by Ade­o­la of The Mane Cap­tain
hair frustration
As a black hair blog­ger, I try to remain active in the vir­tu­al black hair (relaxed and afro-tex­tured) com­mu­ni­ty. I read com­ments left by oth­er read­ers and leave my opin­ion when nec­es­sary. From the­se com­ments, I find that we as a peo­ple still have a LONG way to go when it comes to Black hair.

Despite the hun­dreds of resources that are out there to edu­cate us on black hair, I find there are still hun­dreds of black hair prob­lems which are unad­dressed and some­times “glo­ri­fied” on many hair blogs. It is because of the­se prob­lems that I have been pro­voked to write this post in hopes of get­ting you to let go of some of the­se “crazy” issues which you or some­one you know might be fac­ing.

Even though there are many issues, I have only list­ed a few of the ones that I think deserve your atten­tion So, here they are, in no par­tic­u­lar order:

Dis­sat­is­fac­tion with one’s own hair tex­ture and the com­par­ison to oth­ers

Pro­posed Solu­tions:
— Try­ing all sorts of curling cream in the mar­ket so as to achieve girl B’s curl
— Putting your hair through all sorts of abuse all so that you can achieve a wash-n-go and oth­er styles your hair doesn’t like to be put in

My thoughts: If you weren’t born with girl B’s genes, you WILL NOT achieve the same “out” style she achieves with cer­tain prod­ucts and tech­niques; but you may be able to achieve sim­i­lar styles. Rather than wast­ing your time, effort and mon­ey try­ing a WnG, you can instead opt for “pre­dictable” styles which will turn out well. I often achieve a “frizz out” instead of a twist out on most days, but I don’t deem this fail­ure on my hair styling skills or a par­tic­u­lar pro­duct since I already know my hair is very unique and will only do what it wants to do.

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Obses­sion with laid edges

Pro­posed solu­tions
— relax­ing the edges so that a corn­row or weave will look neater
— using a hard gel to lay it down

My thoughts: I find this is a very pop­u­lar prob­lem with Amer­i­cans as I don’t come across this issue too often on non-Amer­i­can web­sites. My edges don’t coil up much and so I don’t have much to say. But one thing you need to real­ize is that your hair is no longer relaxed, it is now COILY and it wants to remain that way. Instead of forc­ing your hair to do what it doesn’t want to do, I sug­gest you rock your hair loud and proud!

 Anti-Frizz

Pro­posed solu­tions
use of anti frizz prod­ucts or elim­i­nat­ing cer­tain prod­ucts total­ly 

My thoughts: Again, I find this issue is most­ly talked about by Amer­i­cans. As I’ve men­tioned above, your hair is no longer straight, it is now COILY and will be more prone to frizz. It’s easy to bat­tle with frizz when your hair is straight, but a bit more chal­leng­ing when it’s curly/coily. Coily hair will not always be smooth like straight hair and is more sus­cep­ti­ble to envi­ron­men­tal changes. So instead of fight­ing frizz which is out of your con­trol, EMBRACE IT. And if you have OCD and cant do this, then keep your hair in braids, a great anti-frizz hair­style. Your hair doesn’t have to be per­fect­ly sculpt­ed each time.

Read the rest at The Mane Cap­tain

What are some Nat­u­ral hair prob­lems you often come across that you don’t see as a prob­lem? I’ll be hap­py to read your thoughts in the com­ment box below.

The Mane Cap­tain is a blog run by Ade­o­la, a Toron­to based nat­u­ral hair advo­cate who empow­ers wom­en with the knowl­edge need­ed to take con­trol of their hair. She also holds reg­u­lar meet ups in and around Toron­to where Nat­u­rals can net­work and sup­port each oth­er while on the jour­ney. 

Adeola @ The Mane Captain

A Toron­to based nat­u­ral hair blog­ger. Born & half raised in Nige­ria, and now cur­rent­ly resid­ing in Canada. To keep busy, I fre­quent my local library where I go to bor­row non fic­tion books, par­tic­u­lar­ly per­son­al and spir­i­tu­al devel­op­ment books. I also orga­nize Toron­to nat­u­ral hair events, attend mee­tup groups and I’m work­ing hard to be a poly­glot.

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33 Comments on "5 Unreasonable Natural Hair “Problems”"

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NHCN

The­se are real “issues” that one may face once you go nat­u­ral. As one guest author point­ed out (http://www.naturalhaircarenews.com/2015/01/26/so-you-want-to-go-natural/), some peo­ple will judge you for your hair. The good thing is, you don’t have to be hard on your­self. Just take it one beau­ti­ful step at a time!

