With so many different hairstyles to try, we have to be mindful of what those styles are doing to our hair. Have you ever had a hairstyle so tight but yet so beautiful so you chose to just tolerate it? Did you notice that when you took the style down there was hair loss?
Extreme tension is NOT healthy. With styles that require the hair to be braided down there will be tension involved but if you have experienced anything like me, I had entirely too much tension. My edges began to pop off with the braids attached and my scalp was itchy. I would apply oil to my scalp to soothe it but I should have taken the braids out. They were just too cute though so I chose to tolerate it.
With African American women, we have majority of our hair loss around the edges and top center of the head. We like to pull our hair back into styles that require the hair to be placed in a tight ponytail, braids, twists, sew ins and glue ins that have closure pieces in the top of the head.
What woman does not want her hair on fleek?! We have to think about the aftermath of our hairstyle choices. Are we wanting to have to wear extensions forever to cover the damages we have caused to our natural hair?
Watch How To Prevent Traction Alopecia on YouTube:
Have you ever experienced hair loss due to your styling options?
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After I got over the product junkie phase, I began to mix conditioning combinations for my hair. I was able to combine what I already had instead of browsing the store isles to find the perfect conditioner to deep condition my hair with. It has saved me a lot money as natural hair care can become a strain on your finances when you are always buying products to find the perfect one.
There will come a time, in your transitioning to your natural hair, where you will have to cut off your relaxed ends. For some this is no problem because they are aggravated with dealing with two different textures and for others they are hesitant because they want to keep the length.
Once you do the “big chop” you may notice that the hair remaining if very unruly and dry. No matter what you try to do to it, it just does what it wants to do. Talk about aggravating!
This phase has been titled the scab hair phase in the natural hair community. How did someone come up with this name for it? I honestly don’t know but from my own personal understanding, I feel like it is being compared to a transition or healing of some sort. Why do I say transition? Because you transition through the scab hair phase and eventually reach your “true” natural hair texture.
The hair could be reacting in that way due to long term processing of the hair with a relaxer and chemical damages that could have been made to the scalp/follicles by long term relaxer usage. Although you are not suppose to apply relaxer to the scalp area, it does find its’ way there, especially through the “smoothing” process to make sure the new growth is completely covered.
I say healing because like a scab, it goes through a process before your skin is renewed and the scab falls off.
Does scab hair just fall off?
Watch the Scab Hair?! Transitioning to Natural Hair on YouTube:
I would have never thought that someday I would be rocking locks. I was addicted to the creamy crack and loved to add extensions for length. I had to always make sure that my hair was “laid”. I felt confident with long flowy hair.
When I was transitioning I decided to start sharing my journey but I could not work up the nerve to actually publish my first video so I waited a little while; ok who am I fooling, a long while. I wasn’t ready to hear any negative feedback from my family or complete strangers for that matter. I was trying to get use to it myself.
Once my afro got a little bigger after the big chop, I began to publish videos on YouTube. I also created a FB page in which I contemplated closing everyday during the beginning of my blogger journey. I was like, who cares about my kinky 4c hair. Well….I kept it open!
I was shaking in my pants, literally. I did it! I accomplished the first step in 2013 and shared my kinks with the world. I became a natural hair video blogger, Naturalista4me.
I thought that was a hard step but little did I know that I would come to another step in my journey where I would be back in the emotions of fearing feedback on my hair posts. Not only did I decide to lock, I decided to free form. I call it semi free form because I separate my locks or what some may call “popping”. Once I began the journey I found a sense of peace. I began to learn more about myself. I shared my journey from beginning until now and will continue to do so to inspire other naturalista’s to embrace their kinks. I love my hair!
Beginning of lock journey Aug. 2015 with comb twists
My locks are sitting on an afro. Who would’ve ever thought that I would choose this lock style, being I always preferred my hair to be so neatly in place. I guess I can say that I transitioned again and eventually began to go with the flow of what makes me happy. When I would retwist in the beginning they would lie flat and I felt “held down” in a sense. I felt like I had to be in order because my hair was in order. It was neatly parted and I felt as though it was extremely thin, although it wasn’t. I didn’t like how I could just touch my scalp and feel such neat parting. It felt to organized.
I do not like to feel limited. I have the mindset that I can do all things that I put my mind to. My mind is always going, as I am a woman and that is what we do right? I use to live within my own limitations (due to past mindset) as well as others limitations for me. I always felt held down as gravity is in full effect but people can pull you down to if you allow them too.
