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Curly Nikki

Are Naturals Doing the Most?- Natural Hair Routines (CLOSED)

By January 27th, 202191 Comments
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Are Naturals Doing the Most?- Natural Hair Routines (CLOSED)

I may get many people who disagree with me on this and that’s fine, BUT, I just want to say that… sometimes, naturals do WAYYYYY TOO MUCHHHHH!!!!

I truly believe that with this new wave of ‘naturaldom’, those interested or curious may end up being deterred from taking the leap. Many naturals preach that folks should rid themselves of shampoos and heat, twist their hair every single day in a protective style, henna weekly, make their own products, deep condition for days, and co-wash every other day… it’s too much. In fact, it’s overwhelming to someone who’s considering transitioning or BC’ing, in order to become natural.

The secret to natural hair really is that less is more. Many women that I see with the EXTRA long natural hair have very simple routines. Take CurlyNikki for example. She’ll go a full month wearing the same twist set, unwashed, and is still walking around with thick, voluptuous curls.

Contrary to popular belief, there’s no magic cure for growing your hair down to your butt in two days. There are ways to not retain length, thus making it seem like your hair isn’t growing, BUT success can be obtained without having to stare at or pay attention to your hair everyday.

When I first went natural, I “tricked” myself into thinking that I had to do all sorts of things since I was natural, and now I’m seeing that more success is occurring because I’m relaxing when it comes to my hair… no pun intended, lol!

Don’t let natural hair consume you! The moment you leave it alone will be the very moment you begin to achieve the results you want!

CN Says;
I couldn’t agree more. But, I too was once the over zealous natural. I think it’s a phase that we all go through, it’s a part of the journey… the newness of it all… the excitement, and that’s great and has its place. The important thing to remember is that you know your hair better than anyone else. Listen to it, choose your bandwagons wisely, and find a routine that works and stick to it. What works for your curlfriend may not work for you, and what worked for you last year or on your new TWA, may not work today. If your hair thrives on a regular dose of silicones and mineral oil, do you and don’t feel bad! You’re no less ‘natural’ than the next. At the end of the day, no matter how often you style it, cleansing, conditioning and sealing are the keys to healthy, happy hair. Enjoy the journey and try not to sweat it!

And with that, Jameka asks;

“What would you say to someone who argues that “going natural” and/or “maintaining #naturalhair” is too much work?”

1) Is natural hair too much work?

2) Is the overwhelming message through blogs, YT vids, etc. showing that it’s too much to maintain?

3) Is it justifiable when women with relaxers say going natural/maintaining natural hair is too much work?

This sparked such a great debate that I wanted to do a video sharing some of the comments, and submit to you to see what the CurlyNikki community thinks!

What say you?!

Respond below for your chance to win 200 grams of amla and 200 grams of BAQ Jamila henna!
The contest will close tomorrow at 5pm Eastern, when I”ll randomly choose a winner, posting soon thereafter. Good luck chicas!

91 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    Healthy hair, relaxed or natural takes WORK. I'm transitioning now but when I was relaxed I did'nt wash my hair or take care of it, I just went to the hair dresser and got my hair DID. If all you do is get your hair DID then yes it is easier. When I found out about LHCF and Macheriamour's roller setting technique having and taking care of relaxed hair became longer, and I added more products as opposed to just getting my hair DID.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've never had a relaxer, but I feel like if you properly took care of your relaxed hair, then natural hair shouldn't be anymore work. There are women who have relaxed hair who do just as much or more to take care of their hair as natural women. But when you first start taking better care of any kind of hair, you have to experiment with a lot of different things to figure out what works for you. After that, do what makes your hair feel and look like you want it. It might be a lot, it might not.

  • Keli says:

    I don't believe that it's too much work to maintain healthy natural hair, but that isn't necessarily the perception one would get with the plethora of natural hair blogs, youtube videos and articles. I've been natural for almost 5 months and while I was in need of information on how to care for my new mane, the advice and instructions are overwhelming! Once I had a sit-down discussion with my hair and what it needed from me to flourish, the journey has been easy and rewarding.

    A handful of the information on the internet is helpful, some of which I have incorporated into my routine, but it would be madness to listen to all of it. That, however, is the idea perceived by new naaturals. That in order to have long, curly hair, I have to heed ALL the advice. If that were the case, I would want to stay relaxed too!

  • Nikki H. says:

    When I cut off the remainder of my permed ends. I began a mission to achieve healthy hair and to grow it to waist length as it was prior to my getting a perm. So, I began by watching natural youtubers. They gave me tons of information. I tried routines for different types of hair, not realizing that my hair was actually a combination of textures. So, in essence, most of the things I tried, like the really heavy butters, just made my hair extremely greasy feeling. I went through trial and error, but never did I get the impression that taking care of natural hair was gonna be hard to do. When my hair was permed, it was a disaster with hair falling out everywhere and the thinness that I just grew disgusted with. Over time, I found a routine for myself and am so happy that I was determined to never get a perm again. My hair is voluptuous to the point that people ask if it is really all mine. In conclusion, I believe that perhaps in the beginning it may seem overwhelming for some, but in the end the results are so worth it, baby!

  • Monie P says:

    1) To me going natural can be very hard at first. I mean must of us (relaxed girls) had a relaxer almost all of our lives so we were accustom to caring for us hair in that state for so long.

    2) I am one to prowl the websites and youtube everyday. So much so that my family comments everytime that see an afro or hear Hello Youtuve :-). I think I have a harder time getting to know my hair b/c of this as I am always trying to get my hair to do what someone else's hair does (hope that makes sense :-).

    3) I think it's definitely justifiable when someone with relaxed hair thinks twice about transiting, b/c its just a lot of information flowing out there (some that makes perfect sense and some that's just plain crazy (really out there) Hopefully, the girl that is thinking about going natural will visit sites like CurlyNikki as I feel this site definitely makes sense, gives great tips, and is very helpful. You give people from all walks of life and different hair types a chance to give their views on what works for them and what may or may not work for others. This site is very educational as well. I don't spend nearly as much time on Youtube anymore, but I do check CurlyNikki every single day (hey no judging :-).

    Monie P

  • Indhirap says:

    Since being natural I kept things simple, I use a max of 4 products. The first thing I did was look for info on how ton take care of my hair, but must o YT videos present people with massive regimens, I didn't like it, so I just did what was simpler for me. And yes, for me caring for natural hair is challenging, but rewarding.

  • jeah4sistahs says:

    1) since my BC, I have intentionally kept my routine simple. Co-wash after workouts, moisturize and seal with oil. Sometimes I add gel to help define my curls. Ten minutes!
    2) YT and blogs seriously encouraged my big chop and shortened my transition time because I was able to research and find so many options.
    3) The absence of chemical damage is worth every moment of "work" required to love my hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    1) Is natural hair too much work?

    It depends on the person. For me, it's barely work.

    2) Is the overwhelming message through blogs, YT vids, etc. showing that it’s too much to maintain?

    Again it depends on who people are watching. The blogs and videos I like feature naturals that keep it simple.

    3) Is it justifiable when women with relaxers say going natural/maintaining natural hair is too much work?

    If a person has the mindset that something is too much work, even doing a simple method will feel like too much work. The few times I went to a salon before I went natural I remember spending hours getting my hair done. Not a weave, not even a relaxer. Just a regular doobie wrap. With the amount of time I spend waiting for somebody to finish my hair I can wash, condish, detangle, and twist my hair.

    Different strokes for different folks.

  • Balls Of Beauty says:

    its only too much work when u make it too much work!! i know i dnt have to co-wash every other day but i just enjoy takin advantage of it while i have a twa! i researched n learned for a whole year what products my curls love n found my HG's…yet i still get a PJ itch n try more…why? cuz well…im doin the most **head down**

  • jennWANTSaFRO says:

    Some of us naturals already know that the relationship between us and our hair can be seriously bipolar. Some days you love it and other days you feel like giving up. But I believe that the plethora of info on YT and blogs give us options. I never for one moment believed I had to do everything they did. I simply sampled the good that came from their routines and built my own version

  • Anonymous says:

    I think that naturals do have a tendency of over-doing it. But at the end of the day, if your routine is giving you results you're looking for, then by all means continue!

