3 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting Your Healthy Hair Journey


1. Too much protein, not enough moisture

“My hair is breaking so I need products to make to it stronger and then it won’t break.” This can definitely be a true statement but more likely than not, when starting out hair needs moisture because it is not getting the TLC it needs from deep conditioning or moisturizing. When I started my HHJ, my hair was as dry as a bone left out in the Caribbean sun. It was breaking due to lack of moisture. Think of your hair as a rubber band. A dry rubber band will snap when stretched. Hair behaves the same way. Hair that lacks moisture lacks elasticity. Elasticity is what allows our hair to stretch when manipulated (e.g. when combed) but not break.

Starting out, I remember using lots of protein-based products in the hopes that they would stop breakage… which it did for about a day and then my strands went right back to breaking. I absolutely, absolutely recommend using a moisture-focused approach when just starting out. It’s worlds quicker to correct moisture overload (a protein treatment will do the trick) than it is to correct protein-overload (lots of moisture is needed).

For more on identifying proteins, protein treatments, protein and moisture overload, check out these posts!

Ingredients 101: Get To Know Proteins
How To & Benefits: Protein Treatments
Protein Overload
Protein Overload: What It Is & How To Correct It
Moisture Overload

2. Unrealistic length expectations

“What do we want? Waist length tresses! When do we want it? NOW!”… If only.  The reality is our hair isn’t going bloom from nape to waist length in a year. It’s perfectly okay to start out with an end goal like waist length in mind. On average, hair grows about 6 inches a year. If you add in trims, from nape to waist won’t happen in 365 days. Rather than be discouraged when making lengths doesn’t go the way you planned, set goals that will help keep you motivated. When I started, arm-pit length was my goal and once I reached it, bra-strap length was the finish line… then mid-back length… then waist length. Even if waist length seems “too far”, “shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” Focus on the health of your hair and the length will follow.

3. Nothing in moderation

Too much of anything (except red velvet cheesecake, laughter, and heartfelt hugs) is no bueno. If you’re anything like me when I started out, you might have purchased lots of products and tried them as quick as you got them. Doing too much, trying too many things at all once won’t really help you suss out what products or techniques work for you. There will products and ways of doing things that make you run the other way on the first go — and that’s great. If you can tell immediately you it’s not for you, don’t waste time trying to convince yourself it might work. If a product or technique is sashaying along the fence, give them a trial period.

What mistakes did you make when you started your HHJ?


  1. Carol’s Daughter milk shampoo & conditioning. I tried it for like 3 months and my hair started getting brittle & extremely dry. I had to start doing Miss Jessie Sweetback treat 4x in 2 months to restore my hair. I also tried Wen products, the first wash dangled my hair so bad it took 2 hours to detangle and many cuts. Never used that again!

  2. Errors 1 & 3.. Still run out of place to store them all while my saving account craves for few cents!.. Many conditioner half jars on shelf and sulfate shampoos to be used only on clarifying poo day.
    Texlaxing error quoted by RedRose and now on a kind of indian oiling method and products.
    Goshhh.. Hopefully I’ll find a way to KISS bcause I’m lost..!

  3. great and simple tips to always keep in mind

  4. I jumped too quickly on the texlaxing band wagon from fully relaxing without doing enough research. Although I haven’t had a major set-back, I am only now perfecting my texlaxing technique a year and a half (and 6 relaxers later). So most of the time I have ended up too underprocessed and twice, when my aunt did it, that area ended up more relaxed so my strands are like this ~~——~~~~~~~——

  5. When I started I did mistake 2 and 3, I usually comforted myself that I am a heavy handed person. Now I know that everyone’s hair grows at its own pace even if we started the journey together.

  6. My mistake was not cutting off ALL of the damaged hair. Almost half of my hair was damaged and that meant not matter how much I took care of my hair, or tried it there was always a part that was damaged. This was discouraging cos I always ended upp having to cut off a lot. If I had done it in the beginning, the improvements would have been much more visible and I would have been much more inspired in the beginning. Thankfully all that old hair is long gone but mentally it would have been better!

  7. so true, i bought so many products when i started. One year later, I have to either give them away or use them as fast as possible because a lot of them were impulse buys that I did not really need.
    Great post Jen!

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