Rachel J

It is imper­a­tive for us nat­u­rals to embrace healthy hair at what­ev­er cost opposed to longer hair at what­ev­er cost. It would be even bet­ter if both were achieved, how­ev­er healthy hair is still at the top of the chart. Real­iz­ing the unique­ness of our own hair and not com­par­ing our hair to the next girl is impor­tant. Embrace You! Per­son­al­ly I am a 4C. I con­sid­er my hair the tight­est of tight. Major shrink­age, for me I find all sorts of style-outs to stretch it out, how­ev­er Healthy is always my fine line.
Rachel J.
http://www.hairtritionconsulting.com
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Youngin girl
Curly hair seems to be more atten­tion grab­bing and way out there in the media. It’s every­where. You see in in mag­a­zine pages, on com­mer­cials, at the sup­ply store and on pro­duct brands. Of course, some wom­en are obsessed with curls because that’s what is in. Until we can get an advo­cate or a inven­tor to pro­duce prod­ucts that lean more towards kinky hair, 4c wom­en are stuck with curly mod­els. I think one thing that can be annoy­ing is the long hair mot­to and flat iron­ing to achieve waist length. What hap­pened to patience? Why are we cre­at­ing more… Read more »
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[…] 5 Unrea­son­able Nat­u­ral Hair “Prob­lems” | Black Girl with Long Hair http://blackgirllonghair.com/by Ade­o­la of The Mane Cap­tain As a black hair blog­ger, I try to remain active in the vir­tu­al black hair (relaxed and afro-tex­tured) com­mu­ni­ty. I read. … I thought that may­be I lost hair because of poor detan­gling, nor­mal 100 hair shed-a-day untill I found out I had a dietary defiecient, if I did not care about length, I prob­a­bly would have nev­er noticed, improv­ing my health has led to hair growth, I feel bet­ter and plus my face is glow­ing! Thumb up Thumb down +5. Reply. […]

Jasmine

I agree with most of the arti­cle minus the “laid edges” tid bit. I like my edges to look neat. #shrug. Not slicked back all the time, per se, but I don’t want them to look unkempt. For me, neat edges are like arched eye­brows. :)

Brittany. L
The laid edges is real­ly a weird obses­sion when I see it writ­ten down as one, but the thought of it doesn’t sound weird and I wont lie frizz real­ly does irk my nerves some­times if I came out with a twist out and now it looks a mess i must admit it irks me a bit lol. And the tex­ture thing is the biggest prob­lem every­one who comes to me with advice on going nat­u­ral always talks about their tex­ture. ALWAYS!. They obsess over it and ask me what I think it is and hope­ful­ly it’s loose and I tell… Read more »
Zahra
Being a “B curl girl” due to mixed her­itage has made my life a mis­ery in the African com­mu­ni­ties I’ve spent in, liv­ing in South Africa and vis­it­ing Amer­i­ca. Peo­ple are often in love with my hair, not want­i­ng to real­ly talk to me, but rather being inter­est­ed in my hair. I am not exotic and nei­ther is my hair. Peo­ple tell me all the time that they wish they had my hair and for me it is not a sign of “wow, I have amaz­ing hair”, but rather a sign of “I want the­se wom­en to love their own… Read more »
Nicole

Noth­ing at all.…I just let it do what it do!

the gypsy life
Eh. I think the author was spot on. The biggest strug­gle for a lot of nat­u­rals, in my opin­ion, is the obses­sion with length and a cer­tain “tex­ture”. Sure, we’ve given up the creamy crack, for loose curls and waves. Accep­tance of one’s tex­ture and (lack of) length, is some­thing that we have a long way to go. I remem­ber search­ing youtube for videos of girls with short hair, and com­ing up with only 1–2 videos here and there. Oh, but there were tons of videos of nat­u­rals with long or waist length hair.  As for frizz, I don’t agree… Read more »
cheni_zim

You must have missed the point she made about healthy eat­ing, exer­cise etc have no effect on hair…she has delet­ed about 3 of her points so I guess it now makes it dif­fi­cult to have a dis­cus­sion about the arti­cle…

nappy headed black girl

“Dis­sat­is­fac­tion with one’s own hair tex­ture and the com­par­ison to oth­ers”

This right here is the truth for a lot of nat­u­rals, espe­cial­ly new­bies. And it’s so detri­men­tal.

Although length obses­sion was removed, I have to say I agree with that one as well. Or, for some, it trans­lates to grow­ing a BAA. 

