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‘Nappier Than Expected’ Syndrome

By January 27th, 202165 Comments

'Nappier Than Expected' Syndrome

Nappier Than Expected
by LV Burns of Natural-Ness

Okay…it’s confession time. Here goes…

When I first BCed, my hair was nappier than I expected. Go ahead – get your grunts, moans, head shaking out of the way, but please keep reading. Yes, it was nappier than I expected. You see, before I BCed, I visited a lot of hair albums. Looking at some of the curlier, shinier hair textures pushed me toward cutting the relaxer out of my hair, because I thought “maybe my hair will look like that”. I even looked back at my childhood – before the relaxer – photos and studied my natural texture. These made me think to myself, well my hair won’t be that nappy.

Why am I sharing this? Because I think a lot of new naturals experience this. See, the new growth that you see when your hair is relaxed has been altered by chemicals. It does not necessarily represent what your hair will look like after you chop. Also that hair is being weighed down by the heavy relaxed ends, so it often appears wavier than your natural texture may be.
I am not saying all of this to scare anyone. I am saying this because I think some people revert back to relaxers after BC’ing because their hair is nappier than they expected. I am going to call this the “nappier than expected” syndrome.

In some cases, “nappier than expected” syndrome, causes product junky-ism. You go out and search for products that will make your hair curlier and shinier. These products do not work, so you go and buy more. In reality, your hair is most likely not meant to be curlier and shinier. After the products do not work, some of us start thinking, “maybe I cannot do this natural thing.” I want to stop you right there. I am begging you to hang in there. If you do, you’re in for a treat.

How can I say that? Well “nappier than expected” syndrome is not a bad thing once you get passed the initial shock. In my experience, it’s been a great thing. When I finally stopped trying to turn my hair into something it’s not, I began to let go of the notions that my hair should be less nappy and began to love my hair because it was nappy. Huh? Stay with me.

There is nothing quite as versatile as nappy hair. One day it can be in twists, the next day it’s in a gorgeous twistout. Two days later, I can wash it and wear a wash-n-go. That night I can stretch it and wear a big afro the next day. If I get tired of that, I brush it back into a puff. I could go on and on.

The moral of the story…story? Yes, story – pay attention! The moral of the story is although you just BC’ed and you may be feeling as if your hair is not what you thought it would be…don’t give up! Love it through the dry, rough scab hair stage and the “I want coils, but they aren’t there stage” and even the “This product isn’t working!” stage. Be patient and you will find that you cannot beat the coil-ly or coil -less tresses that you were blessed with!!!

65 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    Wonderful post! Thanks for encouraging those that need it. I agree with Ann that expectations have a way of setting us up for disappoint. The way the hair grows out your scalp just IS. Accept it. How you style it is up to you. All textures have styling options that WILL work, are fun to try, and beautiful to look at. Curly/coily/kinky hair is just all around awesome.

  • Mississippi ♥ says:

    Wow! I relly needed to read this! I BC'd yesterday after only 19 wks of transitioning! I was soooooo ready to see my natural hair & I am still in SHOCK! I don't know what to do! I don't even want to go to work this week!!!!! I haven't cried yet but I didn't expect THIS! OH LORD PLZ HELP ME SEE THE BEAUTY THAT'S IN THE MIRROR IN FRONT OF ME! (I DON'T SEE IT!)

  • Anonymous says:

    I love this post. And there is another issue: I see many naturals with thin hairlines because they are pulling their hair back to the point it is so tight. I think underlying this is the need to make the hair look straight because of the "kitchen shame". There is a thin line between making sure the edges are flat and trying to make the hair look straight and wavy around the edges.

  • Anonymous says:

    thank you so much for this post! A lot of my friends have natural hair but none of them have hair like mine. I needed that encouragment. Thank you

  • LV says:

    Thanks for sharing Ann. It's important to hear and read about different reactions to our natural hair, no matter the type.

  • Anonymous says:

    I can definitely understand. But actually I had the opposite experience. When I went natural, I expected a Jackson five type fro. I was uninformed. I wasn't looking at a lot of blogs or forums and, like many, had no idea of the many textures we can have. I was expecting and wanting a fly 4b fro. I got 3c/4a coils and curls.

