Natural Hair Does Not Always Equal Do It Yourself

Natural Hair FroWhen 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.

Author: EbonyCPrincess

EbonyCPrincess is a Staff Writer for BHM She is a self-proclaimed hair enthusiast with a love of all things hair as long as keeping it healthy is the #1 priority. Along with informative articles, Ebony shares hairstyles, tutorials, the latest on celebrity hair trends, and much more!

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  1. Having natural hair does involve a lot of DIY, like it or not. In terms of handling hair, I err on the side of extreme caution. I’ll explain why briefly.

    My hair fell out; an involuntary big chop – when I undid the braids I had at the time, roughly 80% of the relaxed hair was simply gone.

    Before March 2011 I had effortlessly gorgeous hair. I couldn’t have cared less for hair communities because I relaxed my hair to my heart’s content and it continued to grow healthily.

    I was sat at home debating what to do with my hair when my sister told me I could just ‘go natural’ and nurse my hair back to health. I hadn’t even considered that. I thought relaxing my hair was a bit like drinking water, you have to do it. Since then I have been an enemy of hair salons.

    I now treat my hair with reverence and I don’t feel any salon I visit has the same respect for my hair. Salons do things the way they do them and they don’t want customers walking in and telling them how to essentially do their job.

    I experienced a hair trauma and on the back of it, I have developed some rules:
    • I don’t like any sort of heat application; every hairdresser I have visited has insisted on blow drying.
    • I don’t comb my hair except very, very lightly when I am conditioning. Hairdressers always want to comb.
    • I handle my hair only very gently. I hate it when someone touches my hair roughly.

    I’m quite gutsy so when I go to a salon I do politely tell them these rules before they start and I am yet to receive a positive response. The last time I let a hairdresser do my hair she complained incessantly about how much faster she could be going if she didn’t have to follow my rules. I allowed her to comb but that was it.

    Maybe it’s just London and my American sisters have access to a pool of hairdressers who are more receptive to doing things a little differently and are familiar with handling natural hair.

    Looking back, yes, there were many days when I looked like an absolute idiot. For instance, when my hair was short I went out and bought a sewing machine so I could sew myself a little head cap to protect my ends (see picture). I went to work looking pretty silly on many days but I guess that’s just part of the learning curve.

    I was quite useless at handling my hair when I started out but I am getting better thanks to forums and YouTube videos on black hair. Doing my own hair has forced me to learn how. For some things, e.g. braids and corn rows I would rather go to a hairdresser but the problem is I don’t know one that will love my hair as much as I do. Is that even possible?
    Ultimately, I think anyone new to natural hair should expect a fair amount of DIY. You can’t go to the hairdresser’s every day and there are things like twisting your hair before bed that you have to do when you’re natural which aren’t necessary when you have relaxed hair. Ultimately, however, doing your own hair is something you will grow to love.

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  2. I confess – I belong to the DIY challenged hair club. Oh, how I wish that I could create my own cute, curly styles and updos.

    My daughter recently went natural and I jumped on-board. I quickly became disappointed and dismayed with the ever-changing texture of my hair and those “bad hair days” lol. I am now wearing braids. Braids are almost the perfect answer for me. After all, I am a middle-aged woman that spent over 30 years in a very structured, corporate environment. Not only that, I had an excellent hair stylist for the same length of time. She kept my hair in “perfect” condition. I received compliments galore and then – I decided to go natural.

    My new plan is to gradually cut off the perm out and grow my hair to a manageable length for me and give the DIY another try. If that doesn’t work, I now have plenty other options in my hair arsenal of tricks – including – a professional hair stylist.

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