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Curly Nikki

Oh The Struggle!- Natural Hair Frustrations

By January 27th, 202122 Comments
Oh The Struggle!- Natural Hair Frustrations
 Tammy Goodson of CurlyChics

 Oh, The Struggle!!!!

At some point in life we all deal with struggle. Some intermittently, some consistent, but the key to overcoming them and moving forward is identifying the source of the struggle and determining a plan of action. Although I’ve been living a natural lifestyle for many years, it is something I still struggle with from time to time.

1. The Urge Not To Wash My Hair Frequently
So in my uninformed natural hair days, I rocked and wash and go. I was washing and going like my life depending on it. Turns out, it did, well the life of my hair anyway. On top of the daily shampooing routine, I was using ill advised products, aka sulfate cleansers and nevermind what I was conditioning with! #deathwalking. Simply put, I felt my hair needed to be shampooed daily for a couple of reasons 1.)I thought it was dirty from all the products I piled in it every day 2.)I thought it was disgusting, especially during heat sweltering months 3.) I wanted a fresh look every day and since I slept unprotected my mane was nothing short of unruly the next morning, there was no other way to achieve this. Since those days, I have become much more informed, enlightened and educated on natural hair care, thus realizing none of this was necessary.

What I do to overcome the struggle – I now try to stretch my shampoo sessions by 2 weeks, sometimes 3 if it has started out in a protected state. However, on those 90 degree plus days, it’s hard not to submit to the struggle. Time permitting, I exercise my right to co-wash, otherwise, I spray my scalp with tee tree or lavender water.

2. Getting Stuck In A Hairstyle Rut
I am very much an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” type woman and for the most part, it’s been a saving grace for my hair sanity. However, it can also unknowingly place limits on you. Just because one look suits me or has been deemed a signature look for me, doesn’t mean another look will not.

What I do to overcome the struggle – I am learning to step outside of my comfort zone more and more as the calendar of life flips by. I am not as hesitant as I once was to try fresh new looks.

3. The Disease That Is Product Junkyism
I’ve read enough blogs and talked to enough fellow naturals to know that product junkism is real out here in these streets. I am definitely not in the minority when it comes to this natural hair epidemic.

What I do to overcome the struggle – I haven’t found a true remedy for this yet *laughs*, however, a temporary fix has been professing my boycott out loud to someone so that I am held somewhat accountable. My product arsenal is plentiful and there is no need for this nonsense but it is definitely a work in progress.

4. Taking Negative Comments Personal
People seem to go out of their way to show disapproval about another person’s aesthetic and 99% of the time I do a good job of ignoring it. However, even the most confident woman has her moments of doubt and the negativity can do a number on your self esteem if you allow it to creep in #callDrPhil.
What I do to overcome the struggle – Remind myself that people will always have something to say and allowing this to control you and the way you feel about yourself will generate fear and doubt. Instead I focus on the things I love about my hair, either in the form of audible affirmations or internal reflection.

What things do you still struggle within the natural hair realm and how do you overcome it?

Sharing hairstories and life experiences from a curl’s perspective. Find Tammy at her blog, Curlychics, on Twitter, and Facebook.


  • Hilary B. says:

    Not buying everything on Curlmart, keeping my hair moisturized, dealing with the smell of Amla oil and the mess of bentonite clay, not being able to bun and go, the long drying time, SSKs, putting in braids, taking down braids, missing your hair while braided up, wanting to take them out 2 weeks in, smushing your fro, being afraid to skype your boo after the BC, going through so much conditioner, etc. I could go on lol. but it's been a really fun experience so far and I don't regret it one bit.

  • LM says:

    I only struggle with #2. I rarely find a style that I actually like that can be obtained with my hair length(5-6"). When I do find a style it takes me hours upon hours to do, and it never comes out looking good. My skills are very minimal when it comes to styling, and I DO NOT have the time to spend all day (multiple days when I'm trying to do minitwists/braids or extensions)on my hair. I don't like my puffs because they look flat at the top lol. Just looks weird to me. My go to style has become a head band. I also realize that my hair needs protective styling, but I don't have the skills to pull it off. I am a very low maintenance person so I can't wait until my hair is long enough to just bun when a style doesn't turn out right or gets old.

