Natural Hair – A Juggling Act


Tammy Goodson of CurlyChics

A night out with the girls is never short of good food, good drinks and good conversation. More often than not, here’s the formula: Hugs and smiles followed by preparing our palettes for whatever looks good on the menu, on to one of our fave topics, our men and children and last but never least – OUR HAIR! No surprises there right? Nine times out of ten, one of my relaxed friends will start in on how she wishes she could go natural but refuses because it’s simply too much work. That notion is one of the most common ones I hear when it comes to reasons not to go natural. I must admit, that notion is not without merit, it is a lot of work but whether or not it’s “too much work” is relative. My response? Natural hair is a juggling act but you can learn to juggle. Truthfully it is a necessary skill to handle most things in life and just because we do not always have the luxury of concentrating on one thing at a time, does not mean we cannot do those things well. Here’s how:

Conquer the basics
Juggling natural hair is all about knowing the basics. Determining what the goal is and then breaking down how to achieve it. For example, going natural for some is an overwhelming idea at first so it would helps if you break down this large concept into small steps. Once you have determined you want to enjoy your hair absent of chemical relaxers, ask yourself, “what do I need to do to get there?” I.e. Do I transition and allow my relaxed hair to grow completely out or do I say good bye to my relaxed tresses with a pair of scissors, in other words, the big chop?

Get Familiar with Failure
Ok maybe failure is too strong of a word and I don’t want you to read that as negative. With failure, comes success, with rain comes sunshine, with dark comes light. It’s the natural balance of the world and we can’t escape it and natural hair is not exempt. There will be many bad hair days, many #epicfails, many moments of doubt and frustration but guess what, it’s ok. If you expect and accept that, it will be easier to wrap your head around it. When those instances arise, have your moment, shake it off and move on to the next.

Watch and Learn
While no two heads of hair are alike, it doesn’t mean you cannot learn from the many resources available to you. Hit up the blogs and vlogs, network by attending a meet up in your city, utilize social media outlets. Use all of these things in conjunction with your own research and a little common sense to aid in filtering accurate information.

Commit to the process
In this natural hair game, you only have your commitment to the process. This means respecting your mane by creating a regimen, paying attention to the health and condition of your hair, exhibiting time management skills, etc. The more you commit to the process, the smoother a process it will be.
“The trick to juggling is determining which balls are made of rubber and which ones are made of glass."

Sharing hairstories and life experiences from a curl’s perspective. Find Tammy at her blog, Curlychics, on Twitter, and Facebook.



How do you juggle your natural hair lifestyle?


CN Says:

Tammy's hair color is dreamy #thatisall

20 Weigh in!:
Anonymous said...

I was in the mall, wearing my signature twistout, and I felt this group of ladies starring at me. Finally, one comes up to me and says, "how'd you get your hair like that?". I tried to condense my explanation as much as possible, by saying 'I twist at night with a hair lotion, and unravel in the morning'. I also gave her the Curly Nikki website as a resource. Then her friend made a comment.. "that takes a lot of work, I couldn't do it". I didn't even bother to respond. It's so laborious at times to make people understand that going natural is not as hard as they think. It's really as easy as you want it to be. You can make your haircare routine whatever you want it to be and still have healthy fabulous natural hair.

Anonymous said...

I like how the author of this post stated "that notion is not without merit"! I have been natural for 3 years in May. It was a struggle in the beginning, but much easier now. However, I recently had to realize wearing my hair in a twist out everyday, does not work for my lifestyle! And since a wash-n-go is not an option (heat damage), I simply get it flat ironed. I am a scientist by day, personal trainer and fitness instructor, and finishing my PhD! I just don't have enough time (or energy) to devote to my hair. Especially when I will be sweating it out during my workout! However, I will never go back to chemicals because I am aware of the dangers, and I am much better off. Having my hair flat
ironed twice a month is easier for me. I remember the hubs waiting on my hair to dry before we went on our dates, and that was just too time consuming. So I am a big believer in whatever works for you!

