Here on BGLH we sing the prais­es of nat­u­ral hair con­stant­ly. We talk about how beau­ti­ful it is and how, with the right infor­ma­tion and tech­niques, it’s easy to man­age. But even we have to admit that there are just some things that are unde­ni­ably frus­trat­ing about nat­u­ral hair. Here is our hon­est list:

1. Protective Styling

Pro­tec­tive styling (or low manip­u­la­tion styling) is one of the car­di­nal rules of nat­u­ral hair, and although many nat­u­rals come to appre­ci­ate it, it is cer­tain­ly an acquired taste. I mean, who doesn’t want to show off their curls, coils and kinks?? Plus, we live in a non-pro­tec­tive styling cul­ture. From movie stars to street fash­ion­istas, wear­ing your hair out and long is the name of the game. While pro­tec­tive styles like tur­bans and head­wraps have gained some trac­tion, the aver­age Amer­i­can wom­an doesn’t have her hair tucked away. Still, in the name of hair health, many nat­u­rals hide their ends for days or even weeks at a time. The end result is beau­ti­ful, lus­cious hair, but Lord knows it can be frus­trat­ing.

2. Growing Out the Big Chop

I’ve nev­er seen a big chop I didn’t like. The low cut style works won­ders for high­light­ing a woman’s eyes and bone struc­ture. Not so much the awk­ward 4 and 5 inch­es that fol­low. It’s a weird length where your hair is not short enough to be a fade, but not long enough to be the curly mop so many of us crave. The best way to get through the awk­ward phase? Fig­ure out at least 2 styles that look good at that length (twist outs and flat twist­ed updos are good options) and stick with them. Also, buy copi­ous amounts of head­bands, flow­er clips and hair acces­sories.

3. The Product Chase

While there are some nat­u­ral prod­ucts that are almost uni­ver­sal­ly effec­tive (coconut oil and shea but­ter in par­tic­u­lar), beyond that there are seem­ing­ly infinite vari­a­tions; water-based moisturizers/spritzes, leave in con­di­tion­ers, hair but­ters, deep con­di­tion­ers, styling prod­ucts. They’re every­where! While prod­ucts aren’t the pri­ma­ry deter­mi­nant of hair health, and they cer­tain­ly won’t make or break your reg­i­men, it’s nonethe­less impor­tant to find a set of prod­ucts that work well togeth­er, and leave your cuti­cle feel­ing smooth and soft. And the time it takes to test out var­i­ous com­bi­na­tions of prod­ucts can be unde­ni­ably frus­trat­ing.

4. The Styling Learning Curve

It’s not so much that nat­u­ral hair is dif­fi­cult to style — most any­one can do a puff or a set of twists — it’s that it can be chal­leng­ing to learn styles for a vari­ety of sce­nar­ios. How do you style your hair for a date? A casu­al week­end? A work con­fer­ence? A for­mal event? It can take months to fig­ure out a set of basic looks that can work in a vari­ety of sit­u­a­tions.

5. The Regimen Tweak

There is a wealth of knowl­edge about nat­u­ral hair online — and while that’s most­ly a good thing, it can also present a chal­lenge. Every day dozens of nat­u­rals give hair­care advice — on blogs, in forums and on YouTube — and they’re all right because they’re all speak­ing from their own point of view. One might rec­om­mend co-wash­ing, while anoth­er rec­om­mends using sham­poo. One might rec­om­mend low manip­u­la­tion styles, while anoth­er rec­om­mends heavy pro­tec­tive styling. One might rec­om­mend a dai­ly spritz while anoth­er rec­om­mends a full seal­ing reg­i­men. It’s all rel­a­tive. Part of going nat­u­ral is try­ing out the­se dif­fer­ent bits and pieces of advice until you find what works best for you. It can be frus­trat­ing, but it’s an inevitable part of the jour­ney.

6. The Temptation to Compare

For every nat­u­ral who grows out a gor­geous, full head of hair in no time flat, there are plen­ty oth­ers that are strug­gling. But with blogs, Pin­ter­est boards and Tum­blrs pro­vid­ing a con­stant stream of “nat­u­ral hair porn” it can be tempt­ing to com­pare and become sub­se­quent­ly frus­trat­ed with your own pro­gress. Be sure to view hair porn as inspi­ra­tion ONLY and not a timetable or tem­plate of what your hair should be like. It’s also good to draw inspi­ra­tion from all kinds of nat­u­rals. All your nat­u­ral hair idols don’t have to have waist-length hair. There are plen­ty of gor­geous nat­u­rals with short, fine and mid-length hair to die for.