    At first I wasn't happy. "What? But I'm not light skinned!" (yeah, I was very uninformed and ignorant) I reeeeaaaalllly wanted to embrace my unique afro hair. I wanted people to see my kinks and my proud expression. I wanted to represent luscious African beauty! I wanted a fro bigger than the sun! ^__^ But that's not what I got.

    My hair only "fros" when short. It flops and hangs down. And with that, came people's misconceptions and rude comments. I wanted to lavish my fro with the oils and butters from the motherland (lol) and show all people that 4b can grow long and beautiful.

    *sigh* Now when I talk about "natural hair", many black people are like "well you have the hair for it, I don't have that grade of hair. I can't use that, it's for white people. You can use it because you don't have normal black people's hair". I try and explain about how we can have different curl patterns, but hair care is hair care and…they don't hear me. They seem to think I'm mixed or texurized or must "do" something to my hair or whatever.

    I now love my hair and wouldn't ever trade but expectations can ruin the fun.

    ♥ ann

  • Anonymous says:

    I've been natural for some time and honestly I don't know if I'd do it again. Continuing relaxing was literally killing my hair, so that wasn't an option, but maybe I'd still be in braids/extensions/weaves. My natural hair refuses to grow past temple length on the sides and forehead length in front, and I'm not skinny so the short hair thing simpley doesn't work on me. At least with extensions, I know my hair is longer and looks better with my face shape. Sad but true.

  • SweetThang says:

    I agree with the original poster. I wish there wasn't so much emphasis on hair texture. I think that many women go natural are going into it trying to achieve loose curls like Tracey Ellis Ross or Chili from TLC. Then they get disappointed when their natural hair doesn't look like that.

    Going natural is about accepting your hair as it is regardless of the texture and finding products and styles that will work with your hair.

    I enjoyed reading this post and maybe it will help others to be more realistic as to what to expect out of their hair as they go natural.

  • KeetaRay says:

    This is a really great & well-written post. I think many naturals experience this. I hear it all the time, and many go back to relaxers because of it. It's all about loving the hair you were born with, and just learning about your hair and giving it time, will give you time to love & appreciate it.

    Thanks for the post! I need to show this to some folks.

  • Kinky Rhonnie says:

    Awesome post. I think that your hair becomes softer and more manageable as it grows and you learn to work with it and learn what products, ingredients and techniques makes your hair thrive. For me. I learned to look for products that contained aloe vera gel and castor oil. I also learned that I couldn't let my hair dry loose so braids and twist sets are my saving grace in addition to a moisturizing conditioner, leave-in conditioner, cream-based moisturizer and a sealing oil.

  • ChiChi says:

    I can appreciate this post. I felt the exact same way when I was transitioning. Luckily enough, I'm happy with my hair now. I just want it to be healthier and longer.

  • Anonymous says:

    I truly love this article and had to return to see people's responses. Deep down I think we all had an inkling about what our natural texture looks like, but no idea about healthy hair care for afro textured hair. In my experience, my hair texture changed with proper care and being more concerned about the health of my hair (I know what my hair feels like now and what it felt like before I started using the correct products for my hair after months of research). My hair is not nappy, soft and tightly coiled (Just the way I like it and God made me!) Now, I realize it was not the texture of my hair that influenced my perception and relationship of my hair, it was the lack of moisture and knowledge about how to take care of it. Personally, I think this post sheds a lot of light on the fact that people becoming natural are not always aware of what is required of them to grow healthy afro textured hair and taking the time to build a relationship with their hair to figure out what it really needs. I know that was my situation, and now my mother asks my advice about natural hair care (because my hair looks healthy).
    Curly Nikki's article on Will the True Guru's Stand Up (don't quote me on the title of the article), should inspire us all to do the research and figure out what works for our own head. I know it inspired and help me to accept more responsibility for taking care of the needs of my hair. (Please note that I lived in a head-wrap and braids for several years before developing a plan of action to set my afro free. It is not an easy road, but it is worth it and I learn something new everyday.) Live, Love, Peace. ~Sweetsop
    For the person that posted directly after my comment yesterday. – We all have days that we are not thrilled with our hair and I tend to make a beautiful bun with flowers in my hair on that day. I encourage you to find what works for you, and pamper yourself or hair on those days when you don't feel great about it. The three things I learned that helped-even in the midst of my product junkism- 1.Wet my hair every night in the shower – water filter – (Please note my hair is already braided with shealoe butter in protective style before jumping in and out to wet my hair). 2. Shealoe Butter (Shea and Aloe Butter – I make my own, refer to youtube) 3. Don't give up, because you are worth it.

