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Curly Nikki

Tell Her She’s Not Alone- Natural Hair Problems

By January 27th, 202132 Comments

Afro_Barbie (not photographed) of the forums writes;

As of August 19, 2011, I have been natural for 1 year, 4 months, & 3 days! BY NO MEANS do I regret my decision but lately Ameenah (my hair) and I have not been doing very well…I’m trying to love her but she will not listen to me. She just refuses to do anything I say! I never imagined having bad hair days like this. Ugh! I realize now we got a love hate thing going on! She’s been dry, no curls, just lifeless… I think I’ve found the problem, hopefully we can make up soon.

All over this site I see positive posts about natural hair, but the reality is there are those dark days, weeks or months when your hair just wont do right… Puuuhleeeze tell me I’m not alone?

What are some of your fights with your hair and what did you do to solve it?


  • Anonymous says:

    I sure feel your pain. I have been fully natural for two years but have kept my hair under wigs and braids. 2 months ago I started treating my hair differently (conditioning more often, etc.) on the advice of a very curly haired lady at work. I then discovered CN forum and am now obsessed. However, I have still not worn my hair in public because I can't get it to do anything I tell it to. I sometimes try to go with its flow but still not luck. I got so frustrated today, I bought a box of texturizer but then I came on to this forum and I decided against it and twisted my hair instead. My hair is now very soft but still no shine. I think I'm a 4a texture. Thanks to all the positive ladies on this site I will push on and you should too.

  • Patrice B says:

    Oh but do i understand what you are going through, because I am experiencing the same thing right now! I made the mistake of get a sew-in with this long silky straight hair, that wouldnt curl by the way, to ease my pain. But i think that it did me no favors at all but not i am faced with the truth. The curly, nappy, dry, and tangled truth!! I have to learn how to "deal" with my hair! Love it, and except it for who "she" is! Its a process, but Im learning!!

  • Smallfro says:

    The listen to your hair thing is so true. I find that when you find something that works stick with it. Make sure you are choosing styles that you feel comfortable with and that are appropriate for your hair type. The first time I went natural I returned to relaxer at about 10 months, due to inability to do wash n gos with my type 4 hair. This time around I am over a year and much more happy. I do twist outs/braid outs. I sometimes want to be cute and wear my fro, but then I have over 2 hours of detangling/conditioning time to get it back right. Sometimes it takes weeks to get it back ,moisturized and my ends feel terrible. (By the way, I love the way my fro looks, so I will continue to do it when I feel like it). So listening to my hair, means doing styles that last(for me 1 week) and that I don't have to pay with my next wash session. But I agree giving your hair and sanity a rest is a good idea. I wish I would have done that last time when I went back to relaxer.

  • Anonymous says:

    I know some people doubt the whole "scab hair" phenomenon, but I think there may be something to it. I'm currently 16 months post relaxer and I've been doing mini-chops throughout my transition. My nape and edges in the front started out SO dry and brittle, but the rest of my hair is very wavy and curly. I just didn't get it. This dry hair does not respond to any products and I can't get it to look as defined as the rest of my hair. Now, I can literally feel the difference in the hair closest to my scalp compared to the ends, since it has grown out. It's kind of crazy to me. I just have to wait it out bc I'm not at a point where I'm comfortable cutting it off. I think I received my first relaxer at about 5, and my nape is where the application always began, so I'm thinking that's the reason. The relaxer was sitting on this hair the longest for all those years. I could be 100% trippin' LOL. but that's what I've accepted for now. Call me lame or crazy, but this natural hair thing is REALLY interesting when you start paying attention.

  • Anonymous says:

    I had dry, dry, and more dry hair. I had plenty of those days before I learned how to "listen" to my hair. I know it sounds strange because it can't speak but you pick up on cues and to what it is and is not doing; dry hair-moisturize and seal, limp lifeless curls-clarify, SSKs-trim time, gummy hair-more protein.