What about you ladies? What are some aspects of being nat­u­ral that frus­trate you? Let’s keep it real :)

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­lis­te, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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92 Comments on "6 Undeniably Frustrating Things About Natural Hair"

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idris

I have some part of my hair with a lot of break­age and i don’t know WHY because the rest of my hair is fine and SL. The back is dry and it breaks A LOT and my baby hair is dry and harsh. Very frus­trat­ing because i pro­tect and take care of my hair.

nikki

i wish that i was more hair tal­ent­ed so that i could fig­ure out some dif­fer­ent hair­styles for my hair. i get bored doing the same thing.

Got alove for ma hair
Got alove for ma hair

sigh coconut oil caus­es my scalp to itch, they sell jojoba oil, cas­tor oil, almond oil and tea tree oil. which one do you sug­gest I use? btw my hair is 4b 9 inch­es at its longest and 6 inch­es at its short­est. Thanks!
:)

Karen

I just saw this web­site and I am so hap­py to join the con­ver­sa­tion. My biggest chal­lenge is to get my curls to relax some­what. Then there is the dry look. How and what do I use to com­bat the dry burned out look? Miss Jesse didn’t work, thought about kinky curly hair but I heard it leaves your hair feel­ing hard. So what’s the next pro­duct, has any­one tried WEN? please share your thoughts if you have

Thanks much

Karen
Parched in FLA
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[…] David, in the mid­st of his tribu­la­tions, I have to encour­age myself.    After read­ing this arti­cle from BGLH Online, I gath­ered the courage to admit a cou­ple of things to […]

Alisha

If they said that to you, it’s. Because they’re jeal­ous. That’s mean!

intlgrrl

Thanks Julia nd Alisha, but i just chalk it up to igno­rance.

intlgrrl
there are two frus­tat­ing things list­ed her that get to me. Num­ber one is the whole com­par­ison bit. Now I think we can sub­con­scious­ly com­pare our­selves to oth­er nat­u­rals, but my expe­ri­ence with this isn’t quite what bugs me. I’ve had oth­er nat­u­rals actu­al­ly come up to me a vocal­ly com­pare their hair with mine, with ran­dom com­ments like “Oh, I can achieve that same style, but my hair is longer than yours” or “Oh I should try that, but I think my hair would be pret­tier than yours because I have xyz curl pattern”.…really? can you please keep those… Read more »
Julia

No! They didn’t say that. That is absolute­ly incredulous#meannaturals

Jewel

I can’t seem to keep my hair from being bril­lo pad dry, no mat­ter what I do to it

df

i was there…it could be you aren’t mois­tur­iz­ing and seal­ing well, you could be con­sti­pat­ed (health,diet), you could have hard water (buy a show­er fil­ter or do more ACV rins­es).

intlgrrl

you could also try Marine’s sug­ges­tion and use a plas­tic cap on your hair for a few hours to help seal in mois­ture.

Martine

Spray with water every­day and seal with a oil.

Tanya
Inter­est­ing. I don’t find pro­tec­tive styling frus­trat­ing at all. I wore my nat­u­ral hair out for 4 years, then start­ed pro­tec­tive styling 3 years ago. I tried some out styles again not too long ago, and my hair got dry and hard SO fast. It took weeks to recov­er (and I am con­sis­tent with giv­ing my hair mois­ture). I love how sup­ple and soft my hair feels in twists. As my hair has got­ten longer, I can do alot with them (not mini twists, either. I rock about 25 medi­um sized twists on a reg­u­lar basis). Now what IS frus­trat­ing… Read more »
MissJoeyK
One of THE most frus­trat­ing aspects of hav­ing nat­u­ral hair are the con­stant changes in my reg­i­men that are con­tin­u­ous­ly imple­ment­ed. I often feel as though when I find valu­able infor­ma­tion, I should be doing it. I sup­pose that I should be more patient with each reg­i­men, giv­ing it a real oppor­tu­ni­ty to work for me pri­or to chang­ing it so quick­ly. The sec­ond frus­trat­ing aspect of hav­ing nat­u­ral hair is the time and ener­gy required sim­ply to main­tain. Take mois­ture, for exam­ple. I feel like although I use most­ly nat­u­ral prod­ucts in my hair, mois­ture leaves my hair QUICKLY,… Read more »
glorybory

shrink­age .….….….….….….….….… that is all.

