All posts by Love Ann Joy

7 Most Valuable Lessons I Learned While Going Natural

1.   Patience!  Your hair is NOT going to be long Nubian Princess Hair overnight. Be patient with yourself & your hair!

My expectations
My expectations

Before I stopped using chemical relaxers, I watched countless “How To…” natural hair videos that made the transition to natural hair seem so effortless, manageable and…..quick. I had this fanciful idea that if I just followed the right specified steps that my hair would grow out ten   times faster and longer than it did when it was relaxed. This was logical thinking, right?! WRONG! For the longest time, I was unforgiving of these YouTube tutorials for “selling me dreams” until I realized that the fault lied in my thinking. Individual hair growth and retention is contingent on multiple factors: diet, mental & spiritual health, physical manipulation and a variety of other things. In addition, each person has a unique head of hair that has unique needs.

Reality (10/2012)
Reality (10/2012)

Therefore, watching YouTube videos about success stories are not meant to say “This is how you get like me! *whips healthy, long, gorgeous locks*”, but more so “Let this be inspiration to you! If you are as resilient, you can see RESULTS!”  The lesson learned here is that each person has a special story to experience and share. It takes time to develop that story.

2.  One size does NOT fit all!  Every product is not for every person. Do not get thrown off by products that market for “Natural Hair”.  There are a plethora of natural haired people. Each one has completely different hair. Always do your due diligence when it comes to trying new products to ensure that it is right for you!

Kinky Curly pic

Although Kinky-Curly works wonders on some, my hair doesn’t like it! (*No shade*) My hair just got really flaky and gross when I used it.

I will encourage you to go a step further and research ways to create your own natural hair products with household food items (eggs, avocado, honey, milk, etc) . No one knows your hair like you do! You can become your own specialist!

3.  Keep. It. Simple. Sweetie (Yeah, I used a middle school math acronym! It applies!)

A variety of different simplistic hair styles that lasted a while and kept my hands out of my hair!

Danyelle 4
One of my simple hairstyles that lasted for weeks.

Do exactly what the caption says. Simplicity is always the way. Who wants things to be hard, difficult and arduous (all synonymous words, let me live please)? My current hair routine consists mostly of protective styling (twists, braids, etc.), which allows me to spend a fair amount of time doing them one day and then leaving them alone (minus daily upkeep: spritzing with water and product) for a few days. Before I came to this realization, I spent way too much time everyday focused on my hair! In the natural hair world, we call this “hands in hair” syndrome. It happens as a result of being fascinated with learning more about your hair. This is not a bad thing, but you don’t need to have a completely different hairstyle every day. There’s variety in the simple things.

Danyelle 3
Two strand twist. One of my fav K.I.S.S. hairstyles.

For example, if you two-strand twist your hair you can place the twists in a nice updo or leave them out. Then, when you take them out you have a glorious, fancy twist out that can then be put into any type of style your heart desires. Simplicity doesn’t only apply to styling, but washing your hair also. My personal preference is to wash my hair less with traditional shampoo and wash it more with conditioner. This is my reason why. The products in shampoo are meant to clarify and essentially cleanse all of the oil, grease and product out of the hair, which can be very drying. So, I prefer to condition my hair so I can retain some of that moisture. So basically, after making a short story long, listen to Ms. Danyelle and Keep. It. Simple. Sweetie.

4.  To truly feel UNIQUE

Whether you subscribe to the hair type (4a, 4b etc.) ideology or not, it will always remain true that each individual has a different set of hair then the next. You may find similarities between yourself and another which may help you along your journey, but do not make the mistake of thinking that your journey will be exactly the same. Know this and use it as an opportunity to truly get to know yourself for what you are and that is UNIQUE.

5.  Do more of what you love…or what your hair loves in this instance.

My hair loves:

  • Water
  • Any Taliah Waajid product
  • Deep Conditioner
  • Moisturizing Conditioner
  • Humidity (My hair was living it up when I visited Niagara Falls!)
It takes a bit of experimenting to find out what your hair really wants.
It takes a bit of experimenting to find out what your hair really wants.

6.  Be patient some more…

People Danyelle 5are going to be curious and ask questions about your hair. Some questions you may be glad to answer and some questions will sound so silly to you that you do not want to waste the time to even think of a retort. For example, at one of my former jobs, another employee asked me (pertaining to the signature braid across the front of my hair), “Is that a fake braid headband or is that your hair?”

Hmmm, What?  Be patient. Some people have not yet discovered the things that took you time to know. Be patient with them as you are patient with yourself in learning not only about the world around you, but about yourself. Hooo- saaa! C’est la vie!

 

7.  Research, Research, Research!

I cannot express how very important it is to do your due diligence! Research is important in any aspect of life. You wouldn’t apply for a job of a lifetime without doing proper research on the company. You wouldn’t choose a movie to spend $12.50 on at the theater without knowing what it was about. The same idea applies to your hair. Know about the products you put in your hair and the potential consequences. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and money by doing so. Also, doing research on natural healthy hair can keep you “in the know” about what you could do to keep your hair healthy and strong or at the very least what cute styles to try next!

 

Sounds from the Vatican

I not only love to give praise but I also love to hear it.  It gives me a feeling of peace.  So, it was only natural for me to record a moment of praise and worship while I was in St. Peter’s Basilica.  I pray that you enjoy the sounds as much as I do.