Is It Possible to Fail at Natural Hair?

by Chai of Back to Curly

Recently I attended another wonderfully organized Natural Hair event hosted by Karen of Karen’s Body Beautiful here in Brooklyn, NY and was amazed at the sheer volume of women who came out. I mentioned to a friend who also attended, that the amount of natural women in the room left me a tad overwhelmed, and this was not due to any personal inadequacies, but more so to do with the undeniable warmth and camaraderie that filled the air. If you’ve secured a Natural Hair meetup under your belt already, you may have an inkling as to what I mean.

In a matter of minutes after walking into the event and even before I could grab a drink or a slice of red velvet cake, I was exchanging tips, routines and encouragement with ladies I’d never met before, women I’d only seen for a little over 8 minutes on the Youtube screen and even a chance meeting with the young woman who’d inspired the tail end of this post.

After coming home with a raspy voice and a few hair goodies richer, the thought of some Natural Haired women not having access to this kind of inspiration and motivation led me to question whether some do in fact give up the journey due to insufficient support and encouragement from friends, family and loved ones.

The failures most of us experience along the journey are often learning curves and small setbacks allowing us to reevaluate what it is we’ve done wrong, which direction to head in and what advice we could finally kick to the curb. Ironically, it’s the handful of failures more so than the successes that enable many of us to share and emphasize with others who are on the same journey.

If you’ve found yourself saying “natural hair might not be for me” or feelings of failure have annoyingly crept in, do realize that most successful journey’s whether they’re hair or heart oriented require constant changes in perspective and learning.
How To Stay On Track:
  • Try different methods of caring for your natural hair. If you’ve exhausted all avenues, stayed up until 3 a.m. watching Youtube vids and trolling forum boards searching for the ultimate hair game plan. Stop. Reassess and head for the mirror. Nothing beats hands on experience and learning from the almighty touch. Take it slow, practice and take mental note of what you could do better. i.e. detangling, deep conditioning, nightly routines.
  • Place the ‘look game’ on pause and focus first on hair health. Too often we prioritize on achieving the right ‘look’ while forgetting the health of our our hair is just as important and often contributes to the overall feel, texture of our strands. The right ‘look’ comes after you put the appropriate amount of ‘work’ in.
  • Reach out to fellow naturals, plan to attend a Natural Hair Meetup in your area and challenge yourself to think further outside the box than what you’re normally used to.
  • Build your own pillar of support. Tear down negative walls (even the ones you’ve built) and accept only positive and supportive people into your life. If Negative Nancy happens to be a family member or a close friend, reevaluate your own reasons for going natural and don’t be afraid to reaffirm and stick to those reasons.
  • Challenge Yourself! The start of the new year is apropos for this kind of thing, but change is always on it’s own continuum, and ‘now’ is always the perfect time to start.
If you’ve recently attended a natural hair event in your city, would love to hear your experiences!

11 Weigh in!:
Kate said...

Hi, do you have any tips or advice on scalp psoriasis - how to style hair to conceal it etc? I have been given treatment for psoriasis but while it works i still have noticeable plaque and scale... Many thanks

afrYcanviOlet said...

I was just telling my bf that I noticed that women in the natural hair community are a lot more friendly and less judgmental when it comes to appearance. He brought to my attention that woman who are natural are often very confident in themselves and don't need to critique another woman to make themselves feel better...I love my transitioning journey and I can't wait to be fully natural. The natural hair community is where women will finally begin to embrace themselves and their fellow woman instead of constantly putting another down...It is a movement for the better, best women that we can be...Just a thought

DvaAuNaturel said...

One of the things that continue to amaze me is the level of support and candor in the natural hair community. Particularly on here, CN.com, I have never felt any question was too silly/stupid to ask. Everyone is soooooo helpful in offering tips and recommendations and the meetups are no different. We had a meetup recently in the DMV that I organized and I was in shock and awe about the number of people that attended. It was awesome to see so many women with a common goal just talking and sharing...women more often that not have never met or only talked online via CN.com.

For me personally if I feel like something is not working or I'm struggling I just jump on here and search for a solution or post in my curl street journal so others can weigh in. I'm never alone and that right there let's me know there is no way for me to fail at this natural hair thing. You ladies are awesome!

Anonymous said...

Kate, I suffered from scalp psoriasis as well. I eliminated this problem by using Shea Moisture's Organic African Black Soap, Deep Cleansing Shampoo and the Dandruff & Dry Scalp Elixir. I also stopped using shampoos with sulfates.

ReRe71 said...

I recently attended my first natural hair meetup (S/O to DvaAuNatural for putting together a fabulous meetup!), and I can honestly say I have never been around a group a women that made me feel so comfortable! I've been natural since September and even though there have been good and bad days, the support I receive from the natural hair community is always readily available. And I beleive its that support that is critical in the journey to natural, healthy hair.

Anonymous said...

At this time, I do feel like I'm failing at my natural hair journey. I'm still trying to figure out how and what to do. I big chopped in November 2010 so I have a TWA. Now short hair doesn't bother me, I had a fierce short relaxed do but not really getting support for my current TWA status. I would love to find a local event in Raleigh-Durham area.

Anonymous said...

its a lot of trial and error, for sure....but by the one year mark, i think you should be able to handle your hair and achieve the styles you want and be proud and happy with your hair

texture me natural said...

Your hair is very pretty in that pic. Is it a braid out(plaits); braid out(cornrows) or a twist out. I really appreciate posts like this because they are very encouraging. I am currently four months post and I need this type of encouragement and motivation to stay focused. I just started a blog (it's very new) to keep a document my journey. Blogging is very therapeutic. I don''t have any followers yet but I hope women join and share their natural hair experiences because I need as much advice, inspiration, and knowledge that I can get.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes you have to take the road less taken. Most people in my inner cirlce do not have natural hair. I have definitely not received support for a lot of people, but I chose to keep at it anyway. I now have a excellent regimen and am the envy of alot of females who have natural or relaxed hair. I would say loving yourself and knowing your self worth is priceless and is more than half the battle. Any woman can get their but the first step is knowing your kinky hair is worthy of taking care of and doing hairstyles with.

Anonymous said...

I just did my BC this past Saturday (2/19/11). And I feel good. My issue is product selection to restore mosisure and softness, and it seems like everyone has a "natural" line. I am in the DMV area ad would love to find a natural network here.So I am on the hunt, if anyone is in the area please send me a hello, smoke signal, or pigeons will work so that I can have a local support. Thanks [email protected]

Anonymous said...

I was There at the Karen's body beautiful event and it was amazing!

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