Take it from an experienced ‘naturalista’, growing strong and healthy hair takes a lot of dedication and care. I know its just hair and you should not stress too much about it but that does not undermine the fact that your hair is your best free accessory. You really don’t need make up when your hair is all set. Because of this, people are attached to their hair and many ladies have deeply regretted decisions to cut off their hair for whatever reason. Of course, there are times when cutting your hair is absolutely necessary. Besides regular trims that are absolutely necessary, cutting off dead ends and damaged ends can be rejuvenating for your hair. Also honourable is the decision to just cut off your entire hair for a new look and another go at the ‘natural hair journey.
My case is the latter, I decided to cut off my entire hair again (second big chop) just because I wanted a new look. I also wanted a fresh go at the entire natural hair journey which I had gone through in the past. Because of my experience, I am able to offer a few insights into a few things you need to say NO to in order to achieve the common goal of strong and long hair.
Say no to hair abusers and texture scoffers
The term ‘hair abuser’ may seem strange and a bit extreme but it is highly significant. Most people have strong and healthy hair till they visit hair abusers in salons and hair braiding shops. Some hairdressers claim to know how to deal with natural hair but you may find out the hard way that they do not know what they are doing at all. While on my first natural hair journey I encountered a bunch of hair abusers, so in this blog post, I will let you know how to spot them and how to make sure you do not become a victim.
The texture of my hair is super thick and curly. This seems to frustrate many of the hairdressers I have been to in the past. Most of them kept telling me that my hair is so thick and I need to soften it with chemicals and so on. In fact, one of the experience I will never forget is of a lady who is the owner of the salon I went to. She kept complaining while making my hair and she pulled and pulled. Although I was able to get my almost waist length hair nicely blow dried, little did I know that this will be the beginning of the demise of my hair. After going to her salon, my hair never remained the same, it started to break. Thinking she was an experienced professional who knew better than me, I kept going back to her for regular trims. She ended up giving me the worst uneven trim one could ever get and the hair breakage never stopped despite trims.
Knowing what I know now, I should have simply walked out of her salon after she kept complaining about my hair texture. The hair you are born with is yours for life and you should embrace it and not encourage bullies. Hair abusers are always quick to tell you how experienced they are and so you may end up choosing to listen to their views. In my case, I thought she was absolutely right and that I was not taking proper care of my hair. At that point, I forgot that I had single-handedly managed to grow almost waist length hair and that I knew what I was doing for my own hair.
It is easy to be bullied by these hair dressers because you feel they know what they are saying, based on experience. You may also underestimate the impact of what they are doing to your hair at that point only to face the consequences later. Sometimes you don’t want to be confrontational or appear too demanding so you just take it all and before you know it, all your hardworking growing your hair is down the drain.
How to spot hair abusers and texture scoffers
Once you visit a hair stylist professional, they should assess your hair and texture and let you know how they will work with your hair, in terms of hair products and styling methods. Once they start giving you unsolicited advice and looking down on the methods you currently use in caring for your hair, start getting ready to leave. Once they act like your hair is too difficult to work with, then you know it is time to leave. A professional should be able to handle all kinds of hair textures and should appreciate the beauty of all hair types.
How to deal with a potential hair abuser
We all like to put our hair away for a while so we can get a break or simply to preserve growth. This often calls for braids and other complex protective styles that you may not be able to do all by yourself unless you are ‘super woman’. The hair braiding professionals are not always very knowledgeable on dealing with natural hair in general. They are very good at simply styling your hair and moving on to the next person. They don’t like to see thick hair that needs to be carefully detangled. When they see you, they simply want to jump in with their blow dryers on very high heat and a small comb to detangle your full thick long hair. This makes me so angry and before I knew what I know now, I will let them have there way just because I want to appear polite and nice. But now, I tell stylists what to do and what not to do.
The fact that you want to put your hair away for a while doesn’t mean you should lose all of it to an impatient and ignorant stylist. Be bold and go prepared with your own tools and products. If you don’t have time to blow dry before going to the salon, go with your own heat protectant and tell them to blow dry on medium heat or as much heat as you feel your hair can tolerate. Also make sure you don’t condone them tugging and pulling your hair vigorously. I was at the salon recently to brad my hair and I felt so sorry for a young girl who was having her hair pulled ferociously. I wished I could help her by putting the stylist in her place but I reckon I should mind my own business. I hope this advice helps everyone as this is one of the greatest ways your hair growth can be undermined.
Say no to product junkie behaviour
There is the common temptation to continually try different products in a bid to land the perfect products that will deliver all the desired results. The problem with this kind of behaviour is that it becomes difficult to monitor the performance of the products you try because they are mixed with other products and this mixture affects and possibly inhibits performance. It is often best to stick to a few products in order not to expose yourself to different ingredients. Sticking to a specific hair line often works best as the ingredients in a product line are often similar.