I love being a part of the natural hair community. I get styling ideas, general advice and support from women who have similar hair issues as I do. Unfortunately, many of us still aren’t completely comfortable with our hair journeys. Here’s a list of fears that I wish we didn’t have.
1. The Fear of Heat Styling: Often times, women skip on using heat in order to avoid the worst case scenario…heat damage. I personally do not flat iron or blow dry my hair often because it’s time consuming and I’m lazy. I can see myself doing it more often once I figure out a good system. Heat is not the enemy. If you want a specific style that requires heat, don’t compromise, do it. If you use heat correctly, you will produce beautiful results and your hair will not have to pay for it. If you do suffer heat damage, just grow your hair out and trim as you go. Definitely see a professional if you don’t know what you are doing.
2. Chemicals, proteins and sulfates: I can’t count the number of times that I read a post where someone is fear mongering about “chemicals” in their products. Hair products serve specific purposes. Both natural and synthesized chemical compounds are combined to form our products so that we can have specific results. If the product isn’t permanently altering your hair texture and you can wash it out, you will be just fine. If you would rather have an all natural regimen, that’s okay too. Don’t worry about ingredients unless you know that they don’t produce the desired results in your hair.
3. The fear of Being Honest: This is a tough one and I know from experience. We get so caught up in the “embrace natural hair” “natural hair is beautiful too” culture, that we forget to be honest. I understand that we all have different standards, but we do lie to our fellow naturals. I’ve been guilty of complimenting people when I knew they looked a hot mess. You know why? When I say I don’t like something or suggest an alternative, people typically write it off as me being a hater or being mean. I like to see people look good or at least average, so I trained myself to either constructively criticize when asked or just shut up altogether. If I don’t like it, and nobody asked for my opinion, I keep scrolling.
4. Short hair and trims: It’s like some of you forget where you came from. Yes, I went there. I have heard so many “before I went natural” horror stories and most of them include short, struggling strands. You know you weren’t cute. You’re just getting cute now. Don’t envy other people, your hair will get there eventually. Just be patient, get your trims as needed and you’ll be amazed at your results. Just remember that short hair marks the beginning of something magical. Besides, your big chop is the one chance that you get to be African supermodel fierce.
5. Not all stylists are created evil: I know the stories of stylists putting that creamy crack in conditioner to make our hair “softer.” Yes, I read plenty hair horror stories. These are unfortunate developments, but that doesn’t change the fact that we need hair advice from people who have studied hair. I’m not saying stop watching my videos, but that extra knowledge from a stylist can help you achieve fabulous hair.
6. The fear of wasting products: If it doesn’t work, toss it like a bad habit. I know you spent money on it, but any product that you may have used over and over again with no positive results is a lost cause. Being natural is hard. You have to re-learn your hair, so it’s going to take some time and practice. Learn from your mistakes, study your hair and figure out what works. You will make better product choices in the future and master your techniques.
7. The fear of other naturals: Ladies in the natural hair community can go from sweethearts to mean girls with the swipe of a keyboard. If you deviate from the norm or get ideas, prepare for the backlash. Sorry ladies, but it’s true. How many times has someone done something different and then a mass of women respond with ugly comments calling it stupid, a waste of time, against what being natural is about? Too many. I have seen so many naturals impose rules and regulations on others that I wonder who they think they are trying to police. Most of us are grown women being bullied by other grown women who want to want to impose their definition of what being natural is, what products we should use, whether or not extensions are okay, and the list goes on. I have been labeled as an insecure natural who will do anything to change her curl pattern because I curled my hair with rollers. I expect backlash because I choose to put myself on a public platform and I know that I do strange things to my hair, but I never had these problems when I was relaxed. We all have different personal styles and we should respect each other. It does bother me a little when I see people do things to their hair because they are trying to seek approval from other naturals. You should be the sole decision making body when it comes to your hair. Own your individuality, sweetie. #TwoSnapsAndATwirl