My grandmother told me that she doesn’t understand what I am trying to do and this style just isn’t me. She asked me if I was ok (in the head). She wanted to know if I needed to talk to someone because I must have lost my mind. She said this isn’t who I am. I love my grandmother so much and I understand that everyone will not understand why you choose to wear your hair the way that you do. We really shouldn’t expect them too. Remove expectations of others and love yourself no matter what. She is right about one thing. I did lose my mind, my old mind. I have a new mindset.
Some days my hair seems as though it is poking straight out like I have stuck my hands into a socket and the funny thing about that is I feel within so full of energy. It is reflective of how I am actually feeling. If you just so happen to come across me and my hair is on the flatter side then you may want to give me a hug and tell me that everything will be alright. You may even need to counsel me a little bit. Ok. All jokes aside, my hair reflects how I feel. At first I chopped it up to my hair is going through a process and it sticking out is a major part of it but I really do see my energy reflected.
Inner-G : The Permanent State of mind where nothing is impossible…..where oneself relies on instinct to handle anything in life. To achieve the inner “G” one must remove all doubt, all fear, all worries from the mind, well as push themselves to their limits and go beyond it and believe that if they want something they go for it.
When they become longer and heavier I know they will lie down but they will be stronger and longer and I want that strength and growth to be reflected in my life. I am growing.
Moisture is something that is very important in achieving and maintaining healthy growing hair. Keeping our hair moisturized isn’t always easy.
Have you ever wondered why no matter how many different products you put on your hair, it still doesn’t add moisture. You end up with product build up and this definitely will not help moisture get into the strand of the hair.
So why is it so difficult to moisturize your hair?
The natural hair community is growing by the masses. Are people returning to their natural hair because it is a trend or for deeper reasons?
In the beginning of my natural hair journey I was going through a transitional period in my life and I was also transitioning from relaxed to natural hair. I didn’t feel like I was doing it because it was a trend per say, I just kind of went for it. The transitioning process that my hair went through reflected my life. I needed to cut off some things, including those relaxed ends that I held on to for dear life. I just simply didn’t want to let it go. One day I did!
Transitioning to my natural hair. I am rocking a braid out(2012).
I sat up late nights trying to learn how to set up a Blog and Youtube channel and although it seems like an easy thing to do, it definitely takes work to constantly record content, edit, post and then respond to the hundreds of questions and comments you will receive. I was so excited when I got my first subscriber and then my one hundredth and now over two thousand.
Big Chop (2013)
I also began styling natural hair and attended beauty school with a goal in mind to specialize in natural hair. In the process of styling natural hair, I then understood that the natural hair journey for some was a fad and for others a true life journey of acceptance of self and spiritual reasons.
No matter what their reasons were for rocking their natural-born kinks, my focus was on helping them to maintain healthy growing hair. Some have decided to return to the “creamy crack” and others are still hanging in there.
Although the natural hair journey may not be a self acceptance or spiritual journey for some, support should always be given.
There are some “Natural Hair Nazis” that are within the natural hair groups throughout social media and some have definitely discouraged African-American women and have taken a toll on their self-esteem. One may not truly be on the journey for the same reasons as you but the thing you have in common is that you are still rocking your natural. You will still face some of the same issues within society. You will still have to care for your hair in similar ways. YOU ARE BOTH NATURAL!
I have been a victim of a natural hair Nazi.
I was scrolling through a natural hair group and noticed someone had made a post about my video post and she was pretty much going off on me. She was calling me stupid and some other choice words and I didn’t comment at all. I just watched the post. She was the only one going in on me. Everyone else was wanting to know where the content shared originated from to learn more and guess what? They became a follower. So why she was snapping on me, the others believed in me. I took it upon myself to look into her social medias and see who she was and why she would respond to my video in that way. I eventually just stopped keeping up with the post. It probably is still floating around the group to this day.
How Do You Deal With Natural Hair Nazis?
I would’ve went back and forth to defend myself but I will be going on forever because she is not the only one out there who is negative to other naturals. Why would one down another person because they have a question or simply post “I am about to relax my hair because I am frustrated”? Who knows….This is a self issue that the person has to work on. When we can’t encourage then we are not helping. If all we can do is discourage then we need self-evaluation. Positivity and being uplifting is always the best way to go. If we do not agree with someone’s decision about their hair then we can handle it in a nice manner so that they can be more receptive to our suggestions.
Whether your journey is a fad or not, you are still NATURAL!