An article I wrote was recently featured on Un-ruly.com, a place for black hair (they were responsible for the controversial “You Can Touch My Hair” events). I wrote the following piece to share my natural hair story and encourage other women of color experiencing hair envy or fro frustration.
In the words of the immaculate Lupita Nyong’o, “Love your stage”.
Growing Pains by Jolie A. Doggett
When making the decision to go natural, we all have a vision in our minds of what we’re going to look like when our transition is complete. Personally, I saw myself as a modern day Diana Ross. Needless to say that is not what resulted after I finally cut off my relaxed ends.
It can be pretty discouraging when things don’t quite turn out as expected when it comes to our hair. But here are five steps to overcoming your irritation with your growing and ever-changing hair.
This is possibly the most important step to growing out natural hair and becoming accustomed to your curly kinky textures. Growth is a natural part of life and it WILL happen. But it will happen in it’s own time. Don’t get frustrated with your tresses. One day, you’ll wake up with so much hair going on that it’ll be too much to handle.
2. Seek Advice
Like with any major life choice, you should talk it over with people you trust and who can relate to your struggle. I was constantly texting my already natural girlfriends asking them which products I should buy next and begging them to set my hair. Some knowledgeable curly girls who helped me on my journey include YouTubers Naptural85, Taren Guy, Mahogany Curls, NikkieMae2003, and Fusion of Cultures. Check them out! It’s a tough transition. You shouldn’t go it alone.
3. Have Fun! (But Don’t Get Crazy)
Going natural is one of the rare opportunities in life when you can virtually start all over. Enjoy your short teeny weeny afro (TWA) while it lasts. One day, you’ll definitely miss it. Your hair is an extension of your fashion sense. Take advantage of your new freedom and explore new styles. Dye your hair a risky color while it grows out. Weave it up, braid it up, lock it up! Play around! Just make sure you’re protecting your hair from damage while you do it!
4. Share Your Struggle
As a naturalista, you’re going to encounter people who won’t love your curls as much as you do. But don’t let the haters get you down. Surround yourself with people who love you the way are, regardless of your hair styles and consult with people who have been or are going through the same thing. Allow people to love your mane and gas you up. Show love to fellow curly girls. No matter what your family, friends, boss, or mean kids on the street might say, believe that you are beautiful and show it off.
5. Accept What You Can’t Change
This is another critical step to hair growth. Hair envy is the number one killer of hair growth. When you’re so focused on what’s going on in someone else’s scalp, you’re missing out on the wonderful things happening on your own head. Embrace your unique curl pattern. Everyone’s hair (just like everything else about a person) is going to be different from yours. And there will be things you can do and use with your hair that other people won’t able to. Love yourself and work what you’ve got!
I think you’ll find that these tips can be applied to multiple areas of your life outside of your hair care. If you’re feeling stressed and don’t see any growth in a relationship, at work, or in your general life goals, take a step back and a deep breath. Remember that patience allows things to work themselves out. Share your issues and graciously take advice. Accept facts with serenity and of course keep living your life to the fullest. You may notice more things than your hair begin to change before your eyes.
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