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February 4, 2011

Myth of the Wash-n-Go

by Chai of Back to Curly

I’m sure many of us have watched & digested the natural hair video that’s evidently gone viral since the 1st hour of it’s posting several days ago. A young woman in clear visual distress, takes to her video phone to record a myriad of tribulations associated with her ‘unmanageable’ natural hair. It’s a doozy….certainly entertaining well throughout, yet once you’ve reached the end mark of the video you’re left wondering if in fact she’s just spilled the beans on what many newly naturals have long been feeling, but are either too frustrated to speak on, or are still in search of that ‘miracle product.’

After first viewing the vid, I chuckled and empathized as she guzzled her slurpie & hightailed it to the wig shop to cover up her TWA. I laughed but also felt a pang of sadness for something that has evidently ballooned into a clear unattainable idea of what it means to be natural today.

Can we talk about the Wash-n-Go for a sec? Mmmkkaaay.

A brief background on where I’m coming from first: As a woman who went natural a little over 10 yrs ago, I still feel there is a ton of lessons to learn as far as how to care for one’s hair. I doubt this will ever change, much like my skin, body and other aesthetics change over time and require different needs, so goes my hair.

Looking back over the years, it’s clear to see what was lacking in my journey. I had very little to work on as far as product knowledge, proper methods to wash/detangle textured hair…the importance of moisturizing…etc. There were very little resources at my disposal 10 years ago, and in hindsight while this may seem disastrous to those just going natural today, it was a personal blessing.

I did not have to filter through what’s today become the prodigal language for most naturals (wash-n-go’s, hair typing, protective styling..etc.) I’ve adjusted my vocab over the years to stay inclusive on the natural hair scene, but a part of me still continues to hold tight to what it was like not to have to worry about the debate & divisiveness that props up from the ironic misunderstandings.

Tami from What Tami Said makes an interesting point:

Drop in on a natural hair forum and you might think caring for natural hair is like nuclear physics. Gotta figure out your hair type…4c…4a…3c…To co-wash or not to co-wash?…Use this brush not that one…Buy this expensive product and that one, too…Let this thing sit on your hair for 30 minutes, followed by this thing and that thing for just the right curl…And a lot of this is done because we are supposed to look like the neatly curly women on the “after” side of that Miss Jessie’s page. Except most of us naturally don’t.

What she addresses here is the possible Tyranny of Natural Hair, a new conformist ideal we’re all attempting to mold into each time we struggle to understand the directions to yet another hair pudding or custard.

I generalize this all as the ‘Myth of the Wash-n-Go’ because this was my wake-up call. I distinctly remember watching Youtube vid after Youtube tutorial, trolling through the often times overstaturated forum boards filled with advice…standing in front of my mirror and attempting to recreate an image that would never…or could never be an authentic representation of me.

Truthfully, while I dish on the proper maintenance and stylings of the ‘traditional’ wash-n-go, hardly ever do I clock in under 30 minutes when attempting this style. I haven’t met many naturals who have either (save for the TWA gals, heeeey!), & I think this is why it’s often kept in the confines of the warmer months.

Realistically, what ultimately goes down is a washing/light conditioning/styling/slight drying = end time of 1hr (if that) . Now, like it or not natural hair…no matter how you slice it or style it, takes not just time…but patience. You cannot cut corners 9 times out of 10, and expect satisfied results. How often do many of us spend a minimum of 30 minutes in a Hair Salon & expect top notch results? Maintaining natural hair is all in what you know, how you use it…rather than what you use to achieve the perfect twist-out, braid-out. I don’t doubt there are many women who do get up in the a.m. brush their teeth, wash-no-go, and head out the door, coffee in hand to greet the day in less than an hour. Yet, for the majority of women living their own day-to day, whether with children or attached to a textbook…this is often not the case.

Today, I choose to take care of my natural hair because no one else will. I wash/style/condition because currently there are not enough hair stylists working their magic fingers on a woman with highly textured hair…I don’t trust that. I trust me, and what I’ve learned in the over 10 years that I’ve been on this journey. None of it was easy, nor did I expect it to be. I learned to manage the frustrations, overcome the inevitable obstacles and love that me & Fro are still here…taking compliments, biding time until the next lesson needs to be learned. Taking care of one’s natural hair can be easy…over time it certainly does, but much like other instances in life, you have to earn your place…follow your own path and demystify your own misconceptions of what going natural is really about. There is no singular ideal to having/wearing natural hair….no sameness to all of our looks & styles. Forget what marketing brands & companies who are vying for your attention ( & $$$) have to say. Reject the mold & begin to cultivate your own version of you.

73 Chime in!:

Brianna said...

People! Please do look at her other videos. I applaud her because she shows the real frustration behind natural hair. Just consider..how often do our favorite bloggers or vloggers show their good AND bad hair moments?

I also agree that people should step away from the computer and get to know their hair. Looking at other people's hair and comparing can be harmful.