    -Venus

  • HairItIs says:

    Oh, I agree completely. There is no magic conditioner that will make your hair grow, and doing more to your hair doesn't mean you're doing better by it. The best thing I can do for my hair is create the best environment I can for it (keep it clean, moisturized, stretched and pinned up), and then just leave it ALONE! Once I realized that, my life got a lot easier; plus, my hair went from my shoulders to below my shoulder blades in a year– maybe even a little less than a year.

  • Vanessa Kamehameha says:

    For me, I find natural hair to be more work, but only because I was very lazy about taking care of my relaxed hair. I'd take forever to wash it or touch up my ends. In fact, I started going natural simply because it had been so long since I had a relaxer, that I decided to just stop. It's more work now because I'm actually putting in the effort to take care of my hair.

    At first, I felt like all the information I got from blogs and videos was too overwhelming. There was a whole language of terms I had to go learn. There were treatments and products I had never heard of before. I would only use a hair style suggestion here or there, but felt so lost when I came to figuring out a regimen. Still, the wealth of information keeps me excited for when my hair grows out long enough (I'm 6 months into a long-term transition).

    I think women sometimes get scared off of going natural because of all the conflicting information out there. If they could see some of the more simpler routines, then maybe they would think it was do-able. Unfortunately, the information is buried under the more exciting and interesting videos and blog posts.

  • mangomadness says:

    Natural hair isn't too much work. It's as much work as you make it. Some make it complex others don;t.

  • Kasey says:

    The beginning of the natural hair journey is where the majority of the work lies. You don't know what your hair likes, how it reacts, etc. So, learning how to take care of your hair, at first, is hard work. But that's the way with all aspects of life. Expectations of jumping in with immediate gratification is foolish.

    Practice and time are your partners. And after a while, that initial hard work phase will wear out and all that you need will be your hair's specialized basics in order to produce high quality results.

    Additionally, it's all about attitude. If you look at taking care of your hair a "chore." It will become exactly as you perceive it. If you look at it with an open/happy attitude– it will become an enjoyable experience.

  • Shana B says:

    Maintaining natural hair can definitely be a lot of work, especially if you are newly natural or just beginning to style your own hair. Maintaining a healthy head of hair requires a lot of diligence. Washing, detangling, moisturizing…those things require time and patience, but the reward is WELL worth the effort. Plus, once you get a simple regimen down everything will run a whole lot smoother. I actually enjoy my wash days. Even though the process takes a few hours (plus 12-24 hrs to air dry), I see it as uninterrupted "me" time. When I tell my friends/family that I am washing my hair they automatically know not to bother me or expect to see too much of me on that day lol. So while I agree that it does, indeed, take a lot of work, I would never say it takes "too" much work.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree!!! The more that I have done to my hair in the past, the more problems I created for myself. When I got tired, and decided to go simple, my hair began to thrive!! But I think there is value in trying out as many products/routines as possible because everybody has to find the right formulae for their natural hair!

  • Anonymous says:

    Number 1, it is a lot of work and if you r not committed, but the reward is well worth the effort, IMO
    The vlogs and the like can be overwhelming if one tries to do them all. Vloggers give us "options". I think they r fun to watch. Try some and find your own routine, then stick to that but it's wonderful to have options, and/or new ideas.

    Third, "justifiable" is relative. Justifiable to me? ABSOLUTELY, I have more soft fluffy hair on my head than I have had in YEARS and I am "in love" with my natural hair. So, again, it depends on the justifiable results I guess. Peace!

  • RedVelvet9 says:

    1) Natural is a lot of work because when I was relaxed, I paid my stylist to do everything, including the simplest things like washing my hair. If it wasn't her doing my hair, it would be dirty for months on end. Gross I know… But now it's all up to me but that investment in time is worth it.

    2) The message is sort of conflicting because you see these 4-15 minute video tutorials as if that's it when in actuality, doing the same style yourself can take up to 4-6 hours (with washing, DCing, etc.)

    3) It is justifiable to think that natural hair is a lot of work but you have to weigh the cost/benefits and decide what's best for you. I wouldn't change my decision for the world.

  • Amber says:

    I think it depends on their motives for going natural are. I was only curious about my true texture and tired of my limp relaxed hair. I did research and read many a blog before I started to transition. I eliminated heat and stopped using the products I used when my hair was relaxed.

    From there I guess it's easy to want to do the most from maximum growth and buy this and that product because this person said it helped them retain so many inches. It's better to always keep in mind that what worked for them might not work for you.

    I think the best thing to be is lazy with your hair and to pay attention to it. I find styles that can last me a whole week without me touching it; it's even better if it lasts a month or 2. For me natural hair is not work.

  • Anonymous says:

    Natural hair is what you make it. All info on YT, blogs, vlogs, articles, etc. are essentially someones opinion and advice from these mediums should be taken with care. YOU are ulitimately in charge of your tresses and should do as you please when you please. I don't think that those with relaxers think that maintaining natural hair is difficult they just don't know what it entails.

  • NapturallyObsessed says:

    I disagree with it all. The last time I flat-ironed and roller-set my hair, it became too much. There is daily maintenance with straight hair: combing/daily breakage
    1. Initially, there is work. Caring for natural hair is much different from caring for relaxed hair. A newly natural has to LEARN her new texture.
    i.e. What products/ingredients to use, what styles look best on her new texture, how to handle the hair more gently. I style my hair once per week. There is no daily, combing, brushing, parting, etc. If that is not low maintenance, then what is?
    2. The media message is not over whelming. I live on these blogs. I have a page myself to give those inspiration: http://members.fotki.com/Napurally-Obssessed/about/
    Everything doesn’t work for everybody. These are versatile style options that are given to newly and seasoned naturals. It is an all-natural route for those who want the purest of products. I have never felt a need to co-wash more than once per week. These are all mere options, suggestions, opinions, testimonies; that is all!
    3. Some have different motives. That says a lot about someone who gave up after three month. It took me longer than that to adjust to a new texture. I transitioned for two years! Those who revert quickly either did not have their heart in it or didn’t make an effort to do any research. Learning how to properly care for highly texture hair doesn’t come naturally, neither is it learned in a few months.
    I stuck with it! Three years later, my hair is healthier and longer (WL) than it has ever been in my eight years of relaxing.

  • KARLA L says:

    I think all of that work is from trial and error. Even ladies with relaxed hair have to find what works for them. Whether its a wash and set, sew-in, or twist and curl, I think that most women put a lot of time and effort into their hair.

  • e says:

    1. Natural hair is not too much work. But if you look at some blogs and some YouTube videos those women do a whole lot to their hair that very well may be unnecessary.
    2. Kinda answered this in 1 but I think a lot of newbies, transitioners, and relaxed folk look to world wide web for what this whole natural hair thing is about. And then some start following a so called guru who is following another guru who is following another guru and so on. There is a lot of bandwagonism. So you have people who finger detangle, tangle teaser detangle, denman detangle, secret recipe prepoo, shampoo, deep condition home made, home made leave in, repeat detangling steps, and retwist and oil every night. insanity!
    3. Natural hair is just different. Something's take time. I would say most naturals don't run a comb through their hair and head out the door. I also think it depends on the person. For me personally natural hair is more work. When I was relaxed I got everything done at the salon. Now I do my hair the majority of the time. But it's hard to speak with authority on something you've only heard about.

  • Niecy says:

    I agree with Jameka completely. I think for someone who is new to the "natural scene", natural hair can come off as overwhelming. I personally felt for the longest time that I HAD to do certain things to be natural, and that's funny because I've been natural all of my life. Now that I'm at the point where I'm frustrated with what I thought I should be doing with my hair, I've realized that there is no formula for natural hair. It is what it is and the experience is what you make it.

