Friday, 14 March 2014

Ghana Hair Chick's Letters: Realistic vs Idealistic hair advice

Hola! I hope we are all doing wonderful today. Thank God its Friday! I wish you all a great weekend in advance.
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Today, I would like to talk about the kind of advice we give people considering having completely natural hair. As naturalistas, I think there are two types of advice we can give, and our advice falls into one category usually.

Idealistic advice is when we give the person all these good reasons for going natural and show them pictures of long haired great looking natural ladies. This is all well and good with the aim of encouraging them to go natural, but then it leaves out something very important: realism.

Realistic advice is usually about the challenges of keeping natural hair. The bad hair days. The number of hours it takes to wash our hair. The fact that its hard work and patience. The detangling battles. The fact that some textures are different from others. The shrinkage. The having to twist or 'pineapple' our hair every night if we want to look half-decent the next day. The list goes on and on.

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What type of advice should we be giving? I think we should learn to present a balanced view. Tell them about all these potential challenges but also let them know that the hard work pays off. When you have someone who has been completely dependent on salons for their hair care deciding to go natural, that person needs to know that salons are probably out of the question now. The person needs to know that they will have to work hard on taking care of their own hair. Showing them pictures of our own hair looking good can inspire them, but we should remember to let them know the long hours we spend making the hair look that way.


 I think we have a lot of natural haired ladies returning to relaxers because they didn't know all of this stuff before they went natural, and so when they experience it, they give up.
Would you agree or disagree? What advice do you give those wanting to be natural?
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26 comments :

  1. I tink I shd be able 2 agree on giving dem conditions both gud nd bad concerning the hair, making them undastand its nt going to be easy bt being diligent pays nd time factor also. ogechigodwin@gmail.com

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    1. That's very true! Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  2. So true! there's so much info on the good parts of keeping natural hair but very little about the challenges naturalists struggle with on a daily basis. It would be nice to give a balanced view, so that people know exactly what to expect and are better prepared before they embark on their journeys. thanks for sharing.
    dressed2dnines.blogspot.com

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  3. Well right now a lot of people are so negative about natural hair, I don't think they need more arsenal for their negativity. Show them only the good stuff lol! However you are right. If someone genuinely wants to go natural and comes to you for advice as someone who's in the business, so to speak, you should give them a balanced view. The care that is needed, the challanges, as well as the beauty, the uniqueness, the full head of hair. Bookworm1790@yahoo.com

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    1. Haha! You are quite right, but don't you think leaving out some details is also not fair to people? Its like false advertising..lol

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  4. Hi I've been natural for about 8months, and my major problem is detangling. My hair coils around each other when it comes in contact in water and that causes horrible tangles and most times I'm too lazy to do the nightly protecting routine and gentle detangling. It's frustrating me and I don't really know what to do. One tends to forget the "natural hair is healthy and nice" stuff due to all the stress involved.
    Anurika.
    aumeizu@yahoo.com

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    1. Lol. You already answered your own question when you said "most times I'm too lazy to do the nightly protecting routine and gentle detangling."

      Maybe you should try washing your hair in sections and if possible, rinse in twists to avoid tangling. Sorry about the "frustration:" I trust you will be fine.

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    2. Hi Anurika
      I can understand your frustration. trust me, I've been there. Sharing your challenges with us provides the support you need to keep going so I'm glad you shared this. To help minimise your tangles, DEFINITELY wash your hair in twists. I had the same issue before, and what I did to minimise it is to
      1. Only detangle moist but not wet hair. Spray your hair with a little water to make it damp. Then add an oil like coconut or olive oil to your hair. Cover with a shower cap or plastic bag for about 30 minutes to one hour
      . If you have a steamer or hair dryer you can apply a little heat to the plastic cap. After that go ahed and take your cap/plastic bag off, and then detangle.
      If you have difficulty with a particular section of hair, add more oil and some conditioner. More oil makes your hair slippery and easy to detangle.
      2. When you detangle each small section, twist it immediately. Do this for your whole head before you wash in twists.
      That's it! This has helped me so far and I hope it helps you too!

      Delete
  5. I totally agree that a balanced view must be given to intending nauralistas. They have to load up on hair assessoriesas well as get savvy on maintaining african hair. Its not easy o! But it is comfortable. MTN please stellarzaza@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very right! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Delete
  6. I can't say I've given advice on natural hair to anyone. However, we should give realistic advice as it should be a personal choice to go natural. serenataphy@gmail.com

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    1. You're right about that. Thanks for reading and commenting,

