Monday, June 1, 2009

Retaining the Hair You Grow: Chapter 4

CHAPTER 1: SOME BASICS
CHAPTER 2: CHEMICAL DAMAGE
CHAPTER 3: EXCESSIVE TRIMMING
CHAPTER 5: EXCESSIVE MANIPULATION
CHAPTER 6: MOISTURE
CHAPTER 7: PRE-POO

Trying new hair care products and techniques is rarely a perfect road. We may experience trial and error which is absolutely normal. We may even encounter a setback and a lesson learned which is a part of life. Once setbacks become a routine, however, length retention becomes a next to unattainable goal. Here is some advice to help you break the setback cycle:

DO YOUR RESEARCH
Do sufficient research before taking your hair down a new path. Read product reviews. Speak with an expert or someone you can trust. Visit hair care forums for advice. Use Google to search and understand the ingredients listing of a product. Do not just pay attention to good reviews; research the bad as well. The more knowledge you acquire, the more likely you are to minimize setbacks.

How do you know if a product review is legit? There is no guaranteed way to tell. However, feedback given by someone who is compensated to use the product may be questionable. The same goes for feedback given by someone who has a relationship with the owner, though this is not always the case. You can also gauge the number and percentage of positive reviews to determine if a product is potentially a good investment. Understand that even with good reviews, the product may ultimately not work for you.

How do you determine if someone is an expert? Trained experts include trichologists (specialists who deal with hair and scalp health) and dermatologists (doctors who deal primarily with skin diseases). Dermatologists have a medical degree, and many can also diagnose hair conditions. Trichologists, on the other hand, are not always medically qualified, but they must complete a recognized trichology program. It is important to know which one to consult especially if a product trial may initiate or aggravate a medical condition (in which case, consult a dermatologist instead of a trichologist). Licensed hair stylists who value healthy hair care are another group of experts you may consult.

What about someone you trust? Take notes from those who have experience with a product or technique you are interested in trying. Talk to individuals who have a solid regimen and a healthy head of hair to show for it. Speak with those who have years of good hair care practice behind them. Experience is the best teacher, so learn from someone who has it.

KEEP IT SIMPLE
Avoid doing too much to your hair. Refrain from techniques that require too much manipulation. Do not overpopulate or complicate your hair product collection. Keep your hair care routine simple, and your hair will love you for it.

LISTEN TO YOUR HAIR
Stay away from products containing ingredients that your hair loathes. Avoid techniques that have caused your strands grief in the past. Refrain from methods that can be detrimental to hair in general. Learn to listen to your hair because it will save you a lot of trouble. The best way to listen is to keep in mind how your hair responds to certain substances and methods.

IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT
Sometimes it is best to stick with what works and leave it at that. Say your hair thrives on weekly washes, bi-weekly deep conditioning, and daily moisture. Say your hair flourishes with glycerin, castor oil, and Suave products. Why change what your hair loves? Stick with what works.

2 comments:

  1. This all sounds like very good advice! I recently decided to go natural (4months ago is when I had my last perm) and I have been reading a lot of natural hair care forums and sites,so I have been resarching but I guess I just need something basic. I guess I dont know where to start really. I have been rocking braid outs lately but it seems like I have to wash (or co wash) my hair weekly because it itches fast. My ends are horrible and now I am looking for another style. I guess I want to know when I am wearing my hair and its not in a protective style what do I do?? There are so many products out there but its like "how do I know whats working and whats not" because I have had a perm for over 14 years and have been using a medicine cabinet of products for years... I need some direction I guess is what I am asking, a basic regimen and a basic list of products (shampoo, condish, and leav in)... can you help??

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