Sabrina P. said...

I am an avid Wash-n-Go Natural and I can get it done within 30 minutes. Me and my daughter deal with WNG all the time and have for years also during winter months. I know it may seem hard for a lot of others but it works for me and I find other styles too timek-consuming. I think the reason i don't have problems with it is we go out with a wet head and have for at least 2 years now with no issues.

I understand what you are saying. This journey ain't for everybody and it's truly ain't for anybody looking for an easy way out.

A Simple Thing said...

I agree with Brianna - most vloggers rarely show the negative side. It's like looking at celebrities at the movies or on TV - it's unusual for you to see or hear them in a negative light unless that's what they want - e.g Charlize Theron in Monster.
Chai has a point too - all the advice and knowledge you get from forums etc is negligible when compared to actually getting to know your hair. Listening to what people on forums said, I assumed my hair had a coarse diameter and was highly porous and craved moisture - nope! IT's fine, low porosity and adores protein. It reminds me of who is sugars video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGy-umrnG9o&feature=player_embedded): The only person who should be telling you about your hair is you.

Shaune said...

Its not about having a wet head. Her hair just wont do what she thought it would. I felt the same way in August when I took my braids out and attempted to do my hair for the first time. It took a couple of months for me to accept that even thought I will never be able to do that with my type 4hair, its still beautiful regardless. The longer it gets the more days I can wait in between twist outs and the quicker it is to do them. Now Im not dissappointed at all but love my hair the way it is and always get compliments on it when im out even thought I dont have curls, but coils, kinks, and other texture I affectionately refer to as "black cotton":-)

Once upon a time said...

What's wrong with a coily or shrunken wash n go? Why is that a bad thing? Do all wash n goes have to look just one certain way? I don't get it.

Sabrina P. said...

I agree with Once upon a time. I enjoy and embrace my shrinkage. I don't try to fight the shrinkage. I think that's why I don't spend a lot of time on my wash and go.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the statement that no matter what we do in the morning, no one's able to get through the getting dressed routine in less than an hr.
It takes me exactly 20 min to take a shower, moisturize my entire body, put my hair and makeup together, get dressed and be at the door ready to leave for work.

I work in a high level prosesssional setting, so it is required that I look very presentable.

Been natural for >10 yrs.

I think there is a lot of handwringing (unncessarily so) about what it takes to take of ourselves and still look fantastic.

My advice is to just find what works for you, don't complain about it, embrace it, love yourself for who you are and don't obsess over being in the mirror.

P.S. Since I know it may be asked . . . I usually have my hair in 6-7 braids overnight, so in the am , I take them down (very quickly), and either where a nice bun (in a variety of ways) or "puff". By week's end, my hair is stretched very nicely to the point of looking like loose waves when I take it down, so sometimes I then where it out.

Anonymous said...

meant to say

to take of ourselves

and

'wear' instead of where

SOrry!

Pecancurls said...

Ok, I must be living under a rock because that is my first time seeing that video. I must say it gave me a chuckle. She defintely kept it real. I have been transitioning since Sept. I can relate to some of those frustrations --- particularly since I plan on a long transition. For me it just reaffirms that not every style, method, product, etc is for everyone. I appreciate her honesty and that of every other vlogger out there; ultimately you must decide what works for you.

Anonymous said...

I love the message of this piece! It's true that we should all accept US just as we are...different hair textures and all and realize that even natural we still should just be uniquely us individually and not try to fit in a standard mold that seems to be taking shape. Thank you for the reminder!

adrien said...

my wng's have changed in appearance a FEW times over the years based on length, technique, and products. i JUST (after 7yrs natural) perfected the technique for me (tho i loved my wng of the past too). the author is right... yes reviewing tutorials and blogs is great but you have to learn YOUR hair. as a twa, wng's were pretty much my only option, then they became a staple until i got more skilled and creative but i lost length b/c of lack of knowlege on proper moisturizing and over manipulation. i now have enough knowlege to where i can wear my hair in a wng in the winter months and still consider it a protective style with awsome curl definition for a whole week! that's thanks to the web but mostly learning MY hair on my own.

Kiffe Coco. said...

I couldn't agree more. I just viewed the video yesterday and I found it to be extremely honest. I would venture to say that all of us have felt, at one point or another, frustrated because our hair didn't come out looking like so and so's -- You followed all the steps, but for some reason your hair just wasn't having it. Or, you were just TIRED. Tired of spending hours twisting, untwisting, moisturizing, conditioning, sealing, etc.... Tired of trying to figure it all out. All I can say is that it's ok to have these feelings because we are... human.

Unfortunately the process of "getting to know your hair" is not a quick and easy one, and in my opinion, it is a continuous one. Though it does get a bit easier as time goes by, it requires a lot of patience and dedication. I think if some people could find within themselves the strength to "step back" and actually learn from their own hair, your unique process begins. Of course, ironically, if it were not for the online natural hair community, I would have not known the knowledge I know today to care for my hair. However, it does become dangerous territory when these natural images that we see become the "mold" that we must fit in to.

