The road to loving your natural hair can be complicated. It’s full of highs and lows, joyful discoveries, and fleeting disappointments. We expect the ultimate results from our hair - we want it to be longer, curlier, straighter, thicker, thinner, and on and on. But, we often treat caring for it like an afterthought or a hated chore. How we treat our hair is reminiscent of how we sometimes treat ourselves - with little patience or care.
What if we took our time with our hair? What if we appreciated the richness and beauty of our hair and treated it how we would want to be treated - with love and acceptance? Wouldn’t we value our hair more? Wouldn’t we value ourselves more?
Haircare doesn’t have to be an activity we simply tolerate. It can be a joyous act of self-care we all deserve.
Simple acts of self-care are easy to incorporate into your hair care routine. And performing them can create a greater appreciation for your hair journey. Let’s take a look at some ways to integrate self-care techniques into your hair care regimen.
Practice haircare affirmations
If you’re guilty of negative self-talk about your hair, it’s time to turn things around. When we talk negatively about ourselves in any capacity, it is detrimental to our well-being and affects our self-esteem. The same can be applied to our feelings about our hair. If you’re constantly focused on the negative - what your hair isn’t - that’s all you’ll be able to see. From there, it’s easy to start despising your hair instead of loving it.
So, what can you do?
Start with positive affirmations. No, you don’t have to spend hours preening your hair and talking to it. But when you’re washing it, brushing, or combing it, try appreciating the characteristics of your hair that you usually ignore or neglect. You can admire its texture, length, resiliency, softness, strength, or any other attributes that come to mind.
Your hair is unique. Find what makes it special and zone in on those features instead of criticizing them. And, next time you’re passing a mirror, take a second to admire the beauty of your hair.
The mere act of speaking kindly of your hair will help put you in the mindset of taking better care of it. Here are some simple hair affirmations to try:
- My curls are perfect, just as they are.
- I love the texture of my hair.
- My hair is healthy.
- My hair is strong.
- I am thankful for my hair.
- My hair is beautiful.
- I appreciate my hair.
- I will treat my hair with kindness.
Create a self-care routine around wash day
We often look at hair care as a chore. As busy women, we’re always on the go with something to do, someone to take care of, or somewhere to be.
It always seems that the last person we have time for is ourselves. Yet, we’re constantly told that we need to make time for self-care. But how?
The easiest way to incorporate self-care techniques is to combine them with something you’re already doing. Wash day comes around every week – it’s gotta get done. But instead of dreading it, turn it into a ritual you can love.
A weekly loving routine that allows you to take time to care for your hair, relax, and recenter is just what everyone needs at the end of a busy week.
Here’s some helpful tips to get you started:
- Set aside dedicated time to thoroughly shampoo, condition, and style your hair. Let everyone know this is your “me” time.
- Don’t be in a rush to get through the process; slow down. Cleanse, detangle and condition with care.
- Treat your hair to luxurious products designed to cater to our curls. Look for products with natural, quality ingredients that bring out the best in your hair.
- Pamper your curls with a hair mask or deep conditioning treatment. Deep conditioning is one of the best things you can do for your hair. So don’t make a habit of skipping it.
- While deep conditioning your hair, relax with your favorite activity and do something you love like reading, journal writing, listening to music, etc.
- Kick back and enjoy the time to yourself.
Incorporate calming scalp massages
We all know a good scalp massage can do wonders. It can improve blood circulation, relieve tension, and help you relax. But scalp massages aren’t only good for your well-being; they can also improve the health of your hair. They can promote hair growth, condition the scalp, and soften the hair.
Scalp massages are an easy self-care technique that you can include weekly, if not daily. All you need is a few minutes to give your hair the attention it deserves.
You can make it a part of your wash day routine, your morning routine, or really whenever you have a few minutes to spare and need to relax. If you can’t fit it in every day, at least try for two-three times a week. Before you know it, it will become a self-care habit you can’t live without.
Scalp massages are simple to perform, and you can do them on wet or dry hair. Here’s some tips on how to get started:
- Use your fingertips to massage your entire scalp for at least five minutes. Apply light to medium pressure while performing slow circular motions.
- If you’re not up for using your hands, there are many different types of scalp massagers on the market that make the job even easier. Use them like you would your fingertips to massage your whole scalp.
- For added pampering, use essential oils like rosemary or lavender, known to improve hair growth. Make sure you add the essential oil to a carrier oil like argan, jojoba, or coconut oil so that it isn’t too potent for direct skin contact.
Ready to practice some of these techniques? Your hair, mind, and spirit will thank you. Performing activities that promote mental, physical, and emotional wellness, is what self-care is all about. And taking the time to lovingly care for our hair is just one way to honor ourselves and turn a regular task into a self-care occasion.