The Naturalistas Have SpokenI've had natural hair for two years, and I have to say, it was the best decision I could have ever made. I love that my hair has a mind of its own; it never ceases to amaze me. I have more fun with my hair now than I ever have, but I've had my share of trials and tribulations with this curly mane of mine. After some research and polls, I conducted on my Instagram @stylesuitbeyty. I got the lowdown on the top five things that naturalistas struggle regularly.
You Compare your Progress to OthersThe first and biggest struggle I found among the natural hair community is that you may be comparing your progress to someone else’s. I know! Typically people think that women with natural hair are somehow more fearless and less affected by social norms, but honestly, we're not. The same way everyone else sees something picturesque and perfect in the "it" girls on the gram, some of us are the same way about curls. You can’t go a day without seeing someone's natural hair progression photos, and sometimes that can be a little intimidating. There’s always a post like "I did the big chop two years ago and my hair has grown from shoulder length to butt length. I love being natural!” Like what? Unrealistic post like that whether true or not can mess with your Self-esteem. You’ll spend obscene amounts of time thinking, why isn't my hair this long, I've been natural for four years? What am I doing wrong? Then spend this week’s grocery budget on a dozen products and treatments chasing “the look.” Stop worrying about everyone else’s progress! I know when I went natural, my end goal was healthy hair. When your hair is healthy, the length comes in time. Enjoy learning about your hair and experimenting with your new versatility. Once you’ve learned to enjoy what you have, everything else becomes small milestones along the way.
You Haven’t Figured Out YOUR Natural Hair StyleThe second reason you may be struggling with being natural is that you haven't figured out your staple style. Know that your natural your hair is capable of so much! The versatility of your hair is going to allow you to switch up your look whenever you want, but first, you have to find what works best for you. In the beginning, figuring out the style that fits you best may be a little intimidating, but it's essential to work through it and perfect a technique. You’ll go crazy trying to decide if you want to try a braid out, twist out, or Bantu knots because those looked cute on someone else. Hopping from style to style like that before mastering one is only going to lead to you going and buying creamy crack or having a Brittney Spears meltdown and shaving your head. Getting discouraged is easy. We’ve all been there. Take your time learning how to achieve one style at a time. Once you’ve perfected it, move on to another method and then the next. Experimenting is the best way to find that style that fits you best. Here are a few styles you should try perfecting first:
- Wash and Go
- Flat Twist
- Two Strand Twist
- Braid Out
- Perm Rod Set
You Have No Self Care RoutineThe third reason you are struggling with your natural hair is that you don’t have a self-care routine. Self-care should be a significant part of everyone’s weekly routine. It gives you the opportunity to recharge and refresh yourself before the next week of your busy lifestyle comes around. When you have natural hair you have to style your hair reasonably often unless you're wearing a protective style , so why not make the styling process less of a hassle and more like clockwork? Create a self-care routine that allows you to decompressed as well as prepare for the upcoming week. My self-care routine involves taking a long shower and Co-washing my hair. Then I apply my favorite face mask and decide on how I wear my hair the upcoming week. I'll spend the next hour styling my hair taking my time and not feeling rushed or under pressure. This is my favorite part of my self-care routine because come Monday morning I know my hair is going to slay! That’s a way better feeling than knowing you fumbled through your hair the night before between cooking and doing homework.
You Think One Product Will Fix EverythingThe third reason I found that you may be struggling because you think one product will fix everything. As much as I have hoped and prayed for one product that deep conditions, defines my curls, and two strand twists my hair all on its own, it just does not exist. Trying different products is apart of the process. I learned that my 4c hair loves a thick leave-in versus a liquid. I’ve also concluded that my hair thrives on all natural products. Research products and determine what ingredients your hair needs most. As long as the products you use work, there’s no need to stress over just one.
You Refuse to See a ProfessionalLastly, if you are still struggling with your natural hair, you need to visit a professional. I will be the first to admit that going to the hair salon and getting my hair done by a professional is NOT my favorite thing to do, but I won't deny that having a trusted professional to go to is super important. A natural hair stylist will help you work through those last few things your struggling with and reach your hair goals with fewer tears than you struggling alone. They are there to educate and support you. I also Suggest leaving the major stuff up to the professionals. Trims, > cuts, colors, and treatments are things you probably shouldn't do if you're new to being natural. Those skills take time and practice to get pretty good at, perhaps a little too intimidating for beginners.
Being Natural Isn’t That HardHaving natural hair isn’t that hard! Yes, you may have to shed some insecurities about the length and things or spend time getting to know your hair but in the long run it so worth it. Allowing my hair to do its thing and grow freely is one of the best decisions I ever made. Going through a few of these struggles myself made me appreciate it even more. Thank you to everyone who participated in my poll on Instagram! Also, if you struggle with being natural, tell me why in the comments down below. I’d love to ask your questions and give some advice!
More from: Natural Hair