So natural hair is now being accepted by Nigerians as something we all can rock (yeah) but truth is it does come with a bit of challenge. Not every natural thinks so but circumstances differ.
This Natural Hair Journey has challenges that arise from how to style, buy the right products to generally just how to manage your delicate strands. This can often leave some ladies with the feeling of “this natural hair is wahala” (dismay).
Maybe you just did a big chop or still transitioning and now others are flaunting their bra strap, waist length hair (especially those of us that were natural when nobody took note). Not to mention the awkward stage which can be frustrating sometimes trying to get a good balance of shape and style.
I’ve read way too many comments and listened to experiences from other naturals to know that the struggle is real but trust me, the journey to whatever length you desire can only be achieved with the right attitude.
Given that rules are fast becoming “ruled” out in the natural hair world (which to some extent is good) since most natural are finding their holy grail products, getting a better understanding that all hair is different, requiring different care, the rules that would suffice these days are the ones that have nothing to do with products and methods but more to do with attitude or lifestyle choices.
A post by Nicky will show you how she doesn’t follow all the rules and still gets by. Her hair is definitely thriving and she’s happy.
That being said, and since we’ve established that some naturals don’t like the word rules when it comes to our hair I’ve listed 7 attitudes that I’ve discovered are necessary to enjoy this journey and reach your goals.
If you are newly natural this should ensure that you have a blissful journey or if you’ve been having lots of set-back you might find the list useful but remember, rules are meant to be broken so do as you please. Meanwhile, here you go:
Celebrate your hair texture and length at every stage of your natural hair journey. If only you can learn to appreciate and celebrate your hair at any length, then you are in for a wonderful experience with your natural hair.
Whether you are rocking a teeny weeny Afro or at the mid length/awkward stage in your natural hair journey (it isn’t so awkward anymore) the earlier you learn to just love your hair, love its texture, density, hair type as it is, the better for you. I really need you to realize that there is a remedy for almost every natural hair issue you can think about. First comes the love, then you will see how you, yourself and you will even begin to create the solution.
When hair is in it’s teeny-weeny stage is a great opportunity to be experimental with your hair. Try out all the colors you like. Cut your hair into whatever shape you like – layered, deva, tapered. It’s all up to you.
Believe that you are capable of making right choices concerning the growth of your hair.
It is important at the beginning not to be overwhelmed by all that you read or hear about natural hair. You need to learn to understand the voice of your hair. It can be overwhelming everything that you will hear, read or find out about natural hair but take it all in your stride. Start to practice healthy hair care step by step until you have mastered what it takes to grow your own healthy hair.
3. Do not forget the essence of life
Although your hair is an extension of you, it is not the most important thing in life. Start your journey with the right attitude making sure you allocate time for everything else that is in important – family, work, business, your relationships.
Who you are and your needs do not have to suffer because you have to cleanse, deep condition or style your hair. No, no, no. Start your journey well or retrace your steps if you have missed it and plan your regimen about everything that matters. Family comes first. What this means is, you shouldn’t replace time for your family with time spent on your hair.
Their understanding will only be to the extent that you carry them along in this journey. Make them always know that they come first and your hair is only a part in the equation of the totality of you. Trust me, if you don’t learn how to handle things, natural hair will take over.
4. Don’t spend your time moaning over set-backs
From heat damages, poor styling practices to several big chops and so on, the list is endless. There’s hardly any natural who hasn’t had set backs (even if they never admit or “forget” to mention it) so focus more on healthy practices once you have come to terms with your errors because it is health that begat length. Set your goals, focus on them. Experiment with a few products but identify and be consistent with what is working.
5. Do Embrace Shrinkage
It comes with the territory. Shrinkage usually suggests that the hair is well hydrated. This is a sign that you can go ahead with sealing in the moisture or applying the products you require for styling.
Shrinkage is not as bad as you think. It can help extensively with protecting the ends of the hair and you can always switch things around with stretched styles when you want. This adds to the versatility that is natural hair.
6. Don’t bother with nay-sayers
Truly don’t. People will complain for just about anything. You are sure to keep getting questions like: When do you intend to relax your hair, or is it tough, how do you manage it, is it hard to the touch?” I’ve had girls tell me that their stylists have told them that they are just punishing themselves. Really? That’s simply a bad stylist that you need to stop going to.
So the next time you get those sort of question, this is the formula: Sorry, are you speaking to me? Politely take a look behind you and ask them again if it’s you they are asking Lol. If there’s someone with a genuine questions, of course you will be able to tell, please do well to educate them on what you’ve learnt but ignore the genuine nay-sayers.
7. Focus on health above length
Good health usually begat healthy hair and so the achieving length has more prospects when your regimen includes a healthy eating diet.
Be consistent with good hair health practices and you will get good results. Experiment with a few products to determine what your hair likes. Avoid using a product simply because a your favorite YouTuber or blogger is using it. Recommendations are good but they are just that – recommendations. Even this post is one. The taste of the pudding is in the eating. With regards to your hair it is in the effectiveness.
Three weeks to a about 3 months is recommended time for a product to show its capability – positive or negative although negative would usually start to show up much earlier. Listen to you own hair.
7. Remember always that all hair is good hair
The grass just always looks greener on the other side of the fence. I’ve heard some ladies with loose curls wishing they could have a more kinky hair when they see a sister with a big faro and some with the kinky hair wishing their hair was loosely curled.
From where I stand or sit as I write, all hair is beautiful. We just need to love out hair. Admiring another lady’s hair is absolutely okay. We should complement other’s when they are sporting a great look, or discovered something we haven’t but coveting their hair will be debiting from your own hair love account and will have a long lasting effect on your natural hair journey.
So what is your own mantra for going and staying natural? What have been your own experiences since going natural?
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