5 reasons women go natural and then give up!
About once a year I want to abandon my natural hair goals and go back to my old ways. I know I am not alone, I see my friends jump on the natural hair journey ban wagon and proudly display their curls only to turn around and jump right back off. Have you ever gotten into the groove, watched a bunch of YouTube videos, then ran out to the beauty supply store to gather your arsenal of products? You return home to your bathroom ready to slay. After a couple weeks or months of navigating your new wash day routine, you feel burnt out on all the work? Multiply that by three heads of curls in my household and girl, I feel you!
Here are the 5 reasons I want to stop being natural every 6-12 months.
All or nothing mindset!
Where are the natural hair police? I have never encountered them in person, yet there seems to be an underlying tone of restrictions. A list of hair tools and techniques that you aren’t supposed to ever utilize once you go natural. Things like using heat, adding extensions or the extensive ingredients you need to avoid like the plague. It’s like we walk around fearing the natural hair police will come and site us for violations and take our natural hair badge.
When I went natural I made a personal choice to commit to healthier hair. Yet, I love the versatility of having ethnic hair and the list of styles I can wear. Let’s be honest; I have never been great at following rules. So, if I am making strides towards healthier hair I am going to do it my way. That means flexibility and self-imposed restrictions.
Overwhelming amounts of Information!
When I went natural 6 years ago I was obsessed with watching video after video of beauty vloggers. I think vloggers are a great resource for information, techniques and product knowledge. However, if you go overboard with it, you’ll end up feeling overwhelmed.
Eventually, I found it best to choose a couple mentors that have a similar curl pattern, and hair type as mine. If I was convinced to try a new wash routine or product line, I needed to commit to it for a couple rather than jumping around. Keep what works and ditch the rest.
The routine or products you were using stops working!
Like skin, our hair is vulnerable to changes in our body and environment. Factors like hormones, diet, and climate all play a part in how our hair looks and feels. When I owned the day spa and held an Aesthetic license. The skincare room and retail area utilized and sold a line of skincare products. I personally used and endorsed the line.
I stayed loyal to those products for 10 years. Towards the end of my ownership, I started to notice that the product became less effective. It was as if my pores became immune to it. Prompting me to move over to a secondary line we added. I saw my skin transform rather quickly. Don’t be afraid to switch up your products, if something stops working.
You take a break and put in a protective style, and compliments start to fly. The number of likes on social media post goes up!
My weekly routine includes deep conditioning and steaming my hair. My hair takes forever to dry so I need to set my curls over two days when air drying. If we are traveling, especially as with the girls in tow, I don’t want to spend that time doing my hair. I already have two kids heads of hair to do, Plus, we are likely to be swimming so that is even more than one beauty session per day.
This is when I become naturally flexible. I am not against braids, weaves or wigs to allow myself the time to enjoy my life. In fact, if the stylist is knowledgeable and I communicate the importance of maintaining healthy hair underneath the protective style, hopefully, I can retain some extra length during this low manipulation period.
Natural Hair Set Back
I am not an expert. Giana was born with a full head of beautiful curls. I was terrified that I would mess it up. While I was licensed in massage, skin, and nails, I had little knowledge on how to manage my own hair. For as long as I could remember, my mom always took us to the hair salon. Like most black women I thought that was the way of life. You went and got your relaxer, did your best to avoid water and stretch the style out until your next visit.
After years of research on how to take care of my mixed daughter’s naturally curly hair, I had a revelation. Why was I almost 30 and unable to maintain my own hair? During my natural hair journey, I have had setbacks, I’m currently cursing myself for bleaching my fine coils. This is a lesson I have learned several times; whenever I add color I get damage.
I thought this time would be different because I wasn’t adding color to chemically processed hair. Well the verdict is in and the result is the same despite all my added moisture techniques, I lost retention when I added color.
Natural Hair Journey
There is no doubt about it, the natural hair journey is not for the faint of heart. It’s an investment of time into the health of your body and it can be daunting. Taking the time to try a new style, only to wait hours for it to dry and not look anything like your YouTube hair crush. It is a real drag. I encourage you to not give up.
When I am feeling discouraged, I have a couple go to natural hair websites that get me inspired. If you are looking for some inspiration to get you back on track here they are:
Remember that your journey is yours, so be flexible. Give yourself a break and however, you choose to define being natural slay!
For ways to up your game on wash day read this post!