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Curly Nikki

Combating Natural Woes

By January 27th, 202120 Comments

Combating Natural Woes

by Melissa of Peacelovenappiness

Anyone who’s decided to go natural has encountered setbacks. Even the most positive of journeys are stunted at one time or another with issues that need to be fixed whether they be single strand knots, improper detangling, dryness, and even feeling stuck in a rut during that awkward stage of hair growth. There are two ways to go about dealing with these issues: 1) kick, whine, pout, and proceed to give up trying or 2) realize that something needs to be done and that a little trial and error could be the difference between a matted and tangled seemingly hopeless case and a (foremost) healthy, beautiful head of hair.

I’ve decided to go with route #2 and find the solutions to my most problematic of problems. Two characteristics are a must when journeying to the aforementioned healthy and beautiful head of hair: patience and consistency. To me, these two go hand in hand; with patience comes consistency in my efforts. If I do not employ these qualities, I might as well give up now.

My woeful-to-wonderful plan of attack will target 3 of my most irritating problems when it comes to my hair. For each irritation, I will come up potential solutions to these problems.

Woes (with 1 being the most woeful)

1. dry/itchy scalp only a few days after cleansing. Probable cause: I cleanse with a shampoo that contains a sulfate, which could be completely stripping my hair of all it’s moisture. Plan of attack: Firstly, buy an organic sulfate-free shampoo. Secondly, oil scalp at least once a week. Maybe I’ll look into natural shampoo bars.

2. disdain for protective styling. Probable cause(s): Two strand twists look awkward on me unless pinned up, they take forever, and my hair tends to frizz after only a day of having them in. Not to mention, they are boring; I love switching up my styles. Plan of attack: Find protective styles that suit me, can be worn for a week, and that look amazing. I’ve also been considering fluffy/puffy/afro twists for the winter.

3. poor time management/long washing/conditioning/detangling sessions. Probable cause: I’m a natural-born procrastinator and I wait until late at night to do my hair. I do everything in sections, which is much better for my hair but the time it takes is probably really annoying to the people I share a bathroom with. Plan of attack: none for now…

I think really thinking about what our natural hair does that drives us crazy helps us also realize that there are things we can do to fix them. With a little time and patience, we’ll have the happiest hair.

What are your hair woes, and how do you hit back?


  • Lizbeth says:

    the thing about the time consuming and bathroom usage u can do it in ur room and not bother anybody.

  • Chelsa says:

    My hair woes are dry itchy scalp and dry hair. My hair sucks up oil and I've been trasitionsing since July 2010. I've cut alot of the perm out but am cutting the rest next month. My other woe is I'm a procrastinator as well and wait to do my hair late at night. Needless to say I've been rocking bed head all week. lol

  • Jammy says:

    I'm experiencing all of those problems. I hate this in between hair, every style looks terribly awkward besides it being pressed and styled straight. For flaky hair I cut my herbal essences moisturizing shampoo with witch hazel and that definitely helps a ton and I co-wash for the 2nd round.

    I'm in the same boat for protective styles. Twists of all type don't look great on me and they don't last through the night even when wrapped. Braids suffer the same fate and my hair is too short for a bun. :-/

  • Lola says:

    The only thing that is saving me right now is that I just got over the flu. I wouldn't dare wash my hair right now, unless I wanted a relapse! I’m almost 3 weeks post my last wash. I'm glad I have a legit excuse not to deal w/my hair right now. The last 2 days have been a make shift updo, before that it was wearing twist out with a puff. My hair is in this horrible in between, stage and I'm starting to experience the dreaded SSK's. It's about time for me to Clarify, of course right now I have extreme product build up. My detangle, wash, condish, and style is usually a 3 hour routine from start to finish. Coconut oil and Glycerin have helped me really keep my hair moisturized. My Giovanni's Leave In is also is a lifesaver too.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have the same problems…
    1. Pre-poo with alma or EVOO oil…Co-wash most of the time…ACV rinse after co-washing
    2. and 3. After getting frustrated, I started going back to the salon(with my own products)for rod sets, which last for 2 weeks.

  • ChardaeD says:

    Single stranded knots are driving me completely nuts! I'm going to condition more, make sure I'm sealing my ends, and try to get rid of them. Other then that….I don't know what to do!

  • Anonymous says:

    1) dry, itchy scalp
    -shampoo once a week
    -keep conditioner off scalp
    -acv rinse after every shampoo

    2) protective styles
    -research protective styles that do not involve twists or braids on YouTube (updos and buns)
    -make a long list of different protective updos and buns (cinnabun, megabuns, roll-n-tuck frowhawks, etc.)
    -combine techniques from different styles to come up with new, creative protective styles

    3) the 'long wash day' blues
    -set a aside a weekly time to do hair (usually Saturday night)
    -do everything in sections
    -detangle BEFORE shampooing
    -listen to music while detangling
    -apply product on 80% dry hair

    4) length retention
    -protective styles 90% of the time (updos and buns)
    -low manipulation (wash and style hair once a week; no combs/brushes; only finger-combing)
    -keep hair stretched via braid-outs or banding
    -seal ends

    5) moisture retention
    -apply leave in conditioner in sections on damp hair
    -braid up, let dry overnight and take down
    -seal w/ shea butter mix (for updos and buns only)

    I solved all my hair problems. Now, I have to be patient while my hair grows. :)

  • Erin says:

    My biggest peev is that i am limited to WNG. My hair tends to be frissy no matter what i do to it. however i only have about 5-6 inches right now and dont really have alot that i can do with my hair.