    I'm constantly trying to simplify my regimen. I absolutely hate sacraficing a whole chunk of my weekend because of my hair. Sometimes even washing my hair once a week can be tiring and annoying…Yeah, I said it lol. I've tried a lot of bandwagons from cowashing multiple times throughout the week to using products that cost an arm and a leg and all that did was put unnecessary stress on me. I've reached a point where I'm not trying to follow other people's regimens. I'm not hopping on every bandwagon. I'm not using all organic products. When it's all said and done, you have to do what works for you and not fight against it. But to answer the questions 🙂 :

    1) Is natural hair too much work?

    It is if you make it to be. There's no getting around that taking care of your hair will take time out of your day, but there are ways to simplify your regimen without losing any benefits from a more complex one. If anything you can gain more (health, length, whatever) from a simplier regimen from what I've seen.

    2) Is the overwhelming message through blogs, YT vids, etc. showing that it’s too much to maintain?

    I feel that blogs, YT videos, hair boards, etc. give off an implied aura that you have to do certain things when you are natural. I think a lot of readers/viewers may feel that they have to reach certain expectations to have a successful hair journey.

    3) Is it justifiable when women with relaxers say going natural/maintaining natural hair is too much work?

    I think it's justifiable if they're basing it off of what they see in the YT community, blogs, and on hair forums because going natural and being natural can come off as daunting and time consuming. I've never been relaxed, but I can look at what I see online and just with people I know, and come to the conclusion that it'll be hard work for me to maintain. I feel that people know themselves enough to determine whether doing a serious change to their hair will be a smart move for them.

  • modest-goddess says:

    I feel like my natural hair is about the same amount of work as my relaxed hair was. Short natural is definitely less work than short relaxed. Now that my hair has grown out to 12+ inches the work is comparable to when I had long relaxed hair. The only difference is that it takes longer to shampoo but I'm not doing a blow dry and a flat iron like I did before. Takes me an hour + to twist in front of the TV and I rock my twist out all week. Sleep in a bonnet, wake up, separate my hair a little with my fingers and leave the house. Some times I don't even look at my hair in the mirror.

    I didn't start reading natural hair sites until I was ready to cut my relaxed ends off. People on these sites seem to have some very complex routines but we have to remember is that have to change things up to attract page views.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think that being natural is very simple, once you figure out what works for you. I can see how people could think that going natural takes too much work because you don't get instant gratification like with getting a relaxer. With relaxers you mix the cream, apply to your hair and within 15-30 mins, depending on strength, voila! your hair is straight. Not so much with going natural. You have to figure out whether or not you're going to transition or big chop, then once you make that decision you have to figure out how to deal with your hair according to the decision that you made. Alot of people also fail to do their research and learn about going natural which makes their journey even more diffucult and longer. But with all that being said, I do believe that some people do way too much once they are past the transition phase and have figured out what products and regimen work best for them. There are alot of naturals who dare not to be seen with their hair in a simple fro. Their hair has to be styled every single day. There are some naturals who hate, yes, hate their texture and have it set in their minds that they will make their hair texture look like their hair idols. This of course is going to take too much time, because their hair will never look like their hair idol. Alot of people don't pay attention to their hair, they just use products without noticing the results bc so and so said to use on their blog without really assessing if it works for them. I think this is where the misconception comes into play about how time consuming going natural can be. It is a journey but if I can spend 3-4 hours every 2-6 weeks in a salon for a relaxer then I can spend 2-3 hours one day a week to wash, deep condition and twist my hair for the week.

    bp

  • Anonymous says:

    I believed natural hair was more work when I first became a natural. I felt that way for several reasons. 1) I was unfamiliar with my hair type. 2) I was overwhelmed with the products. 3) I was looking for hair styles which did not fit my hair texture. Once I got past all of these, I learned that less is more The time spent in the salon does not compare to doing my hair when I want. I remember sitting outside the beauty salon @ 6:30 am praying my stylist was on time so I wouldn't be too late for work and praying she would show up so I wouldn't look a hot mess. Thank God I don't have to live like that anymore. I now know my hair and what products to use. I do my hair once a week and love it, just love it. I believe the time spent when newly transitioned or while transitioning is just a part of the hair journey.

  • LovintheBlessin says:

    I think we natural hair is on a spectrum, and it just can't be assessed in one statement. People are different. Some people have better hair. And by better hair I mean hair that is less prone to breakage, tangles, thicker, faster growing rate, etc. These are the people who seem to swear that other people are doing the most. That's because simple may work for you. For example, I think Nikki is blessed with better hair than I. Not because of curl pattern or anything like that, but my hair will never be as thick as hers, or carry that much shine. As such, I may need to "do the most" to get my hair to it's healthiest state. I'm not mad about it, because I think everyone has their point of beauty, for example, my nails look like acrylics with no effort :). But I get annoyed when people take their experience and use it to look down of others.

  • naturallyneosoul says:

    I personally believe that your hair journey is what you make it..it can be overwhelming at times and it you will find yourself investing more time than you want to especially in the beginning when you are trying to understand your hair…no ones hair journey is the same and your hair journey will not be the same six months from now…however, if you give yourself the time to invest in your CROWN OF GLORY it will give you great results…taking care of anything requires time and love…whether it's a garden, pet, or something else you love it's going to take more than an hour once a week…i would encourage anyone with a relaxer that was interested in going natural to consider the amount of time she spends in the shop (anywhere between 3-6 hours) as the amount of time she will spend on her hair whenever she chooses to do it…your journey is what you make it

  • Anonymous says:

    Unless you have a routine that works for you and not what 10 other people are doing, it can be too much work. I also think the length and texture of the hair determines the amount of work that you have to put in. I look at my hair routine as my special time for myself. It can take 10 minutes or up to 8 hours (henna process, etc)depending on what I'm doing with it.
    YouTube is scary to me 🙂 The processes and styles even for twa is just too much.
    I don't think women with relaxers should think that going natural requires any more work than the hours and money they spend in a salon. That to me is too much work!
    Etoy

  • adelh says:

    Is natural hair more work? In my mind, no. I don't roller set my hair anymore, comb it everyday, and WORRY about the weather constantly. I can just take out my bobbi pins, shake it out, AND ACTUALLY SLEEP WITHOUT PAIN from those rollers. I now actually have a hairline, now, and i don't have to work to hide what i previously just didn't have – i looked like one of those old pictures of chinese men coming off the boat. I allow myself 1x a week to deal with my hair, and THAT'S IT. I don't touch, except to manipulate it in a twist. easy.
    I agree with gold label; i used to not wash my hair for months, because i didn't know how to deal with it, and that's why my hair fell out, along with everything else. I was encouraged by my family to leave my hair alone, and my hair suffered for it. I had never known what my hair was like, and now this is my penance – a happy one though – to learn about my hair, and actually deal with it. My hair is much better – thank goodness.But Blacks have to deal with their own hair, and take care of it because no one else will!

  • Anonymous says:

    I can actually see it from both sides…
    1. Natural hair isn't too much work. HOWEVER, if you have an outrageous length goal, or some other measurement which you are trying to obtain, then just like ANY GOAL, it's going to take MORE TIME.
    2. I haven't seen any professions of that, but I do believe that some people focus more on what others are doing as opposed to what works for them. I had a natural tell me just YESTERDAY that I SHOULD retwist my twist out EVERY NIGHT. Uhm, that's what my satin bonnet and a loose high ponytail is for… but what works for me doesn't work for ALL and I don't try and force what I do on others.
    3. I know that a few of my friends with relaxers say that I spend a lot of time on my hair… but my response is that the 4 hours on a saturday morning that they spend in a Chicago salon is the same 4 hours a week I spend on my hair in aggregate… and with a spray bottle of water and creativity I can stretch that one week to two.

  • Ms Hood says:

    I TOOOOTALLY feel this young lady!

    1) Is natural hair too much work? Absolutely not. Once you realize that there's no product that will speed up growth – only products that will promote and stimulate the growth you are to receive anyway. The rate of growth can only be stimulated; not increased.

    2) Is the overwhelming message through blogs, YT vids, etc. showing that it’s too much to maintain? I dont think so. I think if you consume yourself with looking at every blog, youtube video, etc – thats when it can become overwhelming. Everyone has a different way of reaching their goal – thats because everyone has a different head of hair. Instead of trying everything that everyone else does – use their ideas to determine what works for you.