      Delete
  7. Personally people should do their research. Ive been natural for over 2years now and I never really planned to go natural. I decided not to relax my hair for 3months to achieve growth and then its went to 6months then 8month. Within that year I had somehow started watching a lot of youtube videos. I was mostly fascinated by Alicia James on youtube so I started chopping off the permed part of my hair every time I had a wash. I would say I did really enjoy it in the beginning. I was always thrilled and very excited to try new things. I became a product junkie, trying and testing every single thing but fast forward to now.... Im contemplating texturising my hair. I do not want to fully loose my afro but my natural hair is becoming something more like a task rather than something I enjoy. My hair is 4c texture so it tough. The oils that I find sink deeply into my hair are moroccan argan oil and macadamia oil but these oils are just too pricey for me to carry on buying. Olive oils just sits on my hair and doesn't sink in. I can't be bothered to try coconut oil as I hate the smell. I always have my hair in corn rows so in the last couple month I've been washing, conditioning and treating my hair while its cornrowed then I leave it to air dry and once its dry I redo the corn rows. So yeah natural hair is very tiring and time consuming. If you get home late from work. You still need to cook, do other stuff and pray etc so its a lot of work to be doing twist outs or putting you hair in bantu knots every single day. And if you choose to have it in a bun, you will need some hair gel and doing that everyday isn't too good either. Ive been wearing wigs so I get by. This spring I plan to put my hair in braids/twist and in the summer I plan to leave my hair out and try out a couple of natural hair styles and i will see how it goes from there before I make that decision about texturising. You can check out a hair style I did last summer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKNZAUCc_BU

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!
      It is really quite a challenge to keep your hair especially if its more kinky. I don't know about texturising, but I think its a personal decision for you to make. However, I can say that perhaps changing a few things would help make your life so much easier if you wanted to stay natural. If you want to consider such options feel free to contact me and we can talk about it.

      Delete
  8. Personally people should do their research. Ive been natural for over 2years now and I never really planned to go natural. I decided not to relax my hair for 3months to achieve growth and then its went to 6months then 8month. Within that year I had somehow started watching a lot of youtube videos. I was mostly fascinated by Alicia James on youtube so I started chopping off the permed part of my hair every time I had a wash. I would say I did really enjoy it in the beginning. I was always thrilled and very excited to try new things. I became a product junkie, trying and testing every single thing but fast forward to now.... Im contemplating texturising my hair. I do not want to fully loose my afro but my natural hair is becoming something more like a task rather than something I enjoy. My hair is 4c texture so it tough. The oils that I find sink deeply into my hair are moroccan argan oil and macadamia oil but these oils are just too pricey for me to carry on buying. Olive oils just sits on my hair and doesn't sink in. I can't be bothered to try coconut oil as I hate the smell. I always have my hair in corn rows so in the last couple month I've been washing, conditioning and treating my hair while its cornrowed then I leave it to air dry and once its dry I redo the corn rows. So yeah natural hair is very tiring and time consuming. If you get home late from work. You still need to cook, do other stuff and pray etc so its a lot of work to be doing twist outs or putting you hair in bantu knots every single day. And if you choose to have it in a bun, you will need some hair gel and doing that everyday isn't too good either. Ive been wearing wigs so I get by. This spring I plan to put my hair in braids/twist and in the summer I plan to leave my hair out and try out a couple of natural hair styles and i will see how it goes from there before I make that decision about texturising. You can check out a hair style I did last summer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKNZAUCc_BU

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree! This is the reason why we created the diary of an honest naturalista, so people can get a honest and balanced view on what it means to wear ur hair naturally.
    But what ticks me off is when some people say natural hair is difficult to manage. I am always quick to correct that natural hair is not difficult, but completely different to manage. If you are not ready to do things differently, its no use.

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    1. Lol.. I guess difficult is subjective. When you consider the fact that a lot of us used to rely COMPLETELY on hair stylists and all of sudden, we have to do it ourselves, its difficult for some people. Plus there's no doubt that natural hair takes more time and effort than relaxed or texturised hair even if you are keeping your own hair and not going to a stylist. For people with big demands on their time, it can be quite a hassle. I think though that there's always ways to optimise a method and if a regimen is difficult for you, there has to be a way to make it easier so i can agree with you there.

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  10. Focusing on the benefits of having natural hair can also help in this journey. When I started some 15 months ago, my hairline had receeded badly. Today my hairline is better and when I'm feeling like natural hair is difficult, I just focus on the benefits.

    My husband won't even let me go back to relaxed hair, my hair is fuller, healthier and way better than before.

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    1. Very true oo! I think agree with you. Focusing on the reward helps make the journey easier.

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  11. Haha...Bf was always like "you are stressing yourself, just goto salon jurh", when I first started. Now he asks when my hair would be at waist length, after seeing long natural hair on instagram. He even helps me with my length check from the back :)

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    Replies
    1. Lol.. this your bf sounds awesome ! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Delete
  12. My standard answer when anyone asks about my hair is - "Moisture moisture moisture with DCs and my spray bottle, braiding/flat twisting at night to keep it stretched, and washing every week or two. Do it and over time, your hair will be easier to manage." I think that's a fair and balanced answer.

    That being said, I should add, "You have to be patient to see your hair grow, and when it starts growing, weekly care takes a longer time."

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    Replies
    1. Yes Berry. Thats exactly right. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Delete
  13. All we don't have the same type of hair and we are not styling same. If you have African hair maybe you have to choose special hair styling tools. Because your hair maybe course type. However you may check this site to understand more-http://www.myhaircarecoach.com/ besides you will get an idea about hair and hair tools.

    ReplyDelete

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