The Best HairStyle is the LifeStyle!
When we think of certain hairstyles, they represent distinct periods of time, eras of fashion trends. Even nostalgic memories of our childhood; and for many, how they wear their hair has a lot to do with how everybody else is wearing theirs.
Throughout our history and upbringing, the objective of hair care was always centered around trying to make our hair conform to a look that is not its own. And throughout this process we never actually got to learn how to care for our hair when it is in its natural state. When people tell me how much they would love to go natural or how they once tried, the most popular reason why they have not done so or if they did, ended up quitting, is usually the complaint of how:
“ difficult it is to maintain natural hair ”
This is only true if your understanding of maintaining natural hair is based on using knowledge, tools, products and hair care routines designed for other types of hair besides your own.
This means that if you want to embark on a journey to take your hair back to its natural state; to nurture and grow it according to its design, then we need to cast away all that we have learnt about hair care and shift our mental paradigm, resetting it back to ‘factory settings’
Lessons from Nature
Just as our rhythms mimic those in nature, so should our outlook towards hair care. Living in a fast-paced, instant-gratification society has gotten us accustomed to quick-fixes and spontaneity. Nature, on the other hand, is a long-term planner. She is never rushed, she takes her time, and she knows that if she is an apple tree, her goal is but one…to produce apples. Bananas might be sweeter, pears might have a beautiful shape, but she knows who she is, loves who she is, and recognizes her own unique attributes that make her special.
“So what can we learn from Nature to apply to our outlook towards hair care?” you might ask. Well the lessons are:
On the natural hair path…
- Don’t look for quick fixes: Instead – Learn your hair, understand the damage you have caused to it and determine your hair goals.
- Understand that the best hairstyle is the Lifestyle: If you go natural to follow popular trends, you will be frustrated with the changes and learning that you need to undergo – and most likely revert back to your old ways. So make sure you are doing it for the right i.e. informed reasons.
- Less spontaneity, More Planning: Hot irons, wigs and blow dryers etc. all taught us that you can get the look you want when you want it. Natural styles are achieved with natural elements. Depending on your hair length the sun/air can take a while to set your hair into curls, so as a natural you need to be prepared to plan your ‘hair diary’ in advance.
- Your hair is already an extension: Many women love to wear artificial hair extensions, but as I like to say: Your hair is already an extension of your body! Meaning that it is advisable to accompany your change towards natural hair with a change towards a healthier lifestyle. After all, you are what you eat and you are what you do. The health of your hair can be a reflection of the health of your body.
- Be patient and willing to learn! Generations of inherited damage, and a lifestyle of inflicted damage cannot be reversed overnight. It might take months or a few years of reconditioning to rebuild your hair’s strength that will allow it to grow.
So be willing to put in the time to reap the rewards!
In our next post we will introduce the different hair paths to guide your journey.