    I am a huge advocate of deep conditioning my hair with heat WEEKLY. I don't miss a beat. That way when my hair feels dry, it doesn't break. It makes your strands strong.

  • hershey garcia says:

    so interesting…

  • Fabfreshandfly says:

    I love that you have the courage to say how you feel and your are definitely not by your lonesome. About 6 months ago, I was really not feeling my hair at all. About 75% of my hair is natural, but I have heat damage on one side. It didn't matter if I did a t-n-c, bantu knots, braid out, I was just not happy and everyone thought I was crazy. What did I do? I got a trim (about 4 inches to be exact), and now I feel much better. While I still have a little heat damage, My curls definitely pop more and I can even do a wash and go! I say change up your routine, and you just might find something that gets you out of this funk.

  • CessCurls says:

    you r not alone. But once i stop trying to make my hair do what I wanted and learned and accept what my hair Needed my hair loves me back. And I happily say that "BAD" hair days for me are a thing of the past. Does my hair ALWAYS turn out the way that i want No but I know how to work with my hair so it is always presentable and never looks

  • Anonymous says:

    I am now 13 months into my transition to natural hair. I had it flat ironed months 1 – 9, braided months 10 to 11 and boy did the shocked or dealing with my transitioning hair hit me when I took out the braids! I am just getting used to seeing the natural hair with the relaxed ends (which I am hating), but I can't see myself doing the big chop. I need to be able to put it up in one when required. I am using the Kinky Curly Come Clean and Knot Today and sealing with Carol's Daughter Lisa's Elxair mixed with Shea Butter. My hair seems to like this routine, although it does have its off days (although my routine does not change one bit) . These are normally the days that I consider doing a BC, but then I come to my senses and realise I just have to be patient. I am looking to do a 24 month transition as I have not suffered much breakage. One thing I have learned from the forums and Youtube vids, is not to be a product junkie, if what you use is working for you, stick with it! Best of luck to all of my fellow transitioners 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been feeling like that all week. I though I was losing my hair until I realized it was my shampoo. My hair can not do sulfates or mineral oil AT ALL. Dry brittle and shedding like crazy. SO I purchased Shea Moisture. My hair and I are best friends again.

  • Anonymous says:

    mine is doing the figgidy fool again too and it's 3 years 2nd time around being natural for me. I don't know. Every time I think I get something down and think I'll just do this it'll work! It won't last. I'm sick of doing my hair so no you are NOT alone!

  • Ashley says:

    You are NOT alone in this! I'm going through this same thing right NOW! It's driving me nuts and I'm so scared that all my time and hard work may have to result in another semi-big chop! I'm really hoping for my curls to come back and say "just kidding!"

  • Anonymous says:

    My scalp is damaged from years of relaxing, not knowing how to care for my dry scalp and dry hair. I have 3 bald spots in 3 different places and I continue to have sore scalp that I pick at because I can't help it. I've thought about BCing but decided not to because although I have bald spots they are growing. My hair is not as dry as it use to be but my scalp continues to be sore and dry. I realize that all my bald spots are spots where my head bands caused friction and the fact that my scalp is sensitive to any and everything. I started weaving hair into my french braids and of course my scalp is sensitive to that too but it's my only other alternative because of the first 2 bald spots which in turn caused the 3rd bald spot with the braiding and the added hair. It's getting better but my main problem is dry scalp and the fact that my scalp seem so sensitive.

  • Anonymous says:

    Funny I just had this fight with my hair this morning, and it darn near made me and my son late for his second day of kindergarten! My styling products were not agreeing with my hair, tried to cut corners and save time by not following my usual wash/condition routine and tried another failed baggying attempt! My hair was not pleased and while I've been sporting my tried and true twist outs to showcase my length for the past 3 months, I had to throw up the white flag and surrender to a super quick wash and go, picked and patted down to almost big chop length of 1". Needless to say I got stares all day, and the usual "did you cut your hair????" Whatever….crisis averted.

