Natural Hair… It’s Not a Straight Journey. In fact, it’s winding. Spirally… to be exact.
Too often, as women embark on their natural hair journeys, they are bombarded with images of perfect journeys. Perfect regimens. Perfect twistouts. Although some natural hair gurus are very candid about their ups and downs, many are not. So where does that leave the average reader/viewer? Feeling lost. Wondering how to get on the path to waist length hair. So I’m here to tell you that ish happens. Dryness happens. Breakage happens. And that’s ok because in reality no natural hair journey is perfect.
Here’s some insight on what CAN happen…
My first accident happened in my first year. I knew it… just a second after it occurred. I passed the flat iron through a section of my hair and knew right then that it was burnt. (My flat iron had accidentally switched to the highest setting.) I hoped that when I washed my hair a week later that it would revert. It didn’t. It was a loose curl, at best. Protein treatments barely helped. So for the next couple of months I curled with a rod so that it matched the rest of my twistout. Each month, I trimmed until the damage was finally gone.
Everyone That “Specializes” in Natural Hair Doesn’t Know Natural Hair
And don’t think for a second that accidents only occur with heat. I learned that lesson the hard way at a hair salon that “specialized” in natural hair. They did a protein treatment that left my hair hard and dry. Then they proceeded to detangle and style my dry and matted hair. When I took down the style the next day, sections of my hair had already locked. It took me about three days to detangle my hair. A few sections of my hair couldn’t be salvaged and had to be cut out.
This year, I faced my biggest hurdle. My two-year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. I spent weeks in the hospital with her and my hair was the last of my concerns. Due to stress, I lost weight. I looked thin and frail. And then the excessive shedding began. To add insult to injury, the shedding tangled in my neglected hair. It was a dry, tangled, shedding, matted mess. And when I finally decided to start taking care of myself again, I had to deal with it. Lots of deep treatments and three inches of dead ends later, I came out on the other side. My daughter is doing well…and that is a blessing.
Literally and figuratively. Just like in life, you learn and grow from your hair experiences. You make mistakes and you correct them. You have hurdles, but you overcome them. You learn from those experiences and growth happens.
Hair — like life — is a journey. It’s not straight. It’s winding. It’s spirally. And it’s yours.