karla

Grow­ing out of the “Big Chop” now it’s too long for a fade and too short for twist outs, so I’m stuck with wear­ing wigs right now

kc

Me too! I have short, baby locs. It’s sum­mer now, so I often wear them out when run­ning errands, etc. But if I have to look presentable–my col­lege grad­u­a­tion, inter­views, any time I see my demand­ing African mother–I wig it up. It’s a has­sle.

Cacey
#6- one rea­son i like to com­pare- right now i’m using ser­a5244 (i hope i got the num­ber right lol) as my ref­er­ence- is because if i’m grow­ing out my hair, one good way of guag­ing how well i’m stay­ing on track with my pro­gress, even if it’s not the same as my ref­er­ence point, is to mon­i­tor my results as com­pared with theirs. i’ve cho­sen to com­pare my hair, on a mon­th by mon­th basis, with sera’s (as well as post pix mon­th by mon­th as she does) because it keeps me focused and on track, and lets me… Read more »
LillianMae
#1: I don’t mind because I’m a low main­te­nance girl so PS work for me in that they are con­ve­nient and sim­ple for my lifestyle…now by mid week, I’m restyling my hair so by Fri­day, I can wear my BnC to par­ty! ;) #2: Because I’ve been tran­si­tion­ing for the past 23 months, I’ve not expe­ri­enced the fade or the weird in between phase; how­ev­er, when I do BC next mon­th, I expect to have 7″ of hair so I’m look­ing for­ward to the curly mop :) #3: Tran­si­tion­ing has allowed me to over­come the ‘Pro­duct Chase’…my only con­cern (and this actu­al­ly… Read more »
Coconut And Cream

I actu­al­ly… I actu­al­ly hate my hair… I real­ly do. It’s been liv­ing in a bun for the past two weeks… Me no wan­na deaaaaal with this dead thing!

Cacey
i was there a few weeks ago. then i just took a step back and breathed. like, i lit­er­al­ly was hold­ing up the scis­sors to my ears, pre­pared to chop 6 inch­es off my hair just like that, when i had a sober­ing thought: i’ve come this far. i didn’t wan­na repeat a year’s worth of growth, con­sid­er­ing that the hair i was about to chop was per­fect­ly healthy, thanks to my most recent trim. so i decid­ed i’d quit reg­i­ment­ing my hair and just have fun with a new style, and it worked. try curl­form­ers. try doing some­thing to… Read more »
Coconut And Cream

Aw this is real­ly good advice, thanks. I think I’ve been so focused on pro­tec­tive styling that I’ve stopped hav­ing fun and enjoy­ing my hair — I made a post about this here http://www.coconutandcreamblog.com/2012/05/natural-hair-im-over-it.html

cacey
hey sheri­da i have checked out your blog post. i rarely fol­low up with replies to my com­ments because i sel­dom check my email, so i am just now see­ing your respon­se half a year lat­er. But i loved your post and you know what’s crazy? i feel that way about my hair often, too! I think a lot of it is men­tal and that’s the part that tru­ly makes the jour­ney frus­trat­ing. i hope you’re hang­ing in there; i haven’t yet got­ten around to read­ing your updates but your hair looked great from the pic­ture i saw from that… Read more »
df

That must be no fun…honestly.…I hope you get to the point where you do at least like your hair and learn how to take care of it.

BeautyIAM

Why do you hate it so much?

J

What is fus­trat­ing is nat­u­ral hair in unpre­dictable just when you think you’ve mas­tered that braid out.…. LOL and also the pro­duct chase. -_–

Kailyn

For me, it’s damn fairy knots and shrink­age. They both just get on my nerves, although I think I’m com­ing to terms with my shrink­age (it can be fun to feel like you’ve got a short bob one day and then long hair the next). Peo­ple can be amazed by our ver­sa­til­i­ty. Fairy knots though, I get them sooo much and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I can spend hours cut­ting them out.

mangomadness

Fairy knots are part of hav­ing coily/curly/kinky hair. They can’t be elim­i­nat­ed so try not to fuss over them too much.