I think it is important (and it even reminds me as a blogger/vlogger) to be comfortable with showing our struggles because everything is not simple in this journey, and we are still learning. Each individual, as each head of hair, is completely different and unique which makes us beautiful. I think we can certainly use the information and resources that we find online as a start, but eventually we need to break away and create, and I think many of us do, a hair philosophy that works for our own hair.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with your hair if it doesn't like Miss Jessie's, for instance, or braid-outs just do not work for you (frequently my experience lol). In the grander scheme of things, all of this product/ technique stuff is completely arbitrary. Nothing is the "right" and "only" way. I think finding a strong support network, in person or online, is probably one of the most important things we can have on this journey. A space where it's ok to vent and to release your frustrations with others, and maybe in the end find humor...

The only two things I feel I can personally offer right now are my "ears" and encouragement.

So to those of us who might be dealing with a hair struggle, this will be a bump of many bumps. So acknowledge and release your frustration, and continue with your head high on your journey! Don't give up!

Much love,
Sophia
(www.kiffecoco.com)

Anonymous said...

Great piece. With that said, I think it is fairly normal for women to cultivate beauty ideals and as long as they don't become toxic, this can be largely harmless. I'd rather naturals are chasing the perfect curl then day dreaming about straight Farrah Fawcett locks. Neither is ideal but, the lesser of evils...

AishaSaidIt said...

Wow, slow clap....

sarah said...

i wish people would stop saying "no one with natural 4-type hair can do this..." it really blows me. replacing one myth with another. saying stop listening to everyone else, but still listen to me. i get ready everyday in under an hour. everyday. and that's even on cowash day, unless i'm watching Golden Girls.

i love Chai and her blog. but i feel the same way about twist outs. i thought that, because i'm natural, i'm supposed to shun wash and gos in favor of twist and braid outs. but, the myth of twist outs died on me. i enjoy successful wash and gos and do them twice a week in under an hour. once i stopped listening to all the myths and started listening to my own needs, my hair really started to take off.

Kimmy said...

I wash/condition/gel my hair on Sunday, and wear my WNG for the rest of the week until I wash again on Sunday. So, I only style my hair once a week. Is this considered a WNG? If I had to do that every day, it wouldn't work.

Anonymous said...

Amen sistah :). Loved this article. Styling natural hair is all about experimentation and finding out what works for oneself.

Chai said...

@sarah That's the main point I was trying to make...to each their own..., and that's not a bad thing, this should be encouraged. When a natural haired woman shares her story or regime, I hope people are able to see the care and effort that's put into it as opposed to simply the style & look.

Annie Gracie said...

I can do wash and gos in less than 30 minutes easily. The only thing that adds time is the fact that I'm taking a shower as well. I agree with sarah who said "it really blows me. replacing one myth with another. saying stop listening to everyone else, but still listen to me."

Replacing one myth with another is not the solution. Everyone has different experiences and each should be considered unique whether or not one can relate to another or have *similar* experiences with their hair. What you can do, I can't. What I can do, you can't. No one can produce the exact same results no matter their hair type. And *I* can't even reproduce the exact same wash and go in the exact same time frame EVERY time. This is why we say that having natural hair is so versatile.

I hope this made sense...I'm rushsing to type my response! LOL

Anonymous said...

So... who said that taking care of natural hair would be easier than taking care of relaxed hair? I believe them both to be chores. They are different. Shampooing, conditioning, roller setting and drying relaxed hair is a task just like shampooing, conditioning, detangling, twisting natural hair.
My personal rendition of the WNG means that my hair is co-washed and bunned and I'm out the door wet. Wearing my hair out takes more than just washing and going. It requires detangling and to tell you the truth I don't do it too often because the front of my hair is more of a wavy texture versus the coils in the back. So, to me what is traditionally thought of as a WNG is a myth for me and does not work for me and my hair and I am totally okay with that.
I think that a lot of women go natural expecting to look like the women on the natural product advertisements. But, I also think that a lot of women relax expecting to look like the women on the box. More times than not, neither is the case.
We as women (all races) need to learn how to feel comfortable in the skin we are in, wear our hair how WE like for our OWN reasons and let that be that.

Candace4life said...

Wash n go's are a Big NO NO for my hair especially with it being 4b/c hair. I learned that lesson last week as a reminder, when after washig my hair and then twirling and letting it air dry. Can you say that my hair became tangled and I lost so much hair, even after using the Tangle Teezer on it. I almost started crying at the amount of it. So I think personally hairtypes 4a and up 3 hairtypes and 2 hairtypes can only get away with doing the wash n go styles.

Anonymous said...

