It’s Perfectly Fine To Fail Occasionally In Your Natural Hair Journey

Woman with short colored natural hair looking thoughfulA wise woman once said “Its my party and I can cry if I want to” and a famous black guy once said “It’s my prerogative” over and over again in one of his songs and a Rasta man once said “Baby don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be alright”.

While none of these songs can be considered highly intellectual they are very applicable to what I am about to say. Your natural hair journey is YOUR journey, not mine, not your best friend’s, yours!

It’s your party and you are free to do what it is that you want to do with your hair. There is a lot of ‘fear’ out there and quite frankly it’s understandable after all natural hair is very new to some of us and when we start a new journey we do not want to ‘mess things up’.

What I am telling you though is relax and live a little, if you really want to color your hair, then do it! If you really want to use your new flat iron and wear your hair straight for a while then do it. Maybe you just want to relax your kinks a bit by trying the Brazilian Keratin Treatment, forget the naysayers, do THAT.

Before we get into the meat of the matter lets be clear; this post is meant to encourage freedom and healthy mistakes but not outright recklessness.

We can give advise until we are blue in the face but the fact remains that some people simply learn better by experience. So we are saying feel free to take care of your hair based on the knowledge you have acquired about how your hair works. The thing is, it’s kind of a catch 22 because you will never know how your hair works unless you fail on occasion.

For example, if you have never flat ironed your hair before and you want to try it, gain some knowledge beforehand by researching on best practices to pr0tect your hair. We would never recommend turning up the heat on your device to the highest level and letting it rest on your hair until it melts away, what sense would that make?

Rather with the knowledge you have gained and using a reasonable temperature setting, you should try using heat responsibly if you so desire and if you fail at it, examine the cause and effects, grow from it and move on knowing more about your hair than you did before.

Originally posted 2014-02-12 15:00:36.

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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. Monique Kapreme

    It’s not failure if you learned from it. The only way to go wrong when going natural is when one becomes weak and decides to relax their hair because they can’t deal with or have patience with themselves.

    1. Naafiah

      I agree. Patience is key. One thing that I have learned over the last couple of years is that when first starting out: natural hair is less predictable than relaxed hair. Over time you develop a routine that works for your hair and eventually you can look back and laugh at those lessons learned along the way 🙂

  2. Tracy Icanonlybeme Cannon

    I waited way to long to chop off my relaxed ends, I was holding on to my length but the two different textures were so difficult to detangle once I chopped off the relaxed ends I noticed my natural hair is easier to detangle…..lesson learned

  3. Kelly Gill

    Consistency with my hair… I went from moisturizing everyday to not at all. Trying to get back at it

  4. Tenekqua Johnson

    Trims are important when your ends are damaged or tangled. I have learned to let them go and realize my hair is growing and will grow back. I have definitely learned healthy is more important that length…

  5. Tina Cole

    I still haven’t overcome frizz. It’s a catch 22- water hydrates & is the #1 moisturizer but it creates a frizz fest once my hair dries & yes of course I seal.

  6. Priscilla Washington

    Moisture, moisture, moisture! My hair in the winter is like a totally different head of hair. I have always suffered breakage and strange kinds of shedding (like more in one section) in the winter. This winter I think I’ve finally figured out what to do–supplements and more moisture.

  7. Chilynn Jones

    Natural means your natural hair pattern ….it does not mean chemically free…is that right or wrong ?


      When we refer to natural we mean chemical free not necessarily virgin hair. But natural means whatever it means to YOU and you alone. 🙂

  8. Fabi Thomas

    My mistake is going back to that devilish weave cause im still not comfortable with my thin hair

  9. Tip Mathis

    not having patience and cutting my hair off about 3-4 times. I could have possibly been at shoulder/mid-back length by this time but oh well! going to wait it out this time.

  10. Deondra Davis

    Bantu knot on natural hair, worked great during transitioning. I may try again in the future.