Cacey

i now leave mine be. i noticed that my longest hair strands would have fairy knots, so now i don’t touch them. i let them become my “lead hairs’. since i now han­dle my hair gen­tly, my hair doesn’t break with the knots and they don’t cause tan­gles. if any­thing, they pre­vent my hair from split­ting past the knot so i’m grate­ful for the few that i have.

Dandelion

I don’t think it’s impor­tant to find a set of prod­ucts. But of course, prod­ucts must be pro­mot­ed on a sight full of ads for hair prod­ucts. Ive bought a few but they end up going par­tial­ly used and aban­dond­ed. I think it’s stu­pid to spend upwards of $20 on some pro­duct. I’m fine with my Shea but­ter and olive oil. It’s frus­trat­ing to have prod­ucts shoved in your face con­stant­ly lol.

Natalie
I don’t think all the 6 are frus­trat­ing, not to me any­way. For exam­ple, I love pro­tec­tive styling they are styles I would do to my hair any­way. If I left my hair in a twist out I’d be con­stant­ly wor­ry­ing what it looked like espe­cial­ly when it is windy or the weath­er is less than per­fect which is the case in Lon­don. I didn’t do a big chop this time, I did one years ago before I knew about going nat­u­ral and I just put my hair in plaits for a year until it was long enough to loc… Read more »
Sandra

i have this big patche at the top of my head and around the hair­line fron weav­ing and braid­ing and i am tired ot wear­ing wigs i real­ly want to wear my twa but too embarass can you please help

Natalie

San­dra

Try wear­ing scarves instead for a change. Also I’m sure you know this but mas­sag­ing your scalp dai­ly will encour­age the hair fol­li­cles to grow.
When you are at home don’t wear a wig or scarf to let your scalp breathe.
I wish you the best.

Julia

You should try the Essen­tial oil mix on hair­scapades. Bet­ter still read the arti­cle on using monistat. Learnt it works super­nat­u­ral won­ders.

gingerfizz
Oh man!!! There are so many replies I con­cur with. I’ve been nat­u­ral since 2001, but I kept my hair flat ironed the major­i­ty of the time. I’d ever now and then do a weak twist out. As the years passed — and more and more wom­en start­ed going nat­u­ral — prod­ucts actu­al­ly geared toward nat­u­ral hair start­ed to appear and I felt like I could do more with my hair out­side of the twist outs. I decid­ed to lessen my flat ironed times and increas­es my nat­u­ral state peri­ods. With that came a huge dry­ness issue. I real­ized it… Read more »
Alisha

Your hair looks great. What did you do to achieve this style?

B

Oh good lord, lets not pre­tend every­thing about nat­u­ral hair is all ros­es. If thats the case we(black wom­an) would have nev­er relaxed in the first place. I treat my hair as if its already 100% nat­u­ral and thanks to the inter­net there is a ton of infor­ma­tion, opin­ions, hor­ror sto­ries and suc­cess sto­ries to ref­er­ence.

merry

why does this have to be about pre­tend­ing some­thing is all ros­es?

it’s about accept­ing it for what it is, not fight­ing it, not set­ting cer­tain expec­ta­tions for it, not judg­ing it, and mov­ing on…

frankly, i think the rea­son black wom­en relax their hair is fair deep­er than the so-called dif­fi­cul­ty of deal­ing with their nat­u­ral hair.

soph

Mer­ry get a life and stop ‘cor­rect­ing’ peo­ple on the net. Your mis­ery is Astound­ing.

B

Tran­si­tion­ing and sto­ries like this scary the hell out of me!! I will be 9 months post relax­ing on June 1st and my go to style is braid n curl. About 4 inch­es of new growth & what haunts me is will I be able to achieve a great style when Im 100% nat­u­ral. I have shrink­age now so I only can imag­ine how much in will shrink at full nat­u­ral and the dry­ness is a mon­ster!

Alisha

Don’t be scared! I tran­si­tioned for a year and now it’s been almost a full year being nat­u­ral and hon­est­ly, it’s been eas­ier for me with­out the straight ends. It’s far hard­er bal­anc­ing two very dif­fer­ent tex­tures. I love my hair so much more now.

