I went hiking this weekend. I had done it once before, about 5 years ago. I remember there were some tears involved and that the view was so gorgeous (it was in the fall and so the leaves had turned all shades of orange). But nothing prepared me for the intensity of the 3-hr hike I embarked on this past weekend. It was my cousin’s birthday request. You see, with the COVID pandemic, people are getting creative with celebrations and so this was a good way to celebrate in the outdoors, with enough space to be socially distanced. Anyway, I was recently told that I find inspiration in any and everything. Perhaps that’s true. So here I have 10 hair journey lessons that I took away from the hiking experience.
1. Your hair journey is yours and yours alone.
You may be inspired or invited to go on the journey by friends, by family, by people you follow and trust on the internet, etc. But when you begin it, it is not their journey, it is now yours. So don’t go into it blind. Know and understand for yourself exactly what you are getting into. When it gets difficult or is not meeting exepctation, you can blame the people who got you to start it all you want but at the end of the day, na you e go dey pain.
2. Set your own goal.
Once you do that, you are able to focus on it and aim to reach it. Your goal will be different from the next person’s and that’s okay. At the end of the day, it is your journey so you get to choose how far you want to take it.
3. Go at your own pace.
Remember, it’s yours and yours alone. You will not develop the perfect hair regimen after just one month of starting your healthy hair journey. So if you are trying to keep up with a person who has been on their healthy hair journey consistently for five years, and you are just starting out, you will burn yourself out! So while you can be inspired by them, do it at your own pace. Consistency is the name of the game.
4. In that same light, pace yourself.
The excitement you begin with will eventually wane. To avoid feeling stuck, pace yourself. Don’t incorporate all the different versions of hair care practices that you see on the internet streets all at once. You will tire yourself AND your hair.
5. The journey will look like a breeze for many people along the way.
Stop looking at them with envy and continue yours. In other words, comparison is the thief of joy. There may even be some people that you would not expect to have it so easy… and they will. You may even find yourself getting envious of children (don’t be an agbaya forgossake. I’m talking to myself here). Stop it! You don’t know their story and they don’t know yours. So focus on your focus.
6. People will give you conflicting information about how long it will take to reach your goal.
If you listen to them, you will get disappointed and frustrated. So, don’t. I’d rather not even ask in the first place. I can’t stress on this enough: this is your journey, not theirs.
7. Find an accountability partner.
Preferably one with a similar goal as you. If one of you is in a rut, the other is there to help pull you out of it. If you both get in a rut, you can both appreciate the difficulty, wallow in it for a bit, get up together and give it another go.
8. The right tools and techniques make it easier.
The only way to know what the right tools and techniques are is by remembering point #1 and knowing what you are getting into in the first place. If you don’t want to do the research yourself, find a professional and get the correct advice from them.
9. Take lots of pictures.
It makes it fun and you have something to reminisce with at the end. Pictures are a great way to document your progress. It can be hard to see progress when you are in the middle of the journey. So document your wash day results. Document your styling results. Document your hair balls. Document your hair’s behaviour when you stretch it, when it’s wet, when it’s dry, when it’s brittle, document everything.
10. If you stick with it, you will get to the goal.
No matter how long it takes, you will get there and it will feel good! And then you can say those cherished words: I MADE IT!!!
What do you think about these lessons? What are some lessons you have learnt on your healthy hair journey?
A quick birthday shout out to the woman who brought about this hike, and hence, this post. Happy Birthday, Ofure! Keep being your most authentic self. <3
Till next time, beauts.