Well, a year later, finally a part of the APL+ club, I'm finding that NOW, people are seeking me out for advice on hair! Coworkers, family members, even strangers on the street (one random girl on the train asked me how long I go between relaxers because my hair was "so thick!" **blush**). So, I decided to give some (unsolicited) advice to all the hair "newbies" out there... (Disclaimer: These are my opinions and things that I have picked up so far in my HHJ... as with anything in life, everything isn't best for everyone!)
- Do determine a regimen that works for you and stick to it! Be realistic! Don't make a regimen that has 50-11 things on it (DC 4x a week, co-wash twice a day, GAs every half hour, etc) unless you realistically have time to do it! (This article by Audrey Sivasothy is an amazing resource!) It doesn't take much, and usually it's best to keep it simple anyway!
- Don't be afraid of the scissors! No, trimming will not make your hair grow, but in order for the healthy hair to prosper (and for you to maintain the length that you are gaining) it might be necessary to get rid of damaged, breaking ends. Now, do this in moderation (and even gradually if you feel more comfortable!) I am still getting rid of my "pre-HHJ", bone-straight, prone-to-breakage ends! #noshame Out with the old and in with the new, healthy hair!
- Do know that growth aids are NOT the be-all-end-all of long hair! Plenty of women are able to grow long, thick hair without using growth aids, so don't feel intimidated! Just for my personal health, I don't feel comfortable using growth aids for extended periods of time... to be honest, the increase in growth that I get from them is not significant enough to warrant a full-blown, year round GA reggie.
- Don't be so caught up in the journey that you forget to enjoy the view along the way! Enjoy that [growing] hair! The only way to get to know your hair is to GET UP IN IT! As Char from BGC says: "Play wit it!" (lol but not TOO much... overmanipulation/hands-in-hair disease is a beast!)
- Don't get frustrated. Healthy hair practices, just like healthy living, is a lifestyle change. Butt-length hair won't come overnight, but trust me, if that's what you want, it's attainable through time.