Any journey will have pitfalls, and no matter how much pre-planning you do, the ideal scenario may not become your reality. It’s the nature of living on this earth and it’s a part of Murphy’s Law, but many who are considering going natural or accepting their curly, coily, and wavy hair may think it's a simple transition.
Discovering your favorite products and mastering certain styling techniques does not happen overnight. Anything new takes time to learn with the hopes of one day discovering those Holy Grail products and mastering various techniques. Despite all the knowledge, videos, books, and hair meet and greets you may attend prior to or at the beginning of your natural hair journey, you will have some hiccups and misconceptions on what you are doing and what will work for you. We've all done it.
Not every style, product, or technique will work for you. The same steps someone else takes to achieve a style may require different steps in order for you to achieve that same style. For example, if you are trying to achieve small curls, someone with a looser curl pattern will probably have to use small magnetic rollers while tighter curl pattern could just fingercoil; same goal, different routes. If you have looser curls and want to achieve an afro style, your hair may require more fluffing and the use of an afro pick.
The route to success may come with multiple failures, but it is a means to discover what your hair really needs. I know some are not too keen on curl pattern's place in the hair typing system, but it can help in figuring out what will work for your tresses. A 4C may not be able to achieve the same styles as a 3A just like a 2B is may not be able achieve the same styles as a 4A, but many styles can be achieved by any texture; again, it’s about how you get there. Once you accept that, you can explore other means attain dazzling styles that will give you all the confidence you need to keep going.
Curl definition is one of many goals for many newbies, and it can be a disheartening blow if you don’t realize that everyone cannot attain curl definition. Many women with Type 4 hair often get discouraged or dispirited when they do not see the curls they may want and many fine haired women with low-density hair feel the same way when they cannot achieve the volume they crave. If your hair is frizzy by nature and you cannot achieve curl definition, then explore two-strand twists, Bantu knots, braid outs, and flat twist out for stretched styles. If you fine, low-density hair then frizz only adds to the volume that you crave!
Single strand knots (ssk) or fairy knots are the ultimate annoyance. For many women, no matter how much moisturizing, sealing, and protective styling they do, they will always have ssk. They are little knots at your ends of your hair that seem to pop up out of nowhere. While some have found ways to fight them off with huge success, the vast majority of us have to deal with them.
Some aspects of natural hair are here to stay and another fixture of that would be frizz. While many hate frizz, we must embrace it because it is the nature of many textures! Another reason to embrace frizz is because natural hair gets affected by the weather just like relaxed hair does. There are products that claim to fight frizz and many are effective but there are days and seasons that the frizz will win the battle. You can keep applying generous amounts of heavy gels and serums to fight it off, but sometimes you need to embrace it and learn to work it to your advantage. Want the big hair? Use a light mousse, a light gel, or no styling product at all and ride the wave of volume that will surely give you the height and fullness you implore.
Loving your natural hair is more than just quitting the chemical relaxers. It’s about educating yourself on what techniques, products, and styles will work best for you and your tresses. To properly ride the waves of natural hair you must be willing to accept what your hair can do and what it cannot while first making sure to moisturize, protect, and love your hair no matter what!
What elements of your hair have you started to embrace along your natural hair journey?