  • Etoile says:

    YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I transitioned for 18 months before I did my BC and 'Lucious Lola' aka my hair had days when she was glorious and days when she would act a stone cold fool! I am now almost 2 months fully natural, my coils were cut into lovely layers and I treated myself to some summer highlights and my hair has never looked as good as the day it did when I left the hair salon…literally Lola and I are working on a reconcilliation, she's pissed that I cut over 5 inches of her mane off. I continue to treat her well, stalk the hair blogs and boards for info and try to remain patient. I love being natural and I know Lola and I will eventually reach a happy medium and be at peace. Smile everything gets better in time.

  • Candace4life says:

    FYI News:

    New! Shea Moisture Curl Defining Gel Souffle
    available August 28th in Target stores. It's
    made with Agave Nectar and Flax seed oil, sugar cane extract and pectin.

  • Jeannette says:

    During the first year plus of being natural, my hair started to change and I realized that I needed to change the products I was using on my hair. Now recently, a few months ago, I went through a dark phase and became tired of my hair and wasn't feeling it as much. So what I did was give myself a break by putting yarn braids in it for a little over two months. My hair was out of site, out of mind. Once I reached the two month mark of yarn braids, the love for my natural hair returned and I couldn't wait for the time to take it out and play in my locs again :). So I've learned that when I go through a 'phase' is time to take a break and place my hair in a protective hairstyle so I won't have to do it and will grow to miss it again.

  • Lori says:

    My solution…"throw some B's (braids) on that b***h"…referencing the song…calling no one a b***h. That's just what happened to go through my head and made me chuckle. Find humor in the hard times…and seriously, just put a protective style on and forget about it for awhile. hahaha

  • Anonymous says:

    You're not alone chica! I'm just trying to make it through summer and wedding season and then I plan on braiding my hair up for the winter!

    I would suggest experimenting with moisturizing if you're feeling frustrated- usually hair behaves better if it's not dry. As others have said, try a water based conditioner and then an oil to seal. I actually use a water based conditioner w/ aloe vera juice mixed in (AVJ is slightly acidic so it closes the cuticle and traps water in!). I then use some jojoba oil for extra sealing! I'm a 4a/b so I need as much sealing power as I can get.

    If you're STILL feeling frustrated then I say braid it up until you feel like you're ready to approach your hair again. Stay strong! 🙂

  • Candace4life says:

    Well my hair will act up at times and makes me wonder if I should cut it off and such but I won't. I find that I must have constant moisture in my hair because it soaks it up like crazy. But I will be doing more blowouts on it esp. to help with tangles and ssks on the ends. I like my hair and it's very thick so any style will hold very well on my head. I will definitely keep my hair and continue to baby it.

  • LM says:

    I too am having issues as we speak. I am very new to my natural hair. I bc'ed about two weeks ago 7 months into my transition. I have 3 different textures lol. The crown and left side has very little curl pattern, the right side is tightly coiled, while the back has a looser curl pattern. I've tried two strand twisting, but the crown and left side refuses to hold twists. I'm thinking about getting some sort if wax or something. I've tried using shea butter and aloe vera gel to twist but to no avail. I want to do some protective low manipulation styles, because I fear that my hair may be breaking from daily styling 🙁

  • s.perry722 says:

    @Anonymous 3:33, one thing that I figured out is that my hair LOVES aloe vera for moisture and it will do anything for it. So if you have a product that your hair absolutely loves, look for your remaining products with the same ingredients. For some people's hair it is jojoba, or oils period! Glycerin or cones. Just go through your stash…that's how I found my staples without breaking the bank!