    3) Is it justifiable when women with relaxers say going natural/maintaining natural hair is too much work? I think its justifiable in theory. If you're talking to someone thats in a stage of discovery or someone that is a product junky – it can be overwhelming. If you're talking to someone that has established a routine or is less gung-ho abt trying new things, it'll seem a lot more simple. If relaxed ladies would actually listen to the reason behind the products instead of the list of them, they themselves will see its not all necessary. For some its just fun.

  • naturallychelsea says:

    I do agree that it takes alot of work to be natural and it is unfortunate that persons do not warn others of this when they begin their journeys. God forbid a natural should complain she is quickly shut down when the truth is it is hard taking care of highly textured hair especially when you are unaccustomed to it and have probably not seen it for years. Having said this I do believe that relaxed women who choose to treat their hair well also have to invest time and effort into their tresses but one can not ignore the fact that tasks like detangling and styling which are easily done on straight hair become arduous when the hair is more textured and tangles easily.

    Also, I do believe that many women put alot of effort into their hair and trick people into believing that all the effort results in 'extra' hair growth. It is one thing to implement one or two additional steps to ones routine but when your regimen list is as long as life, involves doing things on that list all throughout the week and is adhered to like a cult ritual then you need to join naturals anonymous and start your road to recovery with these words: "my name is _________ and I am a natural hair addict"

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with the maker of Hair Rules. He once said in an article regardless as to whether your hair is relaxed or natural, "If you want good looking healthy hair you are going to have to do some work." Otherwise, I say the usual, "do you."

  • Lika says:

    1) Is natural hair too much work? Simple answer: no. lol! However, as it grows, the time taken to detangle and wash will obviously increase. But if you don't want to, you don't have to do a whole lot of things and still have healthy hair. I know I do a lot because I want to lol!

    2) Is the overwhelming message through blogs, YT vids, etc. showing that it’s too much to maintain? No it actually helps finding tips, and so many girls out there are saying that they achieved healthy hair with simple routines… You just have to listen to your own hair.

    3) Is it justifiable when women with relaxers say going natural/maintaining natural hair is too much work? Justifiable I don't know. But understandable, definitely. I was saying it too even before trying or looking for information, because I had been told so my whole life.

  • Monica Adelphosne says:

    I don't think natural hair is hard to manage IF you have the right products. That's the hard part b/c then you have to spend money to try and find the right products for you. Also, people need to realize that just because someone uses like 30 products to do their hair, does not mean that you need to also. Simple is the best way to do your hair, especially if their isn't alot of time. One way that I managed to figure out my hair after I BC was to find someone with the same hair type or very close to mines. Through that, I was able to buy some products that could possibly work for me. And it did!! Patience and simplicity is the key!!

  • Anonymous says:

    1) I think that natural hair takes time… anything worth doing right takes time…. I know i take less time every day to get ready than I did before. I know that i nolonger visit a salon twice a month for 4-6 hours @ a time. I personally like trying out new products, styles and ideas. and enjoy making mixes to suit my hair type and the seasonal conditions

    2) I think that the message i learned from all the videos and blogs is that there are dozens of ways to achevie healthy hair, and that trial and error is the only way to learn what my hair needs.

    3) I guess it is justifiable when women with relaxers say maintaining natural hair is too much work. I think maintaining straight hair is a lost cause and does not justify the amount of time, money and maintaince for the damage/lack of success i experienced.

    Naturally Starlet — Starlet H.

  • Rebwar says:

    I agree with GOLD LABEL’s comment regarding hair cleanliness. Granted everyone is different, but it strikes me as odd that (most) women living in America bathe at least daily, but will go weeks or a month without washing their hair.
    For me, both natural and relaxed hair have been time consuming – or, at least it's always taken more time than I'd like to devote to it. I don't mind spending time developing my natural hair regimen because I'm finally attempting to focus on healthy hair.
    In the past (with relaxers), I'd get a touch-up every 4-6 weeks – whether I needed one or not. I hated spending the time in the salon. My stylist wanted to kill me because she knew that I'd go home and wash my hair the next day. It was a tribute to her styling abilities that I didn't wash my hair as soon as I went home (as I'd done with past stylists…). She drew the line when I told her that all I needed her to do was apply the relaxer, rinse and send me on my way – again, I was more concerned about 'time costs'. We compromised (did it her way) and I got the full treatment: relaxer, wash and condition, dry and style…ick, 2 – 2.5 hours…REALLY???? …and my hair was all of 3-4 inches long. I washed my hair every 2-3 days (at night because I hated to blow dry it) and flat ironed/curled it daily. It was an exhausting and time consuming process for results that I was never happy with. I wore ball caps from Friday night to Sunday evening….
    Finally, I decided to go back to completely natural hair, which is something I haven't done since I was a teenager. In the past I've bc'd (typically every 6-7 years), but I always followed up with a texturizer. Not this time. I figured what's the point of putting chemicals in my hair, especially since I wear my hair so short? But, as mentioned earlier, this time I am truly making a concerted effort to establish a HEALTHY regimen (and I'm not sure that I'm successful so far, lol..).
    My last relaxer was in March, 2011 and I bc'd a month later. My hair style: TWA (who knew…). I thought I'd co-wash every 2 days, low poo/clarify once a week, pre-poo once a week and dc once a week….well the best laid plans tend to go awry. Currently, I think I'm co-washing 5-6 days a week and low poo/clarifying 1-2 days a week and dc'ing every 2-3 weeks. I've incorporated henna treatments twice (every 2 weeks for the last month)and I've purchased (and used) myriad shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioning treatments and leave-in conditioners… the ONLY constant is Trader Joe's 100% Jojoba Oil (LOVE it!). I still haven't found my 'HG' products, nor have I settled down into a comfortable routine. It's exhausting, but well worth it. All in all, I'd say my hair is probably in better shape, but I MUST simplify! I feel that I'd be set if I could find the following: 1)Whether or not my hair is truly 'low porosity', and 2)products that are highly moisturizing, protein free, sulfate free, paraben free, low or silicone free, relatively inexpensive (no more than $5 – $8 per jar/bottle) and without 'harsh' ingredients….. Is this too much to ask? 🙂

  • Day says:

    1)Having natural hair is not too much work for me but it does take some extra work. there are times when I feel it takes more work than having relaxed hair. I'm realizing that as my hair gets longer (15 mo. of growth)the longer my detangling sessions get…..But I love the work I put into my hair:) I enjoy it and you have to if you want healthy hair.

    I also think that some naturals create too much work for themselves.

    2) YT and blogs can be overwhelming if you don't know what you're looking for. When you are transitioning or are a new natural it's good to explore and watch many youtubers and then find the ones you connect with. One way to organize all the info that you come across is by keeping a list of the bloggers, youtubers, and videos that you can use now, or perhaps in the future.

    3) No. It's not the hair style, it's the person. Natural hair can be as easy or as difficult as you make it.

  • Chyeahbella says:

    ) Is natural hair too much work?
    natural hair is not too much work. its just that it can be frustrating when you do not see results. once one finds a effective regimen then thats when natural hair wont be a lot of work.
    2) Is the overwhelming message through blogs, YT vids, etc. showing that it’s too much to maintain?
    no, blogs, yt make natural hair easy to maintain. with the helpful videos and tutorials that bloggers and yt's do make caring for natural hair soo much easier. for example, kimmytube makes me handle my natural hair so much different than i used to because of her super easy to follow videos. naptural85 does pretty styles taht i use all the time.

    3) Is it justifiable when women with relaxers say going natural/maintaining natural hair is too much work?

    no, they are just lazy when they say this. instead they should just give it a try. they are used to straight hair that they dont know how to take care of thier curly hair. i hate when relaxed women say this but once they see more naturals around town and see how easy it is for them to take care of their hair, they will see that they are wrong.

