You know the saying if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, well, it certainly applies if you are on a hair journey. A practical tip I would like to share in this post is that at the beginning of the year it is good to have some idea of what you intend to do with your hair in terms of styling and maintenance over the course of the year. I don’t have a keep a hair dairy, I am not that organised, rather I keep a mental note of all my major hair moves for the year.
I think some ladies may find this approach helpful and I have set out the major points you should keep in mind when deciding what you will be doing.
Long term protective styles braids, crotchet braids, cornrows and sew-in weaves)
If you are a lady with virgin hair (natural hair), decide how often you will wear extensions in the year and leave adequate intervals between each of such styles to ensure your hair and scalp have adequate time to recuperate. Try to leave 3 weeks to one-month intervals between taking out extensions and re-installing new ones.
If your hair is relaxed or texlaxed, in addition to the above, if there is any period in which plan to wear braids or a weave ensure it does is not fall around the time you have relaxed your hair.
As an example, don’t relax your hair today and install a weave tomorrow because you are a bridesmaid at your besties wedding. Plan in advance so that your hair is relaxed a minimum of two to three weeks before installing braided hairstyles or weaves.
Exams/periods of intensive study
I don’t know about you but when I am really busy either with work or studies, hair care usually takes a back seat. Finding time to finger detangle, moisturise and seal and generally fuss over your hair on a daily basis may not be possible in such times. Abandoning your hair and letting it become a dry and tangled mess is a sure path to a setback.
If you know there will be periods in the year when it may be best if you put your hair in a long term protective style and/or wear wigs during those busy periods. I must stress however that although such styles may reduce the day to day care requirements, you must still complete some hair care practices when wearing extensions.
Chemical Processes such as relaxing or colouring your hair
Decide how often you will colour your hair or how often you intend to relax it. Avoid completing these chemical processes in times when you are extremely busy. This is because you need time to prepare your hair for such processes and you also have to be consistent in caring for your hair afterwards so that it is strengthened and well-conditioned.
Please remember, if your hair is chemically relaxed don’t even think about getting a permanent chemical hair colour. Having two types of chemical treatments will result in severe levels of damage and breakage. You either relax or colour your hair. Don’t do both.
Availability of your Staple/must-have hair products in your location
Now this point is probably more relevant to us ladies in Nigeria and other African countries where finding your staple or go-to hair care products can feel like mission impossible. You can find yourself running from store to store looking for a particular product to no avail.
It is great that there are now many African brands that produce good quality hair care products which are relatively easy to find. The reality however is that there may be some products manufactured internationally which works like a dream on your hair but isn’t readily available in your location.
So what do you do? If and when you do find the product and you have a little spare cash, stock up!!! Don’t just buy one. By two and if you are a bit extra like me by three. Also don’t wait until you have run out completely to restock.
Using myself as an example, I intend to texlax my hair twice this year and I have already purchased the relaxer I will use for both sessions. I cant let what happened to me last year re-occur, I went to at least 7 stores and could only find the super-strength relaxer and there was zero chance of me putting that in my hair. This was part of the reason I ended up stretching for 6 months instead of the 5 months I had intended. Luckily my sister had some of the normal strength left and that’s I used. I learned my lesson and already have all the relaxer I need for 2018.
I hope you find these tips useful. Try to be as realistic and flexible when making your hair plans for the year, we all know how life goes.
What are your long term hair care plans for 2018? 😊
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