If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this natural hair game is that it’s not for the weak hearted! It will test your patience and honestly have you contemplating shaving it all off, trust me, I’ve been down that road more times that I can count. The natural hair journey is a frustrating and trying one and it requires more work that people often realize. You have to remember that nothing that is worthwhile will ever come easy. Don’t give up and a few months from now you’ll be happy that you endured the ride. The comforting thing is that once you’ve got the hang of things, natural hair care becomes second nature and you’ll have this thing down to a science once you know what works for YOU and YOUR hair. If you’re at a cross road but aren’t ready to give us just yet, there’s hope! Here are five reasons why your hair routine is failing.
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You're comparing your beginning with someone else's middle
I think the worst thing you can do for yourself is play the comparison game. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of consuming endless amounts of photos and videos of curly hair inspiration and developing serious hair envy (I’m completely guilty of this) but I think it’s extremely important to understand that everyone’s journey is different. This applies to all areas of life, to be fair. Most people that share their hair journey have been at it for quite some time and have gotten really good at knowing the best techniques for their hair so I think you would be doing yourself a disservice to beat yourself up for not having something in three days that someone else worked three years for. The rule of logic says so.
You're not patient and consistent
I was watching a hair tutorial on YouTube the other night and someone in the comments said something that made me laugh out loud, literally. She said she is not consistent with her hair care and does not show her hair the love and care is needs to flourish therefore she has “the results she deserves”! So funny but so true. You can’t possibly think a plant will grow if you water it every once in a while and only when you walk by it and see that leaves starting to brown do you remember. (This I can personally attest to because I’ve killed enough house plants to know) But in all seriousness, in order to yield results, you must be willing to put the work in and hold yourself accountable.
You're searching for a magic formula
I promise you that there is no secret sauce that all those “successful” in their healthy hair journey are using. There is no one size fits all method. And most importantly, believe it or not, there is no product on God’s green earth that will grow your hair overnight. Not even the supplements or the hair growth oils, no matter how many advertisements you seen. Sorry to burst your bubble. So if someone is selling you on these and trying to convince you otherwise, run the other way and don’t look back. Hair growth is directly correlated to healthy hair. The key to growth is reducing breakage and shedding while improving the hair’s elasticity and increasing hydration levels. It sounds complicated when you put it that way but its very simple. If you’re looking for a guideline for creating a simple hair care routine that you can start today, you can read my previous post here.
You haven't taken the time to learn and understand your hair
Density? Porosity? Texture? Is your hair inspiration someone with a completely different hair type to yours? If so, cut that out. Its important to note that not all hair responds the same one to particular products and ingredients. If you are vigilant and pay attention, your hair will tell whether or not it is happy. Here is my golden rule. Whenever you incorporate a new product into your routine, I recommend that you do so one product at a time so that you are able to monitor how your hair responds to it. If a new product doesn’t work well for you, you can easily eliminate it rather that starting with ten different things and not knowing which one your hair isn’t responding well to.
For me personally, I know that my hair is low porosity which means the hair cuticles are tighter and resistant to absorbing water and moisture. When I deep condition weekly, I always apply indirect heat using a heat cap (this is the one I use) to open up my hair cuticles and help the moisture penetrate my strands more easily. Most deep conditioners will recommend that you use indirect heat to get the maximum benefits anyway. So with that being said, I have to make sure that I seal all moisture (water included) with oil to trap all that moisture in once it is finally absorbed. I go for lighter oils that don’t weigh down my hair.
You're taking in too much information and trying to do too many things at once
Your routine doesn’t have to be complex and require an arsenal of products in order to be effective. Don’t be intimidated by all the information you consume on the internet (again, guilty) and then finding yourself not knowing where to start. When I first started my healthy hair journey, I consumed any and all information that I could find and quickly became overwhelmed, frustrated and eventually gave up not long after. I concluded that ‘nothing was working’ while in fact, I was trying to implement too many techniques and doing the things I saw everyone doing without actually understanding why.
Keep it simple. Start off adding one new thing to your routine and once you’ve mastered it, move on to the next. If there is anything I recommend and will preach about until the cows come home is DEEP CONDITIONING. This is honestly the foundation of natural hair care. If that is all you take from this post then I’ve done what I came here to do. Get in the habit of deep conditioning regularly, for me that means weekly, but I understand that can be a lot to commit to in the beginning. Aim for every two weeks if you can and trust me, you will see a drastic change in your tresses. Fun fact, lack of moisture is one of the leading contributors to unhealthy hair. Imagine being deprived of water being expected to survive and grow. How, Sway?
On that note, here are four of my favourite, affordable deep conditioners. Although its on the pricier side, I included my holy grail SheaMoisture intense hydration masque to the list because its an absolute staple.