You’ll be fine!

merry

oh good lord relax.

you’ll be fine. :)

you just have to unlearn what you’ve learned about hair­care. this wouldn’t be a big deal if we nev­er for­sook our hair to begin with. so, most peo­ple are learn­ing.

Torre

Exact­ly! If we were not so utter­ly removed from our own hair
and how to care for it in the first place we wouldn’t find any of this chal­leng­ing. Nat­u­ral IS a jour­ney back to self. Regard­less of
what any­body thinks! Every­thing u thought you knew about how to care for hair total­ly changes once you go nat­u­ral. Sad how we have lost so much of our­selves… smh

mangomadness

None of the­se things are “frus­trat­ing” about my nat­u­ral hair. Just “keep­ing it real”…

Torre

Omgosh! Zara, I was just about to say that I clicked on that same link and got some of The Gud Stuff too! LOL. That’s crazy. Yeh it’s super. It’s the only mois­tur­iz­er I use now. For my hair and body. What a kawinky­dink… umm that was corny i know but wutev­er!

#nat­u­ral­istaforever

Former Dread
I just took down my locs after hav­ing them for sev­en years. Even though I have been nat­u­ral for all but a few years of my 30+ years on earth, I am re-learn­ing my loose nat­u­ral hair. I am lov­ing the learn­ing curve and get­ting reaquaint­ed with my kinks! I have about 10–12 inch­es of length, and I am doing most­ly pro­tec­tive styles 3–4 days a week/loose curly/crinkly fro rest of week. Pro­tec­tive styling wasn’t around as a length reten­tion con­cept before I had locs, so it is a new strat­e­gy for me. I do look for ways to keep… Read more »
rosewater

so, what’s the con­sen­sus then? Nat­u­ral hair sucks but at the same time, it’s kin­da worth it? Just won­der­ing hon­est­ly…

BeautyIAM

Many nat­u­rals have have a dif­fi­cult time fig­ur­ing out what works for their hair. It can be frus­trat­ing. I was get­ting frus­trat­ed with pro­tec­tive styling, but that didn’t mean I thought that nat­u­ral hair sucks. I end­ed up find­ing a hap­py medi­um for my hair for the time being.

Afrodite
I per­son­al­ly LOVE being nat­u­ral. There are some chal­lenges but I sus­pect it comes from years of only car­ing for processed hair. I love the free­dom, the flex­i­bil­i­ty, and the over­all health of my hair. I’ve come to real­ize my hair is an expres­sion of me. My hair has a per­son­al­i­ty and can be a bit quirky (like the own­er). I grew up with a perm where car­ing for my hair had always been left to the salons, so there is a bit if a learn­ing curve. Still I am glad I went nat­u­ral and I am NEVER going back.… Read more »
gingerfizz

No, it’s like when you have a child. They cry, scream, poop, and need con­stant care and atten­tion. It’s hard, and at times can be frus­trat­ing, but you wouldn’t trade your child for any­thing. When you get the hang of things and a nice rou­tine going, it’s a walk in the park for you. And then, the end results are so reward­ing.

The thing I love most about hav­ing my hair in its nat­u­ral state, is no longer being afraid of sweat or water. That free­dom far out­weighs any frus­tra­tions I may encoun­ter.

bee

amen @gingerfizz!
I call it my sec­ond child (I have one actu­al baby) because it needs that much love and atten­tion too. But it is almost just as reward­ing (noth­ing is as reward­ing as my child! lol)

merry

huh?

this is not about con­cen­sus, is it?

i’ve been nat­u­ral for years, well before hair­boards etc. despite the issues i’ve had with its fick­le nature, there’s noth­ing that would make me go back to that lye.

Zara
Ughh!! This is soo true! Pro­tec­tive styles get on my nerves the most some­times. You know some­times I just want to wear my hair out all the time with­out wor­ry­ing about hav­ing to cov­er it or twist it etc but of course it will become dry as hay if I keep that up!  I was read­ing one of the oth­er arti­cles on here about hair regimes and I saw some­one post­ed about this web­site called The Gud Stuff? Here is the link she post­ed http://bit.ly/get-The-GUD-Stuff Ok seri­ous­ly I’ve been nat­u­ral for 5 years and this is THE BEST pro­duct I’ve ever… Read more »
df

OF COURSE it has coconut oil *humph* I wish peo­ple who made nat­u­ral hair prod­ucts would real­ize that not EVERY head of nat­u­ral hair needs or tol­er­ates coconut oil. I nev­er real­ized how preva­lent it is for prod­ucts to have pro­teins or coconut oil till I went nat­u­ral. It’s ridicu­lous.

kg.sunshine

Yessss!!!! My hair is not a fan of coconut oil {unless it’s straight} nor glyc­er­in {until I’m in a steam room}. Smh.

