Things that frustrate women going natural
So you have finally made the all-important, life changing decision to wear your hair in its natural state! Excellent, but right on the heels of making that concrete decision you are struck by a number of frustrations women face when going natural.
To Big Chop or to transition?
You have made the decision to go natural but it seems you haven’t quite figured out how you will get to that stage of being considered a ‘naturalista’. For most women getting their hair chopped off is a shock to their system and quite possibly even a shock to the systems of those around them whereas for others it is quite liberating. You may choose to transition your hair slowly back into its natural state as a means to soften the blow of a drastic life changing image overhaul. Well there is no hard and fast rule about how you should go about it as long as you do not backtrack on your decision once you have made it. Whichever way the road forks take the route that does all natural women- starting with you, proud!
Deciphering the endless acronyms.
You may have realized that in addition to not quite understanding what your hair is trying to tell you when it shrinks after a shampoo or rather when it refuses to do so after a flat iron, gets knotted up, breaks out in split ends etc. you also do not understand all the acronyms that naturally bounce between natural women when they discuss their products and regimens. EVOO, ACV, BC, and the list goes on. The one thing that undoubtedly frustrates women going natural is the lingo that is adopted by women in the natural hair community. This lingo often carries an air of mystery and secrecy and can at times alienate women who are trying to ease into the natural hair community. The one thing you can do to try to demystify the natural lingo is to ask when bewildered by the string of acronyms that seem to serve as a language among ‘naturalistas’.
Lack of support or encouragement.
If you find yourself often feeling misunderstood or discouraged then rest in the knowledge that you aren’t the only one experiencing this. Most women who choose to go natural are faced with negative comments and behaviours from friends, family and even strangers. This can be frustrating to a point of being depressing. A sure fire way to avoid falling prey to this, is to try your very best to have a support system in the form of natural haired friends. If it is impossible in your area to find such people then it is best you find support of like ‘haired’ people in the form of online forums, books, and natural hair meet ups in neighbouring cities or towns. Having no one around you with whom to share advice and information can be extremely frustrating and can ruin an experience that should otherwise be enjoyed.
Discovering you have a new ‘body part’.
As much as it is good to rely on the support of those around us, it is good for you to learn more about your hair-alone. Simply study your hair. Going natural for all of us means getting to know our hair all over again. Realising that your hair requires different treatment from when it was relaxed can be quite overwhelming. The realisation that you can no longer treat/manipulate your hair exactly the same way or use the same products you did as when you were relaxed can be quite overwhelming as it leaves you on unfamiliar ground. A willingness to experiment with styles and products that suit you and your hair type can help squash this frustration.
Finding a stylist.
One of the most difficult and frustrating things about going natural is finding a stylist who understands and respects your decision to go natural. It is important to find a stylist who is knowledgeable about natural hair care and styling. In the absence of a support network or referrals, getting a stylist who is superb with natural hair can be extremely frustrating and even seem next to impossible. Patience in this regard is vital as finding a good stylist may take up to weeks or months.
Trying to figure out your hair texture.
You may or may not have noticed the hair typing charts out there, in magazines or on the World Wide Web. Why all the fuss with hair types. This really is a frustrating point for women going natural. Indeed, why all the fuss? Well getting to know exactly what hair type you are, coupled with what to do with the knowledge once you know can be quite frustrating at times as there seem to be quite a lot of dos and don’ts . But just as it is important to know your skin type, the same applies to your hair type. Knowing your hair type empowers you to take better care of your hair. Be patient, be thorough and ask questions when you do decide on figuring out your hair type. You will not regret the decision to find out what exactly your hair type is.
Impatience and unrealistic expectations.
Not having enough patience can be a massive setback for you when you decide to go natural. You need to be patient enough to achieve realistic goals. If ever you have had this feeling that your hair wasn’t growing long enough- fast enough or that it wasn’t curly and bouncy enough then you can rest in the knowledge that there are others out there who have felt the same way before. In spite of this, it is important that you at least try to accept the fact that each head of hair is unique and that you cannot expect your hair to look exactly like someone else’s (particularly your natural hair crush!) So, resist the temptation to compare your hair to anyone. Be happy with your hair. Enjoy it! Be playful, experiment with your new found natural hair within reason and enjoy and accept who you are. Most frustrations that women going natural experience are as a result of a lack of acceptance and unrealistic expectations- all of which you should do away with.