Healthy Hair Challenges – What Are They Really About?

Today marks the end of my self imposed natural healthy hair challenge and one would think I’d be ecstatic. I’m not! I I can’t remember what I thought I’d achieve from a self imposed three months of basically wearing my hair in protective styles (for me this meant bantu knots after bantu knots because I really couldn’t be bothered being more creative). And I’m not saying I regret it and my hair is the much better for it. It looks healthier, it’s no longer dry and the length that I’d lost during a horrific blow drying experience done by a dear friend who can’t see the point of natural hair has grown back.

The last three months have been a roller coaster hair raising ride . I’ve became a natural hair junkie and product junkie spending ridiculous amounts of money on lots and lots of hair products only to realize that I didn’t really need them in the first place! I’ve fired my lovely hair dresser who has done nothing to my hair. I’ve just become terribly paranoid about the fear of someone trimming off more hair than is required and delaying the journey to a lushes long fro that’s about APL (that’s arm pit length for those new to the healthy hair online community and that I decided is my hair goal cause everyone seems to have one). I’ve instead ordered the Split Ender, which I hope will mean I can keep a hairdressing appointment at bay. I now consider myself the expert on anything to do with my hair and would rather take hair advise from a hair blogger than listen to any practicing qualified hairdresser.

In plain English, in the last three months I became obsessed with my natural hair and the challenge to grow it to lengths that it’s never grown before!  I was constantly checking my ends for split ends and single strand knots. I had a seek and remove attitude towards any single strand knots or split ends. Things that never used to bother me about my hair begun to bother me. I don’t even know why. I all of a sudden had all these expectations about my hair because I was comparing it to the hair of others online.

But three months of this crazy behavior has warn me out and after three months of constantly obsessing about what not to do with my hair and how to protect it from harm I’ve found myself  not wanting to deal with it. I’ve decided to live it alone. Growing hair is not the most exciting thing on the planet and no matter how many You Tube videos you watch on styling, treatments, or products, it doesn’t make your hair grow any faster. And neither does length checking it everyday!

The end of my three months healthy hair journey has posed more questions than answers. Okay so I’ve done all that was required and suggested. What now? You can’t really go back to your old ways once you’ve been on a healthy hair journey! This healthy hair thing is for life. Once you enjoy the results of good hair care you really can’t go back to playing up and behaving badly. Once you’ve been educated about all the things that you shouldn’t do to your hair, your behavior becomes reformed! And I’m now a reformed hair abuser. My only regret from the very beginning is that I wish knew then what I know now.

It’s so sad that black women we’ve been hoodwinked into believing that our hair was no good or that we’ve bad hair. And as a woman who has been natural all her life with two relaxer disasters I’d like to say that I never believed that black hair didn’t grow. I just didn’t understand what it took to grow it. People have also come up with a lot of complicated techniques which I’m sure maybe beneficial but somewhat impossible for me to follow or even understand. I’m keeping it simple. Healthy me, healthy hair from the inside. For the outside, moisture, moisture, moisture! I can’t stress this enough. If you take one tip from any healthy hair journey or post, please let this one be it!

And in fairness to my natural hair, it’s really not that hard, washing, treatments, sealing in moisture. This stuff is text book hair care that other women with less fragile hair have been using all along. We’re just learning about it now and realizing that our hair didn’t need to be treated that differently to be healthy. None of the shampoos and conditioners or treatments that I use are formulated for black hair or curly hair and they work a lot better than some of the brands for black hair have worked on my hair.

I laugh when other naturals talk about enjoying the journey. Nothing about changing my lazy hair regiment was enjoyable but the results have been! It now takes me a good half hour longer to do my hair than it used to and I’ve had to become okay with this. I’m not winging! I’m just saying that the path to healthy hair and long luscious hair Nirvana is not an easy one but well worth it! And for those of us who hoped that a three month hair journey would be the end and answer to all their hair frustrations, I’ve got but news for you. Healthy hair practices are for life. The healthy hair journey is like boot camp for hair. You’re meant to learn and do all the things that you need to take you to a healthier hair path. It’s not the end by the beginning.

I’m grateful for the natural hair and healthy hair community. And I would like to thank all members of the black hair online community for creating resources and hair information that someone like me can follow. Until recently I thought I was the only one in the world with natural hair!

Above Kimberly Elise, another beautiful woman with natural hair

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2 Comments »

  1. Primrose said

    Love this lasted blog. I’ve been doing natural on and off for years and the only thing you can do is to love your hair the way it is as long it’s healthy. Our black natural hair it’s own beauty.

    I recently came across this site and this blogger natural hair woman points out in quite a few of her you tube videos that we have to love our own hair because it beautiful!

    http://napturallycurly.com/about-site/

    • Thank you for your feedback. I’ll check the link you’ve left me and I couldn’t agree with you more. Less hate for natural hair and more love.

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