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is that, even when I didn't think I could "wear my hair like that!". I often looked at my new growth in Amazement! I use to have a rutine where I wore my hair in braids during the winter months and relaxed during the spring and summer.

So I had a good Idea of what I would look like if I went natural. However, the problem was that I didn't know the first thing about TAKING CARE OF IT! I THINK THIS IS THE ODDEST THING EVA! However, I know why we are in this perdicament!

But I digress, at first it was FUSTRATING as Hell until I FINALLY got my regiment down! After that it wasn't so hard!:) Once you find what works for you; you will find that it doesn't need to be so time consuming and involved unless you want it to be!

Anonymous said...

I juggle by multi-tasking. My routine has been modified to fit my life as much as possible. Hot oil treatment/dry deep conditioning as a pre-poo while doing housework or working out at home. Quickly finger detangle (very manageable with the prepoo). Shampoo in the shower. Wash body while rinse out conditioner is on. Cool/cold water rinse. Apply leave-in, then twist with gel and creamy styler (weird, but the combo works for my hair). If I need to go somewhere before my twist dry completely, I'll pull them into an updo or rock them as is with an accessory. Daily retwisting does not take me much longer than trying to wrap my previous super straight relaxed hair. I also find that the longer my hair gets, the less time it takes me. You have to find a routine that works for you.

Anonymous said...

The EXCUSES that some people come up with for not wanting to go natural is HILARIOUS to me!Hahaha
And don't get me wrong, it's each individuals choice to wear their hair however they choose! But please STOP using excuses when in all honesty your just AFRAID! Most of us wear afraid, nervous, undecided, what eva you want to call it. But just keep it REAL!

Yes, I agree that natural hair can be time consuming if you don't know what your doing, don't know what products to use,etc. But a lot of that will depend upon your hair texture, density, etc. as to how time consuming it may be.

But we must remember, that chemically treated hair is time consuming as well! I remember going to the hair salon every week to get my roller sets. Wash, DC cond.,Roller Setting, then the HOT Ars DRYER! NO THANK YOU VERY MUCH! So it's what you make of it!

Anonymous said...

Just a quick fix for the first paragraph:

Palette = what an artist uses to mix paints.
Palate = what you prep when you anticipate tasting new flavors. Also, the roof of your mouth.

Anonymous said...

I must say that I agree whole heartedly with the article. I am currently a freshman in college and I am almost 10 months into my transition. (I plan on big chopping soon but back on topic Jasmine =]). I can honestly say that I use to be a person that refused to even consider going natural by using the same excuses as it is just too much work but I have found that it is just a different type of work. Being an African American young lady and having had relaxers for a significant amount of time and now deciding to walk away from them, I have realized that my hair will always be a juggling act, I just chose to juggle differently now. I traded my relaxer for henna treatments, my old shampoos for sulfate and paraben free ones, I truly condition more, and instead of oiling before I begin wrapping and pin curl, I just moisturize seal and re-twist. I believe that it is not that women are not willing to put in the work for their hair, I think it is just hard to walk away from their relaxed routines that many have had for themselves for a significant portion of their lifetimes.

Anonymous said...

I'm over the "too much work" comment. People who say relaxed hair is "easier" than natural are just deluding themselves. The reality is our hair takes time and work...regardless of texture and regardless of whether its relaxed or natural. The time & money I took spending all day at a salon every other week has simply been replaced by a healthier (and cheaper) option. It's not like when you have relaxed hair, you don't have to do anything to it...you can but your hair will be more busted than anything you could do to it if it were natural. So the notion of natural hair taking so much more time or work?? I'm over it. It just takes a willingness to do the same thing you've been doing, just a healthier way.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 1:28pm *applause* and *standing ovation*

nothing more needs to be said *drop mic and exit stage left*

Sophie said...

