Hair goals. Most people have them. You may even have more than one goal for your hair. Whatever you are focusing your attention on, the ideas below may help you or at least provide you with some ideas to take your hair to the next level.
This is a common goal for many ladies (and even some men). Long hair has always been viewed as luxurious and attractive. That’s not to say that short hair isn’t so. The truth is, how long you decide to allow your hair to grow is a matter of preference. Just know that long hair takes work but if that’s one of your hair goals then the tips below can help you to reach them:
- Keep your hair moisturized at all times.
- Keep your strong at all times.
- Basically, keep your hair balanced with moisture and protein.
- Protect your hair from damage when you wash it, style it, detangle it and handle it.
- Only trim your hair when needed. There’s no set schedule for how often you should trim. If you heat style or do other things that add a lot of wear and tear to your strands, you’ll need to trim more often. If you practice healthy hair habits (that link points to an extensive guide. You should read it when you have time. Go to it and bookmark if you don’t have time right now) then you’ll need to trim less often.
I’ve written a whole series of articles on retaining length which is what you need to essentially do if you want longer hair. Here are the must reads:
This hair goal is harder to achieve because it’s typically based on genetics. However, you can achieve the “appearance” of thicker hair. You can even make your hair (individual strands) thicker temporarily.
Some methods for achieving thicker looking hair include:
- Getting your hair trimmed in layers
- Styling in larger sections. Examples include:
- larger twists
- larger curls
A popular and very effective way to thicken your strands temporarily using natural hers like henna or cassia. Both have similar strengthening effects and build up on the hair shaft temporarily. This gives the appearance of thicker hair. However, henna has a longer lasting effect. I henna my hair quarterly with a full strength treatment and do henna glosses once or twice a month.
More manageable hair
Conditioner and oils are your staples. Keeping your hair well conditioned and moisturized will allow your hair to be more manageable. Boost the efficacy of your conditioners by adding a natural oil like olive oil to them. You can also oil your hair nightly to prevent tangling. When your hairs are “slippery,” it’s easier to detangle which makes it more manageable.
While longer hair may not be your goal, you may still want stronger hair. Stronger hair is needed if even to just maintain the current length you are at. Fortifying your hair with protein treatments (or henna) will help you achieve this hair goal. If you find that your hair easily breaks, consider doing protein treatments on a regular basis until your hair is strong enough for maintenance treatments. And because true health, (and that includes your hair) comes from within, make sure you are getting adequate nutrition. You may need to eat more protein or eliminate the simple carbs from your diet. Taking a multivitamin/mineral can help if you are deficient in certain areas but always check with your doctor.
Hair that holds a style
If you have fine hair, your hair is a bit easier at holding a style. The key is to use adequate hair products. It’s always best to set a fresh style in your hair when it’s clean and free of any product build up. If you find that your hair is not holding a style well even after washing your hair, you may need to clarify it. This is especially true if you tend to co-wash versus shampoo.
Another thing you may need to address if your hair isn’t holding a style well is the need for a trim or even a cut. Keeping your ends in a health condition will allow your styles to look better. Then, you need to find what I like to call your staple hair products. It’s those products that perform well in your hair again and again. You’ll find a list of my first round of staple products here. Those hair products are ones I’ve used again and again but the list has changed a bit over the years so I will be updating that page soon. Bookmark it or subscribe to this blog to receive an update.
If you are a brunette, shiny hair comes a little more naturally for you than for those with lighter hair. That’s just because of the way dark hair reflects light. Even still, you may have challenges. Here are some tips to help you reach your hair goal of shiny hair:
- Keep your hair free of product build up. In other words, clarify if you need it.
- Add a natural oil like jojoba to your deep conditioner
- When rinsing your deep conditioner out, if you have normal or high porosity hair, make your final rinse a cool one (this isn’t necessarily a good idea for those with low porosity hair if you’re following your hair up with more moisturizing products after the wash)
- Always smooth hair products into your hair working the products into your hair shaft. This takes repetitive smoothing of the hair shaft so that the cuticles which are like shingles on a roof, are smooth
- On dry hair, smooth a light weight oil like Argan oil into your strands.
Hair that Maintains Moisture
Taking into account your hair’s porosity more than it’s curl pattern, you can achieve hair that retains more moisture by consistently training your hair to receive moisture. There are a couple of step by step methods that have been shared in the natural hair community that many ladies who suffered with dry hair swear by. One such method is the Anthony Dickey method which is touted for imparting so moisture that those who have type 4 hair are able to achieve the best wash and go ever.
In addition to these, you can give the greenhouse effect or the baggy method a shot. Yet, the most important thing to remember is that you impart the moist moisture to your hair on wash day during the deep conditioning process. Your deep conditioner should be well hydrating to your hair. As you proceed through wash day, you want to help your hair maintain the moisture you’ve given it by doing a few simple things:
- Seal your hair with an oil and/or cream. If your hair is not much on the fine side, then a butter will work even better.
- Prevent your hair from drying out by sleeping on a silk pillowcase,
- Re-moisturize mid week
Read this post for the many causes of dry hair: 17 Causes of Dry Hair that Have Nothing to Do With Health
And this post for: The 7 Ways to Get Moisture Into Natural Hair
This guide to hair goals encompasses simple things you can do to reach the most common goals. None of this is hard. It just requires time, commitment and consistency. You also don’t have to do every single thing. You may find that you’re able to simply accelerate your progress by doing 1 or 2 things. It really just depends on what you are looking to accomplish and how soon.