  • darkbeautytt says:

    i defintely understand what u have written and i am one of those people that struggle with that but your word of encouragement has definately gotten to me, and i plan on sticking with it becasue when i bc four month ago i was looking forward to this beautiful hair but my head is full od differnt texture, much like silky at the crown and very dry at the edges but yet i almost relax my whole head two weeks ago, but all new product in the hope that my hair can be like someone else hair, and now i just told myself to accept my hair for what it is and enjoy it so i will wait and continue on the journey to accepting my hair for what it is. excellent article.

  • Unknown says:

    Awesome Post…Very well written

  • Nikki says:

    Natural-Ness, I must agree with some of the previous comments – this article expressed so accurately what many newbies go through. In essence, the hair you've been lusting after and ooh-and-aah-ing over may not resemble yours, but if you hold out, you discover that's not a bad thing! Excellent article!

  • Anonymous says:

    I think this is honest. It's kind of like it's taboo on the internet to say you didn't like your big chop, most of what you see online is that everyone loved it

  • artsylee says:

    I definitely suffered from this when I bc'd. I really wanted more curl definition and shine. I bought a host of products that I thought would help my hair achieve this. Needless to say they did not work.

    My hair pattern is a combo of 4a and 4b I think. My spirals are tiny, like little springs or zig zag in a s pattern. I rocked a complete fro out for the second time yesterday since going natural 3 years ago. I never liked rocking my fro out because I was afraid of what people would think of my pattern. I promise myself that I would start rocking big fros from now on; this is a big step for me because it shows that I have accepted my hair as it should be.

  • LV says:

    @Anonymous (7:17 am): I am so sorry that you've gone through so many hits to your self esteem growing up. It is a very tough thing to recover from. I wish I could help you with your transitioning process, but I did not transition, so I don't have much advice to offer. Now, I cannot judge whether you are vain for not wanting to BC until your hair is shoulder length. I think that you may need this time to get it set in your mind that you are really going to do this natural hair thing. Now what I can say, is that you mentioned that you had a big/high forehead…well I think natural hair is made for our features including big/high foreheads. If you decided to go ahead and BC, I think that you will find that your crown of natural hair reaching to the sky will absolutely accentuate & compliment your forehead in a gorgeous way. I would love for you to go to my website and keep in contact with me. I would be glad to help you on your journey in any way that I can!

  • LV says:

    @Alaina: I can relate to what you are saying. Both of my parents and my sister have different hair textures than mine. When my mom & sister BCed, they didn't have dry/hard hair issues. While I was spending hours detangling after a wash, they could wash their hair and it never tangled. At first I was wondering why my hair was so different, it didn't really bother me, but I did wonder. With my hair, yes I had to detangle and at times my hair was dry, but my hair could hold two-strand twists for weeks, my mom & sisters hair can't. My twist-outs look good for at least a week. They can barely achieve one. Their hair won't even stretch effectively. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we really have to love our hair for what it is. Some hair types can do some things and others can't, but that doesn't make some types better than others. We just have to love what we have. I was always enamored with my hair, but learning to love it through the difficult periods is absolutely liberating!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm presently in the process of transitioning out of a relaxer.It's been 24 weeks this past Saturday since my last retouch,but I have yet to BC. I would love to go at least a year before I do,but every week (and sometimes every day) is a challenge to not only comb it properly to reduce the breakage/shedding,blending of the two (sometimes 3 textures),and just trying to find hairstyles which are becoming to my face's shape and my own personal preferences. I seriously don't know what my own natural texture will look like,and I'll admit,sometimes along this journey to chemical-free hair,I'm afraid to see what I'll discover in the end. I really am against a BC for me because I have a really high/big forehead.I'm 43 years old,yet I can still recall being the butt of jokes ever since I was 12 years of age about the shape and size of my forehead. My self-esteem was so shot and jacked up that I began a process of loathing my appearance. I loved school and had many acquaintances but few friends. I wasn't as outgoing as I could have been,yet I was considered to be a popular person.Secretly I fought depression and constant thoughts of suicide mostly relating back to my appearance.This continued for at least the next 25 years. Thank Yahweh that I'm healed of those feelings now,but I do remember some of those dark days. I'm posting this because I'm seeking advice concerning techniques to help with the dryness,frizziness,and detangling methods until I can get the courage to do a BC (maybe in Feb.2011 when the 1 year transitioning process is complete).I use many of the products I've seen here mentioned on the CurlyNikki website as well as others I found links to elsewhere.I'm presently using mostly natural/organic and Ayurvedic products like the Chagrin Valley soaps,Qhemet Biologics,KBB,BeeMine,KomazaHairCare,AfroVeda,HairVeda,etc.In the past 6 months of no chemicals,I have healthier and thicker hair,but I'm at a loss for styles since I don't wear wigs or weaves,and I can't braid.I'm choosing to ignore the comments of my co-workers who maynot make snide and hurtful comments to my face concerning my decision to go natural,but most days their looks (as if they don't seem to be aware of how they stare at me with critical glares and eye-rolling)cut just as deep as verbal comments. I can relate to Natural-Ness.Is it vanity to not want to BC just because my hair is well beyond shoulder length? I'm not a vain person,just asking…

  • Alaina says:

    When I decided to go natural I called my mom and asked her what my hair was like when I was younger. She replied that my hair had been similar to my sister's but not exactly the same. My sister has … I'd say 3b/3c silky hair. Her hair doesn't even feel like mine does (a bit coarse and cottony). I knew my hair wouldn't look like my sister's and it doesn't … I'm 3c/4a, and I have some larger curls, some smaller … I don't know. It used to make me feel odd and a bit sad that my hair wasn't like my sister's, and that she could do whatever she wanted with her hair (wash only with shampoo, not use moisturizer, not sleep with a satin cap) and all would be fine with her shoulder length hair, but i have to worry about so many things with my hair.

    but now i've just accepted it. that's how i was made, and that's how she was made. neither of our hair is better than the other, it's simply different. once i find the products that my hair likes then my hair will be almost just as easy as my sister's to care for.

  • Anonymous says:

    i've been natural off and on for many, many years now. I've had all natural hair long past my shoulders and all natural hair 1" long. I've always felt my hair had no life when I had a relaxer and then I resorted to a texturizer when I couldn't (didn't know how) to work with my natural, un-pressed hair. Well, I'm on the journey again, growing out a texturizer. I've got about 2-3 inches of new growth and I love, love, love, feeling the natural roots of my hair. I always have loved this, but I still, after all this time, struggle with the nappy texture of my hair. I want to love my hair all the time, I hate that I still covet the silky, smooth, perfect curls that others have. It bothers me that it seems so difficult and time consuming and expensive (PJ anyone!) to find the right products and techniques that make living natural doable. This should be easy. So, I'm really working on what's inside my head as much as what's on my head. I've still got a lot of work to do, but the journey is moving forward. Thanks for a timely and relevant post.

  • LV says:

    Thanks ladies for all of the comments and replies! This article comes from the archived section of my website and was written 4 years back when there were not nearly as many beautiful natural hair journeys, websites and blogs available and when seeing another lady sporting her natural hair (esp. here in the south) was few and far between. I wrote this because I was receiving a lot of emails from ladies who were thinking about reverting to relaxers. These emails caused me to reflect back to the beginning of my own hair journey and some of the problems (mainly scab hair and dryness) that I experienced when I first cut my hair. My goal was to give these ladies hope to hang in there and give themselves time to get to know their own hair texture, no matter what the texture was. Although this is not a new article, I hope that there is something here to help someone who is struggling with the beginning stages of their natural hair journey. Thanks again!!

