Nov 19, 2013

DISCUSSION: Is Natural Hair Too Much Work?

If I had a dollar for every time someone said "Natural hair is too much work," I'd be able to buy myself something nice. (Not brand new car, but a really good Groupon or two.) Conversations usually start off with a hair compliment, and (if I'm sporting a nice twistout) talks about "good grades" of hair. You should see the looks on their faces when I tell them that I am not a "silky" natural. I usually show them pictures of my untamed hair and they can't believe I'm a nappy, kinky, coily natural... just like them. They usually end with someone explaining their return to relaxers by saying natural hair is too much work.

Properly caring for your natural hair may seem like a lot of work, but we at Natural in Nashville have found a solution. It's a genius solution that we're about to present to you. Are you ready to have your mind blown? Here goes: When you feel like taking care of your hair is a lot of work you should--

SIMPLIFY YOUR HAIR CARE ROUTINE!

Now that you've gathered yourself, we should elaborate. Many of us go through a stage in our natural hair journey known as the "product junkie phase". It's the stage where we try any and everything to get the Tia and Tamera hair. During this stage, your bathroom hair cabinet will be nearly impossible to navigate. And you will become convinced that you need to use 3 or more of these products regularly. No wonder people tend to think that caring for natural hair is a chore. When your wash day has 17 steps and 12 product applications for completion, OF COURSE you'll be overwhelmed. Hair should be cleansed, conditioned, moisturized, and protected. That's the short version of what your hair needs.

  • Clean your hair so that it can breathe and not be weighted down with layers upon layers of products.
  • Condition your hair so that it is optimal for styling and manipulation. Deep conditioning should be done regularly.
  • Moisturize your hair whenever it is dry. The best moisturizer: Water. Aloe Vera is an excellent moisturizer as well.
  • Protect your hair. Water evaporates from hair because it is exposed to the elements. Seal your hair with an oil or cream based product. This is especially important if your hair is prone to dryness.

Do you see how simple that is. Unless you are doing mini-twists or another time-consuming style, this should cut a lot of time from your hair routine. There is an option to include styling products, but that's a world of its own. One of my best twist-outs happened when I used all of the above steps, protecting AND styling my hair with a mix of shea butter and coconut oil. I'm not suggesting that you forsake all styling products. Everyone isn't meant to be a kitchen mixologist. But simplifying your hair routine really isn't hard. You don't need 12 products for 4 steps. You can keep your hair looking fabulous and have a life that isn't confined to your bathroom mirror.

Remember that you are not your hair. Life is not hair. It's pretty common to want to experiment. It took mos of us a while before we learned that there is no 'miracle product' that you can put on your hair once and it maintains your hair's moisture, condition, and shine until your next wash day. However, if hair becomes more of a chore than it is a joy, it's time simplify change. Delegate some the dreaded, excess time spent on your hair to things that actually make you happy. Read a book. Learn a new language. Sing in the rain (in your newly learned language). Go pet caterpillars. Simplify your hair care routine so that you can spend more time in your happy place and less time focusing on your hair.

Have you ever been overwhelmed by your hair care routine? What did you do to simplify it?

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