  • Afrolista says:

    I think natural or relaxed if you want healthy hair you are going to have put work into it. The hairternet (see what I did there) is not a reflection of the real world and all tips and techniques should be taken with a pinch of salt. I started my hair journey a year ago relaxed and I only big chopped a week ago but I enjoy spending time doing my hair. However, I have discovered that for my hair doing too much is better than doing too little. my hair is really short now so natural hair is easier for now but your hair only has to be as difficult as you make it.

  • Afrikan Latina says:

    Because so many of us were relaxed as young girls when we decide to "go natural" we don't know what in the world we are doing. I think that's where the "doing the most" comes in. We see all these beautiful heads of natural hair on YT and various blogs and want what they have. That makes you want to try the products they use only to achieve less than stellar results. It all comes down to trial and error. The newness of it all makes you go a little curl crazy but once you figure out what works for your hair you find that less is indeed more!

  • Anonymous says:

    I think it depends on what you were doing before. When I was relaxed I wasn't doing much. I would wash, condition (sometimes deep contition), and blow dry and flat iron once a week. My daily routine was to wrap it up at night, take it down in the morning. Most of the time I was in pony tails and buns. I had pretty long hair. The main thing is that I was doing all this on autopilot. The whole thing about going natural was that all of a sudden I came to the realization that my hair practices weren't really good for my hair or my scalp:) I was waiting in line to be burned basically. I didn't know why I was doing it anymore. I couldn't even remember what my natural texture looked like.
    What came next was just becoming re-educated about my hair. I did a ton of research and that was time consuming. But from early on, I learned from blogs like CurlyNikki that there are basics and you need to do the basics. I also tend to really gravitate towards blogs and YouTubers that keep it simple. Going natural for me was learning how to do the basics in a way that supports my hair. I wasn't adding much. I was just taking away heat and relaxers. I had to learn about my hair. There is trial and error there. The main thing that I had to come to terms with and that I think most women do when going or contemplating going natural is that your hair will have a different aesthetic. Wikipedia said aesthetics is defined by scholars as "the critical reflection on art, culture and nature." That's what makes it work and it's just as much an issue internally and externally for us. I seek out information from blogs and youtube for inspiration when the going gets tough. I am grateful the resources are out there. When people tell me it's too much work. I can accept that could be true for them for whatever reason. I am always let them know they can do what they want with their hair but I'm always willing to share my experiences and resources and just let them know that it's as easy or as hard as you make it and it is a process until you find what works for you. Nobody said going natural was going to solve all your problems. We have bad hair days just like the next person.
    <3,
    CalmC00ky

  • MelMelBee says:

    Hey Ladies,

    I think that the amount of time and effort of caring for natural hair is relative to each person. I enjoy the time doing my hair, so I don't pay attention to it.

    Now I can't lie….YT vids make it look so easy…LOL! It's not that darn easy sometimes. That's why I made a list of 8 reasons that I can't be a natural hair vlogger (click on my name and it's linked)…

    Again, like others have said, regardless of being relaxed or natural, you still have to care for your hair, either by a professional or by yourself. There will be some women who do absolutely nothing to their hair….and regardless if they are natural or relaxed, their heads look a hot mess.

    So again, the process of caring for hair depends on the person

  • Niqui36 says:

    I think it can be alot of work until you find out what works for you. I don't think its too much work though. Most people I watch on YT keep it pretty simple.

  • Nat says:

    It takes time to find out what works for the person, it has been nearly 6 months for me so I am at the pint where I am trimming the fat of stuff I really dont need. DC and twists once a week are a must for my hair but a million products and cowashes are not. if you pay attention to the hair in the beginning it will tell you what it needs to thrive. Also just because a product cost alot doesn't automatically mean it works for your hair, just cause it says $9.99 on the bottle doesn’t mean it works better than your trusty $4.99 product. This I have learned as well. I plan to cut my hair once it gets to a certain length cause I dont want to deal with a lot of hair. I dont have the time or the want for it. You have to decided what you have time for and what you dont. There is no right or wrong way it depends on what the person in striving for.

  • janay2534 says:

    1) Is natural hair too much work?
    Natural hair is what you make it to be. It can be too much if you come in with an overly ambitious attitude that you do all of the conditioning, hennaing, trimming, braiding etc its best to do what fits your lifestyle and your goals.
    2) Is the overwhelming message through blogs, YT vids, etc. showing that it’s too much to maintain?
    I believe that the blogs and vids show all the possible things that can be done to your hair to obtain healthy hair but not all of them are mandatory. Some people find it necessary for there hair but others might not. Like some people may henna once a month but I'm not at the point where I believe it is completely neccesary to do that, so I do t every 2-3 months
    3) Is it justifiable when women with relaxers say going natural/maintaining natural hair is too much work
    It is not justifiable because whether relaxed or natural, all hair has time consuming maintence in order to have the healthiest hair possible. Relaxed hair needs a relaxer every couple of months to prevent underprocessing or overprocessing, then there's the conditioning, trimming, hot oil treatments, flat ironing, etc. When u think about natural gair its quite simple; condition, moisturize, and seal. Everything else is just added beneficial things that aren't always mandatory.

  • tarra says:

    I do my hair once a week now. Every Sunday usually, though I'm pushing it to Tuesday this week out of laziness. It takes me about an hour to wash and set my hair in a braid/twist out. My hair is about BSL stretched, shoulder length when in my braid out.

    however when I first went natural I was doing the MOST. I did my hair every single day (washed, conditioned, detangled, shingled!) it was an amazing thing when my wash and go lasted 3 days. Then I discovered braid/twist outs. Even then I set my hair EVERY NIGHT. I feared frizz and big hair. Now I LOVE it. I feel like it looks more natural on me. So I let my hair go like 7-9 days.
    Therefore, I do way less than I did with relaxed hair. 1 hour every 8 days is a lot less than an hour a day (I pressed dag on near every day when I was relaxed) and 2 hours every 2 weeks (to wash/blowdry/straighten).

  • Anonymous says:

    I would agree that is the beginning and with all the excitement of the "newness", it seems like you have to develop an exhaustive regimen for caring for natural hair. As time goes on however, you learn to do what works for you, rather than following a set of rules that only lead to frustration. This is actually my second time being natural. The first time I went natural was in 2001 and I had no clue what to do with my hair. I didn't have you CurlyNikki back then so I was completely lost and didn't know that co-washing even existed. Moisture retention was unheard of so after several months of fighting my dry, parched hair- I gave up and went back to relaxers. This was a huge mistake- my scalp and hair revolted at me brnging checmicals back into the mix.

    When I big chopped again in 2005 I was a little better prepared, but I went WAY overboard on products that never seemed to live up to their claims. Then in 2009, a family member introduced me to this site. For me, websites and blogs- especially this one- have been real saving graces for my hair. Yes there is a ton of info out here but now I know that not everything will work for me but maybe I can take what I read and pass it on to other naturals who those tips may work for. When reading the blogs and forums, you have to apply the same filtering system you would to any other topic and realize that some of the info may not pertain to you but it can be good to know. Natural hair is not about going to extremes on either end but rather about listening to YOUR hair. My hair does best when I wash it less (I too am a once a month girl) and when I just find a protective style that works and leave it alone for a bit, and moisturize as needed.

    When I talk to women who are either considering going natural or who are hesitant because of the too much work debate, I am upfront and honest with them and admit that natural hair does take some work but that it is just a different type of work that is required for relaxed hair. I admit to them that it is not for the faint of heart- yes, there will be days you question your decision to go natural and that you don't like the way your hair looks. I warn them about the product pitfalls and encourage them to choose easily accessible, inexpensive ingredients first (i.e., olive oil, ACV, etc) until they actually "know" their hair. I believe that if we continue to have these open, honest discussions about our hair, this will help encourage other women. Thanks so much CurlyNikki for all that you do in this regard- you have helped inspire, inform and encourage us on this journey.
    brmmommy1

  • Anonymous says:

    1) I wouldn't say natural hair is TOO MUCH work but you can make it that way. Like you said, CurlyNikki, intially you jump on the bandwagons and it becomes overwhelming. You feel like you need all these products when in actuality you don't. Personally, when I first started wearing my hair natural (college) it was hard because I had never really taken care of my hair outside of its pressed-state. I had never washed it, detangled it, or anything on my own. So it was hard for me but I don't think it's necessarily "too much" work.