Wearing/Styling natural hair is not easier or harder than wearing a relaxer/straight hair. It's as easy or as difficult as we make it. I had horrible hair days relaxed with just a simple wrap. LOL

The frustration isn't so much about being natural as it is about trying to make our hair do what we've seen on YouTube, blogs, and forums. There's trial and error and through that we will determine what works for us. And it's a work in progress...ongoing, depending on how creative we each try to be with our styling. After a year, I thought I'd learned enough, however, the biggest thing I learned was how to do two-strand twists, which parting looked best on me, why it doesn't hang right (uneven cut), etc. I thought I had my products together, but I'm still experimenting to get the right softness and hold.

But again, for me, wearing my natural hair isn't any more difficult than when I was relaxed (deciding whether or not to wear a roller set, wrap it, flip it, pin it back, use hot curlers, etc.) It's all in our outlook and in how high we set the bar for ourselves...how high our own standards are of what looks right, presentable, etc.

*I wear a wash and go 99% of the time and 99% of the time I leave the house with a wet head. Spending any extra time trying to dry/diffuse defeats the purpose of it being an instant hair style (for me). Again, we make things as easy or as hard as we choose. I don't complain about being natural because I make the decisions about how I style and care for my hair, kwim? If I'm going to be upset with anyone it will be with myself, not with the "movement" or YouTubers or bloggers or forum members.

Anonymous said...

I truly applaud her honesty about natural hair woes but her potty mouth was a turn off (to me)! Granted, I can curse with the best of them, but I wouldn't to that extent - especially on YouTube...but to each her own, ya dig?
What gets me more than finding my correct curl pattern or which products to buy is IGNORANT, unenlightened black folks who view natural hair as unkempt, unattractive, and unacceptable. That's what PISSES me off!!

Anonymous said...

I really liked this and the wealth of information provided on this blog has only indicated to me that there is an expansive variety of ways to skin a cat (or whatever) and not every product or style or routine will be right for my hair. In addition to having hair idols, my emerging mentality is "what is MY best hair?-- what does MY hair look like with proper care?" It's like your hair was a superhero or something, and it's up to you to unleash it's potential but everyone's key is different. That makes the whole concept of being natural quite exciting--because who doesn't like awesome superheroes?

Anonymous said...

WoW! WooooooooohEE! What a video. She is an entertaining embarassment! She needs to go get a weave, a gold tooth, a pack of Kools and call it a day. LOL
Florida Evans!!?? ROTFL

Kimmie0810 said...

I saw this video a few days ago and laughed my ass off. She kept it really REAL! I felt bad that she was "giving up" but everything is not for everybody. If she doesn't like the way she looks then she has every right to change it.

I do think a lot of people fall for the "myth of the wash n go". They see celebs and youtube vloggers with a certain type of hair and think they will go natural and have the exact same results. Everyone's hair is different and everyone must take the time to learn their hair and what works. Some people are not patient enough to do that. And that's fine too.

I've even had to learn my limitations too. My 3b/c hair is just NOT going to do certain things that someone with a looser or tighter curl can do. And people need to realize that not everyone going natural is going to get that big bad ass 'fro or get those perfect little curly ringlets. It just kills me when someone says "I want my hair like that" and I'm looking at them like "honey u don't have a prayer" because they do not have the hairtype for the look they want.

fatima said...

I saw this video a few days ago. I can completely sympathize with her. There have been times when I have been frustrated to no end by my hair and everyone's tips just weren't working for me. Whether one wants to admit it or not natural hair is a journey. You have to figure out what works for your hair.

Sherri said...

I'm 4a/4b and wng is my go to every single day! It never looks the same but it always looks good to me! Some days its more fluffy. Other days I have coils and hangtime. Doesn't matter to me. And always in less than 30 mins. What works for some doesn't work for others but it doesn't mean that the style is off limits for all 4's.

CurlyYo said...

YUCK... She kept it REAL IGNORANT and nothing more.

Anonymous said...

The wonderful Esther Rolle (aka Florida Evans in Good Times) would be rolling over in her grave.

Abstract said...

Both natural and relaxed hair require proper care and handling techniques. If you've been relaxed most of your life, getting to know and care for a texture that is totally new to you will be a challenge. True we all have unique textures, so what works for one won't work for all. Simlpy put, post transition hair care will require patience and experimentation to learn how to care for your new hair.

Anonymous said...

ITA with CurlyYo-- Youtube chick's got a toofus missing and cursing like a drunk sailor; her hairdo is the least of her problems. Now she will just be ignorant and wearing a wig.

And it's ironic that Chai would say "Reject the mold & begin to cultivate your own version of you" because my first thought when i saw her pic above: WHY DOESN'T MY HAIR LOOK LIKE HERS?!! All glossy, thick and what-not-grrrr

Bitty Boss said...

Very well written and full of excellent advice. Great job as usual!

Anonymous said...