  • Anonymous says:

    LBell, I totally agree with you. I find this talk of nappy hair incredibly frustrating and ignorant. Why would black people be surprised that their hair is not super wavy and with loose curls. My hair is naturally curly and literally every day since I BCed someone has come up to me to ask what product I use to "make" my hair curly. I tell them the products I use (KBB), but that it does not make my hair curly, it just is. And, I always tell them that no matter what their hair looks like natural, it will look good because that is the way God intended them to look. I refuse to engage in self-hatred with people.

  • EllaMomi2002 says:

    Great Post! Love the honesty.

  • Anonymous says:

    Great post!

  • Anonymous says:

    One of the ((BEST)) posts. Very honest, Very True!! I'm still transitioning, but my year+ long transition has been a great time for me to "get to know" my texture, so I'm not too surprised when I'm 100% napptural!!

    -Mimi

  • Anonymous says:

    This is a great post. Thank you for sharing!

  • LaNeshe says:

    This is such a great and honest post.

  • LBell says:

    I honestly would think the reverse would be more common: that one's natural hair texture is less kinky than expected, especially if they're the first person in their family to actually go natural. Is it that, because there's this online natural hair presence that seems to push/promote looser hair textures, people really think that that's how their hair is going to look? Is it that people have been relaxed for literally as long as they can remember? Is it the tendency to assume that all black people's experiences with going natural would be the same? I don't get it, honestly.

    I knew I was going to be "true nappy," as I call it, from the jump. I was surprised to learn that I had several different variations of nappy on my head (coily, kinky, a little bit of curly, and a bit that's almost straight) but the overall texture wasn't a huge surprise. But I spent most of the first 12 years of my life natural and I remember what my hair looked like back then. If you've been relaxed since age 3, and everyone around you is relaxed (and maybe gets touch-ups at the slightest hint of new growth? I don't know) then maybe I could see how this happens…

    I think nappier hair is FAR more common in the real world than it is online.

  • Anonymous says:

    WHHHEEEWWWW MY LEMMME TELL YOU I WENT THRU SO MANY EMOTIONS IT WASNT EVEN FUNNY I BC'D IN APRIL AND IT WAS A FRIZZY MESS.I SAT OUTSIDE OF A HAIRDRESSERS OFFICE UNTIL SHE WOULD FIX MY HAIR CAUSE I took off work that day it was a superficial crisis lol….but now 4months into the scab hair has grown into coils and I found stuff that works i just think my hair and me were in shock and both had frizzies to grow out of..i have tons of products im not using carols daughters,mouse..sulfate shampoos…i read websites www.tightlycurly.com curlynikki's…just relax dont give up if your gonna do something get braids but dont relax lol it will get better! 🙂 happy growing

  • liliblogsnow says:

    This was an inspirational post. Thank you for sharing. I recently BC'd the beginning of july. I don't regret the chop, but do have my days when i look in the mirror at my hair and wonder……..

  • Anonymous says:

    I really hope this is true. I hate my hair right now.

  • Anonymous says:

    Love post. Especially the connection between the Nappier than Expected Syndrome and product junkism. I also realize my NES was caused by the lack of knowledge about hair care (heat damage, using proteins appropriately, lack of moisture – added aloe and steamer to my routine, humectants, porosity, weather, product issues-had to learn to make my own based on my hair's needs, etc. It truly came down to research, figuring out what worked for my my hair, patience, and only using products that I felt comfortable using on my person. As someone who is finally figuring out their healthy hair care routine, it is definitely worth it. Live, Love, Peace. ~Sweetsop

  • cdona says:

    This was very encouraging and on point. It's only been a month since my bc and I've gone through some emotional challenges with my hair. I told my husband it's too thick and curly!! After he looked at me like I was touched(and not with the spirit!!) He told me that my hair is beautiful and I just need to allow the process. I've never been one to need anyone's validation but in this case, it was exactly what I needed. I can't believe how fast my hair is growing because my twa has become a serious fro! I love the way my twist/braid outs look and the fact that my hair is healthy and flourishing is the best feeling. I'm still a pj though so I can only say "baby steps" …LOL

  • Anonymous says:

    this is a great post. one really has to understand the individual-ness of one's hair and not get caught up in the "but i want my hair to look like . . . syndrome." just be patient and see what your own hair does. the rewards are tremendous.

  • Anonymous says:

    This post is honest and encouraging!

