When I first “discovered” the online healthy hair community a few years ago, I became fascinated with researching ingredients, methods, techniques, products and anything that would help my hair become healthier and grow longer. I excitedly shared this information with my friends and family and was met with a bunch of different reactions. Although I wear my hair relaxed, I encouraged my mother to transition to natural hair because her hair needs were different than mine. Initially she was resistant and fought me tooth and nail, but two years later she is completely natural and loves it!
What I did NOT do was direct my mother to an online forum or YouTube for styling tutorials; I encouraged her to continue to patronize our hairstylist who has very healthy hair care practices. Although I benefit greatly from hair forums and YouTube, it is not for my mom. Why? A few reasons – first my mother is not familiar with her natural hair. She has worn it chemically altered (relaxer or jheri curl) for at least thirty years and prior to that straightened with a press n’ curl. So now that she is rocking her natural hair again and has a texture with which she is completely unfamiliar – to thrust her into both doing her own hair and learning her natural hair texture would probably cause her to run screaming back to the relaxer! Secondly, why would natural hair require my mother to become an expert self stylist, trying twist and braid-outs and the like when she had neither done her own hair regularly or even liked to do her own hair before transitioning? Everyone simply is not GOOD at doing their own hair. Just because she is natural and taking much better care of her hair does not mean that she suddenly should become a do-it-yourself-er!
When I see women chop off their relaxed hair leaving only natural curls and coils, I am excited to see how they will wear their new style. However, every so often that woman always looks disheveled, hair dry or overly oily, and overall the hair just doesn’t look good. I wonder to myself what made the person decide to denounce hairstylists when it is obvious they are styling challenged. Why not visit a professional for some twists, coils, a cute updo, braids, or even a straightened look? Why does natural hair equal D.I.Y. for so many ladies? Not only do you have a new texture to learn and become adjusted, but now you also have taken on the task of doing your own hair? This is especially true for ladies who, when relaxed, had a standing weekly appointment at the salon or lived in weaves. My opinion? Walking around looking crazy while you try to teach yourself how to do your hair is doing your natural curls a disservice – you are not representing them to the best of their ability. Natural hair does not automatically mean you should do your own hair 100% of the time.