She is classless. While I understand her frustration, I have found myself there, my relaxed hair wasn't easy either. If she doesn't have the patience that's fine but all of that foolishness she was doing was unnecessary. That was embarrassing.

sarah said...

yeah, i understood what you meant Chai. i was just voicing my frustrations in general, not at you. i love your blog! keep up the good work :)

Anonymous said...

I love ‪HIMAY10NENCE‬‏ who is the woman in this video. She's often raw, funny and tells it like it is. Some of the women on this site looking down on her because she's not fa-la-la-la-ing and b.s.-ing about having trouble caring for her natural hair need to step back. Everyone -- and I do mean everyone -- whose natural have had days when we had problems with our hair.
And looking down upon her like she's a hood rat or classless because she doesn't lie about having a great time styling her hair...whatever. Not everyone's a natural at taking care of their hair.

She's been natural for years, which most of you supercilious, pretentious, better-than-thou beyotches can't even claim. Himay10nence never claimed to be some natural hair guru, or even ambassador for natural hair for all to worship and copy from. She's just speaking her truth, that's all. Take it or leave it.

I like her and I proudly subscribe to her youtube channel because she tells it like it is. It's called mother wit.

And for the post claiming "Wash and Gos" are so easy... @Candace, I co-sign with you. Wash n Gos don't even work on my 4a hair, and tangle so much, I just skip them all together. And they shrink up like mad, no matter how much conditioner or Kinky Curly I put in it. It's definitely all twist outs, updos and twists for me.

Anonymous said...

That's actually the 2nd time I have seen that video. I thought the video was funny and honest. I mean, that was what she thought: raw, uncut, and uncensored. You can't fault her for that. She didn't have to curse but hey, its a free country. I think if a number of us were honest with ourselves and kept it real, we could admit we have all wanted to just say forget it at some point or another or did not fully embrace our hair. I dare say that being natural is not a cakewalk for ANYONE at first...

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone took issue with Himay10nence's expressing her frustration with styling her natural hair. Some people just did not see the necessity of the extensive profanity that was used. It interfered with the message, for some.

I appreciate her giving her views, understand her frustration and found her personality engaging and entertaining, but I don't think those who disgree with her STYLE of expression deserve to be called 'beyotches'.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 6:51 p.m. If that is your idea or even ideal Mother Wit then sobeit. My mother NEVER spoke or would speak like that and I thank God.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 6:51 pm--

When it gets to the point where how your "mf'in hurr" looks takes priority over how you conduct yourself in public--it's called lacking self respect-I don't know what kind of mother wit you were raised with.

No one cares that she does not like her natural hair, and I am so glad females like this do not represent the online natural community. Does not matter what the CONTENT of what she is saying. I have seen other ladies on YT express their frustration over how to take care of their natural hair, all without theatrics and street language(as Chai did above), but if this is what you live by it's easy to see why you think calling other women bitches is acceptable behavior.

This chick just likes drama, so she can go ahead with getting weaved up and be miserable and still keep her like-minded fans who think she is telling the truth. Now let's see how many synonyms for 'stuck up, bourgie, etc.' you come up with.

Anonymous said...

I loved the video and I really think that people are missing the point of the video. First and foremost, she is frustrated with dealing with her natural hair. Anyone who has made the decision to go natural has been frustrated with their hair and probably will be later on. Next, she was also trying to convey that she was sick of people sending her videos or making suggestions to her about some things that may work for her hair because her hair was not like the hair of the person sending her the instructions. Today marks one year of me being natural and I have come to find out that natural hair is more than just curl pattern but also it's texture, density and what the heck your natural hair feels like doing. I learned the hard way not to look at Youtube hair videos and apply what others do to their hair to mine. I have beautiful, healthy natural hair because I learned my hair and what it wants. It took time and in the beginning I was frustrated and HIMAY10NENCE has the right to be frustrated and to vent her frustrations any way she wants to. If she curses and someone doesn't like it, turn it off, don't listen. Me personally, I luv, luv, luv the video. At the end of the day, all of our natural hair is different and she was just expressing how different hers is and that she doesn't want someone with a different hair texture telling her how she should or could take care of her hair. When I get on Youtube, I will definitely be subscribing to her channel.‏

India said...

I understand her frustration, my hair is poofy and I have yet to find what works for my hair. And I really don't have the funds to go out and buy all these products. I see videos and I get discouraged because my hair doesnt coil or curl nor spring about like others ive seen. None the less I press on..

Lisa said...

About a week ago I looked at all the products on my counter, and noticed that all of my products were products that were raved about on youtube and some other blogs. I was exhausted after thinking how am I gonna get rid of all this nonsense that doesn't work on my hair, but savor the ones my hair loves. I was frustrated with myself because I bought all this stuff, and majority of it does not work for me.