  • s.perry722 says:

    I think the good thing about me having fine hair is that I'm able to "listen" to it easily as opposed to "listening" through loads of thick hair. When it's about to get dry, my ends will begin to feel like a brillo pad and I know to do a moisturizing DC ASAP or deal with the consequences. When it will NOT hold a set (twistout/braidout) for the life of it, I know to give it a dose of protein! All of the issues I've ever had have been attributed to me falling off the the moisture/protein balance as well as pH issues. After year one is when I figured that out so you were not alone! I've been natural a little over 2 years now and I know that anything that is "wrong" with my hair it is because I "did it". lol

  • Anonymous says:

    I've been totally natural since April 2011. I too have issues with my hair not behaving the way I want it to. The top center of my head is very dry and rough. Currently, I'm using a water oil spritz and top it with my shea butter/coconut mixer. Maybe I need to use an actual water base moisturizer. The only problem is that there are so many moisturizers, I do not know which one to use. I do not want to go broke trying numerous ones.

  • Anonymous says:

    you'll get past it once you stop trying to get your hair to listen to you and you realize that you should be listening to your hair. we all go through it and the sooner you start listening to it, the shorted this period will be. HTH.

  • Anonymous says:

    I totally agree with anon 2:54. Not until I started using jojobo oil to seal the water based moisturizer, did I see major improvements to my hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    Girl you are not alone! I know when my hair decides to act-out on me for something I didn't realize I was doing(or for something I know I was Wrong for). I resort to my handy dandy wig, get braids or indulge in accessories for my hair. That's usally a great temporary fix to get me over the hump! Don't give up…it's like any other relationship…it takes work!:)

  • Anonymous says:

    yep, like others I think dry hair is the toughest part about first going natural. One thing that really helped to turn my journey around from constant dry hair was learning how to use oils (coconut, jojoba, almond, shea, etc..) as sealants and not moisturizers. This is something I wish I would have known early in my journey. Once I started using a water based moisturizer first and then sealing it with an oil my hair finally began to thank me :). Hope this helps!

  • Rayna J says:

    Girl, you are so not alone, lol. I have been having the same issues with my hair as we speak. It simply will not do anything, and I do mean anything I ask it to. I know part of it is growing pains. My hair was a lot easier and more responsive to styling when it was shorter. (it is now just about an inch or so above APL)On top of everything, my hair is densely packed but the strands are very fine, which makes them unusually fragile, and not very forgiving of hair mistakes. I have gotten so impatient at this point, that I have turned to wigs/weaves until I can calm down enough to treat my hair nicely while we work through this phase, because I was beginning to get too rough with it in all my irritation and I thought this was the wisest course for now. So take heart, you are most certainly not alone. I have been natural for, idk, about 2 years I think, and I can count on my hands the number of times my hair came out exactly the way I had in mind. Of course, I must admit i am a wee bit OCD/perfectionist, so anything short of the picture I have in my mind is unacceptable, lol, so probably there were many more days, just not in my eyes, lol. Good luck, and dont give up! Maybe you should step back and do some type of protective style for a little bit, until you can get your mind right and start fresh.

  • Anonymous says:

    this week i really wanted to BC again. You are not alone, my hair (curls) is on vacation and i will be glad when it returns. No matter what i do it does what it wishes. i just gave up put it in a puff and called it a day……

  • Anonymous says:

    No sweet heart you are NOT alone! lol I remember when I first started out…I swear it seemed like it took over a year before I seen my TRUE hair! There was this "dry" rough patch in the top middle part of my hair that REFUSED to play nice with the other strads! This patch refused to curl, they moisturied and took its time growing too!

    I realized I had to just be patient, do all the good things that I was taught to do i.e. moisturizing my hair, scalp messages, DC, protective styling, henna's, etc. after a while that spot grew in and was behaving like the rest of my hair. The key is to find a regiment that works for you and stay consistant! And realize that no two heads are alike…so don't try be like anybody else but yourself.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am 1 yr 1month post BC and I am having more bad hair days than good…I realized I was trying to do too much or expecting more from my hair than what it that I have gone back to keeping simple is has gotten better though I probably will braid her up for a bit

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