Coping with Natural Hair Frustrations
Have you ever woken up one morning and had no idea how to begin to tackle the madness that is your hair? Story of my life honey! I keep it real with you guys, I am a long term protective style junkie but once in a while I like to switch it up a little to give my hair a break and enjoy my length. I may look put together, but trust me girl it takes WERK! I honestly could not keep up if I had to style my hair every few days, I love the simplicity and low maintenance of my two strand twists.
Anywhoo…wearing my hair out has meant that my hair does not retain moisture for as long as it usually does when I have my hair in twists. Not to mention, tangles on tangles on TANGLES (its like inception: a tangle, within another tangle, inside of yet another tangle, living in a web of hair. I think you catch my drift) I was so overwhelmed trying to tame my tresses that sometimes I opted to wear a turban and channel my inner Ms. Badu.
You are not alone sister, this very hair that I spend so much of my energy trying to nurture can sometimes drive me up the wall. Just don’t do anything irrational like pulling out your hair, which you will come to regret later. Instead, breathe, take a step back, and follow my tips towards stress-free hair care…
- Keep it 100
You have to be honest with yourself. Us naturals get it wrong when we set unrealistic hair goals and targets, and then get frustrated when our hair does not make the cut. It’s like setting yourself up for failure. You can’t start off with a TWA and expect to be waist length in a span of one year sweetie, it doesn’t work like that. Like I said in a previous post, natural hair takes commitment and you need to be both realistic and patient.
- Appreciate, don’t equate
The worst thing mistake you can make is to compare yourself to another naturalista, big no no! Others’ natural hair journeys(mine included) should serve as an inspiration for your own, not as a benchmark for you to constantly measure up to. Each of us are individuals, which means we can never be exactly like someone else. Which means, that though your hair may resemble someone else’s, it is still YOURS and unique to YOU! What works for one person may not work for another, so it’s best to find what works for your hair and stick with it-ditch the comparisons because 9 times out of 10 you’ll find your hair won’t ‘match’ up which can completely demoralize you.
- Focus on health and length ALWAYS follows
At the beginning of my hair journey, what motivated me was length. I’d see all these naturals with hair flowing down their backs and go green with envy. I tried every ‘trick’ possible in the race to grow my hair, and put unnecessary pressure on myself with quarterly length checks to check my progress. In the quest for longer hair, I lost sight of one of my fundamental principles-LISTEN TO YOUR HAIR, CATER TO ITS NEEDS. Once I began to focus more on maintaining the hair I already had on my head and stopped chasing new growth, my hair began to thrive. Healthy scalp and hair is the foundation for hair growth, so focus your energy on finding the right products, regime, and styling techniques that work for you and your hair and you’ll see a difference.
- P.S- I love you
I LOVE protective styling, that’s no secret. One thing that has helped me curb my natural hair melt-downs is planning my hair care around my lifestyle. Because I find it way too taxing to style my hair every morning, it works for me to have my hair in twists which hold styles for up to a month (with sufficient re-moisturization and maintenance). Find a style regimen that not only works for you, but that helps you accomplish your hair goals. Protective styling helps me maintain my hair in a stretched state which decreases tangles, retain length due to low manipulation and protection of my ends as well as allows me to save on time spent styling daily.
Love the skin you’re in, and love the hair you’ve been blessed with. None of these tips hit home at the end of the day if we forget about self love. Appreciate yourself and embrace your hair, and you’ll find your frustrations carried away on angels’ wings. Peace and positivity…
Happy Nappy Hair,