Reader Kayana (not pictured above) says;
I know that many naturals figure out their hair pretty quickly, and have grown out full, long, healthy heads of hair in no time. But I’m in a different group of naturals; those of us you struggle for years to figure out how to properly retain length. I’ve been tweaking my protective strategy for 5 (count’em… FIVE) years, and now — at age 26 — I’m FINALLY seeing results. Just yesterday I was watching TV and felt something weird brushing the base of my neck and, who’d a thunk, it was MY HAIR. That was definitely new. For me, the issue is that my hair is very, very fine, very thin (as in, not dense), and highly textured. And, while I love my hair and wouldn’t trade it for anyone else’s, figuring out how to keep length in the unforgiving terrain that is my hair, has been difficult.
I guess the purpose of this post is two-fold — to make the natural hair world AWARE that we exist! I sometimes feel that people take for granted that every natural will have a nice, big, healthy, fluffy afro in 2 years. That’s not the case! Mastery of one’s hair is sometimes very difficult. It used to bum me out, but now I affectionately refer to myself as a ‘late bloomer’. This experience has taught me patience, and once my hair hits 12 inches, I plan on starting a YouTube channel to encourage and inspire women who are struggling, like I was.
I also gain inspiration from hair gurus like Teri of Tightly Curly and Kim Love of KimmayTube who are open and up-front about the fact that it took them more than a decade to figure out how to grow out their hair.
Also, I was just curious to see if there was any one else out there like me. Did it take you years to figure out how to retain length? Is it TAKING you years? And what are some things you’ve learned about your hair along the way?
Great questions! And for those of you who had a fairly quick journey, length-retention-wise, do you have friends or family who struggle a bit more than you did?