I agree with this lady giving up out of frustration. She needs to do what she feels is best for her.I would rather her have healthy natural hair than busted, breaking hair making the rest of us look bad. (Now yall know yall have seen some damaged natural hair before, and it made you wanna hand them some conditioner.) Anyway, I say all this to say this....I can relate. I will be one year natural Feb. 21st, and at that time I will be big chopping again. I have had bad experience after bad experience, but through those I know what I need to do.

My hair has been trying to tell me that all it needs is to be cleaned, deep conditioned(it's like whatever to rinse-outs), covered in a water-based leave in, and made cute with baby hair. I tried putting gel all through my hair before like the youtubers, but my hair kept getting an attitude with me and that's why it wasn't growing. She (my hair) doesn't ask for much;I was just trying to give her more than she needed.

So to anybody having the same struggles as this lady and myself, your hair is always talking to you...just listen. She will grow and she will be beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I completely understand her rampage. I BC'd three weeks ago (went to the salon). I washed it myself on Sunday and had a similar response -- minus the explicit language. I'm still uneasy about it and afraid to was it myself again.

Porchia said...

I don't think that anyone should take her use of strong language to heart because she uses it in every video. It's not like she reserved solely to express her frustrations with her hair. Anyway...I always tell transitioners or people considering going natural that they need to be realistic with their expectations including bad hair days. I had MANY days when I was relaxed that I would get frustrated with my hair. I didn't expect my natural hair to be any less or more challenging. It's actually less challenging for me as it turns out. Wash-n-gos are always my back up plan in case a style doesn't yield satisfactory results. I can't bash them because they always come through for me. lol

Annie L. said...

I couldn't get through the vid and agree with others, the cursing got too ridiculous and redundant.

I think Chai ID'd the vlogger's and others' possible main problem - overabundance of advice/information. I don't limit my styles, technique or product choices to a hair type which I guess is 4a. Youtube came late in my journey, so I've never really followed it for tuts and I've never moved beyond my 1st love Anita Grant or other basic holistic ingredients. My WNG has remained my quick and super easy since I became natural. For me, it's been valuable to be ADD with A LOT of natural hair info, stay holistic and basic (I can't mix more than 2 ingredients, lol!), keep my stylist on speed dial and keep creative with curly styles typically only featured on straight hair for certain days. The money and time spent work out in my favor.

jadar47 said...

I could not get past her potty mouth, so I'll just have to assume she was not happy with her hair or her hair care. Although I'm sorry that anyone becomes that frustrated, I found personally that if we keep it simple and keep as natural as possible it will work. I find in my own journey that the less I do, and the simpler I keep it, the faster I get out of the house.

learn2lovelife said...

OMG, my ears are bleeding after watching that! I totally get her point though. I'm only 5 months into "going natural" and my husband has stopped me from relaxing my hair. I'm easily frustrated and impatient, but now I've started settling into a routine that seems to be working for me. Now, my hair doesn't look like the majority of the curlies posting vlogs etc. I have no shiny curls that are prominently placed on my head and catch the camera just so (or maybe I need a better camera), but it's mine.

My hair is cottony at times but it's very springy and the biggest problem area for me is the middle which is thick and much dryer. I still do Wash and go's quite frequently and deal with the shrinkage. When I feel like something different I do a twist out on my twa and stretch my hair a bit. Can't wait until it's longer though so I don't spend an hour twisting!

Tasha said...

I actually found it kind of sad that she was so frustrated. Not pathetic sad but literally sad that she thought her hair was ugly and didn't know what to do to make it "pretty" in her eyes. As far as the "potty mouth" is concerned. I don't believe it took away from her point. Maybe I've been to too many adult comedy clubs to be offended by her profanity. But again, I sincerely wish she had more confidence to really work with what hair she has and accept it. But I wish her the best no matter what decision she makes about her hair.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comment here.

Anonymous said...

I understood her frustration and the message, but cringed nonetheless at the way it was delivered...but, it takes all kinds to make this world go round...

Curly J said...

Chai your article was awesome!! I have been natural for about 3 yrs now but I was wearing kinky curly weave for the length for about 2yrs... I finally decided to just wear my hair and amazingly enough its better and just as long as the weave I use to wear. I also viewed the video and while I thought she was hilarious, I definitely understood where she was coming from. Honestly I thought she did not take time to really deal with her hair and understand it.. She mentioned "she doesn't have time" to deal with natural hair and that she watched videos of what other people were doing which is great, you get good ideas like that however, you still have to do trial and error with products and obtaining a regimen that works for you. Being natural is not about trying to imitate anyone elses natural hair texture (which I definitely tried to do) it is about being you... Many women I run into who decide they want to go natural have this preconceived notion that they will have these beautiful curls that will be non frizzy and full of life and easy to manage while this maybe true for some the reality is most of us have to work harder to achieve it which after a while becomes second nature to you if you stick it with :). So we have to learn to work with what we have and except our hair texture as a part of us and not wish (in my case) to have someone elses hair texture... I have definitely come to understand my hair and appreciate it. Once I began to do that I started to appreciate "me" I hope this helps us curlies as well as those who are deciding to transition to natural..... just be you

Breanna said...

