1. Styling Takes an Unnecessarily Long Time
There are some styles that always take a long time to complete. For example, it takes up to 8 hours to put my hair into mini twists. That’s not excessively long, as 150 small twists on long natural hair will take a while. But there may be styles that take you 3 or 4 times longer to complete than other naturals. And when you complete the style you might find yourself thinking, “was it really worth all that?” A wash n’ go that takes 3 hours or a simple updo that takes an hour may not be for you. If you enjoy putting in the time to achieve such styles, by all means do so. But those who feel they have to spend hours upon hours in order to achieve what they consider an “acceptable” hair style might need to reevaluate. I honestly believe that natural hair doesn’t have to take a long time to style. My hair is very coily (4a/4b if you use hair typing) and hovering around waist length. I can spend hours on my hair but I don’t HAVE to and neither do you!
2. Diminishing Returns
It’s easy to figure out whether a style is excessively time consuming, but it’s more difficult to determine when the benefits of a style are outweighed by its drawbacks. If you choose to wear a style that creates another set of problems for your hair, it probably isn’t the best option for you. In my case, protective hairstyles that add stress to my hairline, which has always been prone to breakage, will ultimately result in healthy ends and receding edges. Be sure that you don’t continue employing a method, despite clear indications that it’s harmful to your hair, just because so-and-so said her hair was 6 inches longer in a few months. Even commonly recommended styles may have adverse effects on your hair. This doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with the style, or even your hair. The style simply may not work for you.
3. You Can’t “Work” It
I often focus on the relationship between technique, style and hair health in my articles, but I really believe it is important for you to feel good about the way your hair looks. There are a variety of styling options that are conducive for hair health. Don’t feel that you need to wear styles that you feel are unbecoming on you. You wouldn’t wear a dress that you think takes away from your best assets, so don’t feel obligated to wear ‘smart’ hairstyles that you don’t feel confident in. Earlier in my healthy hair journey, I admittedly didn’t wear the cutest styles, but I felt like that was price I had to pay in order to achieve healthier hair. Fortunately, I know better now. Feeling fly and wearing healthy hair styles are not mutually exclusive. If you’re wearing a style that makes you want to duck and hide when you see that certain someone coming in the other direction, then it probably isn’t the style for you. Being natural isn’t some form of hair martyrdom, in which you are required to sacrifice your sense of style. I sometimes sense that some women feel that way, but it simply isn’t the case. Whether or not the style is considered a staple in the cannon of go-to hair styles is irrelevant. Balance wisdom with your sense of style to achieve the hair you find most desirable.
What was a sign that made you realize that a popular natural hair style didn’t work for you?