Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Are You Doing Too Much To Your Hair?

I do NOT know any black woman who's bathroom looks like this...
Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/Cultura/Getty Images

When you first go natural, you're like a crazy person. Your hair becomes a living, breathing, entity. You give it a gender and a name and talk about the things 'she' likes and doesn't like. You read everything, watch everything, buy everything, try everything. All you think about is your hair. Or some other chick's hair that you want your hair to look like. You eat, sleep, drink hair. You'll be slicing up a nice fruit salad and think...should I try some of that on my hair? You'll be mixing up some guacamole for your lunch or blending baby food and you'll make extra so you can put some aside for your hair.

You move all the good stuff from your kitchen to your bathroom; your hair deserves nothing but the best, the extra-virgin-organic-cold-pressed best. Meanwhile, your family is living off bleached, deodorised, hydrogenated, vegetable fat, aka Kimbo. And you're taking the bus because you spent all your fuel money on hair products.

If your regimen takes 3 days to execute, uses 14 different products and 3 different brushes, it's not a regimen boo. It's a white paper. All that time and effort then when you finally leave the house in all your twisted-out-shingled glory, someone hands you a comb and tells you you forgot to do your hair.

^^^ see all that craziness? Been there, own the t-shirt company. I'll tell you this for free, it is not cute, or fun or clever. You're literally loving your hair to death. Some hair can cope with that much handling, some wallets can handle that much spending and some personal relationships can put up with that much mad-scientist-in-the-bathroom time, but I look back at my natural journey and I see a graveyard of lost time, money and length. I was doing too much:

It's true that you can't know what works for your hair if you don't try it, but the mistake many of us make (myself included) is finding something your hair does like, then carrying on looking anyway. For the holy grail. That perfect, magical thing that will change your life. It does exist, and it's usually not one thing, but a combination of a few basic things:

  • good quality ingredients
  • a consistent regimen focused on moisture and protein balance
  • protecting your ends 
  • and reducing manipulation. 

Look don't get me wrong, I am a hairaholic, so you can bet good money that I will still buy stuff and try stuff, but it's much more focused than before. I will never use anything with an ingredient I don't believe in. If it doesn't help my moisture or protein goals, it's a non-starter. If it adds an extra step in my regimen but brings no obvious benefits, its out the window. And if it takes away from my sleep/exercise/family/Empire time, then it's a hell naw!  So next time you're about to fork out $$$ on some clay from the fiver rivers of Hades because you heard its the next big thing, stop for a minute and ask yourself if you really, truly need it.

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