Nov 15, 2012

DISCUSSION: You are not alone.

You are not alone. We're all here with you.

I was speaking with some new naturals and some frustrated naturals and I learned, as with other situations in life, many naturals often feel as though they have a unique situation on their scalps. I was the same way.

4 different curl patterns on one head?!?! I'm a total freak of nature!!

It took a while to rationalize that it's extremely common for naturals to have different textures. I was new and didn't know any better. But since then, I've heard many other uncommon but super common things.  Here are some non-unique issues that tend to make many naturals feel like they are all alone in this natural hair world. 
  • Multi-textured Hair
    • As I said above... this was me. My left side curl pattern is REALLY different from my right side, which is slightly different from my crown. And all of these are SUPER different from my front. Also, none of these are even remotely related to the loose curls on the nape of my neck. I thought I had alien kinks. But you know who else has multiple textures? Almost everyone.
  • Curl Envy
    • It's okay. I did it too. You look at other people and get curl envy. You think: "Look at those curly curls. Her hair isn't shrunken into her scalp. I want HER hair." But you don't know that she stayed up late, used 1/2 a bottle of product, and got a cramp in her arm. Her back length hair might have taken 17 years to grow because she kept damaging it. But all you know is you want her hair, her style. Now. 
  • I can't even comb my hair when it's dry!
    • You know.... you're not supposed to do that anyway. Only comb your hair when wet, especially if you have kinkier hair. Also, learn to put down those tools and remove tangles with your fingers. Stop looking at Garnier commercials like this one to learn how to care for your hair. Try instead to look for YouTube instructions. Or EVEN BETTER... check out this great site for natural products and style tips AND hair talk. All in one place.
  • I use products for my hair type and I still don't know what works!
    • Yep. Your hair is special. Just like the rest of us. Here's a secret: You don't know what works for your hair until you try things on your hair and realize that they don't work. The "typing system" is only a typing system. It is not a product guide manual. My hair has it's own attitude. Yours does too. And that's Oh. Kay. Don't feel alone because you aren't pre-cut to fit a curl category. Most of us had to do plenty of label reading and hair catastrophes before we found a good regimen.
See? These things that make your hair uncommonly crazy are.... pretty common. If you're a new natural (or perhaps just new to caring for your natural hair) it may seem overwhelming. Most of us have been there? You are not alone.

Is there a special, alien hair characteristic about your hair? Is there a common characteristic that ever made you feel so alone?
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