Join a Hair Challenge for Healthier Hair

by on February 27th, 2011
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On October 10, 2011 I joined a local healthy hair challenge created by the Delaware Naturalistas on the deNATURALISTAS blog. I joined because I wanted to allow my hair to grow and be healthy. If you have unruly, damaged hair or if you just want to grow a healthier head of hair, a hair challenge may be the thing for you. Check out a few aspects of the hair challenge I joined to see if a hair challenge is something you may want to join.

Hair Maintenance

Of course healthy hair care includes maintenance that promotes gentle care and styling of our fragile hair. In the grand scheme, all hair is fragile and subject to damage because once it leaves the hair follicle the hair shaft is dead. There is no new cell growth; any damaged inflicted on the hair is permanent. All you can do to prevent further damage is to use products and styling methods that protect the hair and mend damaged areas.

For the hair challenge I’ve joined these are the maintenance steps I am following to prevent damage and mend my hair.

During the first and last week of the challenge my hair will be trimmed. I am not heat styling my hair. However, a hooded dryer is acceptable if used for a deep-conditioning treatment. I am committed to not using products containing the following ingredients: Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Petroleum Jelly, Parabens, Isopropyl Alcohol or SD Alcohol. Protect my hair every night by sleeping with a satin or silky scarf, doo rag, or wrap tied around my head. After washing my hair I will follow with a cold water rinse to flatten my hair cuticle to prevent frizz and hold moisture. I will not chemically alter my hair with hair relaxers, chemical/thermal straightening systems, perms, texturizers or hair coloring. I will style my hair in a protective style without adding hair extensions to it.

Begin Eating Healthier

Since hair grows from the hair follicle beneath the sscalp the hair cells are nourished like all other cells in the body by what we eat. A well-balanced diet should give you all of the necessary vitamins and minerals your body and hair need. If you are on a special diet you may not be getting all of the nutrients needed. So taking a vitamin supplement may be helpful. Some of the vitamins and minerals that promote healthy hair growth include the B Vitamins, Beta Carotene or Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Iron. Consult with your doctor before taking a vitamin supplement to make sure you do not take in more than the recommended daily allowance of any particular nutrient.

Where to Find an Established Hair Challenge

There are plenty of hair care blogs and communities that create yearly and periodic hair challenges. These challenges can focus on overall hair health like the one I am in or focus on a specific feature such scalp health. If a challenge has already ended, you can still follow the rules of the challenge. However, I do recommend following one that is currently in progress so you can have a support system there to answer questions and recommend products to help you along the way. Here are few places that have started hair challenges:

The Moptop Maven – This one is almost at its end, however, there is almost a year’s worth of blogs and advice available for you should you decide to begin on your own.

Long Healthy Hair Advisor – This site posts a monthly hair challenge to help get hair healthy so it can grow.

Care 4 Curls – Their current challenge is focusing on length retention which began in September 2011 and is set to end in the first quarter of 2012.

No More Dirty Looks – Last summer this site created a Summer Hair Challenge that was successful. And it looks like it may be a yearly thing for them as they continued for 2011 as well. Next summer you may want to take on the challenge yourself.

If you decide to join a hair challenge read over the rules carefully and follow what you feel comfortable with. I am not following every rule in the Delaware Naturalistas challenge, as some of the rules do not benefit my hair or lifestyle. As always, if a challenge involves a healthy lifestyle change consult your doctor first to make sure you can join or find out what you may need to modify to suit your needs. If you decide to join a hair challenge please let us know in the comments below providing the name of the challenge and how it is working out for you.

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