"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Natural Hair ABCs : Things To Avoid as a Newly/Aspiring Natural

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There are a number of things every natural queen should avoid and even more so, if you are just beginning your natural hair journey. Of course, there are a long list of ingredients we all should be on the look out for in all our products, for example, sulfates, petrolatum, short chained alcohols, etc but I presume everyone is aware of this, so therefore, I am not going to be talking about these ingredients.

If you have just taken the big leap and have BC'd or you have made your mind up to go natural, the number one thing to avoid is :
Information overload

- These days, the number of information you find on natural hair is not the same as a few years ago and I should know because I did do some research when I first went natural and I can tell you, if I knew what I know now, the story would have been different, I would probably have natural hair as old as four or five years by now. In fact, the number of blogs, YouTube channels, vlogs, forums, sites, organizations etc. that make up the natural hair community is growing everyday. This is a good thing! New natural queens can now easily find advice and answers to their questions. But beware, too much information is no information, practically. Just because there are loads of information on natural hair does not mean you have to go through each and every one of them. Gathering too much information, that might not even come in useful is not only a waste of time but also very frustrating. You could end up mixing things up and confusing yourself! Remember that more than 50% of the information found on natural hair online is not  "plain facts" they are mostly a number of unique experiences from different women. What works for one diva might not work for another. This means you might get contradicting information and then you are clueless on which one to follow. Remember to stick to basic information.

The number two thing you should avoid is : Self-Comparaison

- This is another quick way to get frustrated. Since most of the information we get online is based on another natural queen's unique hair journey, we tend to compare. This is where texture comparison comes in or "hair typing".  Do not get me wrong, hair -typing is useful to those who really need guidance that has to do with hair texture but be careful, as I'd already stated earlier, what works for one person, might not work for you, even if you both have the same texture or curl pattern!!! I cannot stress this enough. Most of the time newly naturals go about looking for another natural that has the same "hair type" as them so they could follow that natural's hair regimen or use the same products. Ladies, it does not and won't work that way. You do not have the same genes, nutrition, or metabolism as this other woman so you cannot expect your natural journeys to be identical! Each and every natural's natural hair journey is unique! Another thing is wanting another natural's hair just because it's thicker or coilier, whatever the case, learn to love your hair or else this will only lead to more frustration with your hair, unhappiness in your journey and probably it's end. Love your hair and stop comparing it with every other natural's hair!

The number three thing to avoid is : Bandwagon Fever

- Every newly or aspiring natural is prone to this. Again, there is so much information out there on natural hair but only pick what you need. There are so many naturals that want to try just about everything! Just because butter and bread works on that natural's hair (just an example) does not mean it will on yours or just because another natural uses one super new product does not mean it will work for you. Stop jumping on bandwagons! Your hair is amazing, all you have to do is learn from it not from other naturals' experiences. Bandwagon fever can lead to "product junkysm" which could create a hole in your wallet. You really do not need to buy a ton of products, or try a ton of ways to detangle you hair. Just find the product and methods that work. Bandwagon fever will definitely lead to frustration because instead of trying to learn from your hair, you are trying to learn from another person's hair! So stay calm and breathe! Choose wisely what you need.

The number four thing to avoid is : Approval Search

- This mainly concerns naturals that might not be getting enough support. If you are a newly natural or you are aspiring to be one, do not be discouraged if you are not encouraged. Whoever it is that might not be singing your song yet, will eventually see your beautiful hair thrive and that person will have to encourage you. You see, we cannot please everyone and quite frankly, your natural hair journey is all about you. Be strong. This does not mean you should cut off the people that are against your choice, especially if they are family, because everyone has a right to their opinion so stay polite and try to avoid any arguments about your hair. Do not search for anyone's approval by trying to cover your natural hair or style it in a certain way. Just go about your business and try not to make your hair everyday's debate. Searching for approval can hurt and make you quite miserable. So again, stay strong!

The number five thing to avoid is : Fear

- Fear on all occasions is just bad but when it comes to natural hair, it is something that should seriously be avoided. Fear will impede your growth and progress because you would be too afraid to play around with your natural hair and try new things, it would kill your creativity and blind you from seeing the beauty of your natural hair. Be bold! Fear can come from our everyday life : fear of not fitting in, fear of getting rude comments, fear of offending a loved one etc. Don't be afraid! Rock your natural hair to the fullest! If you need inspiration check out the tumblr accounts on natural hair and a number of natural hair blogs.


Those are my 5 things to avoid, based on my journey so far. Do you have anything else to add, or a personal experience? Please share!

Stay blessed and funky sisters!

2 comments:

  1. Great post. I agree. When I decided to go natural I watched I think over a million youtube videos(well maybe not that much) but it was a lot and my head was spinning. It is so much information out there for Naturals but it can be overwhelming sometimes. I have to admit I did try some products that I heard naturals speak highly of, you have to find what works for your hair. Trying to compare your hair to another natural is something that we all do, just know that everyone hair grows differently some faster and some slower. My only advice is to love your hair. There will be rough days but we all get through them. You have to make mistakes to learn and grow.

    http://aunaturaleandlovingit.blogspot.com/

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  2. Hi! I am totally with trying products because there's no other way to know what works but buying every single conditioner (for example) we hear raving reviews about, that's something else. Like you said, as long as we have the products that do the job, we should stick to them. Comparison is also good but there is also a limit. You are totally right, loving your hair is number one to going natural!! And yes there are always bumps along the way what's more, trial and error is the way to learn and find what our hair likes! Thanks for commenting Sis! God bless!

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