It happens all too often. People start a journey towards healthy and longer hair and then they give up. These are the most common reasons WHY that happens and how you can prevent them and stay motivated.
1. TAKING PROGRESS PICTURES TOO FREQUENTLY
I have been to the albums of some people who have a progress photo each month. Hair grows at an average rate of .5 inches a month. It's difficult to see growth that slight between two photos a month apart. Taking these pictures so frequently can make someone feel like they aren't experiencing much growth and they can become discouraged. Besides, "a watched pot never boils". Progress photos should be taken at the least every two months. I take mine every three and I've seen others take photos every four months or more.
2. SETTING UNREALISTIC GOALS
Many journeyers set goals for their hair growth and this is a good and healthy practice. However, some set the bar disappointingly high. If you are at ear length with a goal of midback length, every milestone will be progress, but not your goal of midback length. It is better to set small goals in between your starting point and goal length so that you can rejoice in the small victories on the way to your ultimate goal. You'll get that midback length, but shoulder length and armpit length matter too.
3. JUMPING ON EVERY BANDWAGON
Just like in real life, there are trends on hair boards and also like real life it seems as if everyone and their mother jumps on whatever the bandwagon is at the moment. A hair journey is all about you, your hair, and finding what works for you. You can't get down to the basics and only add on extra things that are specific to your hair if you're always doing what "so-and-so" does to her hair. In the end, your hair is just gonna suffer from the abuse of excess hair trends that may not necessarily work for your situation.
4. BEING UNWILLING TO CHANGE UNHEALTHY HAIR PRACTICES
Not a day goes by that a newbie to healthy hair care will post a topic asking if other people "do [insert unhealthy hair care practice here] and still see growth" or if people "don't do [insert healthy haircare practice here] and still see growth". Continuing whatever unhealthy hair practices that you have or refusal to accept that a newly found haircare practice is healthier for your hair defeats the purpose of being on a journey. Ask yourself "am I really willing to change?" I am one that wanted to continue flat ironing my hair weekly when I first got into haircare. I didn't want to do those protective styles. As a result, my hair never grew past its usual armpit length and I actually began to see serious breakage at the nape. I couldn't see it then, but I now know that I was seriously damaging my hair. Be willing to change your ways on this journey.
5. LOOKING FOR A MIRACLE GROWTH PRODUCT
Logging onto LHCF and Hairlista you are instantly bombarded by images of African American women with long hair and it's easy to just go right in asking for their secrets and products. People fresh to the haircare game are quick to learn all the growth aids before they even learn how to take care of their hair properly. It can be frustrating when they find there is no secret, but instead hair growth is all about patience and constant care. When haircare goes from "magic" to "maintenance" people tend to fall to the wayside.
These are all reasons why someone might give up on their quest for the healthiest hair of their life. If you see yourself going down any of these paths, turn around while you still can. I don't want to see another person give up on their haircare journey!