May 13, 2015

The Terrible Twos- Surviving an Awkward Hair Stage

The terrible twos are not just for toddlers. It is not just for those weary parents to battle and rear. The terrible twos can be something as odd as your natural hair coming into its own and you trying to adapt. As your hair grows it changes and as you adapt to one length and temperament, you can wake up one morning to a sea of confusion and doubt on just how to take care of the halo on your head. I know what that can be like. For an entire year my hair did not curl the way it curls now, and once I finally understood and became familiar with what was growing out of my scalp, my hair changed. Then, it changed again and then again, and I was left bewildered and unsure because I was dealing with something I had not encountered before…I was dealing with natural hair’s toddler years and it was not fun.

Natural hair is fun so please do not let me scare you. It is fun, exhilarating, and liberating all at the same time. Now, there are moments when your hair is working through something and has not made you aware. That would be year two as you begin to feel you have a take on what is actually going on. It is different for everyone but with naturals taking two clear and distinct paths there is a division. You have the BCs and the transitioners.

Big chop
With the emancipating nature of a big chop you feel like a new woman as soon as the relaxed ends disappear. Despite feeling released you are not exactly…free from the effects of chemicals. The line of demarcation may not be your issues but as your hair gets used to the lack of relaxers there may be some wonkiness going on in that first year of going natural.

Most naturals feel that once they hit year two most of the problems may begin dying down but that could be premature thinking. Your natural hair and you have only dealt with one another for one round of seasons and as that first one rolls around again there may need to be some adjustments made. The texture will be different from a year ago and that product that your hair seemed to responds so well with may be the evil villain this time around. Confusion? Yes, for the natural but as your hair is growing and thriving, it has different needs so checking labels and listening to your hair is crucial.

You are probably out of the TWA stage and then come styling issues as your go-to style may have already went! Checking out YouTube videos are avenues to finding new styles since your hair is at a new length and will do cooperate as it had while shorter.

Transitioners are all about hanging on with grace and flair. You not feeling the BC? No worries! Rock both textures like a #hairboss. There are some strange yet common issues that most transitioners face like the line of demarcation or the point where your two textures meet. It is extremely fragile and may even look different from your relaxed hair or natural hair.

As you become accustom to your hair’s ‘look’ the first year of naturalness may have you feeling stronger by the end of year one, but by year two your hair may be trying to sing a different tune. Is it time to take off the remaining relaxed ends? Probably so. I have heard of some transitioners going two years or longer but many tire of the process and cut BC within year one. Whenever you choose to ditch them becomes a time to learn your hair’s new look and needs.

Working with two textures is not the same as working with one and as you have learned how to care for your hair with both during the beginning of your journey, now your tresses may require different styles, routines, products and mindset. Year two brings less stress of breakage if you have found the right techniques, but it does bring questions on styling options. No longer masking one texture while working on another, you have one job to do and that is just figuring out what your hair needs. Many transitioners protective style when rocking both textures but once down to one, are you ready for dealing with your hair unprotected?

YouTube will become your best friend. Decide if it is time to BC or transition longer. Whether you BG or transition, year two can bring new challenges and concerns, but if you realize they are arriving, you can better prepare and combat any falls or frustrations. Change keeps life fresh and exciting and the adjustments during the natural hair journey should stay positive. So guess what? Embrace it, take each challenge as a course for learning about maintaining healthy hair and grasp the need for listening to your tresses. The terrible twos can be pretty sweet if you know what to look for and what to expect.

What issues have you noticed during your terrible twos?

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