    2) I don't think the media demonstrates that naturla hair is too much, if anything they helped me tremendously. Also, there are naturals like Kimmaytube and Chicoro who stress the importance of simplicity. Not everything works for everybody so find the exact items that work for you.

    3) I think it's based on the person's circumstance. Some women who wear relaxers are used to doing their hair consistently so transitioning isn't that hard for them. But, for people like myself who have never worked with their natural state and don't do their hair it can be more difficult. Naturally, people are afraid of the unknown, so by saying natural hair is too much work, they've never experienced it and don't know what to expect so they're scared of it. Is it too much work? NO but it can be overwhelming at first.

  • Beautiful Mess says:

    1) I don't think that natural hair is too much work… at least not if you don't want it to be. As many ladies have already stated, you just have to find your routine. I recently finished my 11 month transition 2 months ago and I have been doing ALOT… but on purpose. I wanted the summer to see what my hair could do before I have to start teaching again in August. I have done a shrunken twa, twist outs, flat twist outs, mini twists, a big fro, a puff,a frohawk, and I'm going to try to roller set it today. Will I really do all of that when I have to be at work every morning? ABSOLUTELY NOT… but I worked hard at transitoning, I'm LOVING my natural hair, and I need to know what I'm doing come mid-August.

    2)I love blogs and Youtube. I'm grateful to these ladies for providing information that gives me the knowledge to deal with my natural hair. I've had a relaxer since I was about 10 and really don't remember anything about it. You just have to learn to look at videos and say "That doesn't apply to me." Not everyone has to try everything that they see.

    3)While my hair was relaxed, I did my hair every Saturday. I just love doing my own hair. I just do different things to it now. In fact, I find it weird to only have to do my hair once a week now… and not comb it everyday. I'm used to taking good care of my hair and doing it MYSELF, so it's not so difficult. The thing is that alot of women with relaxed hair don't really do their own hair and so when you go natural and don't have a stylist you trust to do natural hair… if you decide not to find one… it can be QUITE difficult and the learning curve can be time consuming.

  • ThinkLikeP88 says:

    I've been natural for 10 years, but I've only been visiting natural hair sites, forums and YouTube channels for about the last six months. It shocked me to see how much work many naturals are putting into their hair. I love to shower my mane with TLC as much as the next natural, but when retaining health and growth, less is definitely more. For the most part, I braid and twist my hair and leave it be until my next wash. I'm not afraid to blow-dry or press every once in a while, and I take the necessary precautions to avoid damage. I still use products with mineral oil and silicons from time to time and I am still able to retain my standard six inches of growth per year. Every natural is different, but in my experience when I started doing less manipulation, I began to see more results.

  • Anonymous says:

    Nadine, I agree with you about the length check thing. I'm like ok, and?? So what?! Nicol, everyone with short natural hair cannot wash n go. Some textures get matted and tangled. I have type 3 hair, and I will say I've seen styles last longer on someone w/type 4 hair.

  • Malisia says:

    I agree with the Nikki with anything new there is an initial excitement. my husband tells me I'm in vain with my hair now because I care for my natural hair more than I cared for my relaxed hair. I assure him it is just a phase and it will die down. right now my routine is very simple. wash on saturday night, deep condition overnight, rinse in the morning then apply leave in and styler. this will last me until the next saturday when I wash again.

  • Nia0303 says:

    I definitely think some people do way too much. I'm a product junkie so I buy a lot of stuff but I'm low maintenance when it comes to my regimen.

    I wash, condition and DC every wash once a week (usually a weekend) followed by a chunky braid out but I wear protective styles daily. I also spritz my hair before bunning,etc for moisturization. I only cowash when absolutely necessary (very rarely). I'm sure it sounds like a lot to a non-natural but it's really not.

    It's 2 hours a week at the most to style and restyle. This is not too much time to spend on hair, I think. I got over all the nonstop retwisting/rebraiding very early in my journey. Less is better.

  • Ebony says:

    I've been completely natural for almost 3 months now but I transistioned for a few year prior to my BC. After my decision I would do a wash and go daily with Oyin Handmade's Honey Hemp conditioner as a leave in and that was it. I think I experienced more growth during this time than after my BC. I started dabbling with other products. I don't have the time to do all the DCing and such. I do but when I feel like it. I do henna and have been trying to do so every two weeks. I henna for the color and the conditioning properties are just an added bonus. I go back to locks and how you see so many people with locks down to their butts. African American hair is supposed to be left alone and allowed to do it's thing. Overdoing just may be…overdoing it! Sorry I know I went all over the world with my comment but I get excited about natural hair.

  • Cindy says:

    I just want to add: I washed my hair once a week when I was relaxed so washing once a week is nothing new to me. I also did my touch-up once every 12 weeks. I was never scared of my naps. I think viewing it as too much work depends on your regimen when you were relaxed.

  • Kayla says:

    I think sometimes you have to do the most to find out what works. I did a lot more in the beginning of my transition compared to now, until I found out which things were necessary and which one's weren't.

  • Anonymous says:

    It kind of reminds me of the whole breastfeeding vs formula feeding thing. One is definitely more healthy than the other, but it requires a great deal more physical sacrifice. However, the other alternative seems easier and relatively much less physically demanding, but there is a financial cost that one cannot ignore.

  • Gold Label says:

    2 factors impact how much work natural hair is:

    1. Your familiarity with your hair, i.e. how well you know your own hair.
    2. Your level of self-acceptance regarding your hair's texture and look.

    I'm 45 years old and was only relaxed for 6 years of my entire life – age 15 to 21 – so I've had lots and lots of time to experiment. I was also a product junkie which was a HUGE waste of time, money and energy. The one area that I won't compromise is cleanliness. I can't understand how we can universally accept that we should bathe regularly, but we can wash our hair once per month. That's just gross to me. I wash weekly, but I also do my twisting or plaiting routine IN THE SHOWER. This has been a huge timesaver for me. I wash with Burt Bee's shampoo, condition with Aubrey's Organics White Camelia then I comb my hair out in the shower with a wide-toothed comb. Still in the shower, to benefit from the constant flow of water keeping my hair detangled, I then twist or plait my hair with liberal amounts of raw shea butter into 10-20 sections depending on the look I'm going for. Boom. Done. 30 – 45 minutes total in the shower…and I should point out that my hair is coarse, thick AND bra-strap length. The next day, I spend about 6 minutes with the blowdryer on my loosened hair to fully dry it and perhaps manipulate a few strands here and there to get the curl pattern I want. Please note that the blowdrying the step is not necessary though. Game over for the next 7 days! Of course, as others have said, if you feel like only a certain curl pattern is presentable, that lack of self-acceptance will translate into unnecessary minutes and hours devoted to chasing that dream, which is essentially no different than what you were likely doing with a relaxer. Ironic, huh? Yep, 'cause it's all about the mindset. If you allow natural hair to liberate you from the box in which society places you, that alone will chop your routine in half.

    Finally I will offer an alternate thought – African people have a long and beautiful history of devoting extended time to grooming their manes, as evidenced by the intricate cornrowed and braided styles we have created over many centuries across the continent. Particularly when there are other loved ones involved in the haircare regimen, it can be a bonding experience of near spiritual proportions. Perhaps what we need is to establish haircircles where natural sistas do each other's hair and reap the social and spiritual benefits that come with the practice (of course this wouldn't work for me since no one will be joining me in the shower, lol).

  • Cindy says:

    I do too much and I know it. Going natural for me was the beginning of a process of getting rid of chemicals in all parts of my life. But, I am, and have been, enjoying it. What food products can I put on my hair next? Which essential oil will do what when mixed with clay for my cleansing? What are the benefits of nettles, burdock roots, hibiscus, bhringaraj? This is all more than I need to do, but it is all part of my Saturday morning me time before everyone scrambles for my attention. I wake up early, go for a nice long run, and then become my own personal chemist mixing cleansing and conditioning concoctions. By the time everyone is awake, I am done.

