Self Preserving Acts

June 20, 2017

     My travels always include a great spa visit when I'm lucky enough to fit it in. However, this spa girl began her pampering treatments at home with egg and oatmeal masks and brown sugar scrubs made in the kitchen. My acronym for spa is self-preserving acts, and that is what I will share with you here. All research is done by me, for me, and on me for now. Do your own research and always do what is best for you in accordance with what your health professionals recommend.

 

     Reset is my word of choice for the rest of the year. There are four more months left in 2017, how will you wrap up this extraordinary time? My main Reset move involves my hair journey. I feel like I finally have a hair care method that works.

 

     Among my many goals for health and well being are my hair goals. When I graduate from Harvard Extension School in 2020, I want long flowing hair coming from underneath my graduation cap. However, thyroid cancer fated me with some hair loss due to medication that I have to take for the rest of my life after a thyroidectomy surgery.

 

     This journey of growing my hair back has been a long and often sad and frustrating one. I finally feel like I'm over the hump and can now boast shoulder length hair after having to cut my hair completely off at least 5 times to deal with the patches left behind when my hair fell out.

 

     What I've learned from Youtubers is worthy of mentioning for anyone with long and healthy hair goals. For my first post in this section, let's discuss the difference between hair loss, breakage, and shedding. I have experienced all three.

 

     Hair loss can occur for any number of medical reasons, cancer drugs, alopecia, and damaged follicles often lead to hair falling out from the roots. In some cases of alopecia the hair does not return. Of course if someone grabbed hard enough, hair can be ripped or pulled out. Please stay away from these situations at all costs.

 

     Breakage occurs when hair is malnourished or damaged by styling utensils such as small combs, heat appliances, or even rubber bands and clips. I've learned that women of color have hair that appears to be tough, but is actually quite delicate. Your hair rubbing against abrasive surfaces can cause breakage or split ends as well. Your hair is growing out of your scalp, but breakage may be hindering your length retention at the other end.

 

     Yes, length retention has found its way into my everyday vernacular. Women often blame slow growth for lack of long flowing locks when in actuality the hair growing from their scalp may be doing so regularly. Without knowing it, the ends of your hair may be struggling to stay attached, which leads to the appearance of stagnate growth.

 

     Hair shedding is a common occurrence. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, "it's normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day." Excessive shedding may take place after some stressful events. A lot of Youtubers vlog about their postpartum hair shedding. Giving birth can definitely be a stressor on the body. Job loss, surgery, and any number of life's urgencies can take its toll on your health overall as well as your hair.

 

     The most important thing I've learned about hair care are these following tips in order of importance:

 

  1. Speak up! If you see a professional for hair care, communication is key. Long hair goals require length retention. You may have a stylists who loves to cut your ends to maintain your style and not necessarily because you have split ends. Don't be afraid to communicate your hair needs and findings as you educate yourself on proper hair care.

  2. Regular routines are best. Your hair may feel less stressed if it knows what's coming. Weekly, biweekly, or monthly washing all have their benefits. Commit to a strategy, and put your tress stress at ease.

  3. Know thyself. This is a life coach staple piece of advice, and it also applies to hair. Your hair is as unique as your fingerprint. I have biracial kids and a couple of them have two different types of hair on the same head. Curly, wavy, straight, kinky, low porosity, high porosity, thick, thin, coarse, braids, locs, weaves, wigs, hats, scarves, pillow cases, towels, and t-shirts can all get their own blog post because there's so much to know. So begin by knowing your own hair type. This will aid you in making the best choices for your own hair journey.

  4. Never give up. If you are fortunate to still have your hair growing out of your head, make peace with it and just keep going after your ideal hair goals. I am proof that you can eventually get it right and enjoy the process along the way.

 

 

 

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