This is so true. When I was relaxed, I was constantly trying to figure out how to keep my hair from being dry and brittle, and when I first went natural, I used a million products! I realized I needed to get back to basics, so I cut it down dramatically. For my quick routine now, I undo my protective style (large twists pinned up somehow) after work on Friday (about 5 minutes), I 'detangle', shampoo, and condition in the shower (about 30 minutes), wash out the conditioner and put in some leave in (20 minutes), and then twist it up in about 10 twists with some pomade (10 minutes or less). Less than two hours, once a week! During the week I spritz with some water and leave-in mixed together, and it's been working really well! Preference is one thing, I suppose, but 'too much time' is no excuse.

Anonymous said...

Hi i use an awsome treatment called treatment miracle. The women in my family and i have been using it for years, and it is super afforadable and natural. We all have natural hair and we are all mixed. It mosturizes, softens, tames and strenghthens my hair. I see the repair it does when i start to frequently apply heat from the flat iron in the winter as well . It makes its so shiny and silky . You and your subscribers should check it out. im not sure if they sell it online yet but i know my hairdresser ships it to clients across the country.

Chantals Beauty Parlor
9290 hammocks blvd #403
miami, florida 33186
(305)382-9900

Sophie said...

oh and I have shoulder length, fine, medium to thin thickness, 4a hair

LBell said...

Anon 4/14 1:28 pm: AMEN! and a ^5 and a two-snaps-up in a circle...

There's currently a big discussion on Nappturality on this very subject ("Are we afraid to say it?"). Setting aside those who claim natural hair is hard without having ever experienced caring for their own natural hair...It's amazing how much easier hair care gets when you let your hair train YOU instead of the other way around. Frankly I'm sick and tired of hearing how hard my texture (mostly-4b) is in particular. I've been natural for over half my adult life...if it were hard I wouldn't do it!

NaturallyNatural said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found this site! I have been natural for 2 years and 4 months but only had the courage to wear my hair out/uncovered since january.

All I know to do is wet it, put gel on it, pull it back and tie it down until it dries. I love the comments on how you style it, products, moisturizing ingredients and more.

I would LOVE to see some videos on some of those styles!

Thanks for inspiring me!
Stacy

Ann said...

My wash and go just seems so easy and fast for my lifestyle, while I'd like more styles, I just don't have much time to do it.

Katrina A said...

@Anonymous April 15, 2:28 PM, if you haven't yet, you really should check out youtube. There are so many naturals on there showing how to style hair at all different lengths.

Since I'm still in the TWA stage, my hair care takes almost no time at all since all I do are wash and gos. So simple, so quick, and my hair and scalp are thanking me for it :)

DecemberPumpkin said...

this post is so true

SeanaLPurvis said...

I bc on December 31. I discovered after about five months natural that the best ingredient for my hair is EVOO mixed in with a creamy leave in. I use an egg whip to mix thoroughly, and I wash and go with a finger twist each a morning.my hair is happily growing and I just adjusted my routine for the few extra minutes I need.

tsotsocouture said...

Interesting,

I've been natural for 4 years now.... I started out wearing my hair straight naturally with blow drying and flat ironing and for the last 2 years no heat at all with just natural styles because I do a lot of workouts in the week my blow out lasting time was becoming an issue. BUT being someone who has done the weaves, the braids. Jerhle curls, and relaxed. I can even say that wearing my natural hair as a 4c texture... Maybe even a 5 if it existed is definitely the most work of all the styles. As to whether it is the hardest... That I don't necessarily agree but there is a distinct difference between the two. Natural hair regimens to me require the most time consuming over all and is the most high maintenance. Styles tend to be life style,weather, hair type and place you live in are all factors that determine the amount of time you spend on your natural hair. I think it's unrealistic to think anything else other than it depends on the individual. To each his own. I still Rock my natural despite the time it takes but I still acknowledge the fact that it does take the most time... But until any of those factors change I'm good... But I know that it could all change tomorrow! Peace and love everybody. Be blessed!

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