Can you believe 2014 is almost over?! If you’re like me then you’ve already thought about your resolutions for the upcoming year and how to use setbacks in 2014 to fuel your goals for 2015. When it comes to hair care, December is a great time to reassess any methods you found to be ineffective in the past year. I’ve taken these steps year after year and found that whether my goal was to grow my hair past shoulder length or to waist length, there were easy ways to keep myself committed to my goals.
1. Visualize Your Progress
This method has, for me, been the most effective way for me to measure my hair growth and health. Hair grows slowly and as you look in the mirror everyday it can feel discouraging to see what appears to be little to no progress. However, when you see footage of your progress side by side it’s hard to deny the effectiveness of your hard work. Back in 2009 when there weren’t nearly as many hair vlogger “superstars” as there are today, I decided to record my hair care regimen. My videos weren’t fancy, but they were simple and functioned as a video diary of my hair journey. I actually didn’t record videos for anyone else but to my surprise other women found the advice helpful.
If you find visualizing your progress to be helpful you may choose to record your progress and even set your videos to a private setting in platforms like Youtube or Vimeo if you don’t want others to see your videos. An even easier way to document your hair growth is to take photos of yourself on the same day every month. As a helpful hint, wearing the same t‑shirt and hair style (i.e twist out) will provide a neat time lapse of your progress over the next year.
2. Feel for Changes
When you style your hair after wash day take notice of how your hair feels. If you’re pleased with the softness and fluffiness of your hair and/or the outcome of the style be sure to jot down the method you used as well as the products. If the hair was soft but the style lacked hold, then you know that the next time you style your hair you might need to add a light holding cream to minimize frizz without eliminating the softness of the hair.
Be sure to pay special attention to how the ends of your hair feel. Whenever someone says their “hair isn’t growing” what they really mean is that their hair isn’t retaining length (hint: if you’re healthy and eating a balanced diet your hair is likely growing each month). Do all that you can to prevent breakage, such as moisturizing ends and sealing with oils so that when you compare you month 1 progress photo to the month 6 photo, you are likely to notice a visible change.
3. Listen to Feedback
Although I became much better at documenting my length retention and paying attention to the condition of my hair, it really didn’t sink in that I was getting a handle on hair care until people around me started noticing. I didn’t announce I was going to grow my hair out (partly because I was unsure I would be successful) so when my friends and family began to comment on my hair growth I knew my progress wasn’t all in my head. To be clear, just because others don’t notice your hair progress, doesn’t mean you aren’t being effective in your hair care regimen. However, if you do find that after a few months of documenting your hair journey that you’re on the receiving end of unsolicited comments about your hair growth, then go ahead and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
Were you satisfied with your hair care regimen in 2014? What changes do you want see in 2015? What questions do you have about how to better address issues that proved to be hair challenges in the last year?