Marcie

I’ve been nat­u­ral for almost 2 years and have worn my hair straight 4 times. The last two times I expe­ri­enced notice­able heat dam­age. I miss being able to wear my hair straight occa­sion­al­ly. My hair and heat are not friends.

Landry
I am cur­rent­ly 8 months nat­u­ral after a 10 mon­th tran­si­tion and I feel like I am peak­ing. lol! I have a reg­i­men that works for me and I have found prod­ucts that I do NOT have to order online that are natural/organic that keep my hair mois­tur­ized. My hair is about neck length when I wear it in a twist-out and it is grow­ing like a weed! I am cur­rent­ly try­ing to learn about pro­tec­tive styling pri­mar­i­ly for con­ve­nience. I am rock­ing semi-mini twists in an updo today and I real­ly like it. Although I do prefer to wear… Read more »
LillianMae

I can’t wait to BC next mon­th; look­ing for­ward to that spike in growth after the BC!

Amor

Amen..this post is right on the money..I’m try­na get enough ener­gy to fin­ish my pro­tec­tive style lol smh

Kenneth
I real­ly enjoyed this arti­cle. I think one rea­son that pro­tec­tive styling is so frus­trat­ing is because many nat­u­rals lim­it them­selves to think­ing that pro­tec­tive styling only means “pro­tec­tive styles”. Real­ly it can be so much more encom­pass­ing than just styles.  The con­cept of pro­tec­tive styling is actu­al­ly quite broad and real­ly refers to mak­ing sure that you’re con­stant­ly doing things that pro­tect your hair from dam­age. So, it’s more so about the process used to style your hair and not the actu­al style that you decide to wear. Tak­ing pre­cau­tions to mit­i­gate heat dam­age is an exam­ple of pro­tec­tive styling… Read more »
merry

among nat­u­rals, pro­tec­tive styling most­ly means pro­tect­ing those ends.

pro­tec­tive styling is not about apply­ing heat or doing high manip­u­la­tion styles.

Kenneth

I don’t dis­agree that’s usu­al­ly what’s dis­cussed and it’s accu­rate to say that pro­tec­tive styles are about pro­tect­ing the ends of your hair. I’m not refer­ring to pro­tec­tive styles. 

I’m talk­ing about con­cep­tu­al­ly what “pro­tec­tive styling” means. It should be about build­ing more pro­tec­tion into your reg­i­men and can very well include mit­i­gat­ing heat dam­age by “pro­tect­ing it” using a heat “pro­tec­tant” and tak­ing oth­er pre­cau­tions. Get it — protection.I think we agree and it’s seman­tics really.…but it doesn’t have to be lim­it­ing as its usu­al­ly dis­cussed by many nat­u­rals.

Julia

Wow! An informed guy who knows much about pro­tec­tive styling (includ­ing mit­i­gat­ing heat dam­age) is def­i­nite­ly a fresh of breath air.

merry

where­as tuck­ing your ends away is prac­ti­cal­ly a guar­an­tee again­st not hav­ing dam­age, using “pro­tec­tant” is no guar­an­tee again­st sus­tain­ing dam­age from heat.

i think if you actu­al­ly read the­se nat­u­ral hair forums, you’ll notice that your so-called con­cep­tu­al def­i­n­i­tion of pro­tec­tive styling is built into our dis­cus­sions — mois­tur­iz­ing (how to do it), which combs to use or not use, which conditions/shampoos are ben­e­fi­cial, deep con­di­tion­ing, trim­ming ends, etc.

i think the wom­en who post on nat­u­ral forums are pret­ty much on point with the suggestions/advice given. the lin­go just doesn’t fall under your par­tic­u­lar frame­work. seri­ous­ly…

