How Long You Have Been Natural Does Not Dictate How Much You Know

long term natural vs newly naturalIt’s almost thanksgiving and this year I plan to make my infamous delectable peach cobbler.

I never grew up eating cobbler nor did I see my mom or grandmother make it, I actually learned how to make it back in 2009 from an old recipe book I found and I have done it every year since then with the same recipe.

I mentioned it to my husband last week, you know, the usual sharing, I expressed how excited I was to make it, how he will love it this year and how I intend to make a huge one in comparison to last year’s dessert.

So you can imagine my surprise when he said Honey maybe we should skip the cobbler this year and try one that is store bought or even pecan”.

“Uh say what?”

“The kids and I were talking and sometimes, it seems as if your cobbler might be missing something” – *gasp*

They say practice makes perfect and you would think the more time you spent doing something somehow guaranteed that you would be an expert at that thing but that’s not always the case.

What if your expertise was wrong the entire time? What if how you did things needed changing and after a lifetime of practice the light bulb just went off?

I am here to tell you, it can and does happen. Accepting that I did not have the best cobbler was not easy, but after looking at other ways of making cobbler I realized I could have changed a few things to ‘improve the recipe’ and yield a better result.

The thing is just because you spend a lot of time doing something doesn’t automatically mean you are good at it and natural hair is not exception. Natural hair in all it’s complexities, different textures and behaviors is not something that anyone can claim to know in it’s entirety. I’m not ashamed to admit that I learn new things about it pretty regularly.

It is possible that one may know all there is to know about retaining maximum length but remain clueless about how best to define curls. Conversely one could know a great deal about braiding natural hair but know next to nothing about maintaining dreadlocks.

Originally posted 2013-11-04 15:00:17.

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About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.


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  1. Ruth Guzman

    Why don’t ppl just worry about their own hair? Stop pushing your personal hair agenda off on others. Telling ppl their not natural if they dye their hair or use certain products. You can’t make sum1 do what u like to do with your hair to theirs. Everyone has their own style and choices. I swear as women we find ANY little thing to bicker with or hate on each other! Now it’s hair?! Really? Grow up!

    1. Felicia Hamilton

      Natural means in it’s natural form. if you dye your hair then it is not in it’s natural form, therefore not natural. IJS!

  2. LaShae' Sierra Howell

    I’ve been natural for 1year and 1 month I know what works for my hair not others. Why have a division in natural hair it’s NATURAL HAIR meaning No one will ever be the same.

  3. Chelly Chell

    I don’t understand the theory behind “go natural, embrace your roots, history and culture”.. I went natural because I was perming my hair twice a year and felt that my hair didn’t need to be permed anymore.. It’s been 2 years going on 3. Yes, I want to grow long healthy hair but I’m not a part of any movement.. I’m just me.. Some naturalist are taking the journey way too personal..

    1. Reenie Scarlotti

      True!! Going natural is a personal choice and a healthier one….Wear whatever you like if it works for you

  4. Odessa Vaughn Patton

    WE have to get out of the mindset of seeing ourselves as better because we are/have _____. Our ancestors were purposely manipulated to be divided to prevent us to rise as one in unity. We still use the house slave/field slave reference to judge each other–when they were BOTH slaves. Its just hair. Particles that just grow out, die and fall off every single day.

  5. Gilda Adlig

    Absolutely not. I’ll not say how long I’ve been natural but, what I will say there are quite a few maintenance differences between being a straight versus a heat free natural. I had to learn how to care from my hair in its truly natural state. And boy has this been a challenge.

  6. Kimberly Medina Courts

    I’m sick of the natural nazis going against relaxed women…..I mean is there anything that black women don’t argue with one another about? It’s about health…..whether relaxed or natural… what’s best for YOU!

    1. Aliyah Morrison

      Same for relaxes woman who has always attacked naturals even before natural woman attacked them. Telling us we need to perm our hair , it won’t grow , we look like a man ,and it’s “nappy “or saying you need good hair .