  • NancyM says:

    I'm currently transitioning (16 months so far), so everything is a struggle. LOL! But, I'm making my way. I was a product junkie when I first started transitioning because I found that the products that I used on my relaxed hair didn't work well on my transitioning hair. I tried lots of shampoos, conditioners and leave-ins. However, now that I've found products that work, my product-junkiness has subsided significantly. I still love to walk through the hair aisles and beauty supply stores for fun, though. 🙂

  • Margarette says:

    3 & 4 seem to be a universal problem. I'm still searching for that perfect combination of products that will make my hair happy.

    Though my frustration is also with how my hair seems to never get longer that my mid back-shoulders even though I've been natural for 11 years. Recently I've gone to a more kinder gentler detangling routine and ended up with a scary amount of clumped tangled hair last week. It always seems to be something

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh gosh I have to admit to #3 and #2. I love to try didfferent products and I feel that I haven't found the right one for me. I also mix and match products all the time. The best shampoo and conditioner that I had is stuff. I have not found anything close to perfect but when I do all of this will stop. Also I tend to leave my hair one way. Either wash and go or twist outs. I tried to straighten it at one time but it was not a good experience. I think that I will start to diverse myself and place braids in or blowdry my hair out.

  • runningnatural says:

    I struggle with trying to balance a healthy life style of exercising and NATURAL HAIR. I try to vary my hairstyles but I find that my workout routine dictates my hairstyle more than anything else. I love running and doing weights and both make me sweat like crazy. 5-6x a week. And I only run for 35-45min and weight train for 20 min so for me its a challenge keeping my curly hair from frizzing and forget about it if I wear its straight!!! LORD IT'S A PROCESS: SWEAT BAND, 2 TIGHT PIGTAILS FOLLOWED BY A MESH SCARF POST WORKOUT. lET DRY. PLACE FLEXI RODS ON ENDS OF PIG TAILS LET DRY OVERNIGHT. This is the only thing that has worked to keep a straight style for up to 3 days in humid weather while working out. (and btw I can only workout in evenings when I follow this

  • Megan says:

    Does anyone struggle with COMBING TOO MUCH like me?

    When I sport a wash 'n' go, bun, etc from day to day (styles that I have to DO each day) I often want to get the knots and naps out of my hair before i do the style (either by finger-combing or combing with an actual comb!) and I end up pulling out my hair constantly!

    Even though I have been natural my whole life, I'm growing to think that maybe I need a professional stylist to save my hair from myself!

  • Anonymous says:

    I struggle with PJ-ism too. I just made an inventory of all the products I have including what I use them for, my rating, and whether it's something I would re-buy. Having this list made me face just how much stuff I has accumulated in the year since I started my natural journey. I am now on a personal "use to buy" challenge.

  • Positively Jewls says:

    I am soooooo with you on 1 and 3. This time last year I was all for wash and go's consistently but I then realized that it did my fine hair more damage then good. I now wash every 2-3 weeks, keep the amount of product I use low and just shower without a cap, so far so good.

    The junkyism is a constant battle because I'll buy something new that works fine but then if I get a suggestion about something else I am tempted to jump on that wagon but I have learned through time to at least finish what I have first and see how it works in the long run. If I then feel that it is not up to par (once the product is done) then I switch to something else. Patience, patience is key, not easy but necessary.

    Thanks for this post and on a side note, when I saw your pic Taraji P. came to mind, you def have her features. 🙂

  • MsPooh says:

    I still struggle with #2, 3 and 4.

    My puff is my life! Probably because it simple & easy to do. I do 2-strand twists occasionally, but I could really use some other styles in my arsenal!

    As far as product junkyism…well, point me to the nearest PJ Anonymous meeting! I am learning what my hair likes and what it doesn't…and I am slowly convincing myself that I don't need to try everything that everybody else swears by. I need help…this is a hard road to travel, y'all!

    As far as negative comments, I haven't really gotten any…at least any spoken out loud…since I first went natural about 5 years ago. But…I had my hair pressed recently (I usually get it straightened when I need a trim, about once or twice a year) and people seemed to go out of their way to tell me "how nice" my hair looked while it was straightened. I went out of my way to tell them that it would be "back to NORMAL" by the end of the week!

