By Fran of Heyfranhey.com
We’re a world of instant gratification. We want what we want and we want it now. Readers tell me they need to lose 20 lbs in 10 days. They tell me they want 6‑pack abs by summer. Or that their hair needs to be no less than 18 inches long for a formal event they have in 3 weeks. But when I suggest drinking more water to help detox and shed some of that unnecessary weight, I hear, “but I don’t like the taste of water”. When I encourage finger detangling because I know it helps minimize breakage and in turn helps retain length, I’m told, “I don’t have the patience for all that!” And when I explain that abs take consistent physical training, I’m met with, “but for how long, fran?” Rarely do people want advice on the actual journey. They want to know how it can happen before Tuesday.
I understand. Protective styling is not always our favorite look as naturals. I’m not the biggest fan of having to sit and twist my entire head of hair for hours, only to have to re-twist again in a few days because the shine is gone and the frizz has taken its place. Who is? I’m not one of those lucky naturals that can wear twists for weeks. Mine will last about a week and a half with a few re-twisting sessions in between! And my hair is thick but not thick enough to have a head full of awesome chunky twists. Mine have a lot of room between them. Scalpy. I look 12. But I put them in and I wear them anyway. Why? Because I know it’s what works to keep my hair healthy. I understand those weeks I have to look 12 are worth those days I can wear my hair out and it’s so well taken care of and huge that people on the train can’t stop staring and ask, “is that all yours?” Yes, it is. And I earned it.
Finger detangling takes a long friggin’ time. I know. Sometimes you just want to grab that denman or that seamless comb (or whatever the blogs suggest) and just tear through those knots and get wash-day over and done with. But when half your hair is hanging on that shower wall and the rest is circling the drain, don’t wonder why. When months have passed and your hair is still the same length and fullness, def don’t wonder why! That extra hour you spend calmly separating those knots with your fingers will turn into those extra inches of hair you’re looking for in the mirror. Cipriana’s hair isn’t that long because she’s lucky. My hair isn’t this big because I’m lucky. We both put in the work. We’ve spent years testing and figuring out the right combination of oils and creams. The right regimen of cleansers, the hours of finger detangling, moisturizing, sealing, twisting and the full out patience. Then we do it all over again when we have to; as long as it takes. We’ve earned it. And some will ask, “but why does everything have to take so long?” and I’ll always say it’s your body, why not?
People like to tell me all the time, “all natural products are great and all but they’re way too expensive”. Yeah, a few of the healthier brands can be expensive but if you want to buy them then make a few sacrifices. If I know I have to spend a certain amount on hair products then I cut down on frivolous spending that month and make it a priority. It’s the same thing when buying groceries. Healthy food can be a little pricey at times, but don’t complain about it if you’re inside of h&m and forever21 once a week. I would love to spend money on cute rings, leggings and sweaters all the time but I spend it on vegetables that need to be juiced for the week, instead. Doesn’t sound as fun, I know. But I guarantee that head of broccoli will do more for your body than that cute fuzzy ombre sweater for $14.99.
Granted, there are the exceptions who have naturally long hair no matter what they do to it. Those who can flat iron or dye their coils once a week and won’t suffer a lick of damage. And some who can eat kit kat bars and popeyes chicken but won’t gain a pound. Yes, that can be confusing. But even luck runs out at some point! I rather understand, with certainty, what will give me results. I love the fact I now know exactly what workouts to do when my stomach isn’t looking too flat. And I know exactly what concoctions to whip up when my twist-outs look a little dull. When I’m low on energy I know the vegetables that will help get me back on track and exactly how much water will bring some glow back to my skin after an annoying menstrual breakout. I never set goals for how much weight I need to lose. I’m not looking for a quick fix through random diets or weight loss pills. I just work harder at knowing myself. I don’t set any goals for how long my hair needs to be. I don’t want the unknown growth oil that will make my hair sprout 5 inches or a conditioner that claims to add fullness. I prefer understanding which ingredients my hair responds to. I rather just know my body. I’m at a point where the way I work, my health, is a priority. Hair length, tight muscles and all of those cute aesthetic goals will happen by default. The wonderful perks of treating yourself with care! Maybe you’re not there yet and that’s ok. But just keep in mind, the next time you’re ready to throw the towel in, that most of your goals are going to take some kind of change, a lot of work, serious patience and a little bit of sacrifice. This goes with everything in your life. We hear it all the time but it’s true; nothing worth having is easy.
Ladies, have you come to terms with the work involved in having a healthy hair and body? Or are you still looking for a shortcut 😉