So I got inspired by an article I read on Twitter the other day about realising how much we accomplish in life and don’t even notice or give value, and it made me think about my hair journey and yours. That is why today I wanna talk about the 5 tell signs that you’re actually doing better than you think you are in your natural hair journey.
THIS IS HOW IT IS!
It’s a known fact that most, if not all, women undervalue their accomplishments and, if they have a family, meaning kids, this is even more visible as the “guilt syndrome” kicks in.
Yes, I actually know what I’m talking about.
Listen, I’m a mum of two, who wakes up at the dawn of day just to clock in some healthy exercise before the kids are up, I manage the house, the kids, the bills, the hubby, this blog, the family disputes (yeah, I’m the mediator in the family) and whatever armageddon comes up, and when I manage to find some Me time or spend some money on me I have a guilty conscious or when someone compliments my “juggling skills” I have a hard time accepting it, thinking it’s nothing much.
No wonder this was the subject of my Psychology & Counselling dissertation in Uni. But, I’m sure this is not foreign to you (I’ll be happy to know what your stories are). Yes, contrary to men, women are programmed by society and evolutionary theories to put others first, to care for others, to not compete or boast (’cause that’s not lady-like), to look presentable, have a clean house, talk quietly, to be sexy but to repress their desires… Ufff, the list goes on.
No wonder we’re always so busy looking at what we have yet to do or what could be done better, that we don’t even realise how much we achieved already.
And this, of course, extends to your natural hair journey too. On our day to day lives, we often think about the things we could or should be doing better to take care of our hair.
“I should do protective styles more often”
“I should deep condition more often.”
“Maybe I should do more protective styles.”
“I must avoid heat.”
“Maybe I could squeeze this into my hair regimen…”
“Can’t forget to moisturise before…”
I must, I should and I could all precede a long list of items we’re falling short on our hair’s to-do list. Well, after writing many posts about what you should and shouldn’t be doing or what you are doing wrong, I think it’s kinda of refreshing to point out that you may be doing better than you think are, dontcha think?
Well, let’s jump right into it and get this day off to a good start.
10 SINGS YOU’RE
DOING BETTER THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE
#1| Deep Condition Twice a Month
Although I’m always on about how deep conditioning is super important and how you should do it every week, the truth is, you can still get good results if you do it twice a month. I get that sometimes life gets in the way and at times, there are just too many fires to put out and not enough time to give your hair some TLC. Or maybe, you get overwhelmed with the number of things and time it takes to take care of your hair and prefer a “light” version.
Listen, if this is you I want you to please pat yourself on the back if you manage to fit in at least 2 deep conditioning treatments. Transitioning is a big change, but you can still get good results this way. Perhaps, once you get into the routine of things you can increase those numbers. It will make a world of difference.
Deep conditioning is very important as it helps your hair regain and improve strength and elasticity, it helps to retain moisture and to prevent and protect from damage (Wanna know more? Go here and here). Ultimately, if you don’t engage in damaging hair practices (heat styling and hair dyeing) and don’t get lazy and reduce this practice, then you’re actually doing okay.
#2| Hair Trimming
Trimming is one of those things so many of us hate doing, but all of us know how crucial it is for our hair’s journey success. It’s a psychological fight we keep having with ourselves. However, if despite your deep desire to reach bra-strap or waist-length hair, you find that you’re able to trim your hair at least every 4 months. Hooray to that!
Maybe you even venture into some DIY while you’re transitioning to natural hair. I get you, those stringy relaxed ends are so unsightly that sometimes you can’t stop the urge and you reach for the hair shears. You know, nothing much, just a 1/4 inch hair trim. Not enough to mess up your hair cut, but just enough to “refresh” your hair ends.
Just remember that at the end of the day, trimming or any haircut is best done by a professional, especially on your Big Chop day. Nevertheless, if like me, you can’t find a trusted hairstylist that actually understands our naturally curly hair then, doing a little DIY is not the end of the world. I did it during my transition. The key thing to remember here is that you shouldn’t venture into an actual haircut or trim too much and end up with an uneven cut.
#3| Trying Protective Styles
Protective styles are a transitioner’s best friend for moisture and length retention, for damage prevention, and for stunning creative styles. It can be daunting trying out new styles that can take a good portion of your time especially when you’re new to them or when you’re always on the run. You may not be the next -hair-protective-hairstyles-whisperer (if this could ever be a title) but if you at least put in the effort to try one new hairstyle every so often or a new technique to do it, you’re a superstar.
This shows you are truly engaging in you hair journey and are committed to knowing your hair and the best ways to style and manipulate it. Well done!
#4| Avoiding Heat
Heat styling is a former addiction to many going through a hair transition and I can understand how hard it must be to not reach for the hair dryer or the flat iron. Nevertheless, many of you are doing it, or keep it to an absolute minimum, even if you had to give your tools away, hide them in some deep, dark, creepy corner of the house or ask a relative to secretly put them away. What matters is you’re making an effort!
Heat is definitely a good partner in your transition, but only when coupled with your deep conditioning treatment or when using your hair dryer on a low setting to diffuse or speed up hair drying process. Check here to avoid some common flat ironing mistakes or here on how to add heat to your hair treatment.
As you start your hair journey and acquire knowledge about ingredients for hair products you also experiment with trying your own concoction. Whether you’re dabbing into DIY’ing to improve your hair products’ performance, or to start your own hair product line (you go, girl!), out of curiosity or just because you can actually save some money doing your own instead of buying them, the fact is you actually know more now than when you started your journey.
I honestly think DIY is every natural girl’s middle name, we’re always sprinkling some natural ingredient in our products or quickly making something. And if you don’t see yourself reflected in this statement, you will have at least tried some DIY concoction once or will in the future, trust me.
#6| Growing Pains
Transitioning or going natural is not easy and you’re experiencing this firsthand just like me. Although some challenges will be the same for everyone many will not. However, despite the different degrees of difficulty to overcome your challenges and how skilful you were in doing that, you can’t escape the fact that you have grown in this journey. You haven’t remained stagnant.
If you take a look back, you will see that you have already reached some important goals, such as developing a hair regimen, eliminating products that draw moisture from your hair or eliminating hair practices that damage your hair. You have learned from past mistakes and experience and, as a result, you have grown has a person. Congratulations!
As you can see, there are many things you have already accomplished in your hair journey and you may not give yourself enough credit. Unfortunately, many women suffer from the Superwoman Syndrome. We think we can do everything and must do it well and when we don’t, we feel we’re underperforming. Yes, it’s true we can multitask, but it’s impossible to do it all at the highest level. Normally, there will be an area where we excel, and if this area isn’t hair care it doesn’t necessarily mean you suck at it.
If you’re ticking off most or all of the things on this list then don’t feel like you should be doing better or more than you are just because the “rules” (more like guidelines) say you should do Y and you’re only doing X. I’m sure you know there’s actually a middle grown here.
As long as you’re able to find a balance between what is beneficial for your curly hair and promotes its health and what doesn’t stress you out and fits into your life routines/habits then these are all signs that you are definitely doing better that you think you are in your natural hair journey. So, please, improve where you can, and keep up the good work!