If you’ve tried everything, but your curls aren’t making progress, it’s time to stop spending your money on curly hair products that don’t work for you, and start listening to your hair’s needs.
Embracing your curls is a real journey; one that can take a lot of time, patience and trial and error. A quick scroll through social media will reveal hundreds of curly hair tips to get your curls back, but there’s one tip that will always come out on top for me, and that is: tracking your progress.
Tracking your curly hair progress will save you both time and money in the long run. It’s something that’s really helped me learn about what my curls need and something I still do to this day.
In this guide, I’ll be sharing the importance of tracking your curly hair journey, what things to track and how you can implement this into your curly hair routine.
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Why track your curly hair progress?
If your hair is damaged, it can take a little while for your curls to become healthy, and if you have never known how to best take care of your curls, it can take a while to learn what your hair likes (and doesn’t like).
We see our hair every day, so we don’t always notice the difference in our hair when trying new routines, techniques and products, and we don’t always notice the gradual transformation that happens as our curls become healthier.
Writing things down, or keeping some sort of record of your curly hair journey will make a big difference in the time it takes to get your curls back. Not only will tracking your curly hair progress help you identify what your hair likes, you’ll also better be able to spot any changes, problem areas and little wins along your journey.
Different ways to track your curly hair progress
From keeping a hair journal to starting a blog, there are various ways to track your curly hair journey progress.
Here are the top three ways:
1. Keep a journal
Journalling is very beneficial when it comes to tracking your curly hair journey and progress. Writing down the steps you take on wash day, your favourite product combinations and any new techniques you try can all play a part in getting to know your hair.
The closer attention you pay to your curls, the less money you’ll end up spending on products that aren’t right for your hair type.
I created a curly hair journal to help you track your hair journey and learn about your curls. In my journal, there’s space to write down your hair characteristics and goals, trackers for hair growth and favourite products, and daily pages to record your wash days, refresh days and in-between days.
You could, of course, use a blank notebook; but with this journal, it’s all set out for you. Plus, there’s an entire section on how to start your curly hair journey, how to build a curly hair routine, and a glossary of common curly hair terms to help you along the way.
The idea behind this journal is to take the comparison trap out of your curly hair journey and take your journey offline – that way, you get to know your own hair rather than comparing it to other people’s. Journalling is a really helpful tool and something I’d recommend for anyone at the beginning of their curly hair journey.
2. Take regular pictures
Taking progress pictures will help you visually see differences in your hair as you go through your curly hair journey. I’d recommend taking some before pictures at the beginning of your journey, and at least once a month going forward.
If you have a physical curly hair journal, you can print pictures out and stick them in (there’s space to do so in my journal), or you can create a dedicated folder on your phone.
Tip: Make sure you keep track of what products and techniques you used in the pictures too – that way you won’t be racking your brain to remember what you used on that good wash day you had months back!
Combining taking pictures and writing things down in a journal will give you something to look back on as your curls become healthier.
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3. Create a social media page or blog
If you’re looking for something to keep you accountable, you may find it beneficial to start a blog or social media account (e.g. Instagram or TikTok) to track your progress.
When I started my Instagram account (@hanzcurls), I used it to track my progress and curly hair experiments. I’d upload a picture of my wash day, refresh day, or curly hair experiment, and write what products and techniques I’d used that day, anything new I’d tried, and how I felt about it.
By starting my Instagram page I found a community of curlies on the same journey as me, which helped me learn more about my hair and made me feel as though I was part of something.
While my experience on social media has been largely positive, if you’re planning on tracking your curly hair journey on social media, try not to get caught in the comparison trap. Constantly seeing pictures of other people’s curls can sometimes leave you wishing your curls were more ‘this’ or more ‘that’, and when you’re not having a good hair day yourself, it’s not very good for your mental health.
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What to track on your curly hair journey
Not sure what you should write down when tracking your curly hair journey progress? Here are some of the key factors to include:
(In my curly hair journal, there’s space to track all of this and more!)
1. Your hair routine
Creating a curly hair routine schedule at the beginning of your journey will help you remember what to do and when. For example, you may choose to deep condition once every two weeks – if you write this down each time you do so, you won’t forget when you last deep conditioned.
Your schedule can include things like:
- How often you wash your hair
- How often you do treatments
- How often you get a haircut
As you progress throughout your journey, you’ll be able to get a feel for what your hair needs, so it won’t always need to be as regimented, but at the start, it’s good to have some sort of plan of your daily, weekly, monthly hair routine.
2. The weather
The weather can really impact how our hair looks and feels; for example, when it’s humid it can cause excess frizz and when it’s cold our curls can become dry and prone to tangles.
Keeping a note of how your hair turned out, what products you used to style with and what the weather was like can help you identify how your hair responds to particular products in certain weather conditions. For example, some people choose to avoid glycerin (a humectant which takes moisture from the air and adds it to the hair) when it’s humid, to prevent excess frizz.
3. Your hair results
Writing a quick summary of your wash day/refresh day/no-refresh results can help you learn a lot about your hair, and keep track of your progress.
Some things to include when noting down your results are:
- Products and techniques used
- How your hair looks and feels
- How you feel about it
I hope you’ve found this guide to tracking your curly hair progress helpful. Whether you choose to keep a journal, take progress pictures, post online or do a mixture of each, tracking your curly hair journey will definitely make a difference to your curls – it’s made a huge difference to mine!
How do you track your curly hair journey? How has it made a difference to your curls? Leave a comment below to let me know!