We all know about the obvious things that can cause setbacks on our quest for long, healthy hair. Things like not keeping your hair conditioned and moisturized, improper nutrition and even not protecting our hair enough.
But there are some unsuspecting things that can interrupt your progress that you may not even think about. Here are my top 5 hidden things that can sabotage your HHJ and ways to avoid them.
1. Long commutes/Road Trips. Whether you ride in a car, bus or train a long commute to school or work can possibly damage your hair.
Most of the seats have a cloth covered head rest, and just like sleeping on cotton pillowcases, leaning against them for a couple of hours per day 5x per week as you travel to and from your destination can wreak havoc on your hair! Stop this from happening by throwing a satin scarf over the seat cover.
2. Sleepovers. How many times have we gone to visit a friend or family member and had so much fun that it was too late to drive back?
Whether it’s a female friend or a boyfriend, most times they don’t have silk or satin pillowcases or an extra scarf (unless the friend is also on a healthy hair journey).
I have actually left a friend’s house at 1 a.m. and run to Walgreens to purchase a bonnet when this happened to me. If this happens to you frequently, keep a small spritz bottle of moisturizer in your purse or car. Another option is a small travel sized cosmetic jar for creamy moisturizers. Also, I always have a scarf or bonnet in my glove compartment.
3. “Coloring”. Remember the scene from Sex & the City where the girls were eating lunch and Charlotte’s daughter, Lily, was with them? And Miranda wanted to talk about her sex life but since it was inappropriate to use that language Carrie substituted coloring?
Well, yes – that’s what I mean by coloring. Without being too descriptive, sweating, rolling, rubbing and tugging your strands are all commonplace for many women.
And although some may laugh, damage can be caused if you are not careful. If you are uncomfortable wearing your hair bonnet or scarf, invest in some satin pillowcases* or even better – satin (or silk) sheets. Moisturize before if you have the opportunity and after.
4. Work environment. Unfortunately many sistas work in environments where they feel pressure to wear their hair a certain way, mostly straight. This can lead you to pick up that flat iron* more often than you should, wear your hair down (unprotected) more than you would like to, and ultimately can lead to damage.
Don’t be scared to introduce textured styles to your office. I know we are all excited about our first Black president – but I hope our next black First Lady (although I love First Lady Michelle to death) has natural hair! Time for the rest of the country to catch up!
5. Haters. Ahhhh, yes – the people we all have or will encounter on our hair journeys who doubt our practices. Express their unsolicited opinions about how we care for our hair, how we wear our hair, how much time and money we spend on our hair, etc.
Whether it is out of ignorance, jealousy, or whatever – these haters will lament on and on until their opinions creep into our conscious and sometimes even our subconscious making us second guess ourselves and sometimes cause us to lack consistency and determination.
Do NOT allow these folks to get to you! Follow a few of your favorite hair bloggers to stay motivated, it can help ward off the thoughts of the doubters because you are literally watching someone achieve their goals and soon that inspiring story will be your own!