  • Anonymous says:

    Even if people did away with labels, terms and categories and just called all natural hair "natural hair" people would still notice that it doesn't all LOOK or ACT the same–no matter what we call or label it. I don't think labels are the problem.

  • Anonymous says:

    Amen! When I first went natural, I didnt have this problem, I just expected my hair to be nappy from the get go and was ready to embrace it (I was 14 by the way). But since I really didnt know what I was doing and neither did anyone around me (my mom isn't black and doesnt have my kind of hair, but my fathers side is and everyone is relaxed), I looked up hair blogs and forums to help me out. But in these forums, advice and product reviews where always given to cater to fixing the problem of napps by turning them into curls with some magical potion or concotion. Then I started to feel like I needed to have these shiny, glossy curls that just didnt grow out of my head. I became a product junkie, and worst of all, my hair was not retaining length due to all the "defining" i was trying to do. So now at 19, I'm happy to say that I really don't care. My hair is healthy and is growing and it seems as the more it grows the curlier it gets but even if It didnt, I'd still love my hair no matter what.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love this post. I think that even though we as women have different curl patterns we still are divisive when it comes to terms like 3a/b 4a/b/. This really irks my nerve because I thought when going natural I knew my hair was going to be nappy anyway so now I have to use terms like 3a/4a to determine if my hair is curly kinky as oppose to nappy kinky. I am happy that the writer brought this issue to the forefront because women will continue to have these ideals before realizing their true beauty and hair.

  • ShakLand says:

    Great post – and really honest. All styling – whether someone is natural/ kinky or permed, requires patience, but I think the patience can be tested even more when you're natural/ kinky because you're confronted with the fact that "this is me – period" and you feel like it's exhausting trying to style your hair. I understand both sides, and I totally relate to the 'nappier than expected' syndrome, especially since even 10 years ago my texture was easier to manage – I don't know what happened, lol!, but I still love my hair!

  • Anonymous says:

    I could definitely relate to this post, but it's the thinner/finer-than-I-expected syndrome. I have length and hang, but very little fullness/lushness that I admire in other naturals. I have to utilize illusionary styling techniques to get close to that full look. Twists as a style are not an option, unfortunately. Speaking of product junky-ism. I just ordered Joan Rivers' "Great Hair Day" infomercial product to try to camouflage my thin/scalpy edges. LOL I hope it works!! I fell asleep with the TV on again and heard her sales pitch about pumping up the look of too-fine locks. At 3 a.m. in the morning I popped straight up to write down the ordering info. LOL

  • Anonymous says:

    I appreciate your honesty, we all have different textures and embracing them is real beauty. Sometimes I fro my hair out other times I where it coily and I am fine with both!

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm 4 months post and was thinking about doing the BC on my birthday in October, but this post actually makes me want to wait a while longer. Perhaps I should wait until my hair has grown out more. Thanks for the paranoia.

  • Juices-n-Berries says:

    This is an awesome post! I have seen a lot of new naturals experiencing this. I'm glad you put it into words so nicely and with a bit of humor.

  • Tiffany says:

    I LOVE THIS POST!! Even while transitioning I would follow regimens of women whose hair was definitely not nappy thinking their products were the holy grail. My BC was a shock but I agree time and patience is the key to loving your hair for what it is.

  • antoinette says:

    thank you I really needed to hear this….I'm currently transitioning (5 months so far) and just last night took down my sew in because I got so inspired from reading this blog(Thanks CN only to see no hint of any curl pattern, I was ready to give up and go back to the relaxer. I was sating to myself I can't do this. my hair was so dry an brittle and at the moment I'm so lost…but this helps thanks again for the inspiration to keep going.

  • ladyhart says:

    After reading this I had to laugh at myself because I am one of those people who while transitioning I get excited when I co-wash my hair and see my new growth curling up. I guess I never thought about the relax hair weighing my hair down. Hopefully I won't get a total shock and go through the nappier than expected syndrome, if so I'll be sure to come back to this post and read it.

  • Anonymous says:

    good submittal. i am really trying to give my hair one year(Nov.27,2010). I like my hair, i just wish it was one texture/pattern or somewhat close. I really don't know what hair type i fall under. It's really thick. I think the majority is 3c/4a, maybe inbetween. the problem is that the other part which is on the right side of my head is extremely loose wave. basically after a wash: 89% are curls, 10% are VERY loose waves, 1%:the hair at the crown is darn near straight. very frustrating, no wash-n-go here.

