Thursday, March 29, 2012

Use Your Tools: Bouncing Back From Hair Set-Backs

Fellow YAIS readers, lately my hair (and body) has been showing me signs that I need to take better care of myself. My stress levels have been through the roof and now I've crashed; of course with the crash the damage needs to be assessed, and my hair definitely needs some repair; it's dry and breaking and duller then usual (I miss my natural sheen!) but all isn't lost. My wise and wonderful grandmother gave me some sound advice recently: use your tools. Reach back to what you know to help get yourself back on track. In terms of hair, how do we get back on track?

(Deep) Condition: Condition the tresses for moisture. I've been incredibly lazy for a while about deep conditioning, and I know this can be a bit of a hot topic when it comes to naturals (some don't see a need for it, others swear by it) but some sort of intense treatment after being neglectful is probably useful. I personally think it's more about what you use to deep condition your hair as oppose how long you leave it in. I plan to use a homemade treatment because those have always been good to me in the past.

Low Manipulation: I've always been told a watched pot never boils (or something to that effect) and that applies to hair. Leaving it alone, or just minimizing the amount of daily handling gives it a chance to grow out and recover. There are many low-to-no manipulation hairstyles: braids, twists and twist outs, buns and roller-sets to name a few. My hair is in box braids at the moment, and I will probably do buns all next week. All I want to do is worry about moisturizing my hair instead of styling it.

Eat Healthy: Food is fuel for the body. When you aren't getting enough of something it shows, first in your hair and nails and then everywhere else. Recently my diet has been anything but good and not eating well (or rarely in my case) can effect your concentration and mood. The weather is getting better so it's the perfect time to dive back into eating fruits. I'm also taking a multi-vitamin and drinking green tea to get a little more fuel - I'm not a health expert but this works really well for me.

Lower the Stress: Exercise, breath for ten minutes alone, or take a vacation if you got it like that. Taking care of your body will really take care or your hair. Now that I have crashed I'm exhausted from the lack of sleep. The last two nights I slept a full eight hours! And I'm taking a mini trip out of town this weekend to Massachusetts to visit with my sister. When I get back I plan to go back to the YMCA regularly to run and work out.

So that's what I've been dealing with naturalistas. What have you been up to? What are some useful tools you have to help you bounce back?

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