  7. Dede Spencer

    I’ve been natural for 3 months and I love it I see lots of growth in my hair already I know exactly what products work on my hair and I know lots of gorgeous natural hairstyles. To me being natural is using all natural/organic products in my hair. Going natural makes me feel even more beautiful and my hair is a lot longer and surprisingly very manageable and easy to style.

  8. Lashon Jaramillo

    I started going natural by I was being lazy and did not want to perm my hair ( being too busy). I was using the softee clear gel. I figured it was easier to wet my hair, use the gel and clip on a pony tail. one day a strand of my hair touched passt my shoulders. from that point on I kept up with my routine. I did not realize the lenght because, I was putting my hair up all the time.

  9. Angie Jackson

    In a time when we could be using our natural hair to bond we always find a way to separate ourselves…. No not the white man but we ourselves. Grow up.

    1. Aliyah

      But the white mam still kills beat us up still white supremacy still exist and they still are on top . They have did anything to destroy black unity and used black coons . The white man is half to blame !

  10. Kelly Hall

    I don’t get the hair nazi attitude either, (im in the process of going red with DYE,lol!) I try to inform when asked and otherwise I just spread da loooovvvee!

  11. Keisha McRae Covington

    I’m having some hair loss dealing with two textures of hair but im hanging on. I will not let my natural journey defeat me…. No not this time. Loving my nappy. Just wish it was nappy all over. I never thought the day would come that those words would come out of my mouth.

  12. Deloris D. Nixon

    It sure doesn’t. I’ve been natural for 9 years and didn’t learn anything except what works for my hair to give me a nice style. I’ve learned so much in these last few months from several facebook pages.

  13. Wendy Bray

    At times I want to buy a box of perm off the shelf and straighten it but I am happy its growing

  14. Misha Mustbejelly Tague

    Really new,old, who gives a rat’s ass we all know what it is like to forget to twist your hair at night and then wake up in the morning and say wth am I going to do wit this hair. I don’t care if you’ve been natural all your life or you decided yesterday. Peace, love and coconut grease 🙂 🙂 🙂

  15. Denise Omari

    My whole life and I still don’t know a thing! You learn everyday if you’re open to it!

  16. Olivia R. Johnson

    1 year 2 months LOVE IT!! At first I hated my hair without straightening it, but after going natural I feel so liberated and learned a lot of great things.. my confidence is also through the roof! I didn’t like how I felt I had to look a certain way to be beautiful but this hair is what God gave me and I’ve truly embraced it! It’s a great experience

  17. Andrea Simpson-Jones

    @ Leondra ImOut Borders the pic is not NECESSARILY backwards…it just depends on what judgements or assumptions you are making about the pictures and the women. The first pic could be a woman who has recently transitioned, just cut off her relaxed hair and now doesn’t really know what else to do with it but wear it (happily) in an afro. The second lady looks like she has knowledge of moisturizing, twist-outs, etc and she may not be smiling because the novelty has worn off plus she didn’t realize being natural required so much upkeep – that’s enough to wipe the smile off ya’ face!

  18. Peachey Lynn

    I’ve been natural since 2010 and my hair have be so healthy and got longer and longer infill I dyed it red and now all he dye broke off but my new growth is as healthy as ever morrow of my story I found out that me and chemicals period dnt mix imma stick to my normal routine

  19. Peachey Lynn

    And most woman newly natural can’t deal with the shrinkage but hey once u get a blow out u will definitely see the results

  20. Connie Lee-Radford

    “WE” criticize one another about EVERYthing when comes to personal choices…i.e. what we each prefer. Can we just respect another woman’s personal preferences and leave it at…? If a woman wants to rock a relaxer she should be free to do so. I’m natural and have been for some time and wouldn’t dare put down a sista for doing what she wants to do with HER own hair. #PeaceAndLove #EachOneTeachOne

  21. Maybell Lena Killion
    Maybell Lena Killion

    It does NOT dictate how much you know because some people have been natural for years and still don’t know sh*t! I have been natural for 4 yrs and even before I decided to transition, I researched EVERYTHING! I was ready!!!

  22. Aliyah Morrison

    I’m a year natural and I already have people asking me for advice on their natural hair . Asking me how do I get my curls or what products I use . It’s amazing because I never experienced this before when I had permed hair .

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