Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"Miracle" Products Don't Exist

For many  women, going natural and choosing to opt out of chemically relaxing our hair becomes a rite of passage and is the start of a long journey of self-acceptance and love. Personally, embracing my natural hair has paved the way to embracing a healthier lifestyle, including paying special attention to what I put on and in my body. Though I've had a few bumps in the road (heat damage, not knowing how to retain moisture, etc.), the experience has been overwhelmingly positive. I love all my strands, including the weird super spirally ones, the S-curl ones, the ones with barely any curl pattern, and the unruly gray ones. This woolly, unruly, beautiful hair is the hair God gave me and I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Me, having a pretty decent hair day.
Kind of a wash-n-go. Not sure what I did here, but it definitely wasn't a twist-out or braid-out.
Close-up of my texture.

Well, that's the attitude most of us have, right? But there are those few women who are plagued with hair envy, looking at "hair porn" of women with curl patterns their hair will never achieve. They think to themselves, "If only I could find that miracle hair product that will make my curls pop." Sorry honey, that miracle product does not exist. I admit to being guilty of hair envy, but I try to look up to naturalistas who have similar (not necessarily identical) hair patterns to mine. These are the natural hair gurus I adore:

India of My Nautral Sistas

Whitney aka Naptural85

Chime aka HairCrush

Obviously, my hair is not as long as theirs, and might never get there. I like to look at these women's pictures, videos, tutorials, blogs, etc. because they all have 4-type hair, their hair is tightly coiled and curly when wet, and honestly, they give me something to aspire to. But there are key differences of which I am well aware. All of these women have a looser curl pattern than I do. I think my hair is about a 4b or so... these women are probably all 4a/3c. Also, these women's hair seems to retain more length than mine does when wet: my hair shrinks beyond belief; it could be 9 inches straight and 2 inches curly in some spots. I think the key is being aware of these important differences. My wash-n-goes won't ever look like India's, Whitney's or Chime's, but aspects of their haircare regimen, such as their moisture routine, with a few tweaks, can also work on my hair too.

In my humble opinion, the key to identifying naturalistas who you can relate to is choosing women who have similar hair patterns as you do, but also recognizing that your hair is very unique and it's probably near impossible to find someone with the exact same hair pattern as yours. Recognize those differences, and stop searching for a "miracle" product that will make your hair look just like so-and-so from Youtube. The sooner you learn to accept your own hair texture and stop trying to attain a look your hair cannot achieve, the sooner you will actually start taking care of the hair you've got on your head: the beautiful, unique, lovely hair that God gave you and you only.