Did you expect to have the tameless, mind-of-her-own, fun but stubborn, beautiful but frustrating type of natural hair when you joined the movement? My guess is maybe not. But natural hair is sort of like raising a child. And you made the commitment so you can’t turn back (I mean, technically you can but we’d give you the side-eye, ha)! But it’s nothing you can’t handle because your hair IS your baby. It’s been attached to your scalp for a specific reason and the key is to learn one another so when she starts having a fit, you’ll know exactly what to do. These 4 tips below will help you keep her as happy as she can be:
She needs more than a pacifier
Hopefully you don’t mind my constant comparisons of natural hair and babies, but I believe the analogy will make things much clearer for you. So we all can picture the mama that’s got a million things to do with a baby in her arms and that pacifier comes in handy when she needs her child to hush for juuust a bit. BUT we all know that remedy won’t work forever. Eventually that child will want something better and nourishing, like a bottle of formula.
So in terms of hair, I notice some naturals think spritzing their hair daily with water only will prevent dryness and promote health. But spritzing is just a remedy to hold you over until you can get the real formula your hair needs. So understand that, yes, your hair needs water to survive but she needs food too! Sometimes it helps to add a moisturizing ingredient with the water and spritz that way. My favorite spritzing mix at the moment consists of Glycerin, Aloe Vera and water!
Find what needs balance
The key to proper haircare is balance. There is such a thing as too moisturized. I’ve ran into this problem before and if you know you’ve been moisturizing your hair properly but notice your curls are feeling/looking limp, that’s a sign your hair’s balance has tipped the scale in one direction.
Natural hair needs a balance of moisture and protein. So common signs that your hair needs less moisture but more protein are if your curls are looking wiry, limp, loose, elongated, have a lot of breakage etc. For the opposite, less protein and more moisture, things like dryness, hardness, roughness, split ends, hair knots, etc. are some things to look out for. When you run into these signs, it needs to be counteracted.
That’s how a natural that knows what she’s doing handles these sorts of issues. So when attempting to balance your hair’s happiness, always think about what would bring the opposite result of where she’s at right now…and do that!
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Sometimes you need to start over
I’ve noticed at times with the advice I give, it doesn’t help every natural at that specific time. Most times it’s because her hair is going through so much already. Maybe she’s already put a lot of product in that’s preventing anything else from cooperating, or maybe she started off using her products in the wrong order and sealed her hair before making sure it was properly moisturized…etc. Whatever the case may be, sometimes it’s less frustrating if you just start over. Wash your hair, get all that stuff out of it and try again with a different game plan. It helps to pay attention to what you used and how you used it too so you can avoid repeating mistakes.
Sometimes you both need a time out
We all need a break sometimes to regroup and think about our life choices, ha. This is when we can embrace that new hairstyle we wanted to try and put our hair in a protective style for a while. Sometimes, natural hair simply just needs a break from us and all the manipulation and expectations. I believe this is something your intuition will tap into and once you feel the need to put your hair away for a little, it’s probably best to listen to it. Put your hair away for at least a month so you both can recharge and remember why you love each other, ha. Self-care is important so don’t forget your hair is its own self too.
Keeping your hair happy is all about paying attention. Understanding what she likes, dislikes and needs will take you miles ahead in your hair journey. And now that you can implement these tips, whenever you’re faced with a roadblock and your hair just won’t act right, you’ll find a way out of it. Mama shoots and she scores!