  • modest-goddess says:

    I will say that now that my hair has grown out I find my hair to be more beautiful than I thought possible. If I had known my hair could look the way my 10 inches of 4a hair does I would have never relaxed it.

  • Anonymous says:

    What's funny is that when I bc'd I thought my hair texture would be kinkier than it is. I was expecting my hair to be tighter and for the journey to be more difficult… This may be because I started my research at Nappturality.com.

    I really love my hair texture… I guess some may consider it 3c… (I really do not know or understand the hair typing system because it isn't consistent at all)
    My hair has grown 4 inches in 5 months! I went from having .5 inches… to have a full afro puff in that short amount of time.
    I guess it depends on where you begin your journey because I definitely thought I was going to have tighter z curls when I bc'd.

    For the record, if that had been the case.. I would've been fine with that.

  • Latoya says:

    This is exactly why I try to watch 4a/4b textures the most on youtube. It's the texture I will have so I might as well love it and figure out what I can do with it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Great post!! I think at the end of the day it boils down to why you went natural in the first place. If you were going for a certain texture or curl pattern and then once you chop it is not there, the way you handle it says alot about how you really feel about yourself. I also agree with Juices and Berries from yesterday, you may not know exactly what you'll get but you should have a pretty close idea.

  • FindingMe says:

    This is spot on!!!! My hair is *way* more coarse and frizzy than I initially expected, but once I adjusted my expectations and started trying to work with what I had instead of trying to change it into something else I fell in love. I just know that I don't have those silky smooth coils that some have, but I do have really thick coarse and frizzy hair that stands up and gets noticed. I don't go a day without someone telling me my hair is really "cool."

    I am so glad I gave it a year after my BC to keep trying to work with it before I made a decision whether or not to texturize.

  • Anonymous says:

    Excellent! God natural beauty is the best… embrace it.

  • modest-goddess says:

    I knew I would have type 4 afro textured hair but I didn't understand shrinkage so I thought my roots would look the same as they did when I had relaxed ends weighing them down. I big chopped with 3 inches of new growth which then shrunk up to 2 cm! At that length my hair wouldn't even coil. I contemplated texturizing it for a good 2 weeks before I accepted my hair for what it is.

  • Anonymous says:

    AMEN!!!!! You hit it on the head, Mz. LV!!! Oh I wish I had read this 2 years, ago! Even now I have to check myself when the PJism is bad. I stop and ask, "ok, why do I need another product? What am I trying to achieve?" It's one thing for my curls to NEED something, but another for me to feel like I NEED to duplicate some other natural's texture/hair. In the last six months I have learned to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my hair so much more once I gave up trying to achieve some other person's texture! And it shows. It is loving me back!

  • JustTrena says:

    Good and I'm sure right on time for some…the truth always is!!!

  • KinkySheaPT says:

    Awesome(and oh so true)!! Thanks LV!!

  • Laleepop14 says:

    I think that this was a GREAT article!!!! I definitely experienced this when I chopped 2 months ago after 10 months of transitioning. My hair looks nothing like my new growth when I was transitioning and it was a major shock at first, but like you said I have come to love the thickness, and nappiness of my hair and it is also making me love me as me a more cause Im loving what God initially gave me before I went and altered it…;)Great post!!

  • predestined010 says:

    Great story… I needed this 4 months ago but nonetheless I digress…

  • Sweet LD says:

    This posting is one of the best I think I've read thus far. You did a great job with explaining the "my hair is nappier than expected" syndrome. Good luck on your hair journey.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is one of the best stories I've read. Well written! I love it!

  • Anonymous says:

    yeah, i think you really have to give it a year. If your hair is not looking like you wanted it to look when you first BC'd you have to give it time. It will grow on you and with you.

  • Mzbush says:

    I LOVE this post and your hair is beautiful! If you haven't already, you should read Nappyisms: Affirmations for Nappy-Headed People and Wannabes! by Linda Jones. Nappy is NOT a bad word!

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