The natural hair movement is still gaining momentum since its start during the mid 2000’s. More and more women of color are taking a chance to embrace their natural hair texture. While this is a very significant time for our culture, there is more to this than being a “current” trend.
I’ve been wearing my hair natural for the past couple years. For those who have decided to do the same you know it is hard work to care of, especially if your hair is kinky or coiled (I’m have type 4 hair). Experimenting with low to high end and D.I.Y products to get healthy hair, perfecting your wash n go’s, or relying on protective styles can be a daunting process but the benefits are worth it because you are learning more about your hair, health, and well-being. That being said, I learned that there are lessons from this “hair journey” that can be applicable to our lives as well.
- Patience is key to success
If you are like me, somebody who has short hair and are trying to grow their hair down to their back, you know that hair growth doesn’t come as quickly as you want. What I love about this movement is that it encourages women to take their time taking care of their hair by focusing on its health more than its length. It takes a lot time and patience to achieve healthy hair if it has been in a poor state for along time. This lesson can be applied to anything in life whether it’s in career, relationships, or wellness. It’s never about the end goal. Focus on the journey, as cliche as it may sound, and you might end up where you want to be. You may not be at your destination tomorrow but that’s okay. Taking little steps will take you a long way.
- It’s all in the details
We all know that natural hair comes in various textures. Some are more fragile and prone to breakage than others. Not every product you see your favorite natural hair guru from Youtube use or their wash hair routine is going to work for you too. You have to know what works. That usually entails really paying attention to what isn’t working. Details are important in getting the effect you want for you hair. You probably always wanted to get your hair to be more manageable but couldn’t because you are missing a deep conditioning treatment. When you do the L.O.C (Leave-in, Oil, Cream) method, ever tried sectioning off your hair to make sure your not missing any parts that need moisture? Maybe your hair is in bad shape because you may need to cut off the dead ends. Paying attention to details come in handy in all areas of life. It’s the same as applying for your dream job. Did you fill out everything in the application? Is your resume in good shape or do you need to update it? If not, you could be missing a great opportunity; one that you have always wanted because you missed a small vital step.
- “At first you don’t succeed try again”
Going natural is about trial and error. At some point you might feel as if you want to quit because you may feel like your hair won’t grow. It’s okay to get frustrated. However, quitting is easy. Okay, so Shea Moisture’s Coconut and Hibiscus line didn’t work for you. Go try another line from theirs and see if it works. Maybe you tried a wash n’ go look and it didn’t hold up. That’s fine! Give it another shot. Sometimes we have to find another route, like switching to a sulfate free shampoo for example, to help get the hair we want. Life works the same way. There are goals we want to achieve but we stumble along the way. Other times, we have to take another direction. It doesn’t mean you are a failure. You learn from your mistakes and start again.
- Don’t take your hair (or life) too seriously
Being healthy is very important but try to have fun while you are being natural. It’s hard not too since our hair is so versatile. We don’t always have to wear one style during this process. Don’t be afraid to take some risks by experimenting with a new hair style. Let’s say a wash n go isn’t working for you but you are tired of always wearing an Afro. Trying wearing some Bantu knots! You can take a step further and dye your hair a different color, if your hair is healthy enough to handle it. Going natural is a great time to get out of your comfort zone. We do this in our lives all time. We get stuck in a routine. Next thing you know, boredom creeps in. This is when we learn to changes things up. Embracing new things allows us to learn more about ourselves and let loose a bit.
- How you feel about yourself is what matters
Not everyone is willing to wear their hair natural when they go out. Others may prefer to wear wigs or choose to still get their hair chemically treated. All of that is absolutely fine. But when you decided to wear your natural curls, you realize you a defeating the negative stereotypes that came with natural black hair. For years we were led to believe that black kinky, coiled hair was ugly, unkempt, and not beautiful. This movement turns all of that on its head. Deciding to go natural forced me to accept my hair for what it is. Once I began to take care of my hair and learned to love my short hair, people complimented me. Same thing happened when I wore my hair in its natural texture. It wasn’t so much about the hair that drew in attention but it was my confidence. I started to feel good about myself. Confidence and beauty starts within you; and going natural teaches this. People will love your hair and there will be those who don’t like it. People will like you and others won’t. What matters is how you feel about you. Once you start loving yourself, the right people will be drawn to you.