So you finally embraced your natural hair and have said goodbye to the perms, wigs and weaves. You knew very well the feeling of being on a 4 to 6 week relaxing cycle or your hair would revert to the curl and your “roots” would show. You also knew about the damage and breakage that would follow if you did not keep your relaxer maintained. You remember what it was like to have to refrain from freely doing the things that you love like swimming at a moments notice, working out, and having that special someone touch your hair. So when you decided to stop the fight and surrender to embracing your natural hair texture you just knew that it would be a breeze, right? Besides, you are no longer going to be inhibited by all that you couldn’t do. You wanted to liberate yourself and claim your independence! How hard could it be? Well for some, although they love their decision to go natural with their hair, there are mixed feelings about just how “freeing” it is.
Many loose naturals have swapped out their limiting old routine of caring for their relaxed hair for another almost equally limiting routing for caring for their natural hair. Twist outs, braid outs, roller sets, and curls done on natural hair require time, products, tools, and energy. The natural curl is manipulated only temporarily and will respond to humidity, dryness, and styling. To keep those styles, many will have to avoid swimming, excessive working out, sweating and over manipulation. It is not uncommon for a natural that wears these styles to need to maintain or recreate this look several times a week. Of course, there are those that do these styles on a temporary basis and have no problem with accepting that the hair will revert to its normal state after some time.
[contextly_auto_sidebar id=”YtpDIhquYMFCY4BgqacBgTQ0yMf3BIyd”] Braids and twists over your natural hair with added hair require that you properly maintain, be mindful of the tension, and remove after a period of no longer than 3 months to reduce damage and breakage. There are some horror stories of mold buildup, balding, traction alopecia and allergic reactions to added hair. These beautiful styles require that you take out and re-do on a regular basis and to maintain their look.
There are others who find that they have very few options other than twisting and braiding to maintain their hair without doing it on a daily basis. Those with tighter curl patterns don’t find “wash and wear” styling a viable option for their hair type, nor do they find it feasible to wear in an afro because of the hair’s natural tendency to lock or mat together. For this reason locs are a great option for many. However, not everyone wants to lock their hair so instead they are styling and using a plethora of products on a regular basis.
Yet still, there are those that have still held on to some of the chemical processing and receive hair texturizers. Some debate about whether this type of hair can still be considered “natural” but despite this, there still is a schedule to maintain and the possibility of damage if not followed. Proper products and hair care is essential.
Your hair can be your independence if you allow it to be. If you feel that you need an array of products to maintain, create shine, hold your curl, stretch your curl, define your twist out, etc you will need to maintain that regimen. Or you can take another drastic route and cut your hair very short. This has been a beautiful option for many women who said this was very freeing and healthy for them. Whatever your choice is, always keep in mind why you went natural in the first place. Embrace your hair at whatever stage, length, texture or style it is in. Find pleasure and beauty in it whether it is styled or not. When you reduce the amount of styling that you need to do to feel it is “done” and accept it in very simple styles as well as the elaborate, you give yourself options. Free yourself from the need to do so much to your hair all the time. Feel beautiful in any style you wear, because you are.