  11. Linda Taylor Henderson

    I wouldn’t said I’ve failed, I’ve been natural for just under 2 years an was praying that my scalp condition would clear up. I’ve used all paraben and sulfate free products praying once again it would help. Did the BC thinking my scalp needed to breathe. Hair grew back still having scalp issues. Now because I had WLS my hair is shedding something awful, so now it BC time again, but think I’ll keep it short this time. Thought for sure Biotin was a preventative measure against shedding but not.

  12. Mary Welch

    Wearing my hair out, trying to make it do what it won’t despite it giving every indication that it was unhappy and suffering. I learned to listen and stop forcing the issue and that even though some products work for a lot of ppl, my hair needs something different.

  13. Keanna Akasha Payne

    I try to keep my hair moisturized but I can’t seem to get it right. It feels so dry and rough .mainly in the back of my head where I normally get a lot of breakage. And it doesn’t feel as thick as it used to before my big cut. What do I do??? Help me ladies.

  14. Kara Maxwell

    Hair is the same as everything else, what works for one doesn’t work for all. Same with my girls hair.

  15. Blessedfrom Above

    I failed at using the wrong products…finally did some deep research and finally found the right products…hair is doing excellent…stronger, getting longer, keeps moisture and scalp is good…

    1. Martika Pryor

      Wat site did yu go on? im tryin 2 start mine bt looks like ima have 2 start wit da big chop..

  16. Melissa Sibanda

    From the middle to the back of my head the hair gets soo dry even though I moisturise every 2 days, it just won’t stay soft :'(

  17. Shannon Johnson

    Twist outs. I have 4xyz hair ( yes that is a and it does not take well to twist outs . Also I hate having oily hair all day. I wanna be able to touch my hair and jot have oil on my hands…

    1. Cre8tive

      Lol @ wanting to touch your hair without getting oil on your hands! I’ve become so accustomed to it I just rub it in my hands like lotion 😉

  18. Joy Mitchell

    I’ve learned that although henna may work well for some, it definitely doesn’t work for me. I used it religiously for a while and it ended up breaking my hair. So I had to BC and start over again, but luckily, I love cutting my hair, so it wasn’t a big deal to start over 🙂

  19. Amt

    Failing to regularly trim is my biggest issue. All my other struggles stemmed from that. Just got a trim and overpaid and got confusing advice about why natural hair may not be for me. But it made me steadfast and realize that them trims on the regular is key whether I use hear regularly or not. I also learned that everyone’s advice isn’t good just because they’re professionals. Unless they’re specialized in natural hair it may be best to take their advice with a grain of salt.

    1. Cre8tive

      Amen to that! For all the hours of teaching given in cosmetology school, less than 10% of that time is on natural Afro-textured hair. A stylist can learn through experience and industry seminars, but its amazing to me that the formal teaching is centered around straight hair.

  20. Melanie Bowen

    Glycerin is a no no in the winter. Silicones help me retain moisture in this artic Chicago winter.

  21. Shawnnita Larkins

    I went natural thinking that i was going to be able to wash n go my hair everyday… boy was i mistaken!! My hair cannot air drt with out it tangling and matting something fierce o_0 if i don’t set it with at least conditioner…. so in order for me to acheive a wash n go look i have to set my hair in a braid out or twist out to achieve the look….

    1. Bettina

      Shawnnita see my post right below yours, LOL… I so feel ya!

  22. Bettina

    I might end up being a fail. 2/1/14 marked my 2 year anniversary being natural. It has rained just about everyday this month and my 4 BEYOND C hair has been a hot mess. This week I just worked from home as I was tired of everyone (including other naturalistas) staring at my bird’s nest. At age 50 in an executive white collar job, unruly bird nests don’t look cute and hip the way it does on the younger set in hipper job settings.

    I’m at the edge about ready to go back thinking to myself maybe natural hair just isn’t for everyone. We don’t have natural hairstylist around here and the normal hairstylist don’t want to do nothing for me except cut me down to a TWA or give me dreds, I’m not interested in either. I went natural to stop shedding / breakage that had gotten out of control. My dermatologist thought my bp meds didn’t like the relaxer. Well I’m still on those meds so if I go back to relaxing the breaking shedding might come back. Basically I’ve got a head full of thick, Angela Davis sized afro hair and don’t know what in the hell to do with it… I have a very important executive business meeting next week so I’m going to have goddess braids put in this weekend. They usually last me about 3 weeks. Guess I will do that every month for awhile until I find some solutions.