Noth­ing wrong with want­i­ng long hair, of course, but I find some of the things peo­ple do to achieve it are unhealthy for both their hair and self-accep­tance.

TMC toronto meetup march 29th

I appre­ci­ate all the view­points, both sup­port­ing and those that are in the con­trary. The­se are my per­son­al view­points as I still don’t under­stand a lot of nat­u­ral hair prob­lems which wom­en strug­gle with.
I appre­ci­ate all the com­ments and per­son­al expe­ri­ences that are being shared. For the full list, please click on the link above to be redi­rect­ed to the blog where you can also share your opin­ion.
Thank You
http://themanecaptain.blogspot.ca/

Tyler

It looks like the author has removed “length obses­sion” from the list after every­one com­plained in the com­ments. In my opin­ion, dras­tic edits like that should be not­ed rather than just qui­et­ly removed. I mean, if you wrote it in the first place you should either be able to stand by what you wrote or apol­o­gize for your error. Well at least that’s how I am.

Tyler
http://onelittleblackdress.com

DC

COMPLETELY agree. I was won­der­ing why there were only three points when the title of the arti­cle says there are five…

Tameka
The preva­lence of frizz isn’t as insignif­i­cant or out­side of one’s con­trol as the author makes it out to be. Frizz, espe­cial­ly high frizz, can indi­cate that one’s hair is dehy­drat­ed or that the cuti­cle lay­er of the hair is raised, which can affect the hair’s abil­i­ty to retain mois­ture. Also, frizz caused by a lack of mois­ture is def­i­nite­ly some­thing with­in nat­u­rals’ abil­i­ty to con­trol. For instance, after I sham­poo my hair, I allow it to par­tial­ly air dry before I apply my leave-in. If my curls have high frizz, I know even before I touch my hair that… Read more »
Mika

Well our hair is nat­u­ral­ly dry, so if you are pil­ing loads of pro­duct on it to “hydrate it” then you aren’t real­ly wear­ing your nat­u­ral hair, just as if some­one wears a high­ly gelled up wash­n­go that’s not real­ly what their hair is like. I mois­tur­ize my hair enough for it to stay healthy and grow not to take out the nat­u­ral frizz which looks amaz­ing! if it’s not for you cool, but frizzy hair is not unhealthy hair. That’s how our hair is.

Emmeaki

So, Mika, if you put prod­ucts on your hair, it’s no longer nat­u­ral? BS!

Mlle Batifole

I don’t think Tameka sug­gest­ed that frizzy hair is unhealthy hair. Frizz does come with the ter­ri­to­ry of nat­u­ral (and healthy!) hair and there are ways to reduce frizz. But I hope you tru­ly don’t think that hair prod­ucts like leave-in con­di­tion­er and gel- let alone sim­ple cold water- makes coils, curls and kinks sud­den­ly unnat­u­ral. Because that doesn’t make sense.

Mika

Your nat­u­ral hair will still be nat­u­ral if you rin­se it with cold water; but it will only take out the frizz until it dries unless you put a great deal of pro­duct in it( in my expe­ri­ence) which in my opin­ion does alter the nat­u­ral state. Again; noth­ing wrong with healthy frizzy hair! Don’t under­stand what all the frizz hate is for; how about you do you and I’ll do me.

sarah
PREACH MIKA!!! Fun­ny how no one says any­thing when you have a perm no mat­ter what state the hair is in but when nat­u­ral every­one and their mom­ma wants to become your per­son­al hair con­sul­tant. Most per­med hair wom­en I know just wake up comb their hair a few sec­onds and go. Who­ev­er thumbs you down and that dement­ed com­ment up is one of those crazy ghet­to wom­en who would spend their kids food mon­ey on hair weaves, fake nails and smart phones and next months rent on a design­er belt. They were the relaxed wom­en who talk down on… Read more »
Rudy

nat­u­ral­cutie, sense when is wear­ing an afro not some­thing to take pride in? They didn’t think that way in the 70’s! So our tex­ture to you is some­thing that is uncar­ed for? That doesn’t even make sense. Is our skin brown because we’re unhealthy too? Just like I said, delud­ed you’re liv­ing proof right there. I’m sure all wom­en want to look their best whether they wear an afro or those pseudo curls!

