The Miseducation Of Natural Hair
Finding the confidence to embrace short curly hair can be a challenge for many of us.
In my own personal experience, I remember saying things like,
“When my hair grows more I’ll start wearing it natural.”
However, each time I removed my weave or braided extensions to “let my hair breathe,” I went to a stylist to have it straightened.
Every time I sat at the salon washbowl, my stylist would ask me, “why won’t you wear your hair curly?”
To which I always came up with the excuse of my hair being too much work or being unmanageable.
But the truth is, I just didn’t like how it looked when it dried and I had no idea what to do with it…
Your hair isn’t the only thing that transitions
Getting comfortable with your new natural hair takes time.
I thought it was too short and don’t let me get started on shrinkage.
It was also too puffy and dry.
This lack of confidence in my hair led to years of misguided choices and insecurity.
And looking back, I understand that a lot of those feelings arose due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of MY hair.
Do these feelings sound familiar to anyone?
If it does, then please feel confident in knowing that you are not alone.
And I wrote this to help shed some light on some of your natural hair concerns.
Too much Shrinkage
I want to start by informing you that shrinkage is actually a great thing!
Depending on your hair texture and/or your porosity level, your hair can shrink up to 90% once dry.
And although your hair may appear to have lost length due to shrinkage, keep in mind that you have now gained something.
Hydration & Moisture!
For curly hair, this is a key indicator that your curls and coils are healthy and strong.
“Natural hair that is properly hydrated and moisturized will shrink,” says Gabrielle Bone of Naturally Curly.
Gabrielle goes on to say that, “Shrinkage is also a sign of your hair’s elasticity and its resistance to breakage.”
Think about it this way, if you did hair did not lose length in order to curl, it would be straight, right?
We need shrinkage and though it may be frustrating it’s still necessary.
PRODUCTS ALONE CANNOT MOISTURIZE YOUR HAIR!
I don’t mean to yell, I just want to ensure that this is seen :)
The only thing that can moisturize your hair is WATER!
Therefore, you must add water to your hair first before adding any creams, oils, moisturizers etc.
You should NEVER style your hair without water!
This is important to understand because if your aim is to moisturize your hair using only a product, you are creating build-up.
And even though your hair may feel "soft and smooth,” you are suffocating the strand and blocking it from water absorption which will result in a flaky dry scalp, dry brittle hair and ultimately breakage.
To put it in perspective, think about it like this, when your throat is dry and you’re thirsty, you drink water.
Your hair is no different.
When it’s dry, it is thirsty, so listen to your hair and give it water!
When I expressed to my stylist that my hair was too much work and that it was unmanageable, what I didn’t know was part of the problem was damage.
No amount of water, gel, oils or creams would allow my hair to hold a Wash + Go style with elongated curls once it fully dried.
I honestly, assumed that my frizzy, undefined, ‘stuck to my head’ hair results, was my hair’s texture and there was nothing I could do about it.
It took some time for me to understand but I found that this was simply not true.
The truth is my hair was damaged.
But what is hair damage exactly?
“Hair damage is a disruption to any of the 3 hair layers, the cuticle, medulla, and cortex. Damaged hair can mean changes to your hair texture, porosity, density, length, and can negatively affect your hairstyles.”
- Kim Lewis CurlMix CEO & Co-Founder
Don’t believe the hype out there, products cannot reverse damage.
The truth is you will have to cut off the damaged hair to give your natural curls a chance to thrive.
Natural hair can be a delightful experience but when you aren’t able to understand your hair’s health and how it operates you will continue to experience challenges.
If you find understanding your natural hair on your own is too big of a challenge for you, speak with a licensed stylist who specializes in curly hair.
Don’t struggle alone and most importantly don’t give up on your hair, it’s uniquely yours and it is beautiful!
You’ve got this!
Leave a comment and let us know what some of your challenges are?
Is your hair curly when it is wet but frizzy when dry?
What were some misconceptions you had about your hair in the past?
Share it with us in the comments below!
I’ve been looking at your product for awhile I recently ordered and really excited about it.
My hair is something I don’t like to do but I love the natural look but don’t want it to look bushy.It has curls and it does shrink so that I would love for it to be a little curly but with more pop in them. So I’m anticipating it will get better and the dryness will get better. Would love to have a little more shine and not so tight.
Hi CurlMix, Yes, I totally agree that finding the confidence to embrace short curly hair is truly a challange for me. Before I had chemo, I used to rock a high ponytail, braids, flat twists etc… I received compliments everyday on how nice my hair looked. Very seldom would I wear my actual natural hair. My natural hair was long, full and beautiful and when it was wet, my hair would automatically curl into beautiful curls, but I would go get my hair blown dry and put into a ponytail. I was lazy and just didn’t want to be bothered doing my natural hair. After chemo, all my hair fell out! My hair is currently growing back, but it is thin. The crown and top of my hair is extremely thin.
I currently wear my hair into coils or short curly afro. The shrinkage is definately real! I am not comfortable with how natural hair look on me. I never get compliments on my natural afro or coils. Sometimes the reaction from people I know when they look at my natural hair makes me want to run and hide or put a scarf on my head when I leave the house. So far I have only tried CurlMix Flaxseed Gel. My hair likes that gel. I have tried so many hair products, trying to get my curly afro/coils to pop! Thanks so much for making healthy products for natural curly hair.
i dont know my hair type my hair seems weird it gets a certain length and starts breaking specially around my edges where my grey hair is
My style has been an Afro like make in the day. I would braid my hair nightly and use my Afro pic to comb it out every day. I then saw curlmix and ordered the flax seed gel. I got the natural look I’ve been looking for but my hair is really stiff and unmanageable. My hair is not damaged because I just got it cut by a professional stylist. I used the product exactly the way you recommended . Also my hair is really dry.
Is there help for this senior Curl Mixer? I love the products but my gray locks look like a string mop on day 1. Day 2 looks much better, but on day 3 I look like an old wild woman. I don’t care too much because I’m enjoying the freedom. I had a righteous Angela Davis fro back in the day but graying has changed my texture. I want some shrinkage but I’m afraid my curl pattern just looks like frizzled string. I’m about to give up because sometimes I want to be well groomed. I look better with longer locks so a short Afro is not an option. I think I’m 4b/c and I use the lavender products.
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