    My fails are twists outs, braid outs, bantu knots, eco gel… NONE of these things work on my hair in a nice way, they all turn into big old nappy (yes I said the N word NAPPY) afros. Not curly but kinky get the scissors naps! ROTLMAO!!! The only way to get a curl in my hair is to use perm rods or those long bendable rollers (the ones that look like straws) and that will only last 1 day. Only 1 hour if its raining. And I have to re roll it EVERY NIGHT. We are not talking a few rollers, I have to put in about 50!! Too much work… I’m just tired of the hold dang mess… sigh…

    1. Alma Ruddock

      Perhaps you should try wearing it stretched and in updo’s for a minute. That’s what I do when I start getting frustrated with my hair. Trust me it happens at every length. Goddess braids sound good too 🙂

      1. Bettina

        Thanks for the suggestion. The stretching is why I’m frustrated. Its been a rainy week and with my hair type as soon as the outdoor wet humid air gets to it, it shrivels back up with in the hour. Even if I do a pony tail / bun the front shrivels and I look fuzzy headed like I just got out of bed. LOL So I will go with the Goddess braids for next week, and pray over this situation going forward. Two years is a long time to turn back now but I’m sooooo tempted. But I believe in giving things a 30 day think over before acting on them so the Goddess braids will give me a cooling off period so I can think it through. 🙂

  23. Raven Marie

    I over moisturize. I have 3a/3b hair and that leads to more co-washing than I should be doing since my hair already holds moisture. I just love shine lol

  24. Angel

    I’m a newbie natural diva, I have nit made it to my 1year anniversary as of yet. But my journey has been somewhat frustrating due to the fact that I am also dealing with what I think is some type of alopecia that is in the crown of my head and also thinning areas that flow from my crown to one side of my head which makes it very difficult to wear any type of styles. My hair has very good length and fullness in the back but the front is thin and short. I’ve decided to try the black castor oil and messages until I reach ny 1 yr natural anniversary before seeking any medical advice/ help. So I pretty much do wigs but I see other naturals and the beautiful hairstyles they’re rocking and I want the sane thing for myself so I’m constantly frustrated and question myself if it’s worth all the hard work with my hair regimens and etc. :/

  25. Andrea Leflore

    Understanding that hair care is to be done daily. This could mean moisturizing tHe hair. Also what works for one person may not work for me.

  26. Jamila Kelly

    That not getting “the big chop” and taking your boyfriends advice that you can go natural without it and with relaxed ends Is a baaaaaaaaaad idea.

  27. Jamila Kelly

    Needless to say I didn’t want the chop so after months of torture I finally relaxed again. Still dealing with slight broken hair

  28. Ruth Nunes

    Watching too many youtube videos:). I learn patience is a virtue and I need more of it and tons of oil and moisture to deal with my 4c(i think) and gray combination.

  29. Linda Taylor Henderson

    My daughter has the same problem and she’s use the african black soap which hasvdone wonders for her acne but nothing for her scalp.

  30. Linda Harrell

    I got a silk wrap once and got severe heat damage. That was my first one ever. Had to cut my hair off. Wasn’t happy about that.

  31. Kierra Lante

    That I should’ve big chopped longgg ago since I was wearing weave anyway! Best thing I did

  32. Natalie

    I used one of those black, elastic hairbands to make a puff and as I was slowly sliding the band into place. I thought my hair looked cuter when the band was not all the way on top of my head. I kept it over the wider part of my head. It was tight but I thought it would be alright. By the time I got home from work, my head was throbbing! I lost my hair where the band was digging in on the top and sides of my scalp. Clean baldness and I still have dents in my scalp in the thickness and shape of the hairband! My hair is about 6 inches long so this was rather devastating. I style around the spots and thanks to Jamaican Black Castor Oil, my hair is coming back.

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  34. Cb Sampson

    By not big chopping sooner and keeping that stringy relaxed hair on my head longer than I should love my natural locks

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