Thursday, October 1, 2009

Too Busy for Healthy Hair?

Have you ever been just too busy to do your wash routine? too busy to deep condition? too busy to style your hair? too busy to maintain healthy hair?

Almost every one of has been at one time or another. Whether school has gotten us bogged down in homework OR our career has consumed our schedule, life has gotten hectic to the point where our hair has begun to suffer. Factor in stress and lack of sufficient sleep and whoa! It happened to me years ago, ... and it almost happened again recently. So, what stopped my hair from sufferring this time? A combination of the following:

*Protective styling
This is my number one go-to when life just gets too busy. Styles such as twists, braids, wigs, and more allow for me to go weeks without fiddling with my hair, a task for which I don't have time. It, of course, also protects the ends of my hair while I put my energy into work.

*Skip a wash day (or co-wash instead)
It is good hygiene to wash regularly, but skipping a wash day isn't going to kill my hair. If I don't have time for the entire wash day routine (i.e., prepoo, wash, condition, retwist my edges), then I just don't bother washing my hair at all. Most black women cannot get away with simply shampooing alone, and I am one of them. Due to the nature our hair, some level of conditioning or pre-conditioning is needed, which I cannot skip. So when I'm on a time crunch, I am better off just co-washing or skipping the washing altogether. There is also the option of using a dry shampoo (such as witch hazel on the scalp) to cleanse. Whatever route I take, I simply postpone my complete wash routine for when I do have time ... rather than doing it halfway.

*Sleep with a silk pillow case
Sometimes, after a long, tiring day the last thing I want or even remember to do is put on a silk scarf/bonnet. For that reason, I sometimes get in the habit of using a silk pillow case ... that way all I need to do when I get home is hit the bed.

No matter how busy I am, I make the time to moisturize my hair. This step takes less than 5 minutes so there really is no excuse. Without adequate moisturization, my hair will definitely suffer.

*Postpone detangling
If I know I am not going to have time to detangle, then I don't bother touching my hair. I don't tangle it any further. Ideally, my hair is already in a set of twists or braids, so I just leave it in that set until I am ready to detangle. What if my hair is loose? Well, if it's time to detangle then I force myself to make the time to do so. Until then though, manipulating my tangled hair is bound to cause knots and more tangles ... so I just don't touch it. (It may be otherwise in your case, so definitely learn your hair.)

*Eat well
If I am too busy to get sufficient sleep or if my stress level is up, then I try to have my diet in check at the very least. In my opinion, lacking sleep + stress + eating healthy is less detrimental than lacking sleep + stress + eating crap. Certain nutrients that help us deal better with stress are just not found in junk foods or fast foods. Thus, on busy days, I attempt to choose the deli sandwich over the greasy burger. Aside from that, I try to work on getting more sleep and decreasing my stress, since lack of sleep and stress are conducive for hair loss.

Overall time management is a factor of arranging your priority list well and efficiently. Is it more important that you watch "Real Housewives of Atlanta" tonight or that you catch up on some necessary sleep? How about responding to emails while your hair is sitting in deep conditioner? Your healthy hair does not have to suffer.

Do you have any "on-the-go" hair care tips you want to share?


Anonymous said...

Well i'm catching up on blogs and DCing right now. I also DC when i'm typing a paper for school.

Loo said...

Nice time management tip! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This article was needed, good tips!!!