Almost three years in the natural hair game, it goes without saying that I love being an official member of #TeamNatural. The versatility, the thickness and the just plain awesomeness of having a head full of curls, what’s not to love? Well, a couple of things actually. As much as I adore my curly bounce by the ounce, life isn’t always perfect ‘fros and Instagram-ready tresses. From washdays to humidity horror stories, natural life can get a little well, tangled every once and a while. Here are just a few instances:
1. Bedtime Prep
Unfortunately telling your boss you were 20-minutes late to work because you were too tired to re-twist your ends or grab a bonnet and now have to deal with a matted mess atop your head isn’t a reasonable excuse for truancy. During transition I quickly discovered a key rule to living life as a natural: Never go to bed without a plan, or at least some kind of idea as to how your next day hair will look. Not prepping for the next day’s style has proven to be disastrous to not only my hair, but to my punctuality and overall flyness. Whether its strategically pineappling my hair in my favorite satin scarf, re-twisting a few frizzed ends (or the whole dang head), or a mid-week condition, pre-slumber hair maintenance can easily add an hour or two to my nighttime ritual.
2. Humidity Horror Stories
Humidity is to hair what kryptonite is to Superman. No matter if it’s fried, dyed or laid to the side, warm, wet air has the same effect; it freaking sucks. As much as I love letting the curls loose on a breezy summer day, what usually begins as a luscious poof of bouncy coils somehow manages to morph into a chaotic cluster of frizzed, shrunken strands somewhere between lunchtime and mid-afternoon. Yes, a high bun will be eternally tre chic, but does it also have to be my constant heat wave go-to?
3. Product Junkie Journals
Like a moth to a flame, the right product is everything to achieving the perfect curl. I’m sure there are girls out there who with a little water, conditioner and a handful of fruits and berries have coils to die for, but darn it I am not one of them. My hair arsenal is filled to capacity with moisturizers, gels, custards, hair masks and so much more — basically I’ve inadvertently become the walking ethnic hair aisle at Target. Heaven forbid the store happens to be out of my favorite product because that’s legitimate cause for a black girl meltdown in my book. As much as I wish I could just wash and go; the next stop on the natural train will forever be product city galore for me.
4. Hooray for Wash Days (Well, Not Really)
Clear the calendar, cue your Pandora and get to lathering. If you’re anything like me, washdays are meticulously carved into your schedule and organized with a precision reminiscent of a 5-star wedding. Again, wash and go’s just aren’t for me so planning in advance is a must as a washing, conditioning, detangling, moisturizing and twisting can easily take two or more hours. And then there’s the waiting period. That day or two after a wash where I try my darndest to rid my locks of the evil hair villain known as shrinkage. No matter what method of stretching I attempt, the TWA always makes a cameo. As much as I love a clean scalp, I equally look forward to day two or three of a fresh wash as this is when my hair usually hits its prime.
5. The Pain of Rain
I’m not sure where the myth began that natural hair is immune to water but let’s nip that in the bud now. Don’t let the fluff and puff fool you because I cherish an umbrella and hoodie on a rainy day just as much as the next girl. Despite its sometimes fresh-out-of-bed look, I actually spend a decent amount of time and product on my hair, and the last thing I want is all of my hard work washed away.