tired of the dry skin and I want to maximize hair growth as much as possible.
With my two year natural anniversary coming up at the end of this month, I hope to start this third year of my natural hair journey armed with as much knowledge and gumption to do what I need to do to reach my goal. I think I would have my hair reach down to my bra strap by my 2 year big chop anniversary. Not at all unattainable, but I've got to do a better job with taking care of my hair. I have 10 months to go, so let's keep our fingers crossed!!