Are you trying to navigate through your natural hair journey but your mind is still stuck in relaxed hair mode? Is your natural hair not performing at its highest potential and you just can’t put your finger as to why? Don’t fret as a lot of the time it’s a simple solution to our concerns and issues that we highly overlook sometimes.
I am always learning every day when it comes to my natural hair and some days I have come to the conclusion that I am making my hair issues way more complicated than they actually are.
I will highlight a few questionable habits that many naturals make while holding onto a relaxed girls mindset that will ultimately stunt your natural hair journey! As always I am not a licensed hair professional and these are my thoughts based upon experiences that I have encountered while on my own natural hair journey.
I have to break it to you ladies – you are NOT relaxed anymore so with that comes many changes to your hair regimen and thoughts about your hair.
When you return natural it’s a complete lifestyle change and you will have to mentally prepare yourself to let go of your old relaxed hair habits. Relaxed hair and natural hair are polar opposites.
They look physically different, act completely different, need different things, and the list goes on and on. I will give you some food for thought and in doing so hope it elevates your natural hair game!
Change #1 – Water
This was probably one of the biggest differences for me and my natural hair texture. When I was relaxed I would run to the car when it was raining as I ever so highly detested getting my relaxed hair wet – and for you relaxed ladies or those of you who were previously you know exactly why… hair style ruined!
I was a frequent visitor of the hair salon when I was relaxed and I wasn’t about to let water ever ruin my fresh hair style as it had to last me a full week until my next visit. So water and relaxed hair do not mix except for on wash day.
When I would accidentally get my relaxed hair wet it would dry out my hair so bad. Now that I am natural my hair can’t get enough water.
I use my water based DIY hair refresher daily to not only help moisturize my hair but literally bring my hair back to life! When you are natural and your hair is needing to be revived or you want to reactivate the product in your hair spray some water.
Water is so vital not only is it a first defense of moisture for our natural tresses but most natural hair products make sure water it is the first ingredient in their ingredients line up.
Change #2 -Humidity
We all know that humidity and relaxed hair are very much a CAIN and ABEL situation without a doubt. I remember when I would get my hair done while relaxed and walk outside and let the humidity hit my hair it was basically a wrap for my hair as it would start to poof and slowly lose it sleek appeal.
Now that I am natural my hair thrives when it’s humid or when I am in humid situations. For example – when I was relaxed I would always shower with my shower cap* to keep any moisture from hitting my straight locks but now that I am natural I never shower with a shower cap* anymore because the humidity from my shower gives my hair life and my hair loves it.
Change #3 – My hands in my hair
My hands when I was relaxed were always in my hair and it didn’t actually disturb the styles or my sleek straight texture. I could pin up, braid down, slick back or just run my fingers through my hair with such ease that I really never thought twice about it as it became second nature for me.
Now that I am natural it is the complete opposite. I will touch my hair during my washing and styling phase but as soon as my style is complete …No hands! Every time you touch your natural curls, coils and kinks a little bit of moisture is lost leaving you with dry, parched curls NOT to mention frizz galore.
Change #4 – Moisture
I honestly can’t even tell you how often I moisturized when I was relaxed and I definitely didn’t oil my scalp ever so that should be a huge indicator that not only was moisture not high on my radar but oil wasn’t necessary either.
The only moisture practices I would engage in was my weekly DC treatment. In my mind relaxed hair did not require as much moisture as natural hair does.
Natural hair thrives and survives best when it’s properly moisturized and the way we moisturize natural hair is more substantial: Deep Conditioners, Spray Water , Conditioners, Daily Moisturizes, Butters*, Creams, Moisturizing Stylers and Co-washes.
Change # 5 – Physical differences
Relaxed hair is all about the sleek straight, long, lengthened flowing locks and natural hair is all about the various tight kinks/curls/coils, major shrinkage, playful and unique curls.
I think many naturals during their first couple of months struggle with just the physical difference of natural hair. As you were once used to your flowing long straight locks hitting your shoulders now you are learning to rock your short tight curls, coils or kinks rubbing against your ears instead!
I will admit it’s definitely quite an adjustment especially if majority of your life you are used to seeing yourself a certain way now you overall look has changed due to your hair.
However, with time not only do we get used to the BIG change of returning natural but we feel it was one of the best decisions we have ever made! What has been the most impactful change that has happened to you since you have become natural.
Calandrial A. Afriyie says
I love that purple lippie
I think the hardest part for me is dealing with shrinkage. I know my hair is long-ish and for some reason I always need to see length and get so frustrated after my hair is washed. I used to blow dry my natural hair like crazy and that was probably the unhealthiest thing I could do to it. Great article and great reminders/tips.
Shana Chambers says
What difference does it make?? Really. Tired of hearing it black folks.
There’s a big difference. Stop reading about black hair if it’s making you sick
I was never the very uptight OMG it’s sprinkling panic type when I was relaxed. Now I care even less. I don’t own a shower cap. What’s the point since I either spritz wet or wash my hair every day anyway.