    I do keep it very simple styling wise because I don't enjoy that process as that much. Styling consists of wash and go's with a leave-in conditioner and a sealant, low ponytails, or buns.

    I think it is important to let transitioners or those that are considering going natural that it doesn't need to be complicated, but that there is nothing wrong with making it complicated if that is what you want to do. There appears to be this condescending tendency to assume people are too stupid to figure out things for themselves or that they don't know to listen to their hair if they are not told to do so by "old-timers". Honestly, if I see one more of the condescending listen to your hair advise, I will barf.

  • Samantha says:

    1) For the most part, natural hair is as much work as you make it. I was a long term transitioner and used 3 products and low to no manipulation styles to grow out my relaxed in about a year and a half. Granted, the more hair you have the more time it takes to maintain it, but the simpler you keep your routine, the less time consuming and stressful it will be for both you and your hair.

    2) In all honesty, before I stumbled upon the plethora of how-to natural hair sites, videos, etc., I never thought that natural hair care was all that complicated. All the rules of no cones, no poo, poo, but seal it first, can be overwhelming for someone who hasn't already been on a personal natural journey with their hair.

    3) If relaxed women who think that maintaining natural hair is too complicated are basing their opinions on being bombarded with the various beliefs and dos and donts that exist in the natural hair community, then I would say it is understandable why they would feel this way. I wouldn't necessarily say it is justifiable, only because I truly believe natural hair care is only as complicated as you make it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think natural hair is more work if you are on the kinkier end of the hair spectrum. If you have wavy natural hair, it is easier to comb through and it takes less time. If you have kinkier hair, the detangling process can take a long time.

    I was a low maintenance relaxed person. I had collar bone length relaxed hair, but I kept it in braid extensions all the time. I didn't like the effort it took to wash it, then blow dry, then flat iron it, then hot curl it and roll it up for it to last only one day. Plus I worked out so…….
    I would only style it twice every two months when I took my extensions out.

    Now that I am natural and unemployed) I have to deal with my natural hair a lot more. I am saving up the money to get it braided again. My hair is back to it's collar bone length again, but it's 4c or d or e hair (whatever the kinkiest is). It shrinks up to my ears when it's wet and it's a nightmare to detanlge.

    Short natural hair is easy to do. Wash and go! The longer it gets the more work it takes. I think its the opposite with relaxed hair. If you have a short cut style with relaxed hair. It takes more work to keep it looking nice. You have to get it done a lot more. If you have longer relaxed hair, you at least have the option of pulling it back in a ponytail.

    Tomato/Tomahto 🙂

    Nicol C.

  • Nia says:

    This is so funny to see this post up today. I BC'd July 12 and ever since then I have gone crazy reading blogs, trying new products and techniques. I showed my boyfriend a YouTube clip of a routine he was actually telling me about. He even told me "I don't know why this girl is doing all this stuff to achieve her style when all you have to do is use a brush". I tried to explain "babe we have to keep our hair moisturized" blah blah blah. My boyfriend still was not hearing me. He grew his hair out before and told me it did not take all of that to grow his hair. I can agree that hair has taken over my live. So thanks for this post as a reinforcer to calmmmmm downnnnn lol.

  • Brandi says:

    I'm soooo agree with this post. Chill. out.

  • JackieC says:

    1) Going natural can be a lot of work in the beginning when one is trying to find out which products and styles work for them, but that's to be expected. It's a whole new texture with whole new needs that have to be sorted out, but once that point is reached the routine simplifies.

    2)I don't think blogs make it seem like being natural is too much work. Instead, they provide the information on the many different options, methods, and products that could work for someone's hair. It's up to the natural to understand that she doesn't have to do everything she hears about but discern which things may work for her.

    3)And whether you're relaxed or natural, all hair needs maintenance. Just a different kind of maintenance. It's all a matter of changing habits and our way of thinking. At the end of the day, the time spent on natural and relaxed hair is about the same.

  • Lanni says:

    I think the difficulty is only related to your desired outcome. What is the "standard" that is creating a sense of difficulty? Some people may simply want to have their hair as it grows out of their head as baseline. Fine, that's easy enough to do. With each level of expectation will come new lessons to learn but that's with anything in life.

  • BraidsnTwists says:

    I feel like being natural is no more work for me than it was for my relaxed hair. But maybe it's just me because I pretty much always styled my own hair. I only saw a beautician when it was time for me to get a touch up. I did everything else between visits myself. Maybe I ended up a bit ahead of the learning curve because of that.

    Truthfully, taking care of relaxed hair was more of a trial than natural hair. Washing my hair would take hours! I don't know if it was because I have a very tight and strong curl pattern or what, but my hair would still curl and tangle up. In order for it to go straight again I had to blow dry, then flat iron (usually twice through my hair on a high setting). If I wanted it to curl, I had to use a curling iron which took a good hour of work. Now that I'm going natural, it seems easier for me to do my hair. (It helps to have places like the forums youtube to give me some guidance). Sure it might take a couple of hours to put twists or finger coils in my hair. But I can wear that same style for a week and then take it down and wear my hair like that for a few more days before I have to start from scratch again. When I styled my hair with a relaxer, the curls lasted for one day, if it didn't fall apart before the day ended. I was back to having to redo it the very next day. I think, more than anything, that going natural has freed me.

    With all that said, though, I can understand why some people would consider natural hair to be too much work. It takes time to figure out how your hair works and what products will and will not work with it. I also think there's a certain degree of denial…You were hoping to see type 3 hair coming out of your head and you ended up with 4b or c. And that style that looked so pretty on that girl on YT with 3c hair looked a mess on you. It's sort of an adventure to figure out how to work with your hair and some people don't want to go through the work that goes with that. You have to be willing to go through the good and the bad days and learn how to work with it. I think that's why it's called a journey.

  • Alta Angel says:

    1. Natural hair isn't too much work, it is different work. I have traded rollersets for braidouts. I went from moisturizing my hair weekly to daily. I wash my hair in braids instead of loose. However, my core hair care practices have not changed: I still deep condition weekly, wear a satin scarf at night, use covered bands in my hair, etc.

    2. The overwhelming message I get in the blogs, YT videos and other media is that natural hair is so VERSATILE! SNatural hair has inspired so much creativity, sparked so many conversations, and dispelled so many antiquated notions that it is impossible to believe that it is "just" hair!

    3. If you do something enough, it becomes a habit. After figuring out the right products and practices that make my hair thrive, I was able to develop a routine. The end result is a greatly simplfied routine that has liberated me and my time. My natural hair will never be what my relaxed hair was. Once I understood that, I stopped placing unrealistic expectations upon my hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    Moisturizing daily, moisturizing shampoos, conditioners, and deep conditioning at least once a week, I do not need to twist every night but I will for the days that I want the curl to look more defined and not frizzy. You do have to take care of yourself, but I do agree that it's important to not overdose, and washing the hair three or four times a week is an absolute no-no. The average black person's hair is dry by nature so I definitely limit to once a week during the summer and I am going to try once every other week in the winter months and see how it works out, its best to limit especially if you use silicone products in the hair because you do not want to strip your hair of nutrients.

  • Danelle says:

    Just as in life you have to go through a lot to get to the simple. A lot of the new naturals like to try out everything but once they figure out that less is more they will even happier with their life and hair.

    my motto: less is more

    I dont need a million shampoos and conditioners to have healthy hair.

  • Rose of Sharron says:

    I def. agree with the fact that in general, naturals do to much and I was once guilty of this! For about 6 months as a new natural chic, I tried every process from henna'ing my hair once a week, deep conditioning with homemade receipes, hair oiling, massaging, curling, twisting (the worse for me!), washing hair every couple days/ or once a month etc. and my hair was no different then when I started! I learned quickly that less is more and just like with everything in life, you should seek your balance and apply this principle with your hair as well. Natural hair is not that serious– its just hair… Now that I've laid off trying out every new technique, my hair is better than ever AND I have a lot more free time! 🙂

  • Michelle @ Radiant Brown Beauty says:

    Being natural is a bit more difficult than when I had a relaxer. I could style my hair much more easily (can somebody say ponytail?) when I had a relaxer. Sure, I can do a ponytail now but I have to prep it and add enough "slip" to it to be able to comb it. Otherwise it will break.