Mika
nat­u­ral­stu­pid, I mean “cutie”, this is what I’m, talk­ing about. I do take great pride in my hair, take great care of it, and think it looks it’s best with my nat­u­ral afro tex­ture. I deep con­di­tion my hair once a week, detan­gle with kinky curly, wash with shea mois­ture and braids after­wards, sleep with a sat­in scarf and pil­low case. I swear I am OBSSESSED about car­ing for my hair and want­i­ng it in it’s health­i­est con­di­tion. And my hair is still an afro, yes I could define it if I want­ed with loads of pro­duct$$$ but I think… Read more »
naturalcutie

I dis­agree. Tak­ing pride in your hair is car­ing for it and want­i­ng it to look its best. Good care only enhances what one nat­u­ral­ly has. Prod­ucts wont give you what you dont already have. Most nev­er had a prob­lem styling and car­ing for processed hair but now since one is rock­ing nat­u­ral hair they must roll out of bed, make no effort and look a hot mess just of be con­sid­ered 100% nat­u­ral BS

Rudy

They’re just delud­ed by the anti-frizz pro­pa­gan­da used to make mon­ey off of exag­ger­at­ing women’s “imper­fec­tions” and media mak­ing them think they need this or that pro­duct to solve they’re sup­posed prob­lems. Now some wom­en do actu­al­ly have unhealthy type of frizz, due to dam­age or unhealthy habits but there’s a dif­fer­ence between that and nat­u­ral afro tex­tured (frizzy) hair.

cacey
wow was my num­ber­ing off by one lol i missed that the first one was Length Obses­sion. I’m unapolo­get­i­cal­ly guilty as charged on that one, and i won’t get over it til my hair is at my goal length of WL lol do i take sup­ple­ments for hair growth and has it improved my diet and water intake? No. but if it did, that would only be a plus! as for num­ber five? I agree with her that all the hype about prod­ucts that can make your hair grow is mis­placed. and that prod­ucts do not grow hair. most peo­ple that… Read more »
cacey
1) I will say that i noticed the first to be preva­lent on blogs as well as in real life. I can kin­da relate to this, in hav­ing aspired to more straight and wavy types. I think it hits a lot of us hard. 2) It was a big deal for one of my aunts to always have them edges *laid* but i myself was nev­er plagued by it after a cer­tain point. Espe­cial­ly when i fig­ured out fast that no mat­ter how much gel i used, or what type, my edges always found a way to make a mock­ery of… Read more »
cacey

Cor­rec­tion: ” *couldn’t* care less about”. was typ­ing too fast

cheni_zim

I dis­agree ful­ly with num­ber 1. Exer­cise and diet do affect hair qual­i­ty and growth. There is s rea­son why mal­nour­ished peo­ple have brit­tle hair that’s thin and wispy and a rea­son why healthy and active peo­ple have health­ier hair. It may not give you an inch a mon­th but your hair will grow at
It’s opti­mum whether that’s a quar­ter inch or half an inch. Your hair and nails are the last parts of your body to get nutri­ents, so if you are not eat­ing right hard­ly any will go to the­se parts…

Reese

I dis­agree with num­ber 1, my obses­sion with length led me to increase my pro­tein intake and MY HEALTH HAS IMPROVED, my hair had been break­ing off severe­ly for years.

I thought that may­be I lost hair because of poor detan­gling, nor­mal 100 hair shed-a-day untill I found out I had a dietary defiecient, if I did not care about length, I prob­a­bly would have nev­er noticed, improv­ing my health has led to hair growth, I feel bet­ter and plus my face is glow­ing!

Mere

That’s great! I’m so hap­py for you :D

I total­ly agree with you, my “obses­sion” led me to bet­ter health and hair prac­tices. More exer­cise, bet­ter prod­ucts ect. But I don’t think it’s an obses­sion, just hair care. Its not even a nat­u­ral hair “issue”, I’ve seen all types of races with straight hair who do the same things. Mas­sages, exer­cise, drink­ing more water ect. I per­son­al­ly don’t see it as an issue, it’s not like they think about it every wak­ing min­ute.

Elle
Good arti­cle. I think the writ­ers’ thoughts are con­veyed well…but blogs aren’t a lit­mus test of soci­ety. I’m always amazed at how out of touch the com­men­tary on blogs and oth­er forms of social media seems with peo­ple I’ve met who don’t live in the nar­row fish­bowl that some vir­tu­al com­mu­ni­ties can become and rep­re­sent. I believe that using them to gauge who we are and where we’re at (any group) can dis­tort per­cep­tions of real­i­ty. A good deal of the lan­guage and expe­ri­ences I’ve read and watched from SOME Black wom­en on SOME sites — I was clue­less about.… Read more »
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