Well lets give this room some wow moments with jaw dropping look at how natural hair looks esp in shrunken and then flat ironed.

"Mwedzi" flat ironed her hair yall and it will leave you guys in "Awe". I saw this while browsing LHCF as well this morning.ere is the link:
http://www.longhaircareforum.com/hair-care-tips-product-review-discussion/515675-reniece-straightened-my-hair-lots-pictures.html

Tasha said...

OMG! Breanna! I could not believe the length of Mwedi's hair. I love it!

Tasha said...

Oops Mwedzi! :-)

Calming Diva said...

I agree with Breanna! It is important to show the process of natural hair at times. There are days where my hair is on point and others where I don't want to leave the house. Either way I tak it all in stride. Great post.

Anonymous said...

How many women go natural LYING to themselves how their hair will look in the first place? All offense intended, if it was THAT much of a struggle for you to go natural, didn't your hair type have something to do with it?

All I saw in that video was a woman who simply needed ~6 months more of growth. She was obviously expecting "going natural" to be a personal growth moment, only it didn't look like what she wanted. Oh well. I'm with the "womb" crowd. NONE of us popped into this world with a perm! So quit actin' like you had a perm from the get go! And even if you were permed in early childhood, you had an idea of what general vicinity your hair type was... NEW GROWTH anyone? I'm about tired, fed up and DONE with these "my hair ain't got no curl pattern" chicks. You knew that in the FIRST PLACE so stop acting surprised!!! I've had some bad hair days natural... and I had them permed too! But to those ladies who are contemplating going natural... NO NO NO NO NO NO! It is not like this if you accept what your hair may and may not do from the GET GO. Not all naturals have "this" kinda moment. If you don't have hair like Tracee Ellis Ross, don't expect it to ACT like Tracee's hair without serious manipulation. This is a woman who wasn't ready. There is nothing wrong with her hair.

Anonymous said...

It seems like she was thinking her hair would do something that it was not designed to do. She is 4b and need to learn to embrace it. Her hair is only 2" long, how hard can it be?

I think we have gotten really lazy over the years. First we pressed our hair, then we relaxed and occasionally wore braids. Now we plop a weave or wig and call it a day. We are just not used to caring for our hair.

Anon 6:15 said...

@ Anon 6:58
Thank you for not directing your frustration at me personally. Anywho, I guess I didn't take her saying "bitches" personally b/c I am not one. I understand your point though.

NOW...

@ Anon 7:07 pm
Duh, it is my PERSONAL THOUGHT. That's why I said it. I don't know if she's a mom or not. If she is I pray she doesn't talk to her child that way. Your mother never spoke like that? Welcome to the club b/c my mother didn't either. Praise the Lord.

@Anon 8:23 pm
LOL! A mess. The hurt dog will always holler, as we say. But anyway, you don't know her nor do you know me and my mother. I can see how you be so ignorant as to insinuate and ASSume something about the mother I was raised with though. How can you talk about how much respect she has for herself? Oh yeah, that's your OPINION. As for me, I expressed what I thought very clearly and WITHOUT cursing. That in itself is a clear example of how I choose to represent MYSELF. Based on the fact that you expect me to come up with a bunch of synonyms for bourgie and stuck up, you have one serious preconceived notion about me, lol. By the way, "bourgie" is actually spelled bourgeois. There are thesausruses and dictionaries available on-line. Please use one before you try to put someone in check. ;-) For your entertainment: Synonyms for bourgeois include: middle class, average, materialistic, and conventional. Synonyms for stuck up include: vain, arrogant, snobbish, snooty, and conceited. Judge and be judged. You're dismissed.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:32 you are obviously Anon 6:51 who stated "She's been natural for years, which most of you supercilious, pretentious, better-than-thou beyotches can't even claim."

Now, since you are giving lessons on syn. and spelling perhaps you need to check yourself on the most basics of skills: reading comprehension because as far as I read no one implied that you were not stating your personal thoughts. Clearly you took it personal, though. You also need to reread what you wrote because the last time I checked... beyotches was considered vulgar and regardless of how you spelled it, you still typed it, didn't you?'

If you think that a 37 year old woman who decides to go online and make videos speaking like that is mother wit then that does say something about you. IN MY OPINION it suggest you're use to it and feel right at home around it. I'd certainly never refer to someone as having mother wit that was nothing like my mother, who I love and respect.

I mean seriously, her boss and colleagues can easily see her videos. Would you be proud to employ her. Stop defending that vulgarity and understand that your girl has the opportunity to reach 1000s of people and SHE CHOOSES to deliver the message in the most vulgar, cringing, embarrassing and ridiculous of manners. Yea, to each their own and it takes all kinds to make the world go round but that does not mean be distasteful. And since you are so proud to be a subscriber to her channel, I'm curious why all your post are under Anon.. you could have shown your unwavering support by posting under your Youtube name.:-) I hope you have more sense than to make videos like your witty mother figure.