  • Sassy says:

    i currently have a twa. and i struggle with not chopping it all off again. i'm a girl that loves to switch things up often, and i feel like this is forcing me to be "regular". this middle stage is so tough esp with my 4c type hair. i'm trying to work thru it, but i see a 3rd bc, on the horizon

  • Anonymous says:

    I've been natural about a year. Twist outs is my fav, but my biggest plus is my hair feels like hair. I can deal with the struggle since i got my hair back after years of chemicals. Make the struggle fun by lots of patience

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm still struggling with #2

  • Anonymous says:

    PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE! I think it's the one of my biggest enemies. You want to have length and moisture and the perfect products. But the work you put into it, is the work you get out of it. Consistency is key and that's what I tell myself everyday of my hair journey.

  • Anonymous says:

    I second your comment @Candace4life!

    I looooooooooooooooooooove Mynaturalsistas, and their new video is a gem!

    Y'all – please watch it! :0)

  • Kinkikw says:

    I have to say I struggle with #2 and #4. I got used to doing nothing but mini twists while I was in Japan, I thought I could depend on those as a staple style when I got back to the US. Now after wearing twists outs for about 5 months, I'm back to medium sized twists. One of my family members tried to make a comment about them, almost like I "didn't look good in them." My answer was: " I still look like a female, don't I? Then, problem solved."

  • Kinkikw says:

    I have to say I struggle with #2 and #4. I got used to doing nothing but mini twists while I was in Japan, I thought I could depend on those as a staple style when I got back to the US. Now after wearing twists outs for about 5 months, I'm back to medium sized twists. One of my family members tried to make a comment about them, almost like I "didn't look good in them." My answer was: " I still look like a female, don't I? Then, problem solved."

  • Anonymous says:

    I was just doing twist & twist outs & I started to become very bored with my that I had contemplated cutting it off. I'm glad I didn't cut my hair because I started doing puffs, buns & the occasional wash n' go & now I'm not bored with my hair anymore.

    Brooke B.

  • Candace4life says:

    I found this on the forum on here, and thought this would be good to listen to as well.
    From you tubers Carmen,India,Toni all 3 are sisters "Mynaturalsistas" video is titled Hair Care Step 1: Love Your Hair that is posted below in the link.

  • Anonymous says:

    I struggle with numbers 2 and 3. I am pretty low maintenance when it comes to my hair and rock a twist out 99% of the time. I am just now starting to experiment with up do's and other styles. Once I found something I like, I tend to stick with it, but I do want to branch out. And I am LOVING the versatility of natural hair!

    And yes, my name is X and I am a product junkie! lol BUT I am getting better. I have learned that less is more so since big chopping about 9 months ago, I have greatly reduced the amount of products my hair actually needs. I have found that a good shampoo, conditioner, aloe vera juice, a good hair butter, whipped shea butter, and of course water, are all I really need, anything else is extra.


  • Anonymous says:

    Yes I started to stretch my hair washing routine to one every two weeks because I was out control with the washing with shampoo every other day. I also went sulfate free because my hair started becoming dry and split ends were everywhere from the drying sulfates even after I has a trim. I had to really get use to my new hair care routine. I still struggle and get the urge to go back.

    Megan Montgomery

  • Anonymous says:

    I hear you loud and clear Tammy! Even though I've been natural for 6 years now…I still have my moments every now and then.

    Don't get me wrong I'm at a point where I honestly feel like my cream crack dayz are a thing of the past. Like my childhood. I've got a reggie down pack, and I'm comfortable with my hair. Never tha less, I still have my moments!

    Some of the things I do to combat those feelings are as follows:

    1. Talk it out with my daughter, sister, friends who are also natural. This usually helps a lot!
    2. Go on Natural Hair Blog's like this one!
    3. Wear a cute styled wig for a week or two.
    4. Purchase new hair accessories, scarfs,hat's, etc.
    5. Most importantly i'm learning from my MISTAKES!

    While I was happy with the old hair days…I like the New Improved hair a whole lot more!

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