The number one reason for why you may be considering going back to the creamy crack or the relaxer is because you are frustrated. Frustration always leads to quitting. Your answer lies in you discovering what is frustrating you and knowing you are in control. I will explain how you can avoid finding yourself thinking about going back to the creamy crack.
Reading about the side effects of relaxers makes me not even consider relaxers as an option to my frustration with natural hair, but I know you may be considering going back. I honestly would love to say having natural is easy but it is not easy, but this is not an excuse to pull out the relaxer box. Everything in life is not easy; it only becomes easier when you have a plan and are in control. Marriage, rising kids, business, everything requires some effort. I am going to give you four tips to help you so you do not find yourself going down this rabbit hole.
FIND POSITIVES ABOUT BEING NATURAL AND BE PROUD OF THEM
Taking care of natural hair may be hard but have you ever considered that it may just be certain times or certain things that frustrate you about being natural? It is not everything! What exactly is it about your afro, your twist out, your products; your wash day is frustrating you. Imagine if your boyfriend comes and says we are breaking up because that chicken you cooked last week had no salt. One time issues are not enough to discredit everything.
I know my biggest frustration is the moment right before washing my hair. Once I do a hairstyle and go about my day I am the happiest natural there. My frustration comes a few days later when I look at my mirror and realize it is time to wash my hair again. The idea of de-tangling, conditioning, blow drying, twisting drains me, but at the same time I do realize there are moments that I absolutely enjoy. Yes I hate de-tangling my hair with a passion, but I enjoy making deep conditioners for my hair. I hate sitting down to twist my hair, but I love untwisting my twists and seeing the result. I cherish those moments that I love. I make a big deal of those moments by taking pictures or videos of those moments. Find your biggest frustration and then deconstruct it and find the positives. I will assure you will realize it is not everything you dislike. So when that creamy crack is knocking think about the positives.
KNOWING THERE WILL BE OBSTACLES PREPARES YOU
Unfortunately a lot of women have decided to go natural hair believing it is going to be easy than the creamy crack. You may be one of those who is now shocked to find that taking care of your natural takes hours. You are finding that it costs a lot of money (how to save money on natural products), it isn’t cheap. You are finding that there are social stigmas to having natural (how my hair was not acceptable). You are finding that even among us as naturals there are divisions, the 4C’s, the 4A’s. Now you are just in shock. When you do not prepare your mind for obstacles it is so easy to quit.
I know for one I am that type of a person who finds it easy to start anything. Only later to find I can’t manage. I can easily say I am going to start exercising. I go to the gym 2 days later I realize I really do not have time. The problem is that we do not take the time to research. What are people saying are the struggles with natural hair? For example did you know that finding hairstyles is the number one issue most naturals struggle with? So before you transition or just when you do the big chop, go through and look for hairstyles keep those ready because I guarantee you a day will come when you will say I do not know what hairstyle to do. Do not wait until you are frustrated to start looking for hairstyles. Spend time going through Pinterest create boards were you keep hairstyles that you like. When that creamy crack is knocking telling you that you can’t even find hairstyles, guess what you will ignore it because you know just where to go for hairstyles. The point here is that you have to be prepared.
BEING NATURAL IS A LEARNING PROCESS
I do not even know why there is this expectation that because we are born with natural hair, we just have to know how to take care of it. Everything we know how to do someone taught us or we went and taught ourselves. Do not pressure yourself that you have to know what when and how to take care of your natural. If you do not know that you should end washing your hair with cold water it is okay.
I remember when I just started driving. It was winter time. Here I was driving on the highway at night. To make me warm I had the air recirculate setting on in the car. I was driving for some time when all of a sudden I was like why can’t I see clearly. Here I was rubbing my eyes thinking there was something wrong with my eyes I couldn’t see the cars in front or side of me . Before I knew it I could hardly see anything on my windows. I started panicking. I eventually realized that my windows were fogging up. This had never happened. I am panicking; all the windows are fogging up. Thankfully there was an exit coming up so I left the highway and packed the car to figure out why the windows were fogging up. I know now that I have to turn on the defrosters and turn up the heat, but how was I supposed to know. I knew how to parallel park no one said anything about how to defrost the windows. But when you don’t know, you don’t know. You have to give yourself permission to say I do not know and keep moving. To be an expert in anything do you know that it takes about 10,000 hours. In the mean time it is okay to be a student of natural hair.
SET SMALL MILESTONES AND CELEBRATE WHEN YOU ACHIEVE THEM
Be realistic with your hair plan and your goals. The quickest way to quit is when you set goals that even you know that you can’t achieve without some kind of miracle. I know for a fact that setting a goal to eat healthy from October to January is just a disaster for me, so I do not even bother. It is very unrealistic. Don’t say in 2 months I will grow my hair to waist length if you just did the big chop. The majority of women say it took them years to grow waist length hair. I remember hearing someone say on New Years day do not set one big goal for the year but rather set small monthly goals. At the end of the year you will have 12 goals you have achieved than one goal. The worst is when you can’t even achieve that one goal. If you have set a goal to be natural, break it down to smaller monthly goals. Also celebrate when you achieve your goals. If you are natural for 1 year celebrate your nappiversary. When you are happy you can’t be frustrated.
These are my tips to help you not to go back to relaxers.
- Know that there will be obstacles, but if you are prepared you will overcome.
- Find positives about being natural and be proud of what you love.
- Know that being natural is a learning process, no one expects you to know everything.
- Set small milestones and celebrate when you achieve them.
I hope these are helpful.