Anonymous said...

This lady seriously she has a good comic routine (reminded me of Wanda and Monique). I'm not crazy about the foul language, but she sure expressed how I felt when I decided to transition. Which is why I relied on braids or the "don't bother with it hairstyle" aka protective styles. Too funny. I hope she attempts natural hair again because I am glad that I did not give up!

Anonymous said...

back

Anonymous said...

Chai, nice article. I also too went natural way back when and I all I had was one book by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner and some Let's Jam. My hair didn't look as good as it does now, but yes I too am so very grateful I never was inundated with info to the point I found myself floundering, disappointed, and chasing some mythical head of hair that was not mine.

I agree with the comment that sometimes people are just being lazy and impatient. Everybody wants a short cut to glam without doing any due diligence. Just like people want to lose 20 pounds in a week (yeah ok). People invest way too much energy in false promises instead of opening their eyes and being present with what IS. Natural or relaxed hair always requires some care to look it's best. I think part of the reason that people get frustrated with these WNG fail occurrences is because deep down they still are chasing an aesthetic that is not afro-textured or "too" curly. If you are not prone to tangles, there's no reason a 4a-z can't wear a wash and go, but no your hair won't look super stretched and shiny and yes it will shrink. So what?!

I didn't finish watching the video because I also wasn't too keen on a grown woman putting herself out there on you tube like that, but from what I saw there was absolutely nothing wrong with her hair as it was. False expectation are basically robbing her of the real enjoyment of her hair as it is.

Carla said...

I also want to add that NO ONE just washes and goes. Women with naturally straight hair spend as much time (if not more) on their hair as women with curly to kinky hair. I see them at the gym all the time with their blow dryers, flat-irons, a half a duffel bag of products, etc.

Its not just "us" who spend a lot of time on their hair. If you don't want to spend time on your hair, shave it off. I feel like I want to sometimes, LOL.

Anonymous said...

Good point Carla and so true! It's that grass is greener mentality. Notice how many hair products there are for straight hair because its too limp, too frizzy, breaks,too thin etc . Every woman who cares about styling her hair has to spend some time with it (whether it's 30 minutes or 2 hours) .

Anonymous said...

When I first saw it, I laughed. A lot. Especially about that ramen noodles comment. I thought there was too much cursing but she was upset! I have been there too, watching the YouTube vids and not getting the same results. It's totally frustrating when you don't get the same results. Like others have said, sometimes you just have to turn off the vids and spend some actual time with your own hair. :-) Good luck to her and her hair in the future!

adelh said...

i have learned that some days my hair frustrates me - and guess what - 3c/4a hair shrinks too. it is the one reason why i haven't cut off the relaxed stuff off yet. However, the frustrations are NOTHING compared to what i felt with relaxed hair. So i am getting over it!!! I feel for the lady, but she will get over it too.

pk said...

I do wash n go's everyday (newly natural and dont have many techniques yet :)and it takes 15 minutes in the shower, plus air dying (on my way to work). I dont care about shrinkage and I dont fuss over my hair. I love being natural and think it is SOOOO much easier than having a relaxer.

Fab Fee said...

I am one who can not wash and go. I must wash, style and go. If not my hair will look like a flying saucer. She has more personality when I give her a style. It takes a little more time, but it works for me. By the way I named my hair Miss Personality. I never know what she will do next.

ginagate said...

oh, thank GOODNESS for this woman! I'm heading to the salon for my first weave in years because I'm just fed up with it. I'm tired of wearing twists because my hair won't do anything else. No braid-outs, no twist-outs! Just plain ol' twists, and a half-hearted afro puff on the days I get it retwisted. I've watched youtube until all hours of the night and spent hundreds of dollars on products to no avail -- the cute spirals I see? Nowhere to be found. Bleh.

Anonymous said...

pointless, witterings

Stacey said...

I can't believe I just wasted 3 minutes of my life reading this mess. Thanks for nothing!

Melly B said...

I think you can fuss over your hair as much as you choose to.


When I first went natural I could easily spend 45min-1hr on my wash n go and I only had like 5 inches of hair. What??


Now I spend about 20min. After I jump out the shower I rub in my shea butter leave-in, then i spritz with water *whip my hair back and forth* to reform the curls I messed up rubbing in my leave-in. Then I grab a jar of kinky curly and selectively shingly it through portions of my hair that look frizzy and then i shingle some more in big clumps, no sectioning, no denman. Then I whip it back a forth a couple more times and I walk out my door. Honestly it looks fabulous and I am so much happier with the look than twist outs (1hr), braid outs (1.5hrs + 30min to take down) ect.


Basically it is what you make it.

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