Staying Natural: What to do when you hear the creamy crack calling…

We’ve all been there before, that feeling when - you want to look good for a night out with your girls or look sophisticated on hot date or you just want to look professional for work and your natural hair just seems to have other ideas.

You feel as if you tried everything; you’ve tried co-washing it, moisturising it, sealing it, gelling it, diffusing it, blow-drying it, buning it, twisting it, braiding it and still nothing looks right. You’re now beyond annoyed – you’re frustrated, vexed in fact and you feel like a hot mess. You sigh, as you reminisce on your relaxed day where you simply rolled out of bed and in the blink of an eye your hair was styled perfectly  – what you wouldn’t do for such ease now…

The overwhelming urge to go back to relaxer, plagues your thought – you don’t know what to do. Go back to the creamy crack or continue on your natural journey?

So what should you do?

Remember the reason why you decided to go natural in the beginning: whether that be for healthier hair, discovering what your natural hair texture is or growing your natural hair long. Reflecting on your long term goals may help you put thing into perspective because believe me, the phase you are going through is transitional whether it’s a bad hair day or your struggling with length or texture – you’ll overcome with time, knowledge and understanding.

Look back on how far you’ve come. Sometimes it feels like you haven’t made any progress at all but that isn’t always true. Look at photos of when you first became natural and photos of you hair as it been growing up to now. Your bound to see improvement somewhere for instance, in your hairs health or length or even just better styling.

Take a break. Do a long lasting protective style like twists, micro-braids, braids, cornrows or extensions to take your mind off your hair if you’re trying to grow it out – you might even start missing playing with your natural hair after a while. Alternatively, you could try wearing a wig, scarves or hat on off days or bad hair days.

Find some inspiration. Looking at photo of kinkies and curlies can help you imagine where you’ll be if you stick to the plan and also help you think of style ideas; sites like Fuck Yeah Curls Curls Curls, Fuck Yeah Natural Hair, Le Coil, Black Women Natural Hairstyles and of course the Facebook Gallery. Also check out websites like Black Girl with Long Hair and Curly Nikki, they have inspiring stories of normal women with natural hair, like me and you, with success stories and if they can do it, you can do it too.

Simple styling. If you feel like your in dyer need of a new look or hairstyles. Try just varying your hairstyle with simple things like; changing your parting, adding accessories, adding a fringe/bang. Some easy go to styles to try are buns and puffs. For more drastic changes; try colouring or getting a hair cut.

Consult with your fellow naturalistas. Sometimes you just need to vent your frustrations in order to get over them. It may sound weird but moaning and complaining can make you feel better. Plus you’ll hopefully get some positive, encouraging feedback. Sites like Natural are great for encouragement, it’s a internet community of naturals and everyone is so supportive.

Remember having relaxed hair isn’t a walk in the park either. To keep hair healthy and relaxed you still have to have a regime – moisturise, deep condition and do protein treatments, etc. Also you have get your roots done every 6-8 weeks, you can’t go swimming, walking in the rain or sweating which are things you need not worry about with natural hair. And I’m sure you had bad hair days or periods with relaxed hair too. Remind yourself of all the positive aspects of natural hair.

Re-evaluate what your doing in regards to hair and health. It may be that a certain product may be be your down fall when it comes to styling. It could be that your diet is sufficient in something or you not drink enough water and therefore your having to struggle with your hair.

Have realistic expectations of your hair. Don’t get frustrated because your hair doesn’t do what another person hair does. Each texture is different, needs different product, curls/coils differently even hold styles differently.

Keep obtaining knowledge about hair care and practicing techniques. Sorry for the pun but eventually you’ll become a natural with your hair care and styling and it will come to you like second nature. You just need to get used to a new way of doing things – change is always hard at first.

Stop stressing. Easier said than done, I know but it’s almost never as bad you make it out to be – all you need is a little patience.

I hope you find this useful and if you’ve got any advice of what you do when the creamy crack is calling – comment!

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