The Importance of Being Patient (Part 1)

I’ve recently had a few rather interesting situations with friends who came to me for advice on how to better manage their hair. So here’s a series of posts on those situations

Friend 1: Jumping on and right off the Natural Hair bandwagon
  • HATES to spend a lot of money on hair product
  • Had badly damaged her hair a while back and had to cut it short
  • Wears tiny braids all the time
  • Last relaxed her hair 5 months ago
  • Works out a couple times every week, and so frequently washes her hair
Friend 1, came up to me and told me that she had been trying to go natural but was really struggling. Her main challenge was this, “she wanted to minimize the damage to her hair” but at the same time cut down on time and maintenance. Spurred by the recent coolness of natural hair, she took her braids out and tried to keep her hair “natural.” However she also does not like the kinky/curly look and so was flat ironing her hair every morning before work without a heat protectant, and because she exercised a lot, she had to wash her hair a lot which meant a lot of shrinkage (and knots) for the natural part of her hair . Frustrated with her hair, she came to me for help.
She was exasperated by her inability to properly manage and handle her natural hair and so had decided to relax it, but still came to me as a last resort of sorts. The first thing I said was, “stop and think about what you really want before making a rash decision.” I discussed with her, her initial motivations to jump on the natural hair wagon, and she said, it was because she wanted to take better care of her hair. She was, however, finding that difficult to do and keep up with her lifestyle and her desired hairstyle/look. She decided, that she wanted to keep her hair straight, and the easiest way to do that was with a relaxer.
Noting that it is not my job to tell her what to do with her hair, I accepted her decision, and worked with her to determine how best she could manage her relaxed hair. This meant driving her around town to buy a better shampoo and conditioner, a deep conditioner, and keratin treatment, and a heat protectant(!), sharing some essential oils, and letting her know how best to use these products to take better care of her hair. I also shared my flat iron with her, and talked with her on how to minimize damage to her hair follicles while applying heat.
I came to realize that this was where my work ended, she needed to do the rest. It is important that I provide people with information to make their own decisions but I can not live or decide for them. Although I keep telling her, to take better care of her hair, she needs to begin to be comfortable spending a bit of money and time on her hair.
I am here for advice and assistance, not to tell you what to do. Everyone should decide for themselves what’s best. As noted in earlier posts, even though I am a proponent of natural hair, I have decided to keep my hair relaxed, but it is an informed decision that I manage accordingly.
Today’s lessons:
  1. Taking care of your hair (kinky/curly or straight) will cost you, in time and money. Budget wisely. AND BE PATIENT!
  2. NOT every trend (hair or otherwise) is for everybody. They have to determine for themselves what is best.
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