Taiziana

Why the hos­til­i­ty? ken­neth rais­es valid points, in the arti­cle pro­tec­tive styling is being explained as low manip­u­la­tion and a pro­tec­tive hair­style, ken­neth is say­ing that it does­nt have to be just that, you dont have to lim­it your­self. He is talk­ing about what is said in the arti­cle not what is being dis­cussed on blogs…

Lela7

I think you raised some good points Ken­neth — don’t pay atten­tion to the moan­ers! Your idea of pro­tec­tive styling — which I agree with is writ­ten about in the sci­ence of black hair quite exten­sive­ly. Mer­ry is wrong pro­tec­tive styling can / does also include not apply­ing heat etc. Mer­ry is wrong to say tuck­ing your ends is prac­ti­cal­ly a guar­an­tee to not hav­ing damane — if you don’t do tings like mois­turise effec­tive­ly, or look after your hair in oth­er ways — tuck­ing in your ends won’t achieve much.

merry

some peo­ple refuse to use their read­ing com­pre­hen­sion skills.

Kay

The only style that works for me is the two-strand twists. Once dry, I untwist them; I don’t unrav­el them, because the style won’t last long. It comes out great, but the twist­ing is very time con­sum­ing (about four or five hours). When I don’t have the time, or I’m not up for twist­ing, the only oth­er thing I know how to do is a slicked back pony­tail, which can get too tight after a while.

Arian

What frus­trates me is the unpre­dictabil­i­ty of my hair! It may work with a cer­tain DC one day and not so good the next. Water/glycerin would work some days and some days not. Hon­est­ly, it is start­ing to wear on my nerves so bad… ugh! 

But I keep truck­ing along…

Annie L.

Me too *sigh* I final­ly chucked every­thing in favor of water, olive oil (which I like but don’t love) and DB’s Cupuacu pomade.

Kesha

My gripe is not being able to run out of the house with­out my hair ful­ly glammed. I mean if I want to run to the gro­cery store, but I am not ful­ly ready to untwist and style my hair, I some­times feel stuck. If I style, then I loose the fresh effect that I want to have when I real­ly hit the streets. Yet, I don’t want to got to Jew­el with my Ms. Celie braids. Same goes for wet hair in the win­ter. It can hold you back.

mangomadness

on tope = on top of
afar = after

mangomadness
When I have to leave the house while I’m air-dry­ing my hair in braids for a future braid-out I wear a tur­ban (on tope a sat­in scarf/bonnet com­bo, of course). Here’s a link: http://www.amazon.com/CoverYourHair-Black-Turban/dp/B004L5WRXS You can also buy them from a Beau­ty Sup­ply Store.  I wear my black tur­ban with a match­ing out­fit and some big pearl stud ear­rings. I also wear black winged eye­lin­er (a.k.a. cat eye look) if I’m feel­ing super fan­cy. It makes me feel “ful­ly glammed” because the whole ensem­ble is very vin­tage glam­or (Eartha Kitt, etc). I get tons of com­pli­ments on my tur­ban when I… Read more »
Afrodite
My hair is the anti-nat­u­ral. What works for most will not work for me. Olive oil, too heavy; Hen­na, dries my hair out; co- wash, can’t bc my scalp is very sen­si­tive and needs reg­u­lar sham­poo­ing. My hair is more of a diva than Mari­ah Carey. Still it is grow­ing, albeit slow­ly. I just keep try­ing stuff, even­tu­al­ly I’ll find some­thing that works for me. For the record, I am ALL about the pro­tec­tive styles. The are con­ve­nient and some are real­ly cute. Grant­ed I am only able to do two strand twist and Ban­tu knots, but it’s a start :-)
Candice

Yep…doing your hair on Sat­ur­day so it’ll look right for Fri­day. I like my twists, but yeah, I find myself rock­ing many a head scarf at the gro­cery store.

caribbeancurl
I hear you all…I have reached the stage where once I have washed and styled and deter­mined that this par­tic­u­lar style will last me XX amount ofdays or weeks, etc absolute­ly noth­ing, not even if the hair looks ram­pled, caus­es me to take it out of its pro­tec­tive style. If it looks ram­pled or so I tie it down, wear a hat or if push comes to real shove I put on a wig. I have realised mad growth beca­sue of this, keep the hair ends moist and leave the hair alone till next wash date or the date you… Read more »
Cacey

i’m still try­ing to arrive at this point. the prob­lem is my hair has a ten­dan­cy to tan­gle with­in 2 or 3 days even in a pro­tec­tive style. crazy indeed. so it ruins what­ev­er plans i had of drag­ging out a pro­tec­tive style. i keep try­ing and fail­ing mis­er­ably. i think because my hair shrinks back over time, so then i have to undo it from its style and detan­gle it, then redo the style. being able to get by with­out a comb now has become a life­saver for me.