    On the flip side I don't have to deep condition nearly as much as when I had a relaxer and God knows I know have less breakage.

    As far as the comment about such and such treatments not be necessary. I disagree. Maybe it's not necessary for one person but for me my hair thrives on henna so I'll keep doing it.

    As for relaxers, I don't think it's a sin to have one but I do think in the long run it can damage your hair but hey if you like it, I love it…just not on my hair.

  • African Violet says:

    I'm in agreement with those who speak about the newness adding to the "Doing the most" activities. I plan to be a long-term transitioners, which means that I have to consider the three textures of hair that I'm working with. I only wash and condition once a week (which is what I did when I had relaxed hair), but now the bonus is the flexi rod sets that I do to blend the three textures of hair.

    I haven't added henna (don't plan to, actually) or those mask treatments to my regime, but I will re-braid and curl between my washes.

    I guess that could be considered doing the most, but I haven't let my regime hamper my social life.

  • Anonymous says:

    Natural hair only needs 3-4 products max, a shampoo, conditioning detangler, moisturizer and a styler. DC's and protein treatments are only needed if your hair is damaged. ACV and henna treatments are not necessary. Keep it simple.

  • Anonymous says:

    I see why people say/think that natural hair is a lot of work. Before going natural, I actually had a natural tell me that natural hair is a lot of work! However, after being natural for over a year, I can say for myself that caring for natural hair is more challenging, but more rewarding. I feel a lot better about what I'm doing.

  • MsJboogie007 says:

    Also, I agree with Deondra 🙂

  • Nadine says:

    Some naturals accuse ppl with relaxed hair that they relax their hair because they are brainwashed to. The same can be said about some naturals, aimlessly going natural without the desire/knowledge, just going natural because everyone else is doing it at the time. Some ppl relax because it is just easier for their lifestyle, many do not have the time to twist and braid and detangle. Black women need to really have more self confidence, and stop trying to prove to everyone that they are about their hair! SMH, all these pics of length checks, relaxed or natural, is saying look at me, my hair grew a .5 iches last month…AND? It will grow regardless no matter money you are spending on the hair products. Ironic because ppl are MANIPULATING your minds about HAIR MANIPULATION!
    We simply need more LEADERS and less followers…
    -NADINE

  • MsJboogie007 says:

    Sometimes it can seem that naturals are doing the most. It does all seem overwhelming. But as many have said you have to find your own regimen. I have found that it takes me just as long to do my shoulder length hair natural as it did to do my shoulder length hair relaxed. When I was relaxed, my hair was somewhat thick, and I would do roller sets because I enjoyed big hair. So the time to roller set it and then sit under the dryer, is probably as long or longer than the time it takes me to do whatever style I am doing on my natural hair.

  • Deondra says:

    Being natural is not easy, but it's not as bad as some make it. My major grief is with the "natural hair police". If a woman wants her hair relaxed, that's her perogative and not our place to judge her. Natural hair ROCKS, but some of us tend to be overwhelming when it comes to talking about it.

  • Libby says:

    In my opinion, going natural or maintaining natural hair is not too much work, but there is work involved. There probably are those who thrive off of wash 'n gos, but in my experience that worked when my hair was very short. As my hair grew, its needs changed and I had to keep up with it. But likewise with relaxed hair – there's still work to be done or it will fall out. Any part of the grooming process takes time a designated amount of concerted efforts. I don't think it's just for those who haven't had this natural experience and pushed through the beginning stages to make an adequate assessment of the perceived "difficulties" of having/maintaining natural hair.

  • Kara J says:

    I believe the "newness" does have some effect on how you take care of natural hair. But I feel many people do not use common sense. I mean just because something works for someone does not mean that I will work for you and vice versa. For example I have to twist my hair up every night because if not I will have a tangled mess. WnG is a no no for me because again I will have a tangled mess. Having natural hard is not difficult I just think we make it more difficult when we go into information overload and try to jump on every bandwagon because so and so said it works what does your hair say? I think it is cool to experiment, and learn from others but don't jump on ever bandwagon out there it's about learning from trial and error and remaining consistant.

  • ATribitt says:

    Heck yeah! For me at least. 9mos post BC and i still feel like a slave to my hair sometimes. I was straight up lazy when I was relaxed! Rarely washed, never conditioned, and had a perpetual doobie wrap. But, I didn't have an obsession (or a problem) with length retention like I do now. I'm at a better place than I was when I first BCd because I'm narrowing down my routine and products. Hey, its called a "journey" for a reason!

  • Anonymous says:

    As I'm sitting here with a plastic cap over my head from DCing over night, I was JUST thinking, I don't feel like being a prisoner to my hair today. I had planned on getting up early and going to the gym, but for me, going out with anything on my head is a no no. I think I do too much to my hair, but it's because I like to sport different hairstyles. I rarely wear the same still two weeks in a row. I am also one of those naturals who tells relaxed ladies that being natural takes a lot of work.

    After reading this article, I'm going to make it my business to simplify my regimen, like not washing my hair every week (that's going to be the hardest), and wearing more buns and protective styles.

  • Siobhan says:

    I think since people are often unfamiliar with their natural hair it is tough to get into. I wash, deep conditioned, and straightened my hair yesterday it took hours but I was watching Harry Potter so the time went quick. Yet, it really really is work. I still haven't found my staple products if I find products that seem to work they are way to expensive to buy regularly. I have also purchase The Science of Black Hair for help in the natural hair area. I am hoping all of the work pays off and I eventually have long "healthy" hair.

  • Candicay says:

    I would have to agree with CurlyNikki in saying that due to the newness of it all, we have to do a lot more research in order to understand what to do in order to take care of our natural hair texture. I think like any other new idea or venture you do your research, you go on the blogs, the YouTubes, the message boards so you have clarification and a good understanding of your hair. But once you go through this “phase” of learning then you should definitely ease up so you can fully enjoy your hair. To me, no it is not too much because I have loved every bit on this journey and I LOVE my hair. Yes the hour long washing sessions are a bit much but I would never go back to relaxed hair no matter how easy it seemed. And if you take what blogs, videos etc., say in your decision to go natural then that is your prerogative. You have to want to take the journey for yourself and no amount of cyber information can deter that.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think that new naturals do the most, that is, until they find a routine. Trying many products and styles to see what works best. I am a WnG girl all day. I don't want to twist and I know they wouldn't work for me. My good friend is the opposite. She must twist or she will have a matted mess. We have completely different textures, but still bond over our experiences. Now, I do believe that some naturals still do the most (lots of products, varied styles) when they are trying to get their hair to look like another friend's or something off of youtube. Everything isn't for everybody, and once people learn that (and establish a routine), they will be doing the least 🙂

  • Aishah says:

    1) It can be too much work until you get your routine and staple styles down. There's a huge learning curve if you've been relaxing so long you no longer remember what your natural hair looks like.

    2) I think blogs, YT, etc. give the impression that being natural is easier than it really is. These ladies aren't usually showing you the results of them doing a style for the first time. They show you the results after they have perfected it.

    3) I think it is justifiable to say going natural is too much work. Washing shoulder length relaxed hair and washing shoulder length 4a/b hair are two COMPLETELY different experiences. Washing long natural hair takes longer because you can't just rake through your hair…you have to take your time and be gentle.
    But you have to weigh your hair goals against the pro and cons. If you're perfectly ok with having shoulder length hair and not seeing much growth then there's no reason to dc every time you wash or dabble in henna, etc. If you want your hair to be healthier and retain length then you will probably have to do some things that most women aren't willing to do.

  • Bootzey says:

    When I came out as a natural (I went natural 15 years ago but hid it behind weaves and braids)I put more work into than I needed to. But then developed a very simple routine that allowed me to have pretty yet low maintenance hair that has grown faster than I thought was possible with my 4c hair.

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