Accepting your natural hair should be exciting, not stressful. With all of the societal pressures placed on women, women of color, women of color with textured hair, we do not need to add to those expectations. There is a thin line between defining your own beauty and trying to forge unrealistic expectations. Hair care advice is far less overwhelming when taken with a problem and solution approach. There are bigger things in life that warrant stress and your hair should not be one of them.
Unfortunately, there is a misconception that natural hair requires more work than relaxed hair. Well, let’s give some context. Of course relaxed hair is easier to maintain if your upkeep only consisted of a shampoo, daily conditioner, a blow out, and flat iron. That is not a fair comparison if your relaxed hair was poorly maintained, which was the initial trigger for a lot of women to go natural. Going back to a relaxer is not as easy as you think, but I digress. There is nothing wrong with gaining more knowledge from and watching YouTube videos, but it is important to discern what you should incorporate into your regimen and what to file away. In an effort to help you regain your sanity, here are three reasons why your hair care journey has been frustrating.
Yesterday you were satisfied with your progress and today you are picking through hair strands from your comb trying to decipher between breakage and shedding after read an article about hygral fatigue. Girl, this is not necessary. If you have never noticed an issue with elasticity and breakage before, then take that knowledge and move on to the next article. Remember when you self-diagnosed an ant bite for a swollen lymph node? You’re doing it again. Just relax. Also, remember that everyone’s hair is not going to look or feel the same. Coarse hair tends to feel rougher than fine hair so this is often mistaken for dryness. Looser textures usually have more shine, but that does not mean your kinks are not properly sealed.
No one’s hair requires a pre-poo, shampoo, mud wash, co-wash, deep condition, hot oil treatment, protein treatment, rinse, leave-in conditioner, and a moisturizer sealed with an elixir/serum, pure oil, and butter. Stop the madness. This information is simply being shared so that you can explore your options. As long as your scalp and hair are regularly cleaned and moisturized, you are fine. Don’t want to re-twist every night? Well, you don’t have to. I loathe re-twisting my hair every night so I found a pineapple technique that works for me. Nothing seems to combat my single strand knots and I’m ok with that.
Most hair care frustration is rooted in appearance. We want to retain length and you can’t seem to master the same wash and go or twist out results as the YouTubers. If you want to explore the internet for inspiration and tips, then do so, but if you find yourself getting frustrated and hating your hair after trying five different techniques with five different products then it is ok to take a break and decide that style is not for you. For me it’s Bantu knots. I cannot master separating my Bantu knots without losing all definition so I have decided that it is not a style I will spend anymore time trying to achieve. From there it is on to the next one.
Remember that this black hole of hair care content is full of recommendations and not requirements. Make this journey your own and be conscious of the potential to infringe unrealistic expectations on yourself. Relax girl. You look great.
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