Cia

I just hate long dry­ing time…omg my hair just takes her sweet time dry­ing :(

Tee

Humid­i­ty is not a natural’s friend. The sum­mer time is my worst ene­my.

Steppa

Dry­ness needs to be cat­e­go­ry of its own.

Cacey

yes! my hair is uber dry. though that might be a bypro­duct of the bleach.…hm.

Afrodite

Preach is sis­tah!

Martine
OMG so I js read some­thing on here about Mois­tur­ize dai­ly and seal with oil dai­ly. Yes I’ve read it 50/11 times but this week I final­ly lis­tened. Sooooooo like they say or hve been say­ing “it works”. Geez I’m so hard head­ed. Now if I could just find the best detan­gler, and fund out how to cut dwn 3 hours of braid­ing js to get big hair. Hit me ikon fb Mar­tine Soalien Laine. So e can com­pare notes. I’m not a expert but help me out if u hve ideas. I hve 4 some­thing hair with dif­fer­ent pat­terns… Read more »
Lela7

This is my holy grail detan­gler for my 4b hair — its amaz­ing!

http://www.jinnysmall.com/africa-s-best-organics-kids-shea-butter-detangling-moisturizing-hair-lotion-355ml-2787.html.

It’s called Africa’s Best Organ­ics Kids Shea But­ter Detan­gling Mois­tur­iz­ing Hair Lotion and its amaz­ing (and cheap!) Cuts my detan­gling time in half.

Robyn

YAAAS Lord!!

I learned ear­lier this year that dry­ness can actu­al­ly CANCEL OUT pro­tec­tive styling!! I had kept my hair in this corn­rowed updo for, like, 3 weeks and I was so proud of myself, but I neglect­ed to mois­tur­ize it reg­u­lar­ly enough. To my hor­ror, when I took the style down, my ends came out too! It shocked me that some­thing as effec­tive as dis­ci­plined pro­tec­tive styling could be erased by some dry­ness! Now I spritz reli­gious­ly every night! It ain’t a game.

Candice

I feel you, Robin. Hav­ing your hard work and patience entire­ly undone due to dry­ness, tan­gles, or break­age is SOOO frus­trat­ing!

Annie L.

Hell %@#ing yes!

merry

i might add that the thing that most frus­trates me about my hair is its picky nature; has to be treat­ed with kid gloves to thrive. 

that’s annoy­ing but it is what it is.

c’est la vie.

Robyn

YEEESSS!!! If I LOOK at my hair the wrong way, it will spite me and break, lol! Been nat­u­ral for 5 effin years and JUST start­ed to retain length about 6 months ago. It took that long to real­ly under­stand and get a grasp on how frag­ile my hair real­ly is.

Now my hair is 11 inch­es long and I’m SOO excit­ed!! It’s nev­er been this long in my entire life :) I’m aim­ing for 18 inch­es.

merry
pro­tec­tive styling is a refuge for me. i’m some­one who wore my hair in a short fade for years, so i’m not real­ly into fuss­ing with my hair.  it’s shoul­der length now and i think i’m grow­ing it to see how far it’ll go. i some­times think about cut­ting it though. but fig­ur­ing out styles, espe­cial­ly for some­one who doesn’t like to fuss over beau­ty rit­u­als of any kind, can be a bit annoy­ing. luck­i­ly, most styles are not too dif­fi­cult for me to do. but, some­times, i do get weird thoughts of ‘what am i gonna do’ if i need to… Read more »
LillianMae

RE: pro­tec­tive styling is a refuge for me

Same here! I’m not into wake up every morn­ing and style my hair so my hair is most­ly in pro­tec­tive styles. I prob­a­bly restyle once a week or so to re-mois­tur­ize. I do like to, every now and again, exper­i­ment with new pro­tec­tive styles, but for the most part, I have my sig­na­ture styles that work well for me.

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