    Solution: I have been watching alot og you tube trying to find a style and products to try

  • Ayana Glaze says:

    My woe is my straight/wavy hair at the top. I have a TWA that's growing out. There's no more relaxer in it at all. The tops is wavy with straight ends and the curl patter just won't define itself any further. This means I can't experiment with coils, twists and braids like I want to without fighting to put rubber bands on the ends. I'm about to say forget it and cut it all off again.

  • Arnice says:

    I have all three of those issues, too (especially #1). I'm missing the summer because I was able to wash it every 3 days (which is when the itch begins for me). I just bought some of the Jane Carter's serum today and I'm hoping that is the answer. I don't think twists are boring, but like you, mine are frizzy after only a few days. That's too much work for it to not last that long.

  • Liz says:

    "Plan of attack: none for now." spoken like a true procrastinator lol lol

  • Anonymous says:

    I have the dry scalp and SSK/split ends problem. I recently switched to baby shampoo for my scalp. I also grease(lol) it with Black and Bossie. I local company here in Cincinnati. The winters can be so brutal so now I'm into protective styling. I do wear twists and pin them up or bun them. Thank goodness I dont' have much of a shrinkage problem. It seems to be working!!

  • Bitty Boss says:

    I am ten months post transitioning and these single strand knots have come a knockin. This is my woe, but I have found a great solution: styling with aloe vera gel. This seems to keep things under control so far. An added plus? Smooth, shiny hair. :-)

  • Anonymous says:

    My woes are the fact that no matter what I do, I STILL have split ends and SSKs! UGH. I've recently been able to combat dryness (at least for a day or two). My solution? I'm going to try to reintroduce -cones into my regimen. Hopefully they will a) help seal moisture into hair, preventing split ends b) make my hair a little less prone to knot. I also must admit I like the shine as well. I'm also going to have to figure out protective styles that work for me (that don't take all day to do). I only do stretched styles (no WNGs) but since I still get knots, I need to find a way to keep my ends from jumping all over each other like high school kids at prom.

  • Anonymous says:

    With her on no.3 I have tightly coiled 4b hair that is fine and fragile and tends to tangle at the ends easily. When I allot myself ample time to do my hair on wash day, I am calm, relaxed, have little trouble with the process and finish quickly. The problem is when I am not in the mood to do my hair but it is most definitely wash day. If i'm in this mood then the frustration comes out on my hair. I rush, make mistakes, cause tangles and get arm ache because I don't have the will to do my hair.

    There's really no cure for just feeling like you don't want to when it comes to wash day and weekly manipulation.

    I would love longer hair because you have more options than when you only have 5-6 inches stretched and plenty of skrinkage! Yes I said skrinkage because sometimes it's a curse to styling.

  • vetty says:

    I was laughing while reading this because #1&3 are my issues. Looking for a new shampoo because Trader Joe's tea tree tingle dries my hair out like no other (despite having no sulfates); and as for the time, my roommate is natural so she understands it lOl. Other bloggers on here suggested popping in a movie or watching some type of marathon tv to pass the time by. This does help, but only when I know I have no studying to do lOl.

  • Anonymous says:

    I want good looking hair which for me means the style looks good and sexy to me and on me. I am just plain ole tired of twist outs, braid outs have not worked neither has wash n gos. I would be happy with just two reliable hair styles! I am searching for a plan of attack, recently I've entertained the though of relaxing again – yeach right. My best style takes a long time which is a dry two strand twist that only lasts for two days. I am even open to a kinky-curly sexy afro only if I knew how to get it. Ladies I am open for suggestion – please. Oh and my hair shrink up about oh say 75 – 80 %. Plan of Attack: None besides keep trying…

  • Anonymous says:

    SSKs, detangling, and dry hair. I've started wearing more stretched styles and remembering to seal. I also bought a hood dryer to use when I'm DCing. You're so right, patience and consistency are the keys. ~KF519

  • Anonymous says:

    I think simplifying is the key. Do the most with the least-including time. Having a hood dryer also helps a lot when you do your hair late at night!

  • Brianna says:

    There have been times where I sit to do my reg. for my natural hair. I literally will sit down look at all the products and just walk out the bathroom. lol I only have 6 inches of hair,so I can just imagine somebody with hair to their collarbone or bra strap!

    How I combat my woes are keeping my hair in a style that looks cute straightened or natural. This way I always have room for change.

    SN: agreed on the two strand twist.

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