As promised on my previous post, Put Some Laughter In Your Curly Hair Journey, today I’m gonna share with you what I’ve learned so far while transitioning to natural hair. Yes, there’s always a lesson to be learned in life. I know it’s cliche, but it’s the truth, and if you haven’t learned anything in your hair journey then you need to pay more attention because life is gonna keep throwing experiences at you until you learn the lesson.
1st| Be Patience
This is probably the number one lesson people learn and then later advise other people to have (newbies) on their hair journey. You too, if you stay long enough (please doooo!) will learn it. When it comes to me, I was never really impatient, my mother will tell you that. But, then again I guess the real thing is most transitioners want their hair to grow quickly.
I guess in the beginning of my journey I was like that too. I couldn’t see the end of the road, I just wanted to jump ahead, push the turbo. The only thing I wished was to be at a place where my hair was how I imagined it. Five or six months into my transition, this was especially true because detangling was very difficult to me. Luckily, as soon has I overcame that challenge I learned another valuable lesson.
2nd| It Grows! Focus On Health.
Back in the day, in my relaxed hair life, my hair was never really short (unless I wanted it to be), but it never passed bra strap length (BSL), it always stayed there or close. Ok, I know some of you may say “Really, Mónica are you gonna moan about that?!?!?”, I get you. Compared to many, I know I can’t complain, but we all know the grass is always greener on the other, and for someone who always wanted waist length, bone-straight black hair I wasn’t happy.
I found that a good hair regimen, staying away from heat styling tools, doing protective styles and low manipulation really foster hair growth. What happens is my hair never really went past BSL because I always had to cut whatever was growing due to damage. The funny thing is that now that have a healthy regimen in place I found out my hair grows really fast. See how important it is to build a good hair regimen that caters for your hair needs! Focus on health and you’ll see your hair grow.
“But, Mónica my hair grows really slow!”. If this crossed your mind all I can say is, slowly but surely your hair will get to where you want it to be. Have you hear about the hare and the tortoise? There’s a lesson in there…
3rd| Stop Bullying Your Hair!
There’s an array of crazy stuff out there you can do to force your hair to grow faster. You can engage in practices and behaviours that promise to increase your hair growth such as the Green House Effect or the Inversion Method. There are also supplements you can take for the same effect such as Hairfinity.
However, to me, you are bullying your body into doing something it is not programmed or ready to do. The rate of your hair growth is genetically mapped out, forcing this can possibly put stress on your body. With pills, for instance, you can be “over-supplementing” your body if you already have a balanced diet, and this can introduce health problems. Focus on your diet, drinking water, and finding the right hair regimen and you’ll be supporting long-lasting hair growth.
4th| Curl Pattern Doesn’t Matter
During the baby steps of my hair journey, I was eyeing the mirror quite often inspecting my new growth and trying to match what I saw, with a hair type guideline everyone was talking about (Andre Walker). I hope you don’t fall into this trap and stay chained in there. I believe that going through that phase is inevitable, again, there’s a lesson in there.
If this journey is not a fad trend for you, then you’ll eventually grow out of this phase I believe. You’ll discover, as I did, that you can have 2 or more different patterns in that beautiful big mane of yours. Secondly, what you see is not what you’ll get when you do your big chop. The length and weight of your relaxed hair don’t let you see the true curl pattern of your new hair growth. Therefore, there’s no point agonizing endless hour in front of the mirror wishing, questioning, fantasising or whatever it is that you do. Stop it, you’re wasting time.
Finally, if you allow yourself to look at your hair beyond your curl pattern and enjoy its new strength, new shine, new health and versatility you’ll fall in love with it no matter what and then you can really enjoy your journey.
These are the most important lessons I learned in my hair journey so far. I hope you can gain some knowledge from all of this and that it will help you in your journey wherever you are in it.